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

Simple Strategy Transforms Your Business

Photo by Mike Kirby.

Photo by Mike Kirby.

The internet tossed a stick of lit dynamite into the old saying, “You can’t sell from an empty cart.”

Today, that small phrase sums up the business model of many small-to-medium businesses online. The internet itself is an empty cart in some respects. There are whole companies that actually sell turnkey “empty carts.”

In the magic business, it’s okay to operate an empty cart—or a somewhat empty cart; the business shouldn’t be completely hollow. If magic stores had to stock everything they sell on their website, magicians would have limited access to supplies and would need to do business with more stores—a shipping nightmare for the magician.

Instead, it’s a shipping nightmare for magic shops!

There is a rule of economy in play here: shipping costs per item increases as volume decreases.

If you’re not doing the business you were a few years ago, then chances are your shipping costs—even if well-managed—are really high right now. Every time you order one item to service one customer, you are paying a percentage of profit to shipping that you would have saved if it were part of a larger parcel meant to service more customers.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to offset these increased costs.

Once a month, call a vendor and inquire about their newest items. Focus on their top three and buy a dozen of one. Push the item through your newsletter and feature it on your website.

When you get down to two remaining units, call and order another dozen. Keep the item featured on your site and promote it to your list again. Continue doing this until it stops selling. By this time, it’s the next month, repeat the process with a new trick.

This simple concept can and will transform your business. Eventually, you will earn thirty-day net with your vendor and you will develop a relationship with them that may include discounts—even more profit.

Williams Magic on Loyalty, Trends, and the Filter Factor

Emory C. Williams, Sr. and his wife Nathailia.

Emory C. Williams, Sr. and his wife Nathailia.

Magic is cyclical, and very few people have seen the cycles from Emory Williams, Jr’s point of view. He’s multigenerational, mobile, online, and brick and mortar.

Williams Magic has one of the best reputations in the magic business. There is “just something about the way they do business,” said one magician on a magic forum.

The well-known magic shop, founded by Emory C. Williams, Sr. and his wife Nathailia, operated in the same location for twenty-four years in Tucson, Arizona. Recently, Emory Jr. moved the business to Vail, Arizona.

In addition to their online store and their Vail location, Williams Magic also operates the world’s first, full-service mobile magic shop—traveling across the nation bringing magic to areas that are otherwise void a retail experience.

We caught up with Emory Jr. to get his take on what makes a great magic store and what he feels are the positive and negative trends affecting the magic business today.

Wholesale Magic: I hear it all the time, “…since Williams Magic closed.” Did you close your store, or are you still open for business?

Williams Magic: Well, we didn’t go out of business if that’s what you’re asking. We did close the shop we had on 22nd Street in Tucson for 24 years. There were a number of factors involved in that decision. For example, one big reason was when the stock market took a dive in late 2007/2008 our business took a dramatic downward turn. The economy captured everyone’s attention and people stopped buying magic. That was the real turning point when I decided to create the world’s first fully-mobile, full-service magic shop. That project began to consume my time and attention until it came to fruition in early 2010. In 2012, the economy was not recovering as we had hoped, and with me spending more time on the road it became much more difficult for my parents to run the Tucson shop on their own.

AvatarThe bottom line is we divided our business into three different focuses. One is our web site which I recently rebuilt with an entirely new look. Another is our mobile shop. The third is our small, local business in the town of Vail, AZ, where we maintain a local presence to serve the Tucson magicians and the Vail kids, beginners and tourists.

Wholesale Magic: Your Mobile Magic Shop is quite popular it seems from the chatter online. Do you see a good turnout from longterm magicians on location?

Williams Magic: That’s a very interesting topic that needs about an hour to discuss. First, we only stop for clubs and long term magicians. Our mobile shop is not designed for the general public, only for magicians. When we plan a trip through an area we contact the local clubs and ask them to get the word out. When we first visit an area the clubs usually bring out a good number of magicians but it seems the more we return to the same area the attendance gradually declines. There are a number of reasons for this as well. Membership in local clubs across the country is dwindling due to economic reasons, employment related issues, simple attrition and other factors. But the verbal support never dwindles. Everyone who comes out expresses gratitude for our stop and they indicate how much they wish us success with this venture.

