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.

On Location at MagicDealers.com

magicdealers-300x170MagicDealers.com is a directory of magic related websites. I’ve had the pleasure to work on the site and help out with promotions. With my help, MagicDealers.com has skyrocketed back to the top of search engines and is getting a ton of traffic. If you get a chance, check it out.

Recently, the buzz peeked the interest of Vanish Magazine. They came to our offices for an interview. You can get a copy here: Vanish Magazine #10

Below is our interview:

Gerald Kirchner, CEO of one of the largest magic distributors in the world, made it his mission to find potential customers and deliver them to magic stores. The result is a website that is quickly becoming popular among magic suppliers.

“I go to bed each night thinking about magic shops,” Gerald said. “These places are owned and operated by people who work hard to deliver magic to every inch of the Earth. I wake up in the morning and imagine ways to make life better for that community.”

Gerald isn’t alone. There is a growing number of magic store owners who understand the value of networking. Those of us in the magic business—my fellow dealers, wholesalers, and manufacturers—are a family of distant relatives. Gerald’s new directory, MagicDealers.com, is like a family reunion, or an ongoing dealers room from your favorite convention.

“I go to bed each night thinking about magic shops…”

I visited Gerald at his office at Magic City—wholesalemagic.com—two massive warehouses filled from top to bottom with millions of dollars worth of magic books, DVD’s, the latest tricks and classic staple magic. It’s aisle after aisle of the world’s best magic.

Hanging on the wall behind his desk are Gerald’s favorite tricks—items he produced in his twenty-one years at Magic City—now celebrating their 40th year in the magic business.

I said, “Gerald, it’s like the most creative magicians in the world exploded in your office. There are cool toys and magic everywhere.”

“Yes, there’s a lot of history in this room,” Gerald said. “My dad, Chuck Kirchner, sat in this chair for over thirty years. He helped mold the magic business as we know it today.”

“I hate to reveal this to you,” I said, “but after listing my site in the MagicDealers directory, it quickly became my number one magic-related traffic source.”

Gerald explained, “That’s not a surprise. I hear that from many of the certified dealers listed in the directory. The website gets a tremendous amount of targeted traffic and we aim it at magic stores who want new customers.”

“Gerald, it’s like the most creative magicians in the world exploded in your office. There are cool toys and magic everywhere.”

“How do you deliver results so quickly? What makes people click my link?”

“It doesn’t always work that quickly,” Gerald said. “But I try to ensure it happens eventually. Every dollar that comes into the directory is spent in advertising our members. We run Facebook and Twitter campaigns for our dealer pages, plus we tap a few traffic sources I don’t want to make public.”

“Pretend I’ve never heard of MagicDealers.com. What is it?”

Gerald took a sip of his coffee and said, “MagicDealers is the world’s fastest growing magic directory. We don’t have every dealer listed yet, but we’re working hard to find them and deliver them a whole new customer base.”

Aaron Smith: Why should people list their site in the directory?

Gerald Kirchner: Everyone can use new customers, readers, or clients. The directory funnels those prospects to its members. Traffic pours into our site from search engines, social media platforms, and our proprietary sources. Our goal is to deliver actual, paying customers; people looking to buy magic tricks right now.

AS: Who can join MagicDealers.com?

GK: The site is for anybody with magic-related services they want to promote. Performers, dealers, manufacturers, magic magazines and news sites, really anyone in the community. The best part is, you don’t even need a website. You can use MagicDealers as your website.

AS: How much does it cost to become a member?

GK: Right now, you can have a listing in the directory for $99 per year (Magic Shops) $25 per year (Magicians).  That price may go up next year. Additional tools, such as promotional sales throughout the website and key features hidden within your listing, are available for premium members for just $99 per month. Premium members also get a discount from the Acme Magic Banner Exchange, only $25 per month for full rotation. Acme has now served over thirteen million banners on magic websites, so it’s a tremendous offer.

AS: A hundred dollars for a lifetime listing is a good deal. How does a magic shop or magician get listed in the directory?

GK: It’s easy. Go to the website, magicdealers.com, and click “Get Listed.” Fill out the form with your information and submit it for certification.

AS: You mentioned certification again. How are magic dealers in the directory certified?

GK: We verify the information provided by every dealer. I don’t have a way of guaranteeing it at this point, but we make sure the store is legitimate as best as possible. Honestly, not every magic store makes it through. I have to be able to go to your site or visit your establishment and know that you are an actual store. Sometimes it’s obvious the site isn’t real. If they claim to have every product distributed by Magic City for instance, but haven’t ever bought from us, I know they’re not real. Sometimes I have to call around and check references. I do what I can without being overly-demanding for information.

AS: But what if I’m traveling and don’t want to navigate the site to find a dealer?

GK: There are two mobile options to access our complete list of magic dealers in real-time. You can download the “Magic Dealers” app from the App Store on any IOS device, such as your iPhone or iPad, or from Google Play for any Android device. Our app had over 400 downloads in the first week. It’s very popular.

AS: That’s a lot of downloads for a directory app. Congratulations. Other than the app and website, how can I find out about new stores on MagicDealers.com?

GK: You can follow us @magicdealers1 on Twitter and like our Facebook page at facebook.com/magicdealers — we keep both sites up-to-date with the newest additions to the MagicDealers family

.AS: I noticed that MagicDealers.com is sort of it’s own little world. Sites within a site.

