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The Art of the Grafter: a pitchman guide to selling

by Walt Lees
$10

(1 review, 3 customer ratings) ★★★

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The Art of the Grafter: a pitchman guide to selling by Walt Lees

This ebook holds extremely valuable information for anybody who would like to become a pitchman or grafter who sells Svengali decks and other items. Even if you do not sell as a pitchman, but perform on the street or other public venues you will learn quite a bit from Walt Lees.

Some of the points discussed are:

  • Which magic tricks are suitable for pitching?
  • Types of pitching
  • Earnings and rewards
  • Requirements of a good pitchman
  • Styles of pitching
  • Choosing a good site
  • Peek selling times
  • What to have with you
  • Dealing with complaints, hecklers, pilferers, non-buyers, aggro merchants, autocrats and even prostitutes
  • Walt Lees' own Svengali demonstration.

1st edition 1983, 25 pages; 1st digital edition 2013, 24 pages.
word count: 10160 which is equivalent to 40 standard pages of text

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Reviewed by Christopher Reynolds (confirmed purchase)
★★★★   Date Added: Saturday 22 October, 2022

Do you want to make OBSCENE amounts of money, up to ONE-THOUSAND DOLLARS ... per day ... after only 1 hour of training?

You can earn over $300,000 annually; it's fast, easy, and fun! And it's so simple that even a child could do it.

"How?" you ask.

By selling the most MIRACULOUS, INCREDIBLE, and FANTASTIC pack of playing cards, the world has ever seen:

THE SVENGALI DECK!

Have I gotten your attention? Good. If you read this pitch and your eyes lighted up with flashing neon dollar signs, you just fell for a get-rich-quick scheme.

From "double-your-money" scams to advertisements promising untold wealth by stuffing envelopes at home, get-rich-quick scams are lurking around every corner.

If you're the type of person who wants to get rich quickly, then don't buy The Art of the Grafter*. Born in 1943, the author, Walt Lees, was a British magician and magic writer. From 1968-1977 he traveled around England, earning an honorary degree from the school of hard knocks while working as a Svengali pitchman.

The book is an adaptation of his two successful audio cassettes released some time ago. He felt their material was so valuable to those looking to make money in magic that he transcribed and rewrote the text you now have in front of you.

Lees doesn't sugarcoat anything, giving you the skinny on the traps, pitfalls, and ultimate rewards of the grafter business in plain English.

You'll discover the truth behind pitching magic tricks in this book: "The first quality that a good pitchman needs is the desire to make money at all costs." Salesmanship and showmanship are essential in making an object appear of good value. Being a top-flight magician has nothing to do with pitching your product line.

"In show business, the more laughter and applause you can get, the more money you earn. In pitch selling, the opposite is the case. You cannot pay your mortgage with applause! "

Grafting isn't a game for the lazy and unmotivated. It's all about persistence. "A person who gives up when the going gets tough will never succeed. Most pitchmen are tough because pitching is a tough game."

Lees knows firsthand how tough things can get. From exhausting 80-hour work weeks, erratic employment, angry customers, and abusive hecklers, he's seen it all. He even advises the reader about dealing with gangs of teenage bullies and pushy prostitutes trying to muscle in on your territory.

Step by step, he gives you the inside scoop on pulling large crowds, building up interest, and paving the way for the most crucial part of the pitch: making the sale and collecting the money. Here he'll teach you the art of luring in the punters, enticing them to buy, buy, buy!

According to Lees: "If you want to be in the top league of money earners, then do not pitch magic. On the other hand, magic is fairly easy to sell and can be relied upon to produce a steady income. Obviously, there is a peak at Christmas, but by and large, there is a reasonable income to be made all of the time."

A good grafter with an excellent trick to sell can make lots of money, but pitching magic won't bring in the same amount of dough that pitching household items would.

Joe Ades was a New York City sidewalk pitchman. At the time of his death in 2009, he had sold enough combination carrot/potato peelers in downtown Times Square to purchase a Park Avenue penthouse apartment and a closet full of $1,000 custom-made suits.

Overall, The Art of the Grafter was a fast and informative read, giving me insight into a branch of magic I knew nothing about. Most important to me was that the book quickly extinguished any notion I had about making my first million dollars selling packs of gaffed cards.

I guess I won't be quitting my day job anytime soon.

*Grafters (along with Punch & Judy performers and Hurdy-Gurdy men) seem to be a strictly British phenomenon. Here in America, our version is the fast-talking television infomercial pitchman like Billy Mays, who made his fortune hawking pretty much anything that sliced, diced, and julienned vegetables.

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This product is listed in the following categories:

Magic & Conjuring / Marketing, Selling & Business Matters

Magic & Conjuring / Cards / Svengali