The rest are simply the marketeers exploiting both the market and the marks.
This is not just directed at you Eric, but there seems to be quite a bit of hostility in this thread towards producers and manufacturers.
I think the general quality of products - tricks, DVDS and books - is better now than it ever has been. It wasn't that long ago that magic videos cost as much as $75. Individual tricks were traded "underground" sometimes for ridiculous sums of money.
I think it was Michael Ammar who shared the story of paying $100 for a thumbtip.
Magicians have far greater access to routines than ever before. And the preponderance of magic fora such as this fine site enable people to easily share their opinions and reviews of products so that the purchaser can make an informed buying decision.
The marketplace ultimately decides whether $25 is an appropriate amount for a single trick with DVD. And it would seem that they sell quite well at that price point.
But just so you know, nobody gets rich from these types of releases. The wholesaler typically pays the manufacturer 40% of retail. The retailer pays the manufacturer 60%.
So on a $25 item, the creator will get $10 per unit. Out of that s/he has to pay for the production costs, marketing and advertising, etc. They'll be lucky to make about $6 for each unit sold.
And that is before you factor in the time and energy it takes to produce something like this.
No, I am not doing this to make lots of money and "exploit" people. I am doing it mainly for FUN. It is a vanity project. It's great to put something together, market and sell it.
Just like authors who self-publish, there is a desire to share one's work with others.
Later this week I am traveling back to my old home town of Washington, DC to do a bunch of shows. I've organized a lecture while I am there. I'll have a few products to sell at the end.
But I'm certainly not doing it for the money. I'll make far more from my shows.
The main reason is for the fun of hanging out with a roomful of magicians and showing them what I can do.
Nobody has to buy anything. But if everyone shared the rather mean-spirited attitude of some folks on this thread, nobody would go to the trouble of putting out products.
I think it is a ridiculous notion that people who take the time to put out a magic product do so out of a desire to exploit the customers.
And for those who actually perform for people instead of sitting at home watching magic DVDs all day or spouting nonsense in a magic chat room, $25 for a trick that you can regularly perform at your weekly restaurant gig is an absolute bargain!
But that's just my opinion.