Davenports / International Magic

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Postby dat8962 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:38 pm



I've yet to visit IM but have been to Davenports three or four times when in London.

The first visit is always the most exciting and the novelty wore off after the second visit. The visits thereafter were really only because I had some time to kill and was in the area otherwise I wouldn't have bothered.

I suppose that I've been spoilt for a number of years by having Mike Danata's studio on my door step 8).

I've been to House of Magic in Stourbridge a few times and John was very friendly although they don't carry much stock, and I had my fisrt visit to World Magic Shop this week and they were very friendly indeed.

I suppose that the morale is that wherever you happen to be, if you can get to a shop then it's a far superior expereince than shopping online - whichever shop you use.

Last edited by dat8962 on Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Replicant » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:39 pm

dat8962 wrote:...I suppose that I've been spoilt for a number of years by having Mike Danata's studio on my door step 8)... I suppose that the morale is that wherever you happen to be, if you can get to a shop then it's a far superior expereince than shopping online - whichever shop you use.


You don't know how lucky you are to have a magic shop so near to your home and I totally agree with your comments. If I was in your position, I know for a fact that I would be spending a lot less money online.

In my experience, Davenports can have quite an elitist attitude during initial visits. But once they get to know you and know you are serious about magic, they do loosen up quite considerably. It also depends on who is serving behind the counter at the time of your visit, as to the quality of service you'll get.

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Postby jnote » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:43 pm

Finding mysef with nothing to do last sunday thought Id pop in to both shops for the first time.

Wish I had checked online to see that they are both closed on Sundays. arghh :roll:

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Postby Miles More Magic » Mon May 26, 2008 2:50 pm

An old thread I know, but still useful for those visiting London.

This is only based on my personal experience.

I drop my son of to the Circle for the YMC workshops about once a month. I have about five hours to kill, mainly at Covent Garden, watching the performances there.
I also take the chance to visit International Magic. I did used to go to Davenports also, but just didn't like the feel of the place or staff.

I have always found Martin at International to be extremely helpful. The last time I went was the first time that I had seen Jerry in there, but was pleased just how helpful he was.
There is a large range of books and DVD's there. The DVD's are behind the counter, but they are happy to let you through to browse. Ask, and they will advise or demo if it is an effect.
If you can't see what you want in the shop, you have to remember that they seem to have a TARDIS downstairs, full of stock that wont fit in the shop.

I find it important that I can browse without pressure, while not being totally ignored. They will ask if you need help, but will then let you browse at lesiure.
Davenports doesn't have the same feel to me. I dare say that regular customers don't find this, but I am not going to be made to feel that I need to keep going there, just so they can be more welcoming.

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Postby greedoniz » Mon May 26, 2008 4:01 pm

The last 3 times I've been into Davenports I've been confronted by that smug kid who seemed each time delighted to tell me that what I wanted they didn't have.
I wont be visiting again that's for sure. International magic on the other hand are brilliant.
i was there last week looking for a few effects and got great friendly as usual. Although Martin was on holiday Marco was around who was gratious enough to not only sell me one of his effects, "Double easy money" (like extreme burn but with two changes), but then showed me his impromtu version not yet available.

Usually with Int. Magic shop my favourite bit is whomever is in the shop shouting up the stairs for prices or the location of an effect "MARTIN !! MARTIN!!! "

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Postby Lenoir » Mon May 26, 2008 4:06 pm

I've been confronted by that smug kid who seemed each time delighted to tell me that what I wanted they didn't have.


Although I agree on occasion he can be smug, and relatively arrogant, when you get to know him he is talkative, friendly, and above all, and excellent magician.

I have to admit though, I love the "family" feel in International Magic. Last time I went, me Martin, and his wife(? Maybe just a women that works there) had a close to 1/2 hour chat and they were extremely helpfull with my choice of books!

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Postby Replicant » Mon May 26, 2008 4:10 pm

I do like Davenports myself, but it's true that they need to work on their image. I think it's very important who they put behind the counter as this can make all the difference to the customer's experience, a customer who may have travelled quite far specifically to visit them. They don't come across as a particularly friendly lot, but I do find they improve once they get to know you. I'm not making excuses for them, but just saying. Of course it should not take several visits for them to become friendlier, but that's how they are.

But they definitely need to look long and hard at who they have serving behind the counter. This can make it or break it, as they say.

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Postby Replicant » Mon May 26, 2008 4:20 pm

Wild Card wrote:...Although I agree on occasion he can be smug, and relatively arrogant, when you get to know him he is talkative, friendly, and above all, and excellent magician...


He may be an excellent magician, but he'd be even better if he didn't alienate people from the word go and make them feel like they want to smack him round the chops. A doctor with a friendly, open attitude towards people is, in my opinion, a better doctor than one who has a poor or no bedside manner at all. It's all about engaging people and not rubbing them up the wrong way. I know he is there to sell stuff, but I assume he also performs for the public, too. It sounds like he needs to work on his attitude.

Back to Davenports - I've probably said this before, but it bugs me so I'm going to say it again! More often than not in the past, I will ask for something and they will be out of stock. Very frustrating. They are much like Argos in this respect (not that I shop much at Argos, but when I do they never have what I want). So now when I intend on shopping at Davenports, I always call them first to make sure they have what I want. And if the truth be told, they will be out of stock about seven times out of ten; this way, I don't have to waste time physically going there only to be told they don't have stock (as usual!)

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Postby Lenoir » Mon May 26, 2008 5:03 pm

He may be an excellent magician, but he'd be even better if he didn't alienate people from the word go and make them feel like they want to smack him round the chops.


I think maybe being a talented magician has made him quite patronizing at times. I was in there recently and had to endure such an awkward exchange between a large tough looking magician asking for about 5 different items, and them not having one in stock! Cringeworthy.

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Postby Replicant » Mon May 26, 2008 5:28 pm

I dread to think how much money they have lost over the years, with potential customers walking out empty-handed. I know they can't possibly hold everything in copious quantities, but they definitely have stock holding issues. Perhaps they only have a tiny stockroom? Worth expanding, I think.

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Postby Lenoir » Mon May 26, 2008 5:31 pm

Yeah, they have HUGE premisies(sp) in the back, but its probably not used wisely! Too dark in there for my liking. And the homeless dud who sleeps outside always asks me to come and sit and chat since I gave him a sandwich :shock:

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Postby Replicant » Mon May 26, 2008 5:35 pm

Perhaps he's taken a liking to you... :wink:

Despite my rants, I do like Davenports and think it's important that I support them whenever I can get down there. But it's difficult to support them when they can't sell me what I want because they don't have it.

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Postby joelhall » Mon May 26, 2008 5:51 pm

sounds worlds away from the davenports i used to know.

10 years back, every time we visited there was the guys there and even customers performing. and i always left with something i never intended to haha :D they were very friendly when we were kids too, and very entertaining :)

havent visited the shop for years, only dealt with them by mail, and its sad to hear their customer service has gone downhill so much. lets hope theyre reading!!!

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Postby Bigtone53 » Mon May 26, 2008 6:28 pm

I agree with you all about the smug git at Davenports. Do you think that they are aware of this general feeling about their treatment of customers.

I am also a Londoner, born and bred but that does not mean that it is compulsory to have to push your way past drunks and * to get to somewhere you want to go to. I remember the old place and perhaps they will one day find a better place than where they are now.

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Postby Beardy » Mon May 26, 2008 10:35 pm

although they don;t neccesarily have incredible things in stock, i always like Lee and Neil at Covent Garden! I can spend hours there, and even when i dont visit for months on end they always remember me!

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