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Top 10 Tips When Buying From Dealers at a Convention

There is no doubt upon entering the dealers arena you will be feeling like a kid in a candy shop But don’t go wasting your money! Before you buy, read the handy hints and tips gathered from numerous professional and amateur magicians that blew their budget before seeing all the stalls.

1. Bring a note pad and pen with you so you can note down price, location and brief description of the item for sale. You can go over this list at a later date and decide what you need and don’t need away from the bright lights of the hall.

2. Always have the dealer demonstrate the item before you buy it. This will let you decide how much you need the item and whether or not you can use it.

3. Decide on your budget before arriving and try stick to it. You can always come back to an expensive effect at a later date if you really want it.

4. Bring a backpack to carry all the items you eventually purchase.

5. Returning to the Dealers Hall towards the end of a convention may net you a bargain. Very often dealers will try and get rid of items used over the course of the convention as demonstration models. You may be able to get something you really need for a bargain.

6. Weigh up the benefits of an effect before you buy. I always consider the following:
a. Price
b. Ease of use
c. Size, does it fit in my pocket? (close-up / standup)
d. Whether or not the effect fits my style.
e. Quality of Purchase
f. Layman reaction

7. Taking the time to talk to a dealer about an effect will reveal lots about it not noted on the item description. This will increase you understanding of the effect and give you ideas for how you may wish to use it.

8. Buying multiple items from one stall may qualify you for a discount. You can but ask!

9. Check the program for any sale or promotional discounts for stalls at a convention.

10. If you buy a book from the author at a stall, ask him or her to sign the book for you. This transforms an object into a piece of magic memorabilia.


About the author
Kevin McMahon is a professional magician based in Scotland. He started performing magic in 2005 when he appeared on reality TV show ‘Faking It’. Scientist-turned-magician, Kevin, performs at weddings, corporate events and private parties up and down the UK. His new stage show ‘Tricks I Have Learned Since Being On Telly’ previews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2006.