Where Magic Comes From (Part One)

illusionist-149195_640Good magic comes from a spark, and the spark quickly evolves into wonder. I don’t mean amazement, I mean wonder. A creative mind wonders and dreams. It snakes its way through a million possibilities.

If you have come up with an idea for a magic trick and want to see it become a magic product on the market, step one is a whole lot of wondering—brainstorming. As you go along, ask and answer these questions:

  • Where’s the magic? Deep down, is there any magic at all?
  • What’s the most magical part of the trick?
  • Do I upstage the most magical part with something trivial at the end?
  • How can I streamline the effect?
  • How can I make the streamlined effect even better?
  • Should I use a gimmick to accomplish this?
  • Is the gimmick I’m using even necessary?

Once you are done with these questions and you have a working prototype of your trick, then it is time to test it. In other words, perform the trick A LOT! Ask your closest magician friends to test it too.

Now you have a solid trick, but how do you turn it into a magic product available in magic stores across the globe? Ask yourself more questions:

  • Is this something I would be proud to sell?
  • Is this something I would buy?
  • Does this trick represent my brand well as a first release?
  • Is this trick new and innovative enough market, or simply common sense?
  • Would you ask a merchant who works on a very low profit margin to risk his family’s livelihood on your product?
  • Have you Google searched specific key words to see if you trick is already out there?
  • Have you searched magic forums and magic stores for similar items?
  • Can I create an honest demo video without the need for cuts or special effects?
  • What am I including with the trick that has tangible value?
  • What are the negatives and how can I turn them into features?

After you have answered these questions for yourself, call a jobber for advice. Ask to talk to the owner and pitch them your idea.

Realize that magic producers—jobbers or independents—have a hundred ideas in the wings. If you pitch an idea to them, someone in the company may already be working on something similar. Don’t automatically assume they ripped you off if a trick with the same method or plot is released after you talk with them. If you are worried about getting ripped off, talk only to reputable jobbers, dealers, or producers, and pitch to them in a vague manner, rather than tipping everything in the first conversation. You can even ask if they are working on something similar before you tip the method.

The reason to bring a jobber in from the very beginning of the product stage is because while you are focussed on where the trick came from, they will be focussed on where the trick is going. Something as easy as a title change or a nuance added to the instructions could net a huge return down the road.

If you are the research and development department, your distributor is like the marketing department or a marketing consultant.

Another reason you should bring a jobber in early on is to pool your resources. You have an idea. They have equipment used to turn ideas into products—DVD production and duplication, presses, packaging, writers, illustrators, and more. Capitalize on your strengths… and theirs.

In “Where Magic Comes From Part II,” we’ll discuss briefly the jobber/creator relationship and reveal the secrets and mysteries behind independent product releases.

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!

Customers Find You No Matter Where You Hide!

750px-IRS46_nasaIntroducing  the Acme Magic Exchange.  Join the exchange and let us know your account number.  Spend only $400.00 a month with Magic City and you get a FREE paid membership.  That’s right,  Maintain $400 a month or more with us and you get a free paid member ship with Acme Magic.

Check out some of the details below:

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TREND: MagicDealers.com Invade My Stats

16If you have a website, you have the ability to view and monitor your traffic statistics. Most server companies have a statistics program built right in to their administration panel. Many webmasters prefer Google Analytics, one of the best, free traffic monitoring services on the internet.

There are many services out there. I use four—yes, four!—separate analytics programs to measure and tweak the traffic for Wholesalemagic.com.

Recently, my team and I revived MagicDealers.com and officially re-launched the site. I thought for sure this was going to take months of intense, hard work to create a “useful” resource.

Turns out, I was wrong.

When I checked my stats today, MagicDealers.com was my NUMBER ONE REFERRAL SITE in my host’s stats program and NUMBER FIVE in Google Analytics non-search engine referrers. (that’s why I use more than one program to monitor my traffic, they don’t always match up perfect)

What does all this mean? It means we are off to a fantastic start. If you are listed on MagicDealers.com, great! Check your stats. You might already be getting a significant amount of traffic from the directory. If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Start getting MORE TRAFFIC TODAY!

My traffic quick view:

1. MagicDealers.com
2. facebook.com
3. m.facebook.com
4. Newsletter link
5. AcmeMagic.com

Google Analytics:

1-2. Internal Links
3. Newsletter Link
4. acmemagic.com
5. MagicDealers.com

And a nod to both acmemagic.com and magicians-scrapbook.co.uk (#8) they are great resources!

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