Hidden Opportunities Find Magicians

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“Image by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

I received a call the other day and thought I would share it with you:

Q. Will you teach everyone a magic trick during/after the show?

A. That’s a great question! We used to teach a trick during the show, but through experience, we have found it actually detracts from the magic. We want your audience to be amazed and entertained as much as possible and for you to have a memorable event.

With your permission, we set up a magic table in the back of the room. We sell a few easy to do magic tricks that audience members can take home and share their love of magic with family and friends. Of course you can prepay for everyone to receive a kit for free. That’s a great option and gives guest something to do after the show…

A very simple way to get away from and handle a semi insulting question.

“There’s a big difference between a demonstrator and an entertainer.”

What you don’t want to do. Tell your potential customer you refuse to teach a trick and you are way above that! The customer does not understand how it works and is genuinely asking a question. We know, asking a magician to teach a trick during a show, is like asking a band how to play the instruments.

What’s the hidden opportunity? Select six to twelve tricks audience members can buy directly from you. Put your name, email, and website on all the instructions. Put them all together as a package deal or magic kit. This gives you repeat customers and sets you up for new ones. You can easily double, triple or make even more off your “dealer room”. Some magicians even reduce the rate of pay, just to set up that booth at the end of the night.

Have an intermission for some sales during the show. It works best with a partner, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. This also gives you a nice break and set up time for the second half of the show.

Let WholesaleMagic.com know you want special instructions or Magic Wand Scrolls and they will be happy to work with you. They can even give you ideas to push.

Jay Leslie

Batteries Not Included…

Batteries_Not_IncludedI stumbled upon this trick by accident and it quickly became one of those “gems” you find yourself performing at every opportunity. It is contagious. Whenever I teach a fellow magician “Batteries Not Included,” they end up performing it just as often.

When I perform the trick, it is usually because there happen to be two batteries lying around; a friend is changing out the batteries in a remote for instance. Double A are best, but you can sometimes do the trick with D’s and C’s too.

You can carry a couple of batteries in your pocket to perform anytime.

“Did you know those batteries are magnetic?” Pick them up and lay one next to the other lengthwise. Nothing happens. “Oh wait, you have to rub them together to get a static charge.” Now, hold one battery and the other is magically – supposedly magnetically – stuck to it. When your friend tries it, there is no such magnetism.

If you would like to learn how the trick is done and share with your friends and family, Click here and place a FREE ORDER of Batteries Not Included.

Dotcha! Magic and Mayhem with the iPhone

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I love phone tricks. I have five DVDs available on the subject! I also have a book devoted to iPhone tricks and gags entitled, Magic and Mayhem with the iPhone. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but it’s coming soon. Stay tuned!

Since I’m always on my iphone, I thought, why not try and come up with a fun little gag to share here on the blog? I use iMessage a lot and so I decided to play around with that. What’s my least favorite part about texting? The waiting for a reply, of course. You know, the three dancing dots that pop up as the person you’re texting is texting you back. I’ve had to stare at those three dancing dots many times. That got me thinking, wouldn’t it be funny if you could just leave that text bubble floating there? How long would someone sit waiting for a text that wasn’t ever coming? Turns out, people will wait an almost unbearably long time. It’s pretty funny. As you can imagine, I proceeded to torture friends and family with this gif for days.

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I created the Dotcha! gif on Photoshop. The initial image was good, but I wanted to see if I could find a better image elsewhere. Google didn’t have the images I was looking for, but I did find a post on cnet by Jason Cipriani describing the same idea. He almost had it right. What’s the difference? His bubble gif does not look like the iMessage bubble gif. So close!

I’m offering it here to all those who love mischief and pranks for free. Enjoy!

Click Here to Download your copy of Dotcha! by Gerald Kirchner, It’s FREE!

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Shattered Hearts Blows Minds

Shattered HeartsThose of you who read my article, Card Tricks Make a Comeback, know that I really like card magic. I get excited whenever a new card trick comes along. Seeing the trick for the first time is part of the appeal, especially when it fools me or surprises me–catches me off guard.

In the late ’90’s, my friend Chris Brent created a trick called Shattered Hearts. It fits the description above perfectly. We were hanging out at a magic convention in Dallas, Texas and he says, “Do you want to see a new card trick I’ve been working on?”

Of course, I was intrigued. Chris is super-talented. But I really didn’t expect much when he started off with the standard, “Pick a card.” I did as he asked. I returned the card to the deck and he lost it in the pack. It seemed so simple. Even up to the moment when he revealed my card and asked, “Is this your card.”

