I started perusing the old Genii magazine beginning with the 1949 issue, vol 1. Robert Orben, who wrote a bunch of gag books in the fifties, has a column addressing the forming of the Magic Dealers Association two years previous because of complaints by magic buyers of being ripped off by unscrupulous vendors. Mr. Orben talks about the cost of doing business in a magic shop, the cost of tricks and gimmicks and how some vendors are profiting from the lack of knowledge of buyers. Especially noted was the cost of the props which amounted to only a few cents, like a wire and some thread, and being charged a large sum of money for what turns out to be worthless in the eyes of some.
This sounds familiar in today's market where huge amounts of money is charged for props that cost little with the promise of astounding your audience.
I saw a funny T shirt today on a six year old when I went to see my eye doctor. The message was: "Big ideas always gets me in trouble."
I wish I could come up with a magic big idea like producing a bowling ball out of thin air. Or has that already been done?