When I was a kid living on Clark St. which is now in Le Plateau, I used to walk with my mother or aunt to the Rachel Street Market, no longer in existence. They weren’t selling art, clothing, or gimmicks, they were selling food. It was a farmer’s market. You could buy live chickens, rabbits, fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc. That was before supermarkets. There were lots of farmers and you went to the ones you knew and who knew you. They might have even put aside a special product for you because they knew how you liked it. What degree of ripeness, and so on.
When we opened Perfect Magic, before the internet, we bought what we thought was good from suppliers we trusted. There was not this smorgasbord of magic that there is today. Every single day we receive new items to consider. At one time there was Mak Magic, Morrissey Magic, Abbott’s, Fun and a few others that manufactured products here in Canada or the U.S.A and Supreme in England. Now very little is made here. It’s hard to compete with China or India. Some of the stuff is good, some is not. But when you read the write-ups, everything is the greatest ever. So how do you know what is good.
For instance, we recently got a book in, Art Decko, by Simon Aronson. I didn’t read it, but I knew the name and reputation of Simon Aronson. Phil immediately said, “Get a couple, its got to be good.” We did and we sold some to people who also knew the name and were excited to see the book. In the
December 2014 issue of MUM I happened to turn to the section of reviews, “Informed Opinion” and Michael Close reviewed the book. It just so happened that Michael recently lectured here in Montreal and Phil went, even though he usually doesn’t go to lectures any more, but he wanted to see Michael. Phil said it was one of the best lectures he ever saw. Michael has been in magic a long time and he knows what’s what. Michael in part had this to say in MUM, and I quote “….Art Decko was a joy and a refreshing change from the products currently flooding the marketplace; it was like being offered a steak dinner after having to surive on junk food…”
My point is, don’t believe all the hype. Ask someone who has been around. Maybe someone who knows you. When I see something that I think is great, I know just who would be interested in that particular item and tell them about it, and they know I know and they always buy it. And they come back and thank me. A little research may save you disappointment and dollars.