Wholesale Magic: Very few shops have your customer loyalty. Your customers talk about you with such passion. What do you offer that makes William’s Magic so special in their eyes?

Williams Magic: My Dad and Mom have now been in business over 47 years and they built Williams Magic from the ground up. They have always run a customer focused business with the highest integrity. They treat everyone as they would like to be treated themselves and actually try to entertain and serve the customer. When a new person walked into our Tucson store they were overwhelmed with magic entertainment, free refreshments, smiles and genuine care. When a magician walked into our store we tried to determine what they needed or wanted and did our best to provide those items. We never tried to “sell” them the latest and greatest magic item on the market. Instead we always tried to establish a personal relationship with them for the long term. We sincerely enjoy our business and develop customer relationships based on trust. I’m a third generation magician and that’s what I continue to do with our web business and our mobile magic shop. I guess you could say we never try to “trick” our customers.

Wholesale Magic: I have heard you say you act as “a filter” for magicians, what do you mean exactly?

Williams Magic: There are so many new magic items hitting the market every single day that it is difficult for anyone to keep up. We do our best to review and evaluate new items to determine their practicality and worth. We try to filter out the really bad stuff and only recommend the good items. Since we have a web site that extends around the world and we ship to many countries, we list (and sometimes stock) items that we don’t like because some customers insist on buying what they “think” they want without asking questions. But if a customer will simply ask us our opinion we will tell them what we think of an item. Too many magic sellers today are more interested in “selling” their product, regardless of whether the customer can actually use it or not. I try to learn more about my customers by asking what they perform, what they like, what they don’t like, then I make specific recommendations for them but I never pressure them or try to “sell” to them. I will demonstrate the items and stake my reputation on those recommendations.

Wholesale Magic: What magic industry trends have you most concerned?

Williams Magic: There are so many, where do I begin? One of the biggest and saddest trends is that we are losing all the traditional brick and mortar magic shops. Some people don’t consider this a problem, in fact, they think the online world is better because of all the so called social media. The problem is the magic shops cultivate magicians, online media such as YouTube shows bad magicians teaching bad magic to a whole new generation of bad magicians.  And I won’t even mention the irresponsible exposure of magic secrets. I come from a time when magicians respected the art and each other. That is no longer the case.

As magic shops close magic wholesalers lose outlets through which to sell their inventories. After magic shops close magic wholesalers will begin to close. After magic wholesalers close magic manufacturers will begin to go out of business because they can’t sell enough of their product to make a profit.  As manufacturers go out of business the new generation of magicians will lose sources for good, quality products at reasonable prices. We’ve already seen the closure of Morrissey Magic in Canada, possibly the largest and most respected manufacturer of aluminum magic products in the world. This is not a pretty spiral.

Today’s magicians are more into pranking their friends (and strangers) than they are into entertaining audiences. Customers today are always looking for “something new” rather than something to add to their act. After they have pranked their friends, and their friends’ friends, they need new things. The most common questions a customer asks are, “What’s new” and, “How much?” This relegates the art of magic to the level of puzzles. That’s not what real magicians are about.

Wholesale Magic: Are there any wholesale-specific trends that have you concerned?

Williams Magic: I don’t like the new way of “pre-selling” magic.  We are being bombarded with hype about the latest and greatest products that will be “the hottest selling product of the year” and we are required to pre-order a dozen or so even before it hits the market. I’m tired of buying the proverbial pig in a poke, then getting stuck with it after everyone finds out it’s no good. There seems to be no way to stop this.

I think it’s wrong the way some online dealers are given preferential treatment. They sometimes get shipments with exclusive rights for 30-days so they can sell to everyone while we have to wait until “the next shipment.” By then our customers have either already bought the item or have decided they don’t want it so that hurts our bottom line.

