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Davenports / International Magic

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:11 pm
by misterblack


So, I visited each of these on Tuesday for the first time.

I don't want to get too much into slagging off, but I have to say that my experience at International Magic was vastly superior.

Davenports was kind of scruffy, they had none of the books I was most interested in that were listed on their website (fair enough but still...), and the lone guy on the counter.. well, he could probably have sold me something if he had tried or demo'ed something, but I left completely empty-handed.

International Magic was better in just about every respect, in particular seeming to have a better selection of books. The counter guy showed a trick which kept my non-magician friend a bit less bored and the manager opened up a couple of books so I could check which one contained a routine I was most interested in.

I even got a copy of 'Absolute Magic', which saves me all that annoying work on ebay. One copy left in the store if you're interested.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:22 pm
by greedoniz
I'm not really an experienced Davenports shopper and I have found them to be polite, professional and quite helpful.
On the rare occasions I have the cash I do pop down the road and visit International magic and have always been treated really well, with plenty of helpful advice, a bit of a chat etc. I heartily recommend them.

The only catch I find and this holds true with every magic shop I visit......I can get it cheaper on the internet.
Now I still visit magic shops as I think it is vitally important that these shops stay alive as they are centres to not only shop but to get advice and find out about local lectures and clubs. It is hard if you are strapped for cash though.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:29 pm
by krazy ace
i also find that in davenports they don't "feel" like preforming for you and so you feel less entertained and less likly to buy something


IM/Davenports

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:18 pm
by DrTodd
Martin and Jerry at International Magic are brilliant. I have spent hours talking to Jerry and doing stuff for each other. I like the intimate feel and the book collection is superb. Their online service is also great.

I tend to be closer to Davenport's wehn in London, and have found them 'okay' if not a little snooty. I have bought a lot through their mail order, which I found to be quite good on balance.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:31 pm
by Lord Freddie
I've never had a problem with either shop though I haven't been to them for a while and tend to buy my magic stuff online these days.
IM staff were very helpful and demonstrated some effects I never knew about meaning I ended up spending more than I intended to!
Once when I was in Davenports (and this is nothing to do with the staff), there was only myself and another customer in there. A rather annoying visiting American who insisted on giving me his "expert" opinion on everything I was buying even though I knew what it was that I was paying for. He even tried to tell me that the Tarbell course was "rubbish" and butted in on everything I was saying to the assitant.
He didn't appear to be there to buy anything but seemed to want to show his card flourishes to myself and the assistant.
Amusing but annoying...


PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 2:08 am
by copyright
I don't like going to Davenports. I don't know if it's the subterrainium setting or the cocky kid who works there but if I can, I go to International magic instead.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:48 am
by Lord Freddie
International is a fine shop with a lot of good stuff in stock.
Has anyone been to the new(ish) Brighton magic shop?


PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:04 pm
by S. Lea
I have a page on my site that I put up for a American colleague visiting London, it has directions for finding Davenports. Others may find it useful.

Image

Finding Davenports


PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:54 am
by krazy ace
somehow it looks much nicer in that photo than it realy is

lol :lol:


PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:52 pm
by B0bbY_CaT
Misterblack wrote: I even got a copy of 'Absolute Magic', which saves me all that annoying work on ebay. One copy left in the store if you're interested.


may i ask you what you paid?


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 1:43 pm
by misterblack
I paid a distressing 50 quid.

I justified it to myself with the notion that I can always get at least some of that back if I should ever decide to sell it. However, I don't think I'm likely to do that even if some of the art theory stuff was heavy as hell.

My personal favourite line from the book is 'though it doth pack small and playeth big'.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:04 pm
by pcwells
I've yet to visit International Magic, but I find Davenports frustrating, as every time I call in, they have none of the items or books that I'm looking for. I remember when Davenports was a little shop right opposite the British Museum. They guy who ran the place was superb too - and older gent than any of the present staff. He had a heavy-duty stammer, but was a great magician, very enthusiastic and always eager to demostrate his wares. I never left empty handed when he was the boss.

Since moving, Davenports has lost its magic in my opinion.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:06 pm
by copyright
pcwells wrote:I find Davenports frustrating, as every time I call in, they have none of the items or books that I'm looking for.


Yet they charge for their catalogue.


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:26 am
by timlic
Hmmmm...

I'm in between thoughts on this one.

I must say out of the two; Davenports would get the thumbs up from me.

Everytime I've been to IM, I've found the 2 main blokes to be rude and just argue about nothing. I'm sorry, but as a customer, I want smiling assistants - even if it is fake! The guys in IM just have grumpy faces and moan about everything. Although, I've found Jerry to be surprisingly nice.

In Davenports - their stock isn't that good and it can get very busy in there. And yes, sometimes it can be difficult to get the attention of the assistants. But, they can be helpful sometimes. I usually go there for simple accessories if needs be. But for effects I'm after, I usually stick to online ordering from other sites.

But I do agree that we should keep the shops alive for that hands-on experience!


PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:06 am
by magicofthemind
pcwells wrote:I remember when Davenports was a little shop right opposite the British Museum. They guy who ran the place was superb too - and older gent than any of the present staff. He had a heavy-duty stammer, but was a great magician, very enthusiastic and always eager to demostrate his wares. I never left empty handed when he was the boss.


I believe you're thinking of Al Woodrow. Nice chap, but I once asked him for a Swami Gimmick and he said they were no longer made...He was never "the boss" though - Betty Davenport was and is.

I also remember the Great Russell Street shop. I went in there when the King Tut exhibition was on across the road; the shop was full of kids buying King Tut souvenirs, but I was after some serious page (I was in my late teens at the time). Pat Page showed and sold me a wonderful rope and ring routine which I still use.

The current Charing Cross premises have a lot more atmosphere - I rather like the dark interior. Shame about the location, though.

Barry