Magic City’s New Neighborhood is a HUGE Opportunity for You

During the bull market of the mid-2000’s, Magic City invited retailers to “hub” inside their spacious Los Angeles warehouse. Merchants setup shipping counters in the back, complete with their own computers and employees. These savvy magic shop owners shipped directly to their customers from Magic City’s inventory.

The service provided an amazing advantage to those stores who recognized the potential . . . the benefits for client and host. Over time, the service evolved.

For an added fee, those magic shops could use Magic City’s staff and shipping equipment. This is the warehousing opportunity I have written about in other articles.

Today, one magic shop has taken it to a whole new level.

Patrick Abney

Patrick Abney

MaryJo and Patrick Abney opened a full-blown magic shop—online and brick and mortar—right inside Magic City.

Standing in the showroom, Abney’s Magic Shop looks like any other retail magic shop. Carded products hang on the wall, bulky props adorn the shelves, and display cases are filled with the latest magic. However, surrounding the showroom is Magic City’s mammoth Wholesale Magic operation.

Warehouse space is still available to any magic shop that wishes to hub inside The City. Create your own neighborhood today! But you can also take advantage of the Abney’s clever idea at no additional cost.

The Abney’s retail traffic provides valuable information to Magic City and to YOU.

Typically, sales data from magic shops to jobbers is second-hand and delayed. The Abney’s store reveals true retail demand, instantly—what’s selling, in what quantity, and to whom. This is information that benefits you when you call to place your order with Gerald. He is going to tell you, “______ is hot right now. Three people came in before lunch to buy it.”

And it doesn’t end there. The Abney’s recently hosted a lecture at Magic City starring Chastain Criswell.

Even if you do not own a magic store, you can take advantage of Magic City’s infrastructure. In addition to the main warehouse, there is a secondary facility with nearly 5,000 square feet of storage.

Need inventory for your West Coast lecture tour? Store it here for low cost and pick it up at your leisure, or drop ship it to your hotel along the way anywhere in the world. Thanks to the Abney’s, you can kickoff your lecture tour at Magic City, and fuel your sales from one of the largest magic warehouses in the world.

 

Most Magic Shops Overlook This Profitable Niche (materials included)

Photo by Sharese Ann Frederick from Purchase, N.Y.

Photo by Sharese Ann Frederick from Purchase, N.Y.

In a niche market—a market composed of niches—the most profitable revenue streams often originate from a company offering a service overlooked by its competitors.

And what’s best, these revenue streams weather recessions and other economic cycles better than mainstream sources.

For magic shops to identify these niche services, the merchants must focus on the needs of the magicians they serve. This article offers a real-world example and provides the materials needed to take advantage of the opportunity.

When a magician negotiates the terms of a booking, their customer will often ask a common question.

The Question: “Will you teach the audience a trick during your show?”

The Typical Answer: “Yeah, I can do that,” or “I’m sorry, but I really don’t like to teach magic. You know, a magician never reveals the secret.”

The BETTER Answer: “My show is pretty much set and choreographed for audience enjoyment, but I’m happy to setup an area where I can teach some magic after the show.”

Magicians, if they are so inclined [and educated by their magic shop to do so], might consider offering to “teach some magic” after the show as a fundamental part of their booking package.

The “area” the magician offers to setup is a dealer’s table—known as “back of the room sales.” Magicians should not try to sneak in a sales table, but rather use the above reportage to upsell their client on the idea—to introduce a service paramount to the magician’s show package.

Back of the room sales is not a new idea among magicians. Many of your customers are already selling magic before or after their show and/or on weekends. But it is rare for magic shops to teach magicians how to properly offer this service and to provide discounted merchandise for magicians to resell.

In fact, this missed opportunity is why ALL magic jobbers sell direct to pitchmen as part of their regular wholesale clientele—magic stores dropped the ball and demand eventually gave way to supply.

Magic City manufacturers many of the most popular pitch items, perfect for back-of-the-room sales, and we can offer them to you at extended wholesale; providing you with the opportunity to fill this niche in your area.

