A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

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Richard Kaufman
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A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 31st, 2015, 4:10 pm

Someone on eBay in the UK is trying to sell a "Vase ala India" for the preposterous price of $1,112. I am gobsmacked.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tenyo-T-79-Vase ... SwwPhWhY1e

I continue to be amazed at the ridiculous prices people list Tenyo items for on eBay, and then when they don't sell, continue to list them over and over and over again.
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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Brad Henderson » December 31st, 2015, 4:28 pm

All it takes is one 'sucker' to click buy it now. I have it on good authority one of them is born every minute.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby PickaCard » December 31st, 2015, 5:15 pm

Thanks for your post Richard, I almost bid on it.

But seriously, the Tenyo market got pretty out of hand a few years ago. As I know you are aware, many items that would usually sell for $30-$40 quickly climbed to the $100++ level.

Strangely, prices have quieted down a lot in the past year and seem unaffected by the release of the mighty Tenyoism...

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Bill Marquardt » December 31st, 2015, 5:51 pm

Not just Tenyo. The Morris Costume Company is selling on eBay both an Okito Box and a rattle box each for over $500.00. They have been running these ads for weeks, having recently raised the prices from $300.00.

I believe these items are old Morrissey stock.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 31st, 2015, 9:03 pm

I thought Tenyoism might cause prices to rise as more people read the book and discovered tricks they would like to own.

Of course it's always possible that it might have the opposite effect: the amount of tricks is so overwhelming that it's easier to buy nothing than actually make a choice and buy a few things.
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Mr Hurley
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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Mr Hurley » December 31st, 2015, 9:23 pm

When I first decided to make an all Tenyo show, going through the 250+ T-numbered inventory was overwhelming.
Some are neat to use, but have complications. Some are sleeper hits, some are for the financially well off. And some are just absolutely difficult to find.

I can see why it's easier to do nothing, but honestly. If you're one of the lucky folks who acquired Tenyoism. I figure those people wouldn't have a problem going after some specific tricks by any means, causing some tricks to spike in secondary price.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 31st, 2015, 9:26 pm

To all those folks who suddenly want to buy a Mystery China Box for a reasonable price, I wish them the best of luck!
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Mr Hurley
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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Mr Hurley » December 31st, 2015, 9:28 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:To all those folks who suddenly want to buy a Mystery China Box for a reasonable price, I wish them the best of luck!


You mean it went for a reasonable price at some point?

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby I.M. Magician » December 31st, 2015, 9:31 pm

I am almost certain that when Mystery China Box was released, it sold for $25.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Mr Hurley » December 31st, 2015, 9:44 pm

I.M. Magician wrote:I am almost certain that when Mystery China Box was released, it sold for $25.


Jumping into my time machine to verify

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby brianarudolph » December 31st, 2015, 10:11 pm

As Brad said, with most of the over-priced things on eBay (magic or not), it only takes one person to click Buy It Now or place the ridiculously large opening bid to have the item sell. Sometimes that person's a sucker. Sometimes that person's a very well-off serious collector who needs that particular pieces to complete or nearly complete a collection. But there's at least one other kind of collector out there too: the serious collector of "similar things."

For example, if someone is a serious collector of puzzles (like Rubik's cubes, Instant Insanity, Rush Hour, etc. - not jigsaw puzzles here), they could accidentally stumble across an overpriced Tenyo item, deem it to essentially be a "puzzle" from their non-magic perspective, further deem it to be incredibly scarce (because they've never seen it anywhere ever before and because of it's high price) and thus go for it. Equally, some crazy rich collector of "Chinese boxes" (i.e., any old box-looking item with even the vaguest of "Chinese" motifs past or present) might do the same for a Mystery China Box. (Yes, perhaps I should emphasize crazy even over rich.)

But barring the seriously rich and knowledgable-in-the-field collector who desperately needs a given piece for his or her collection, it's unlikely that a seriously knowledgeable collector would pay an exorbitant price for anything in their field even if it's mint in box.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Richard Kaufman » December 31st, 2015, 10:11 pm

It was no more than $20 in Japan when it came out.
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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby I.M. Magician » December 31st, 2015, 10:29 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:It was no more than $20 in Japan when it came out.