“Nope,” I said with a wink and a smile.

What came next was totally unexpected. I have seen my share of pick a card tricks, but this, this was special. “Hold your hands out like a cup,” Chris said. And then he snaps the card and hearts flutter down from the face like snowflakes on a bloody-cold winter’s day. Six hearts to be exact. “Was your card the Six of Hearts?” he asked.

“Yes! Yes, it was,” I said.

I was so impressed. The trick was amazing and I had to have it for myself. Chris and I chatted a bit, and as we turned to go back into the dealer’s room, the one and only Phil Goldstein–Max Mavin–was standing right in front of us. Chris had Max do the same pick a card bit, ending with that incredible “raining hearts” finish. In good Max fashion, stroking his chin, he says, “interesting!”

Max liked the trick just as I had. Magic City inked a deal with Chris that night. Today, every magic shop across the globe has the opportunity to carry Shattered Hearts, a signature trick by my friend, the talented Chris Brent.

Want to get in on the action, too? Amaze your customers and ink a sale every time you demo this killer trick. Buy twelve Shattered Hearts, GET TWO FREE! I’ll call it my “Jobber’s Dozen.” Add a dozen to your cart on Wholesale Magic and the site will automatically give you two Shattered Hearts 100% FREE!

Order today and put “double order” in the comments box and I will send you four Shattered Hearts FREE!

Cornering the Market on Best Sellers

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Instead of gambling your investment on a new product that hasn’t proven it’s worth, take an item that was a best seller and re-release it. Image by 2bgr8

Competition for new items with best seller potential is so fierce that it can be near impossible for small shops to compete. Size isn’t the only factor, even the largest retail entities cannot capture the exclusive every time, which is why they often re-release an old item. If done properly, you can corner the market and take a huge volume of sales.

Hindsight is 20/20. Instead of gambling your investment on a new product that hasn’t proven it’s worth, take an item that was a best seller—it can be two years old or absolute vintage—and announce it like a new product. If your competitors have this item on their website, but do not genuinely stock it, then they may be coming to you to buy it.

Here is a quick guide on how to corner the market and make your product re-release campaign a huge success:

NEVER…

  • Change the Title: You don’t want people who already have the item to buy it twice or for people to accuse you of ripping off the original
  • Call it New: If it is an old product, don’t advertise it using the word “new.” It isn’t necessary or productive.
  • Remove the Creator’s Name: Give credit where credit is due, it’s the magician’s code.
  • Re-Release a Crappy Product: Once was enough for that item. If it isn’t good, it shouldn’t have been out there in the first place, let alone re-released with your effort and market force behind it.
  • Wait to the Last Minute to Promote: Start the build up in advance. As soon as you have an item make a vague announcement on Twitter and then keep it going.
  • Use this Technique Only Once: Find what works, and replicate your success throughout the year. Corner the market on twelve products, and you’re now a pretty tough competitor.

ALWAYS…

  • Do Your Research: Record items you are being asked about that are no longer available, and stock them. Track the popular searches on your own website. Talk to a jobber about items that used to be popular and are available in quantity.
  • Re-Write the Product Description: Refreshing the ad copy is an excellent way to breathe new life into a magic product. Add information that makes it current and ties it to today.
  • Spruce up the Picture(s): Especially on vintage product. Give the sales graphic a new coat of paint—or redesign it completely—to fit the current trends. Grunge was the thing, but might be over the top today. Many young magicians are growing out of their entry-point shops and moving on to pro outfits.
  • Shoot a Demo Video: Include some sort of video in the description, even if it is just you talking about and pitching the item—show the item on screen in your hands. People like to see something—the trick if possible, the packaging if nothing else.
  • Include Bonus Item(s): If you cannot get a bulk price, offer a bonus item or kit to go with it and raise the price. If it is a DVD, include the props your customers need to get the most use out of the product.
  • Offer an Introductory Price: When you announce the product, give a discount for customers who buy it within the first three days.
  • Contact the Creator: Ask the creator of the trick to mention your renewed interest on their social media or to their list. Maybe interview them and post an article you can both promote—a magic magazine might publish it too. If the trick does well, offer to buy the rights to the item.
  • Buy Them All: Call your vendors. If one outfit has a dozen units, another has three dozen, and so on, buy them all. Make sure nobody else has them in stock. When you talk to the creator, buy their stock too, or ask them to give you a ninety-day exclusive. If there is no demand on the items anymore, an exclusive is pretty easy to get from independents.
  • Buy at a Bulk Price: When you are buying up all these units, get a good price. Buying is half the battle. Negotiations are easy with jobbers. Just ask for the best price. That first number they give you is probably it. Remember, they work on the smallest margins in the industry.
  • Offer Wholesale: Once you have everything ready to go, consider putting a paragraph at the bottom of your product description offering wholesale pricing on 3-6 unit minimums. Your competitors may need to pick up a few of your exclusive.
  • Promote EVERYWHERE! Announce your new product on all of your social media, blast your email list, call people, send personal emails, and even contact customers who have placed orders but didn’t buy that one item. Post on forums. Build demand!