Here is an article and a flyer in Word format. Edit the Word document with your own store information (you can open and edit Word documents via Microsoft’s LIVE website). These materials are free to distribute to your retail customers worldwide.

Then, click here for a list of popular pitch items at extended wholesale.

You take the bulk orders. You make the volume profit.

Top 10 Secrets to Digital Profits

Royalty free digital content is the single most profitable product in the magic industry.

If your magic business is flush with cash and your bank bursting at the seams, then you probably do not need to tap the digital market. But if you live in reality, chances are you want to make the most of the Royalty Free opportunity.

Here are the secrets to digital success…

  1. Acknowledge the Value

    It is understandable that some merchants do not want to sell downloadable content—they feel it has no value. But it only takes a quark of common sense to see streaming video and ebooks contain the same information as tangible DVD’s and regular books. Offering valuable content to your customers at digital prices, with instant delivery and no shipping fees is a tremendous benefit to the magic community. With digital products, you can reach magicians in countries where shipping is impossible. You can cater to magicians who want their whole library with them accessible 24/7 via the cloud.

  2. Digital Is Not Derogatory

    In the past, digital products were an emerging technology and not widely understood, let alone widely searched. Merchants had to educate their customers about the new content. But today, customers pursue digital content. Their loyalty to one merchant over another may be due to download selection. Digital is no longer derogatory. It is sought out and appreciated—expected.

  3. Producer Mentality

    Look at the front of your competition’s website. The products they push the hardest are the products with the most profit, usually an item they produced in-house (count the word Kindle on the front of Amazon). The Royalty Free Program gives you a whole new product line you can sell with the same—or more!—profit as the items you make yourself. Push RF products like they are your own line. Royalty Free products are always in stock, they are total profit, and they turnaround into new orders fast. These products are YOURS for one whole year.

  4. Promote or Go Broke 

    Barnum said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens… nothing.” Most people think “promotion” means running a sale. It can, but really, promotion is more than that. To promote a product means to elevate it. Simply running a special on a product does not elevate its status—often it has the opposite effect. Promotion comes from educating your customers about the benefits of the product and advertising that promotion on your website, social media, magic forums, and in magic magazines. You can write articles and print them out for your brick & mortar customers, and include information for them to buy your digital products.

  5. Websites Are Not Lifeless Things

    Well, I should say, “good websites are alive.” The engine is running. There is life within the site detected by visitors. The engine serves visitors the valuable products they want or need. If potential customers come to your site and you do not inform them of products they might like, and your reason to suggest the item, then those customers will go someplace else. A blog is an excellent engine. You can post articles about a specific item or groups of items and push customers to buy them. In the case of downloads, offer PayPal buttons right in the blog. A simplified checkout. Start the engine and promote the quality products you offer with the most profit—Royalty Free.

  6. Categorize and Prioritize

    Products on websites are usually broken up into categories so that they are easy to browse. In those categories, a visitor might see subcategories. If your customer wants to buy a “Card Trick,” they simply click the category link. Inside “Card Tricks” they might see “DVD” and “BOOKS.” Add “DOWNLOAD” to that list. If you only have a few Royalty Free titles to start, push a specific item on that category page—post an ad for it in the category header or link the “Download” category directly to your promotional page or product page. Copy the downloadable merchandise into every category that applies.

  7. Custom Copy & Images

    Not every merchant is a writer and graphic designer. But custom sales tools really are a major secret of the biggest magic stores in the world—magic or otherwise. Find the Royalty Free Products other stores are not pushing and feature them on your site with a beefed up cover and some custom text. Turn filler into features. Make small tricks big.

  8. Incentives to Buy

    All non-essential sales—food, water, home, electricity—are the result of incentive. Incentives are the motivation beyond the base need for a purchase. What I like to call “the excuse.” Sure, you need a hot water heater. But if you get a bigger one you can take longer showers. The same works for magic. Of course, your customer wants to buy a magic trick today. “Buy any three and get the Digi of your choice free!” Customers are already visiting your site because they want to buy a magic trick. The amount of profit you make is up to you.

