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@Mark - We didn't leave anything out on purpose. But that's an interesting point you raise... I'm wondering, by misleading ads, do you mean they lied about he effect that could be achieved? Or just didn't mention any flaws to the method/setup? Really interested to know what you mean by misleading, as it definitely helps to get your perspective on it.

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Geraint Clarke

It would've been nice to be able to check all reasons that apply. And I wonder why some reasons that I thought would be obvious just don't show up at all. For example: some of the products I do not work on...the ads were misleading. Or the product is of low quality. I saw an ad for something last year, everybody in the blurbs says, "That it's going right into my strolling set!" "It's a great EDC!" Then it turns out (1) it requires a gaffed deck that (2) cannot be examined, and (3) can only be used for this trick, plus (4) you can't repeat the trick for someone who's seen it.

While I'm whining: can the people who give the testimonials please stop saying "It fooled me badly!"

There's more...it'll keep.

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author

We didn't leave anything out on purpose. But that's an interesting point you raise... I'm wondering, by misleading ads, do you mean they lied about he effect that could be achieved? Or just didn't mention any flaws to the method/setup? Really interested to know what you mean by misleading, as it definitely helps to get your perspective on it.

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Geraint Clarke

I like doing simpler tricks for my grand kids.

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Feb 14, 2023Liked by Geraint Clarke

For me to add a new trick to my work, It has to fit me. Many time I buy a trick and it just doesn't fit. I may add a trick a year, but I try many. I do learn from every trick I buy, so I feel like it is worth the price. I meet weekly with a group and we show off new stuff. We show tricks that we buy, learn from books, and sometime we look at trailer and discuss these trick.

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I bought a close-up effect last year. I already knew what to expect--if you watch the promo video you'll see a very short, straight line between method and effect. And I've been doing a similar effect since a friend showed me his (better) method, back in the late '80s.

I don't want to identify the product here, but I will say the promo says something about being able to do the effect in a bar or coffee shop. The video only shows it being done in a loud bar, for a woman who appears to be so drunk she could barely see through a ladder. Why not show the trick being done in a coffee shop? Because it's noisy--mine is, anyway. Maybe it would work better with a ceramic cup--but it is shown being done with a paper cup.

I also think that we'd be better off without promo videos that show tricks being performed for people on the street who act like they're seeing the performer levitate himself with no cover. They double over; they scream; they gyrate like a Voodoo houngan in the throes of spiritual possession--because they saw a card trick. How many times does your audience lose it like that? (Do you remember the video, maybe last year or the year before, for a phone app? The woman looked like she was going to call an exorcist on the magician--she recoiled in horror--because he predicted her astrological sign.)

Look at the reviews for "Phantom" on Penguin--81% are one star. Watch Craig Petty's review of "CTW," which he shreds. There's only one review for it on Penguin, but it's a one-star, with the headline "Did not work! Fake trailer" The reviewer describes it as "worst purchase ever!" I saw a video for another trick, where you "throw" a coin into a pop can. In the seller's video he shows what he says is a US quarter, and it's signed. But one reviewer says you can't use a US coin. And clearly the coin is loaded first. There is no way on earth you are invisibly tossing a coin six or seven feet into a can. Good Lord! In another video it says the participant can look into the can and see the coin--but a reviewer says you cannot let the participant inspect the can. So...?

There's an old Italian proverb: "No merchant cries 'Stinking fish!'" Maybe it's our own fault for trusting the promotional stuff...especially promotional stuff produced by people who make their living off deception.

Somebody on Vanishing Inc recently said he stopped buying products that don't have uncut performance footage in the promo. Not a bad idea.

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I checked marketing on "what puts you off," but I feel like that's an oversimplification.

I really like cool trailers, but when a trailer is mostly hype I tend to disregard it. Live performance clips are a major thing I look for. Also, I tend to avoid one-and-done tricks unless they're extremely cool. Love and would happily pay more for extended projects with lots of versatility, insight, and new ideas. HTRM and HTCM were extremely valuable just for the vids

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FWIW, it might have been better to have a few more options on some questions or at least the ability to pick "other" and write in something. When I couldn't find the answer I wanted, I had to pick the closest, which may not really be accurate. Also, not being able to pick multiple answers or rank choices made some of the questions tricky, too.

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It's a quick poll and substack has some limitations in that area, we weren't able to add a box to type in for other. Next time we'll use a google form and let people type... but it does give people an option to choose their most likely factor/answer when answering, even though, as you said, it would be more helpful to rank/type something specifically.

What about you personally? Are there any questions where you'd like to elaborate on 'other'?

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Feb 15, 2023Liked by Geraint Clarke

Yeah, I understand you have to work with what the tools give you and this was intended to be simple. For me, the first question was too limited: I started primarily just to learn, not to perform or create. For "other" on hearing about new magic, I thought you'd want sources; for me, this would mainly be YouTube, and I'd probably put e-mail as a second choice if allowed. The questions about what puts us off buying magic and what influences buying a new deck may have been better with ranked choices rather than a single one. Later questions asking for a top choice could have been ranked choices instead, too Or instead of rankings, allowing multiple choices could have worked, too; it depends on what sort of flexibility you want to provide. Also, I wasn't sure if we could skip questions, because on the last one, I haven't discarded anything, so I had to pick from the perspective of why I don't perform things: I just generally don't perform. That's also the reason most of what I have goes unused -- I'm mostly learning for myself. I hope that helps clarify some things from my point of view. Thanks.

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People throw away magic? Gross.

I give mine to little warlocks and witches, and I show them how to use it.

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I was really disappointed with Venom. Understandably it's no longer offered on the site but the effects were REALLY GOOD especially the Ring Time Stop/Rewind effect. But The gimmick would break all the time and so much product would be lost. Also my second unit got damaged enroute to me and the wax fused to the entirety of the thread supply and rendered useless.

Customer support was completely indifferent this time around and was the only time I found E-Support team to be unreliable.

Otherwise, I really do enjoy Pyro Mini, still works since I bought it in 2017.

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I will look into what you said regarding 'indifference'. As it was your second unit, did we already replace the first one?

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