Wholesale Magic: What new magic industry trends do you think are positive within the community?

Williams Magic: I’m not certain I have an answer for that. It seems some wholesalers and dealers are trying to adapt by offering online lectures and education but I’m afraid it’s too little, too late. I’m not optimistic about salvaging magic as we have come to know it. I believe magic will pass through a cycle where people will lose interest, then it may eventually rebound but I have no clue what it will look like then. That will be long after I’m gone.

Wholesale Magic: Do you see a spike in your brick and mortar (or mobile sales) after a televised magic program?

Williams Magic: Not at all. Many people enjoy watching magic but most people don’t have the personality to want to perform. After a televised program a few of our magician customers will come in and ask if we saw the program but it doesn’t increase sales. New people who wander in after a televised program usually ask questions like, “Does he have real powers?” or they’ll comment on how much they enjoyed the show but they still don’t buy. Televised magic shows have never really helped us at all.

Wholesale Magic: Which famous magicians do you hear about the most out on the road… maybe a top three in order?

Williams Magic: Well, number one would be me because I’m standing there in front of them.  Just joking. I guess it would be Criss Angel, David Blaine, David Copperfield. Those are the most mentioned in casual conversation. Usually these names are followed by, “What do you think of them?” for the first two, and, “We haven’t heard much about him lately” for the third.

Wholesale Magic: Still having fun in the magic business after all these years?

Williams Magic: We do enjoy demonstrating magic to the new people at our roadside shop in Vail because of the excitement and sense of wonder in kids’ and beginners’ eyes. And I enjoy meeting with the magicians across the country with our mobile shop. But we are all saddened to see what’s happening to magic in general, the way new items are marketed with slick videos, the instant downloads, etc. The magic business used to be a business run by magicians who sincerely wanted to serve other magicians.

Would you like to see your magic shop or your favorite magic shop spotlighted by Wholesale Magic? Contact us for details.

The Magic of Packaging Two Worlds

 

Picture by ThrasherDave.

Picture by ThrasherDave.

The most desirable packaging for mailorder magic shops is small and lightweight, preferably marked as specific as possible for international deliveries (unmarked baggies of Fanning Powder look like something totally different to customs agents).

But the brick and mortar market wants packaging that stands out and creates interest. Full color packaging with thought-provoking titles and a sizable box to imply greater value.

These two worlds have been in contrast since day one, yet the industry hasn’t done much to accommodate both separately. Rather, manufacturers have sided with one or the other or they walk a middle path that doesn’t serve either market specifically.

There is one manufacturer who I know reads every word on this blog. He consistently puts out feature products in tiny baggies. I tell him he has “mailorder tunnel vision.” Even though his products sell well online with their professional copy and graphics, they sell at a reduced rate in brick and mortars simply because the packaging is so small and doesn’t stand up on a shelf.

Some product lines seem to lend themselves well to both markets automatically. The items happen to be small and lightweight, and they ship easily, yet their packaging—by accident or design—looks good in a magic store showcase or lined up on the back wall among the other merchandise.

So what can manufacturers do?

First, it’s important to design your products with both markets in mind and attempt to accommodate both without incurring additional costs.

Package for the showroom market, but inside the flashy box, put the actual merchandise—wrapped in the instructions or beset the DVD—in a baggy with a soft label. Inform your wholesale and jobber markets that you have these separate packages so that they can remove the box and save on shipping costs when supplying via mailorder. A sticker on the box that says, “To reduce shipping costs, please remove outer box,” will help keep staff in the loop.

If you’re not packaging your products in this way right now, realize mailorder companies may already be repackaging your products for you on the fly. For instance, sponge balls are often shipped out of their box, so imagine if the instructions were printed on the packaging instead of a loose sheet of paper.

You want consumers to receive the product as you intended, so it’s important to prepare for common repackaging techniques.

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