  9. Royalty Free Resolves Disputes 

    Use downloads to appease a customer service issue. Let’s say you made a mistake, an honest one of course. Use a download to make up for the problem. They cost you the least to give away, have zero shipping costs, and are delivered instantly.

  10. You Can Hold Royalty Free

    Unlike traditional digital media or distribution paradigms, a Royalty Free product license gives you the right to print out or supply the product on disc (one at a time, amassing stock is prohibited). Whether you have a brick and mortar store or you want to include free items with an online purchase, Royalty Free is as versatile as you are. Use Royalty Free to make money and provide value to your customers. Royalty Free is a tool and the best merchants are digital craftsman.

  11. BONUS TIP!

    There is an old saying, “You can’t get the second sale until you have the first sale.” Offer free downloads on your site so customers can test drive your download system. Once they become comfortable with the concept, they are more likely to purchase. Plus, free products are a great way, in general, to net more sign-ups from casual visitors, decreasing bounce rate.

Click HERE to get started with Royalty Free!

Magic Distribution Also Means Warehousing

Image by Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by Iamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If behavior is any indicator, most manufacturers would say distributing magic means selling to a jobber [or two] and waiting for reorders.

Manufacturers—i.e. content producers who make their own merchandise rather than selling the rights or getting a royalty from the acting manufacturer—have another option at their disposal. It’s called “warehousing” or “hubbing.”

And it’s an awesome way to make sales.

Lets say Wholesale Magic—Magic City—declines to stock your new product or wants to start with less quantity than you need to produce initially. They may still warehouse your product for you. Free!

What does that mean?

It means you send some stock, say fifty units, to Wholesale Magic. They store the merchandise in their warehouse—a service for which most companies charge by the cubic inch. Whenever someone orders the item from you, whether it be a jobber, magic store, or even Magic City, Wholesale Magic will deliver the item.

Magic shops like to keep things simple. Instead of buying from a hundred single sources, they purchase their inventories from a couple of massive sources—jobbers. Listing your products with a jobber increases the number of potential sales dramatically. Have you found that from magic stores you get a lot of “maybes”? Jobbers don’t get maybes, they get orders.

If you live outside the U. S. and need a hub from which to distribute your magic to companies throughout The States, warehousing is even more profitable. Now you have a U. S. address and your customers pay U. S. shipping prices—that means they can buy more of your product for the same cost.

Once you have a warehousing agreement in place, notify magic stores and tell them the item is available from Wholesale Magic and to include the item with their next purchase.

Additionally, you can ask Wholesale Magic to help you sell the warehoused merchandise. They will list the item(s) on their site just like any other product. They will offer it to the jobbers and stores within their network and cut you a check when the product sells.

You now have a West Coast warehouse—a hub—ready to ship your products anywhere in the world. You make the sales, your warehouse ships the products. It only gets easier: after you shoot your DVD or print your book, have the duper or printer send the product directly to Wholesale Magic. Less work, more profit!

Contact Wholesale Magic to reserve your warehouse space.

Bigger Profits from Less Shipping

UPS_truck_-804051In the past, jobbers required minimum orders to qualify for wholesale and would refuse to ship just one unit of a single item. However, as a means of competition, some distributors have lifted their minimums and will ship any quantity the store requests. Overtime, this practice became standard, and this feature—desired by the retail side of the industry—began to hurt magic shops more than the recession itself.

Regardless, stores show their support of these policies by continually taking full advantage of lax minimums. Even the largest magic stores will now contact a jobber and purchase just one of an item every time they need that item—sometimes purchasing “onesies” throughout the month.

Jobbers lose money on orders like this and so do the stores. Magicians spend about the same, but pay for it with their time. Turnaround is at an all-time low right now, and it is because magic shops use their jobbers like their own personal warehouse.

And most jobbers have grown into that role to a point where they can still make money, albeit a reduced sum, from the retail outfit’s small orders.

The magic shop, however, has adapted only in that it is willing to make less profit.