Click HERE to get started!

Card Tricks Make a Comeback in Show Stopper Style

Show StoppersLike any other type of magic, card tricks have gone in and out of popular favor. I love card tricks, but as a distributor of magic, I am constantly pitched new products. By 2002, I had seen enough card tricks and was looking for just about anything else.

It wasn’t that I was burned out on card tricks already published, it was that card magicians really weren’t making epic strides like they were in the nineties. Plus, the market wasn’t buying card tricks. I would get calls at the office, “What’s new? And isn’t a card trick?”

Today, however, cards are starting to make a comeback. Card magicians have taken advantage of new technology and reduced modern printing costs, cranking up the gears of innovation once again, producing top-quality card magic. And the best part of all, card tricks are selling!

Still, with all the leaps and bounds forward, one of my favorite card tricks is an oldie – the “Dunbury Delusion by Charlie Miller.”

Few magicians are familiar with the plot, and those who have seen it, probably have no idea where Charlie published it originally. I learned it from a remarkable little booklet called “Show Stoppers by Hugard and Braue.

The book is very good – filled with so many amazing card tricks – I just had to have a copy for myself. It was long out of print though, so I purchased the rights and brought it back to life for the next generation of card magicians. You can own it now in hard copy or digital format.

The reason I like the “Dunbury Delusion” is both because of Charlie Miller’s streamlined handling (easy for beginners, but strong enough for pros), and the impact of the final revelation. It’s one of those tricks that makes a wonderful performance piece at parties, high-class shows, or even a money-making bar bet. In other words, you can perform for your friend, your date, or the president!

Another thing I like about “Show Stoppers” is it has Frederick Braue’s original handling of his infamous “Homing Card.” Fred Kaps performed Braue’s “Homing Card” so often, he is often credited for inventing it. In fact, Kaps performed it on black and white TV, making it one of the first card tricks ever performed on television.

If you would like to add a couple Show Stoppers to your act, get the book!

Click Here…

The Poor Boy Billet Knife: Supper Size Me Please

poor_boy_billet_knife_FULLSIZEThe most popular Poor Boy magic product on the market, now in a new size. Bigger billets! Larger Loads! Plus a convenient pocket clip to keep your Poor Boy Billet Knife ready to read minds at a moment’s notice.

The Poor Boy Billet Knife isn’t a fancy magic prop. It’s a simple utility device invented by a magician, used by same, and placed on the market for a reasonable price. Like most magic gimmicks, it’s just “one of those” with “that one thing” attached to it.

However, this Billet Knife is also very effective! There are no moving parts to get stuck or jammed as with other billet knives. One simple move with your thumb and the billet is loaded, every time!

A borrowed dollar bill, signed and folded, vanishes at your fingertips. Pick up a piece of fruit from the table – or the spectator can choose it fresh from the market – and cut it open to reveal their signed dollar inside the fruit!

• Stainless steel blade!
• Durable composite handle!
• Convenient pocket clamp!
• Dirt-simple and damn reliable!
• New size for BIGGER BILLETS
and LARGER LOADS!

The Poor Boy Billet Knife can also open a sealed envelope and secretly inject a small item inside. Reveal the billet right away, or just do the cutting and let your spectator expose the prize!

The maximum FOLDED billet size, without hiding it with your thumb or finger, is about one inch wide by two inches long (compare to the original size). Fully extended knife measures nearly seven inches long. Instructions include the most famous billet trick ever, Bill in Lemon!

What is a billet? A billet is any small object, usually a folded piece of paper and often used in mind reading routines by mentalists. Use the Poor Boy Billet Knife to inject billets into impossible locations!

