Wow, what a mad year it's been! But, we are now in the last few days of the madness so it will soon be a calm again at the magic shop. This year has been our biggest ever, with the magic shop serving customers through both Amazon and ebay, as well as the bricks and mortar magic shop, and it's magic websites in several counties.
We feel blessed and feel truly grateful for all the support we have received from magicians of all levels of ability around the world, that have supported the magic shop and allowed it to grow into the busiest magic shop in the UK both on visitor traffic and sales volume, and the 3rd busiest magic shop worldwide! It's interesting to look at the statistics to see what has been fueling the massive growth the shop has had over the last few years, From them, we can identify two main causes:
1) Refusing to race to the bottom.
People want a good deal, and they want their magic tricks to be as cheap as possible. However, as with any market, it's very easy for magic shops that sell the same products to start a race to the bottom on price. Now, the problem we see with discounting is this: The price of an item can always be cut down if a dealers overheads are low. One shop drops it's price a little and instantly the others follow them and drop it a touch more. Very soon, the item hits at price that is just above it's wholesale price and stops being worth stocking. This caused much of the older tricks to be discontinued as they simply don't have the margins to make them worth selling. As a result of this, the discount shops have to focus on just new releases, as they have not began their 'race to the bottom price'. The result: A poor selection of items and bias by the magic shop towards the brand new releases rather than towards the best quality tricks.
We think the this is not the best way to go. Tiny margins means that overheads need to be as low as possible, and overheads to us = Customer service. The Merchant of Magic is build on the principle that great customer service comes first. We want to employ a team of magicians to help and assist customers, phone support from real working magicians, advice guides and ebooks etc etc. The point is that, we would rather have a magic shop that has sustainable pricing that allows us to really commit to the best customer service possible. Something, we believe can't be done by a part-time magic dealer selling tricks from their spare bedroom.
This may mean that we lose some customers that simply want the lowest price and don't care about service. That's OK, we simply arn't a great fit for them. Our goal is to build up relationships with magicians of all levels of ability, that is based on service, support and training we can provide.
2) Making magicians happy.
Shopping? That's easy on the internet, jump on Google, do a few searches and you will find a wide range of magic shops to choose from. How does our magic shop stand apart? We think it's because the goal of the team isn't just about money. We are all magicians, and run the magic shop because we LOVE magic and want to eat, sleep and breath it! If the aim of running our business was to get rich, I can assure you, we would not be selling magic tricks! In fact, most other online retail stores as large as ours, but selling different products, would be far more profitable. Who cares! We are a team of magicians first and shop keepers second. That's why we have tried to make your online magic shop experience as close, in terms of customer service, as a visit to our real bricks and mortar shop.
The team have been taught that the goal of helping you is to improve your magic, NOT sell you as much stuff as possible. That's why we often recommend alternative items, when you ask our opinion on an item that you are thinking of ordering. If we don't stock and item, but know where you will be able to find it, we can tell you.
We are, at the time of writing this post, the only magic shop to give a full year magic tricks returns policy. That was something that other magic shops told us would be madness. But, who cares! If an item is not right for you, why should you have to keep it? We are far more interested in building a relationship of trust with you over time, than chasing a quick sale.
If you have any further ideas of how we can add to the service we provide, please do let us know. We have some VERY big plans for the coming year, but want to make sure we don't miss out on any ideas we haven't spotted.
The team is always just a phone call or an email away, so if you need any help with you magic, just drop us a line here.