Next time you sell a D’Lite, an Invisible Deck, or a pack of Invisible Elastic Thread Loops, realize that it isn’t the last one you will ever sell. These are staple goods. Another customer is going to want one of these items just as soon as you ship this current order. Not only are these items regular purchases, they are typically single-item orders.

Buying these items and other staple goods in quantity—even just three to six units at a time at regular wholesale—provides the magician with faster turnaround time, increasing conversion of a first-time buyer into a long-term customer, and nets you an additional 10% savings from reduced shipping. Add to that dozen discounts, and your increased profits can be in the hundreds every week.

Think about all the wasted shipping fees the magic industry produces annually just in the redundant shipping of single-unit staple orders. Could you use an extra 10% in your profit margin? An extra 10% in yearly income? On the remote chance 10% sounds small, realize right now you are losing 10% on a 40% margin. That’s a quarter of your profits leaking from a hole, easy to plug.

Magic Store or Well-Stocked Affiliate? (Part Two)

Photo by Jayson Shenk.

Photo by Jayson Shenk.

If you own an online magic store and feel like it’s getting harder and harder to make a profit, it could be because your business is no longer a magic store.

When the industry’s suppliers relaxed minimums and offered free drop dropshipping during the recession and current recovery, merchants didn’t take the opportunity to weather the storm and rebuild their business. Instead, these policy shifts turned many online magic stores into affiliates.

In part one of this series, we talked about digital content affiliates—magic shops that send their customers to a vendor website for direct fulfillment of downloadable merchandise. Now lets look at tangible product affiliates and steps merchants can take to repair their businesses.

Example of a Tangible Product Affiliate: the majority of magicians who visit the magic shop’s website purchase one or more items the store doesn’t actually stock, and then the merchant orders the item(s) in from a vendor or has the vendor dropship the order directly to the customer.

This product streaming, or “on-demand inventory,” is nothing more than an affiliate program with shipping costs.

The on-demand business model—where the customer is unaware that all or most of the advertised merchandise is actually sitting in a vendor’s warehouse—is today’s “business as usual.” The model produces a great deal of stress for retailers, and it eats away at vendor resources, reducing the purchasing power of the industry’s largest buyers.

Retail entities that stock product only as it sells are known as “dollar turners.” Since those entities don’t actually invest in an inventory and create demand for products already in stock, they simply turn the customer’s dollar into their vendor’s dollar.

Sometimes this is meant as a temporary arrangement—the merchants are under the false impression if they turn dollars long enough, they will put their competitors out of business and enjoy a restored economy solo.

In reality, customers migrate to “real” stores because of fast turnaround, stable prices, and reliable service. Big retailers who focus on promotions rather than infrastructure slowly lose marketshare to mom and pop businesses and typically can’t explain why or how. The industry is a mystery to those merchants because their fingers are on the wrong pulse.

Another fallacy comes form comparing this model with other on-demand models with cheaper overhead and product costs. In the magic industry, there are few companies who do this well, and most have or have had shipping hubs setup right next to their vendor to reduce cost. If you are more than a twenty-minute drive from any one of your vendors, this model isn’t for you.

There are two primary steps merchants can take to either thwart ever becoming a tangible product affiliate, or to repair their business model after accidentally making the switch.

The number one reason merchants become tangible product affiliates is because they stop pushing what they think customers should buy, and yield only to what customers want—turning a seller’s market into a buyer’s market. The remedy? Once a month, order in a dozen units of an item you believe is a good product, and market it to your customers.

Magic shops concerned only with adding every new item to their website without creating individual demand for those products, lose money on “bread and butter” staple goods. The remedy? Analyze your customer’s top-ten reoccurring single-item purchases and keep those items in stock a dozen at a time. Always ship staple good orders yourself (Invisible Decks, Folding Quarters, Invisible Thread Loops, etc). It’s foolish to lose money on a small order with very little profit, especially when you know it’s coming.

The best magic dealers understand that they are more on the demand side of the equation than the supply side. Those magic store owners stock what is already selling, plus they invest in new items to create a flow of future demand. This is what customer’s pay retailers to do.