GK: Just like Facebook and Twitter, MagicDealers is a form of social media that shouldn’t be ignored. Google, Bing, and Yahoo rely heavily on directories like ours for content and current information. My advice to magic stores, creators, and performers is to get listed in the directory right now. Don’t wait. Join now. Keep your listing updated with all of your current promotions. You have a whole new place from which to draw traffic. To get customers. To make sales.

AS: One last question. Is that a Klingon Bat’leth on your desk?

GK: [smiling] Yes. Yes it is. I use it as a letter opener.

Source: VanishLive.com

 

Do You Have a Personal Relationship with Your Jobber?

Image by Voir les pages liées.

Image by Voir les pages liées.

I overheard two magic shop owners talking about the magic industry. The subject of jobbers came up under a general discussion of supply, and one of the merchants said, “Jobbers. Hmmm. Who knows what those guys are thinking?”

It struck me as odd. Doesn’t this merchant communicate with his jobber? Distributors are an open book for the most part. He can call Magic City—Wholesale Magic—anytime and talk directly to Gerald Kirchner, the CEO.

The other merchant said, “I just call up my vendors and talk to the owner. Check their pulse, even if I don’t have an order right then. I prefer to order online anyway, but I still need to talk to someone with some skin in the game.”

Yeah! That makes sense. But the first merchant responded, “I have never spoken to the owner of my main distributor. They assigned me an order taker that handles my account.”

What? Is he even talking about the magic industry? A real, personal relationship between jobber and magic store is of vital importance in this business.

Magic has never been about buying from a faceless corporation. Whether the company is a distributor, retail store, or a pitch operation, the “man behind the counter” is an accessible member of the family that owns the outfit. That person is a magician themselves with performance experience. Someone who understands magic as an art form and knows the clientele as a passionate demographic.

Magicians like to talk about the back room of magic shops. After the magician had proved themselves, the owner would invite them to where the “real magic” is. Can you imagine if the owner was a mystery or didn’t communicate directly with customers on a regular basis? How would anyone ever progress? How would the “real magic” be revealed… at the discretion of an employee who themselves may not deserve full access?

The same is true at any level in the magic industry: performer and apprentice; shop and performer; jobber and shop; manufacturer and jobber.

If you do not have a personal relationship with your jobber. Get one! You need to know what’s going on in your vendor’s mind. Develop a friendship. When you come to town, you and your jobber should go out to lunch, discuss the biz and plan your future.

The same applies to manufacturers. Whom—not what—but WHOM is distributing your products? When was the last time they invited you out to lunch?

It’s okay to talk with an employee to take your order. There is nothing wrong with that. But at least once a week, call and talk to the owner. To the CEO. Ask them questions about magic in general, the business specifically—the fads, the trends, ways you can better serve your customers as a “passionate demographic.” If they cannot answer these questions for you, find someone who can.

Big Box of Magic Still a Thing to Cherish

impcard__13544_zoomIn the early part of the previous decade, a trick hit the market that quickly became a best seller and a consistent source of inspiration for magic creators.

Impossible Card in Bottle by Gerald Kirchner “And Friend”—later revealed as Aaron Smith—was an amazing value; a shoebox-size package filled with magic. It appeared interesting on the web with its old paper label and struck a monumental pose on the shelf of magic shops around the globe. Still to this day, the big box adorned with the familiar cover on the front gets attention even without a demonstration.

When Impossible Card in Bottle was first released, it was an era in the magic industry when it was still desirable to pack as much value as possible into a magic product. Creators who invented a gimmick would create multiple tricks made possible by the device. Even if only one trick was advertised, the item might arrive with a big book of extra ideas for the magician.

This value-packed rule applied to the tricks themselves too. In those days, almost every new trick had at least three phases. As Aaron said in a subsequent writing about magic in general, “One phase is a stunt. Two a puzzle. Three phases is magic.”

Today, tricks are released with just a single phase—stunts in magic packaging. The days of long-form, detailed instructions have been replaced with short overview video clips. Tricks like Impossible Card in Bottle pool into a collection of recent classics—“super tricks” that represent and transport the magician to an era not-at-all obsolete. A chunk of our history that stands proud.

Over the last fourteen years, there have been many tricks that use the concepts from Impossible Card in Bottle and pretend they are new ideas. And to new magicians and magic creators, they are new ideas. There has been and always will be overlap of this nature in the magic community. The problem is—or ought to be—many of those new products focus on a single section of a much larger picture.

In the past, if a magic inventor approached a jobber and demonstrated a single-phase routine, the jobber would decline the trick: “Come back when it’s finished.” Now days, the response is, “We can’t put full retail on this, but we can offer it as an instant download.”

Over time, Impossible Card in Bottle became a family of products, including Impossible Cap in Bottle and Impossible Bill in Bottle, also by Gerald Kirchner “And Friend.” They released another popular bottle trick, Behold the Scarabaeus—a borrowed cellphone magically enters a borrowed water bottle—featuring Fort Knox Coins to Bottle and the bonus, Dracola, a healing soda can effect that starts with a new can instead of a supposedly discarded one.

If you are looking for magic—a big box of magic that has inspired magicians and creators since its release—be sure to stock Impossible Card in Bottle and pitch it to your customers. Better to buy all this magic in one place, than to accidentally get the same trick sold separately.

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