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.

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.

Magic Stores Report $6000 in Revenue!

icone-downloadWholesaleMagic.com launched the Royalty Free Program last month, and magic dealers have already reported combined revenue in excess of $6000.

And that is with only 40% of stores reporting!

Think about it for a moment: six thousand dollars magic dealers kept without paying a dime of it back to a jobber or vendor or shipping company; SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS in total profit that did not exist before our Royalty Free Program.

If you are in the magic business, then you know nothing much is selling right now unless you push it hard. So why not push products with 100% profit?

The pie is getting bigger! Here’s how you can enjoy a slice…

Select from any of the products listed below or from our Royalty Free product page. Add the item to your site and feature it. Send it to your list and push it relentlessly. When a customer purchases the item, you keep all the money. The buck stops with you!

I asked one of my dealers what the Royalty Free Program means to him and his business. He said, “To me it’s an endless inventory. A year-long, profit-laden revenue stream. After just thirty days my bestsellers are mostly royalty free.”

He nailed it.

He understands the program.

He sees the value in generating royalty free profits in this economy.

It is never too late to join the party. The program is scalable for any size business. Every magic store, no matter how large, starts with one Royalty Free product. Don’t just add it to your site—push it! Sell it. Keep all the money!

Complete Course in Pick Pocketing

Derek Dingle Last Notes by Simon Lovell 

Dracola by Gerald Kirchner

Burning Up by Nathan Kranzo

Bob Hummer’s Devastation Principle

Cups and Balls by Senor Mardo

Dotcha! by Gerald Kirchner

Flipper Coin Repair by Roy Kueppers

From the Stall Booklet

Interlocked Card Production

Pop-Card by Steven Pignataro

Expanded Shell Repair by Roy Kueppers

Mark Cannon’s Great Escapes Convention

If you have questions about the program, feel free to contact us. We also set up a FAQ page here.

Is Royalty Free Right For Me

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.

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.

Magic Store or Well-Stocked Affiliate?

Some magic store owners didn’t realize they made the switch!

If you own a magic shop, you are constantly searching for new ways to expand your marketshare, increase your product range, and better serve your customers.

But sometimes that means embracing new technologies or unconventional archetypes. It’s important to explore all aspects of these new models to ensure the concept fits your longterm goals, and at the very least, be aware when you take your business in a whole new direction.

Example: magicians visit the magic shop’s website, order a digital product, and are then redirected from the store’s website to a third party where the customer downloads the product.

This is known as an affiliate program. And the magic shop, instead of being referred to as a “store,” is called an affiliate. The term affiliate may apply to the shop as a whole, or to just one section of the shop’s website. A shop may begin as a traditional store and then convert—gradually or all at once—to an affiliate.

Photo by Jayson Shenk.

Photo by Jayson Shenk.

In non-magic industries, the affiliate concept is also known as “The Gallery Model.” Typically, the gallery model is used as part of a lead generation program—the main company builds its own mailing list and customer base from “tentacle” sites that feed the larger enterprise.

Since traffic sent to the fulfillment site has purchased a product, lead generation via the gallery model is a good way to capture real customers while filtering out casual visitors. Even if the customer only paid one dollar, it still means they are the cream of the crop—the best the referral site’s mailing list has to offer.

As far as the magic business is concerned, nobody is claiming third party digital vendors are recording customer info for the purpose of capitalizing on those customers directly (other than the initial sale of course). Similarly, magic vendors are unlikely to share customer info with content providers as a means to prove sales and to factor royalty; in this industry, such providers are often direct retail competitors with the affiliate sites.

One way to ensure these situations do not occur is to verify the vendor’s target demographic before choosing a third-party affiliate program. Does the vendor advertise their products and services exclusively to retail companies? Does the vendor’s online following exceed the number of potential clients? If so, that company may covet the same customer base as you.

Like merchants from any industry, magic shop owners are drawn to the idea of affiliate programs because they are fast, easy, and have zero up-front costs to get started—the exact opposite of the traditional store model. That’s not to say this is a bad arrangement by any means. Some magic stores want to be affiliates—commission is simple compared to gross and net. “Affiliate” should not be considered an evil word.

But even if you are not an affiliate, you should still be aware that as the affiliate model gains popularity, it alters—fundamentally—the industry landscape for everyone.

Eventually, the biggest buyer or “storer” of goods is no longer the most important client to vendors. The greatest assets are high-traffic online magic shops—galleries—who send the vendor the greatest number of customers. Magic stores with tangible inventory are unnecessary in this model.

That means website owners with zero buying power, but with heavy traffic flow, are more valuable to a vendor than the merchant who actually stocks a dozen DVD’s here and there. The affiliate model puts internet-only-including-no-warehouse-start-ups on equal footing with the “big guys.”

There are some powerful advantages too. The affiliate model opens the industry to more retail outlets, a larger market for content producers, and greater access to magic products by potential customers in areas of the world previously restricted.

In short, there are only two ways to distribute downloadable content. By affiliate program or by royalty free license. Merchants should consider the pros and cons of both systems and make a choice that best reflects their longterm goals.

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.

Dupe & Print: Keep it in the Family

CD-PRINTMagic City is one of the oldest magic book and DVD publishers in continuous operation. We have retired many presses and technologies in our forty-year history, and now use state-of-the-art digital machines. Chances are you have many of our books and DVD’s in your magic library.

But there was a time when manufacturers felt non-magic companies offered better duplication and printing services than from businesses in the industry. And that was true to some extent, but it also meant higher prices to magicians, larger runs than necessary, and a great deal of profit-loss due to redundant shipping.

Now days, the technology is all about the same. Large magic companies can easily compete with the quality and volume from experts in the duping and printing fields. However, when it comes to the benefits mentioned earlier, it makes sense to “keep it in the family.”

Wholesale Magic can dupe, print, and package your DVD’s and books, and then you can distribute them directly from our shelves or ask us for assistance. You control the size of your print or dupe runs, net a cheaper rate, save on shipping, and your products are already in the hands of one of the largest and most experienced magic jobbers on the planet.

Afterwards, you can decide to make sales solo or if you want Wholesale Magic to help you get orders—even from other jobbers—the choice is yours. We’ll ship the product for you either way. The only thing you have to do is invent more magic! We’ll take care of the rest.

Contact Wholesale Magic for printing and/or DVD duplication.

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