Start an Online Magic Shop

shopping-cart-152462_640It is easier than ever to take your magic shop online. Today, sophisticated shopping cart software is widely available, self-installing, and cheap or even free.

Here is how to build an online magic shop, from domain name to first customer:

Buying Your Domain Name

Domain names are $15 per year from Directnic, one of the few no-hassle domain name registrars. It is the only domain name registrar I recommend after years and years of experience. Choose a domain name short and sweet with built-in keywords.

Choose Your eCommerce Platform (Software)

MyBigCommerce offers a “hosted” solution, which means you pay a combined monthly fee for both the software and the hosting of your store on their servers. This is an excellent option because you don’t have to do any of the programming, installing, maintenance, or security upkeep. It’s all done for you. For smaller stores, say under a hundred products, consider WordPress with an ecommerce plugin. Updates are initiated manually, but the programming is performed automatically. If these don’t fit your needs, ZenCart or osCommerce is also available.

1) Hosted Option: Point your Domain Name

If you choose a hosted option, such as MyBigCommerce, you will “point” your domain name to the server they provide by changing your primary and secondary DNS on your Directnic account. It’s quite easy following Directnic’s help document, but if you have any questions, ask in the comments below.

2) Self-Host Option: Rent Server Space

You can also rent server space, what’s called a shared VPS, for only $15 per month at HostGator—choose the business plan. When you setup your account, you will enter info about your domain name and the server will be configured for you. You will still need to point your DNS to your new server space, just as in the hosted option.

Install a WebCart

If you choose Option 2 above, go to “QuickInstall” and scroll down to “ecommerce.” Choose the web cart of your choice, click install, and bam! You have a store. (WordPress is also an option in QuickInstall) It may not be beautiful right after installation, but with some clicks you can have a good “first draft” in just a few hours. Don’t worry about messing anything up. If you make a mistake or want to try another cart, go back to QuickInstall, uninstall the program and install the same one again or select another cart to sample.

Upload Products from Wholesale Magic

To populate your site with magic products, ask your vendor(s) for a CSV file. Wholesale Magic has a CSV file that you drop into your web cart’s “Quick Upload” or “Quick Populate” system and it will put every product on WholesaleMagic.com on your website at retail prices. Some of the products you will already have in stock or will buy as you sell them, others you will need to order in and promote. It’s quick, easy, and you’re online!

Advertise and Promote Your Site

Everything we discussed so far can be done in a day. But it will probably take you longer than that your first time. Once you upload the store, it will need some tender-loving design. The products will also need tweaking to be more retail friendly or personalized to represent your own style of service. Then, advertise your site. Promote it in the magic magazines, on magic forums, and social media. Viola!

One last word of advice: don’t forget to build your magic mailing list day one!

Is Royalty Free Right for Me?

icone-downloadIf you haven’t already taken advantage of our Royalty Free Program, then you are leaving some serious money on the table. While writing this article, a dealer called eager for the next download. And for good reason: he sold twenty-eight Derek Dingle’s The Last Notes in twelve hours!

That is $318.60 the first day! His license is for another 364 days!

He didn’t have to ship any products or pay his jobber a royalty. It’s gravy. Bonus cash he can use to advertise his business, promote his other products, or pay his bills. He has a whole year with the product, zero cost per unit.

You can get started right now, or if you need more information read through these frequently asked question:

What is a royalty free license?

A royalty free license is a yearly agreement that provides you the right to sell as many units of a licensed item without paying a royalty for each unit sold. For most items you only need to sell 4-6 units to make your money back. The rest is TOTAL PROFIT! Cheaper than wholesale. Better than jobber rate. You keep 100% of the money.

Is there a fee for the license?

Yes. To purchase a license visit Wholesale Magic, add to cart the royalty free items you want to license and checkout. Download the files, upload them to your site along with the sales graphics and product description. You’re ready to go! Sell the items and keep 100% of the revenue.

For how long is the license valid?