Three-Year Replacement Coupon Inside! With your Poor Boy Billet Knife, you will receive a replacement coupon. If the product fails within three years, Poor Boy Magic will replace it free; you just pay shipping and handling at actual cost.

Click here to check it out.

The Best Camera on the PLANET for Magicians!

IphonecamIn the summer of 2011, I wrote the following article. All the information is just as relevant as it was back then. I will update it as I go along the post and compare 2011 to today, winter 2014.

I have always said, the best camera is the one you have with you when you need it – the one you carry with you every day. For most of us, that is our camera phone or smart phone.

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iPhone 4 is the number one camera on Flickr in summer 2011

And at least one major online photo-sharing website agrees with me. According to Flicker, the number one used camera is the iPhone 4. Today the new winner is no surprise the iPhone 5. I think the iPhone 5S would be supreme, but with the 5C release and the smaller upgrade on the 5S, it has not taken over the top spot. I think the next release of iPhone will hit the number one spot quickly from all the iPhone 5 upgrades. Here is their complete list of the most used cameras http://www.flickr.com/cameras/

iPhone 5 Tops the List

While a modern smartphone’s 5-megapixel image resolution isn’t the best on the market, it is a remarkable improvement over camera phones released just a few years ago. Since the iPhone is the number one selling phone on the market today, the vast majority of the population who carries a phone also has a damn-good camera in their pocket.

Up until recently, I owned one of those big handheld monster camcorders and a digital point and shoot. When my camcorder broke, I thought to myself – my wife and I both have iPhones and my son has a Flip camera – do we really need to replace the old bulky single-purpose camcorder?

Soon after, my point and shoot digital still camera died. It was a nice camera, but I had the same thought – why replace it when my iPhone’s camera does a good job and is always in my pocket?

As technology gets smaller and continues to combine features, it is only logical that a device like the iPhone 4 would be the number-one camera on Flickr. By this time next year, the iPhone 4 will probably fall from the number one spot; bumped by none other than the iPhone 5. (This Happened.)

So what does Flickr and iPhone have to do with magic? Well, go grab your smartphone and I will tell you…

iPhone Photo Trick: One of my favorite tricks is the iPhone Cracked Screen. Search for the term “iPhone cracked screen” in Google Images, and you should be able to find a photo that works on your phone. If you are on your iPhone, click the picture you want and save it to your camera roll. Here are a couple examples:CrackedScreen2

To perform Cracked Screen, take someone’s photo. Snap the shot and say, “well, I have heard the old joke that you broke my camera with your face, but you really did it!”

Call them over to see it, and as you show them the picture, click the little square at the bottom of the photo screen (on the iPhone), it will take you to your camera roll and display the last picture – swipe past it to the cracked screen just in time to show your spectator. They broke your phone!cracked-screen

There is a trick in my “Magic with the iPhone II DVD,” where you can do some amazing photo magic – including a version of Cracked Screen that shows the actual photo of the spectator, cracked!

Smartphones create an ideal atmosphere for organic, impromptu magic. Similar to how our opportunity to capture precious moments on video and in photos has increased with the convenience of a camera in every pocket, so has the opportunity to perform extraordinary magic on the spot. All thanks to the best camera, the one you have with you!

Checkout all three volumes of my “Magic with the iPhone” DVDs, Magic City best sellers!

Check out: Magic With the iPhoneMagic With the iPhone

 

A Must Read: Sands of the Desert Simplified

sands_of_the_desert_originalThere are many choices when it comes to Sands of the Desert, but that doesn’t mean the decision has to be complicated.

Sands of the Desert is one of the best stage, parlor, and even closeup routines you can perform for modern audiences. The trick is as colorful or as dark as you want it to be, and it’s relatively easy to do.

So why all the different options?

Well, there are a lot of different performers out there and there is a Sands for each of them. The diversity of Sands of the Desert is no surprise when you consider it’s been performed for nearly 300 years. Imagine how diverse you will be after three-hundred years of performing!

But if you are new to Sands of the Desert, there is no reason to put off trying it just because of all the options. Start with Sands of the Desert (Synthetic) Original Colors.

Why? Synthetic Sands are extremely easy to use—both in performance and in cleanup—and the Synthetic Sands work with a variety of routines.

If a customer asks you which Sands of the Desert they should start with, hand them Sands of the Desert Synthetic Originals and the Black Water Pouch Kit. Keep this combo in stock and you will always have a stage trick to offer magicians, especially those looking to transition from closeup into stage, parlor, or street venues.

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