eBay Structure...

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby John Bodine » 10/09/04 01:50 PM

eBay is constantly changing the structure and breakdown of categories, and the Magic section is no exception. I have recently spoken with the category manager about this section and he is quite interested in how best to structure the section. I personally like fewer sub-cateogories, but some would of course be necessary.

As a start I think it should include
Books, Lecture Notes
Posters, Prints
Famous Magician Memorabilia
Video, DVD

What else would you add, or would you take away. Now's your chance to make a change!

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Postby Robert Allen » 10/09/04 02:12 PM

Note that there are currently TWO magic categories, though one is most used:

- Collectibles:Fantasy, Mythical & Magic:Magic
(this is the one of long standing. If there's good magic for sale, it will usually be found here).

- Toys & Hobbies:Classic Toys:Magic, Magician Supplies (this one is the less good one)

I would suggest to ebay that they merge these two.

Your list of sub categories looks good to me, except it's not clear to me what the difference is between "tricks" and "apparatus", or rather what you would want the difference to be on Ebay.

Keep in mind that sellers have to figure out where to post their stuff when they want to sell it, and forcing them to make a multiple listing for an item costs more, so fewer categories are better in some sense.

The one problem I wish we/they could solve is all the non "performance magic" stuff that ends up in the above categories. Stuff like Lord of the Rings ripoff replica rings, hippy/wicca magic stuff, etc. Perhaps a more specific title than just "magic" is best. Maybe "Magic Entertainment"? Since Wicca and such are considered by buyers and sellers to be religion, rather than entertainement?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/09/04 03:00 PM

Originally posted by Robert Allen:
... Since Wicca and such are considered by buyers and sellers to be religion, rather than entertainment?
That was an innocent, ignorant question, right?

Conjuring/Magic as we know it is an entertainment.

Gotta admit I get tempted to ask Steve on the caf to put a gospel style thread section up for the bizarrists who treat their work as religious ceremony.

I like the idea of going to closeup/parlor/stage and product/book categories on ebay. Perhaps our stuff might do better under theatrical supplies.
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Postby Robert Allen » 10/09/04 03:06 PM

[deleted to keep this a concise thread related solely to useful suggestions about the ebay magic categories, - Robert]
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/09/04 06:28 PM

Add categories for:
Magic Sets
Magic Tokens

And, yes, CERTAINLY get rid of either "tricks" or "apparatus" since they're the same thing.
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Postby Robert Allen » 10/09/04 06:34 PM

Perhaps make "Famous Magicians Memorabilia" into "Memorabilia, Tokens, Letterhead" or something like that?
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Postby Jacky Kahan » 10/10/04 12:25 PM

In Books i would add : Vintage / Recent
dividing into years ... Pre 1900 / 1900-1950 / 1951-1999 / 2000 +

Just a thought

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Postby Steve Hook » 10/10/04 06:47 PM

Since there is apparently no perfect solution to this, I vote for the fewest possible categories, be that 1 or 2.

Why? Because out of the 50,000 or so magicians, few are going to be aware of all the categories and how many are going to use them properly even if they know them?

This puts buyers at a big disadvantage (and thus sellers, too) because if you are looking for something and it's in the wrong category, you're going to miss it. I sure don't want to have to read through John's 7 or so categories.

As for the card games (Magic the Gathering), Wicca crap, and mythology-based movies' product (Rings), how about putting the word "trick" in our title, e.g., "Magic Tricks" and "Magic Trick Publications and Movies". The latter would cover posters and DVDs.

The word "magic" means too many things to too many people, which is why the categories are so mucked up. Even though I wouldn't use the phrase "Magic Trick Publications" in magician conversation, it should alert Magic the Gathering fans that they're in the wrong section.

Two categories, yes. Seven categories, no.

That's my vote an' I'm stickin' to it.

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Postby Robert Allen » 10/10/04 07:04 PM

Hmm, to update then using the original suggestions, how about:

Magic Tricks Books, Lecture Notes
Magic Tricks Posters, Prints
Magic Tricks Video, DVD
Magic Tricks
Magic Tricks Other

(and merge the two current categories regardless)

I suppose you could even coalesce it further:

Magic Tricks Books, Notes, Posters and DVD/Video
Magic Tricks
Magic Tricks Other

"Other" is often an Ebay code for where people know to go look for decent stuff. Maybe all the online trash-selling vendors that infest the current categories could put their stuff in "Tricks" and people selling collectables could put it in "Other". I've deliberately not listed a "collectables" section since it would only get spammed by people selling trash.

I'd suggest dropping the "Famous Magicians Memorabilia" since the definition of both "Famous" and "Memorabilia" are likely to confuse the ebay masses, i.e. they'd quickly become spammed and useless.

(Gosh do you think I'm cynical?)

Note that I've implied dropping "Magic Sets" and "Tokens". The first would quickly get filled with crappy plastic imports from China, and besides with luck all the vintage sets would hopefully end up in "Magic Tricks Other". Were sets from the 1960's and 70's would end up is unclear, but probably/hopefull "Other" as well. Tokens..well I just don't see that many tokens being sold on ebay (though admitedly I don't hunt for them, owning only 1 token, a Doc Shiels Invo token).

FWIW, I've been thinking about the concept of "Other" being where people eventually put the good stuff (well, good being stuff such as KT Magic, John Mendoza, and Mario Carrandi sell). I'm not sure how viable my idea is, as I don't know if those people would know to put vintage apparatus in "Magic Tricks Other", rather than in "Magic Tricks", or even if they would desire to. Maybe Steve Hook has the right idea, maybe two categories:

Magic Tricks
Magic Tricks Other

Fundamentally I doubt we'll get to the point of being able to avoid the piles of junk in order to find the good things without continuing to use keywords or vendor specific searches.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 10/10/04 10:34 PM

How about three categories?

- Magic Tricks
- Magic Tricks: Publications & Videos
- Magic Tricks: Other
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Postby John Bodine » 10/11/04 09:34 AM

To answer one of Steve Hooks concerns, you wouldn't have to look through each of the categories if you just want to browse or search. Selecting the top level category will show everything from the sub-categories. Or of course you could search for specific items. I personally browse the main Magic category (including all sub categories) and then more frequently the Books category within Magic.

I guess my thoughts on the distinction between Apparatus and Tricks was that a Trick would be something like Color Monte, and Apparatus would be a set of Cups and Balls, or a mirror box. I will add that a prop could be something like a table or close-up pad.

Perhaps some middleground would be best.

Tricks, Props, Apparatus
Books, Lecture Notes
Videos, DVDs
Posters, Prints

Again, just a thought.

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Postby John Bodine » 10/13/04 09:40 AM

Just to let everyone know, the current structure on eBay (changed as of last night) is not the result of my question here but rather the impetus for my question and desire to change the category to suit our collective magician needs.

Oh yeah, the Patches will be removed and moved into the appropriate Harry Potter category.

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