All royalty free licenses on Wholesale Magic are valid for one year. There is no obligation or requirement to renew the license. Expired products—their files, promotional graphics, and text—must be removed from your website be the end of the last day. Failure to remove the content simply results in the purchase of an additional license for the same low price.

Since it’s digital, why can’t I have the item free?

Because it has value. You, the content creator, and the distributor all deserve to make money from this product. As a magic store owner, the industry needs you to help magicians recognize the value of information—this ethic reduces theft.

Can I pay you after it sells?

If you have thirty-day net with Wholesale Magic, then yes, choose that option at checkout. If you do not have thirty-day terms, you will need to pay for this merchandise in advance just as you would any other product.

Why doesn’t Wholesale Magic take a piece of the action?

It’s your money. Magic shops need to make—and keep!—all the money they can right now. Programs such as this provide magic stores with royalty free working capital. As a jobber and part of the community, Wholesale Magic has an interest in helping you succeed even if it means less revenue for us.

Do I pay the license fee per customer download?

No, you only pay for the license once a year and it is a set price.  Sell as many units as you want, keep 100% of the money.

Do customers download the file from my website or from yours?

From your website. We do not ask you to send us your customers. They buy from your site and stay on your site. Wholesale Magic doesn’t want to be in the retail business, so we don’t want access to your hard-earned retail customers.

How do you determine the cost of the license?

The license fee is based on several factors, including suggested retail, the age of the product, popularity, and focus group interest.

Do I have to take all the downloads?

Royalty free. Royalty freedom. Pick and choose only the downloads you feel are the most profitable for your company. Keep the ones that work, exchange the others out at the end of the license term for new products you want to try.

What if I don’t make my money back?

The risk is small. You only need to sell 4-6 units on most downloads to recoup the license fee—over a period of a whole year! And it only gets easier. As you add more royalty free products, you will acquire a reputation for having quality downloadable content. Eventually, magicians looking for instant delivery will think of you before your competitors.

What if I have technical questions?

Contact Wholesale Magic by email or phone and we’ll walk you through the process. You can add this feature to your site and start making money today.

Can I participate without a website?

Yes! Unlike affiliate programs, you can distribute royalty free digital materials without a website. There are two options: 1) Your license permits you to have one hardcopy in your store at a time. You can print it out for a customer or copy it to a disc. Sell this item just like you would any other tangible product. 2) Email a direct link to the file to your customer after their purchase in your shop—a great way to build your mailing list. There are a number of services online for storing and sharing files, free.

Should I promote the product?

Yes! Do not just load your site down with a bunch of downloads that don’t sell. Add them one or two at a time and promote each one. Grow this part of your site. Make this a fundamental part of your business model, one product at a time. Send an email to your list each time you add a new royalty free item. Create demand among your customers for these products… after all, you keep 100% of the money!

My shop is outside the United States. Can I participate?

Yes! Anyone in the world can participate. We want shops from around the world to enjoy the spoils. If you need to translate a PDF or video, let us know. We want you to succeed.

With which license should I start?

So far, the highest converting book in the Royalty Free Program is Derek Dingle’s The Last Notes.

Impersonal Customer Service (Part One)

An irate customer might send their magic shop an email similar to the following:

“What type of ****ed-up operation are you crooks running over there? I ordered such and such last week and I haven’t heard a word from you since. You took my money and I have **it to show for it! If I don’t get a response from you by the end of the day I’m going to call my credit card company, the attorney general, and the BBB!!!!!”

Lets say, to make matters even worse, the customer is correct.

He did place an order, your employee totally forgot to email him about the backorder, and the item is now discontinued. What do you do? What is the best way to diffuse the situation without losing the customer or getting hit with chargeback fees?

Obviously, the customer deserves to get their money back or the item they purchased as soon as possible, but first, they need you—the merchant—to not take their comments personally.

Ignore the insults on a personal level and engage the problem head-on:

“Dave, I am sorry for the lack of communication. We dropped the ball on this order. We’re not crooks, just human and we made a mistake. The item you ordered is out of stock and shouldn’t have been listed on the website. I issued your account a store credit with an extra $5 as a gesture of good faith. I appreciate you bringing this issue to my attention and providing me with an opportunity to serve you. Thank you.”