So it was $25 in the US. Actually, the retail prices for Tenyo were low until around 2007-2008 when items such as Balloon Illustion, Mystic Scope, Magical Door, etc. came out. Then, in 2010, Ghost Lamp may have become the record high price (at least here in the states) for a Tenyo release. In recent years, Tenyo retail prices have come back down.

Reasons probably include yen vs. dollar value, cost of production, and other misc. things.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby PickaCard » December 31st, 2015, 10:39 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:To all those folks who suddenly want to buy a Mystery China Box for a reasonable price, I wish them the best of luck!


Richard, what is so particular about Mystery China Box over the other hard to find releases? I note in your book it states that it was widely available in Japan but not so much in American packaging... Is this the next Ultra Tube?

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A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Arcato » January 1st, 2016, 6:11 am

So what's a realistic price for Tenyo's "Vase ala India"? I think I used to own one as a kid when I started out in magic, but somehow I must have given it away/lost it somehow .... I'd like to have it back just out of reminiscence... and because I have Tenyoism on my desk...

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 1st, 2016, 11:19 am

The seller has relisted it at a lower price: $1,105. :lol:

I think a fair price right now for "Vase ala India," for the obsessive collector trying to complete his run of T-numbers, would be $250. That's a price for someone who doesn't want to wait a few years to see if one comes up at a lower price.

Re "Mystery China Box," it was simply sold in Japan for a longer period (like most Tenyo tricks are). That's why there are more copies in Japanese packaging. I would assume that it's not so simple to find one because the item might not have sold well, and so Tenyo didn't make them for as long as easy-to-find pieces. As far as finding used copies: the hinges which hold the front and back doors on can break—I've had a few like that. Also, the balls tend to "roll away."

Re I.M.'s note about prices rising: the prices for Tenyo's tricks have been relatively constant in Japan--$10 to $20. D. Robbins was the exclusive distributor in the United States for many decades, and any high prices were entirely due to that company. For example, Scotty York's "Ghost Lamp" sold for less than $25 in Japan (the high end of a normal Tenyo price). D. Robbins was wholesaling them to shops with a retail price of $96. The higher US retail prices can be attributed to D. Robbins for reasons I don't understand. With the ability to buy Tenyo items directly from Japan on eBay, for example, and also because Murphy's has become a Tenyo distributor, prices in the US for Tenyo have dropped dramatically.
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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby erdnasephile » January 1st, 2016, 4:25 pm

I think Mystery China Box hits that wonderful sweet spot of all three of my goals for a Tenyo trick: 1) a fooling trick, 2) a finish in a completely examinable condition, and 3) a method that makes you laugh at it's cleverness.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Brad Jeffers » January 1st, 2016, 5:01 pm

I'm thinking of getting THIS ITEM.
$500 seems a little high, but it is Mint in Box.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 1st, 2016, 5:36 pm

Ouch!
Double Ouch!
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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby erdnasephile » January 1st, 2016, 8:06 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:I'm thinking of getting THIS ITEM.
$500 seems a little high, but it is Mint in Box.


You're going to need a set of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Christmas-Sale- ... 1793550712

to go with those cups!

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 1st, 2016, 8:53 pm

There must be some really dumb SOBs out there, or is there some reason an eBay seller would purposefully put things at auction for obscenely high prices that no one will buy?
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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby steve henderson » January 6th, 2016, 2:10 pm

it really is a joke some of the high Tenyo prices, another example is the Doug Henning wonder window, with a buy it now price of $400 on That auction site.

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby observer » January 6th, 2016, 5:29 pm

erdnasephile wrote:
Brad Jeffers wrote:I'm thinking of getting THIS ITEM.
$500 seems a little high, but it is Mint in Box.


You're going to need a set of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Christmas-Sale- ... 1793550712

to go with those cups!


A set? That'll cost ya, because the $516 they're asking is, read it & weep:

"Per ball"

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Re: A Tenyo Item That Will Never Sell

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 6th, 2016, 6:02 pm

There is no such thing as "Doug Henning" Wonder Window (read my book). It's just a plain old Wonder Window, and worth whatever it fetches these days.
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