The message addresses and apologizes for the problem—no “ifs” or “buts” anywhere in the response. The merchant offered an immediate solution with incentive to accept. Appreciation for the customer is evident. The message is short and sweet and affectionate.

Lets say the customer was completely wrong. Your employee had emailed the customer and the item shipped. The same rules ALWAYS apply. Ignore the insults on a personal level and engage the problem(s) head-on:

“Dave, I’m sorry for the lack of communication. It appears our emails to you—three total—were blocked by a spam filter. I would be mad too! I’m emailing you now from a safe address I use just for these occasions. Your order shipped yesterday and you should have it soon. I appreciate you bringing the email issue to my attention. Please whitelist our address with your provider. Thank you.”

The message apologizes for the problem—still no “ifs” or “buts.” Blame “a” spam filter, not the customer’s spam filter. Even if there isn’t a problem with YOU, the customer has a legitimate problem. Apologize for it. Acknowledge the customer’s rude behavior by identifying with them, provide the information the customer needs to move on, and then offer some solutions to the failed delivery.

Magicians deserve your honesty. Never lie to your customer or use canned responses.

Whether the customer is right or wrong is irrelevant. If the customer has a problem, a problem exists and it is your duty to fix it. Skilled merchants find a solution that benefits both parties. The customer should never get a bad deal and the store, operated by a clever owner or manager, doesn’t need to lose money—profit is the only way to ensure future customers receive the same excellent service.

When a customer takes a business issue and makes it personal, it’s your job to filter out the insults, and return the conversation—without boilerplate—to a productive correspondence. Don’t take anything personally. The customer doesn’t understand how hard you work, what a wonderful parent you are, or what you have done for your community.

The customer is angry at the mistake, not the person who made it—that person is going to make it all better.

The Opportunity & Consequence of Limited Supply

Sold“While supplies last!” A buzz phrase used so frequently since it was first coined that it has lost all meaning. Now consumers ignore it and so do merchants.

But to jobbers, this notice still has meaning. It is a warning so that you do not simply put the item on your website and then try to order it a couple of weeks later, only to have to refund your customers.

That’s not to say vendors don’t want you to inquire about limited supply stock down the road. Perhaps the item was only in limited quantity the first few weeks, or maybe the item is limited to a dozen units at a time every month.

Either way, there is a simple rule-of-thumb: if you adversities a limited supply item to your customers, order at least one. Worst case scenario, you get backordered before you make a sale. That way there’s not a mad customer on the other side of the transaction.

Another Type of Limited Supply

There is another type of limited supply, when it isn’t said outright but is implied. For instance, when a merchant calls their vendor and asks if such-n-such is in stock. “Yes, we have one.” A few weeks later the merchant places an order and the item is unavailable. What the vendor meant was, “Yes, we have one—today.” Perhaps the same magician who called you called five other shops, and one of those bought the item when the vendor said there was one in stock.

How to Make Big Money from Limited Supply

Limited supply is a great way for magic shops to hurry demand and increase awareness of special products, but on the wholesale side, it means “It’s going fast and won’t be back”—unless otherwise marked, of course.

These items are excellent investments. Since the item will have demand stirring about, but only you or a small number of other merchants will have the product available, you can increase the market price to reflect the collectable nature of the product.

This is Especially True with Books. Sometimes we find an old title in our warehouse, long out of print. Maybe two dozen still in shrink-wrap. If you put this item on your website and advertise it like we do—“Limited Supply”—you will have un-fillable backorders and angry customers.

But the reason they go so fast is because one shop buys them all—they understand the system. They will either store the item and wait, or put it up for sale at two to three times the retail. Those savvy merchants may quadruple their investment in a week.

Limited supply, on a wholesale level, means buy now or be SOL. It also means opportunity. Buy up a small stock and turn it into a big chunk of cash. After all, you are taking additional risk and fronting additional funds, it’s okay to make a few extra dollars in the process.

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