One of my magical pipe dreams is to receive a bill of goods with my purchases. Not just a scrappy compliments slip with the cost of each trick I've bought, but a breakdown showing where the money goes within each trick. For example:
Zip-lock bag : $0.05
Booklet : $1.20
Gimmick : $3
Secret : $27
Tax,P&P,random markup : $5.75
It seems reasonable. My monosyllabic mechanic does it, even, separately listing the cost of labor and parts - such as indicator fluid, long weight, and diesel spark plugs - so I know I haven't been ripped off. So why can't my magic emporium? Oh, that's right, I remember - it's so they can charge me FULL PRICE for replacing a $3 gimmick.
Whisky Tango Foxtrot?
First off, I'm not buying a secret - I'm buying a product. If part of the product involves a secret, then it's fair enough to pay for it. Once. You can not justify charging me $27 for something I already have. It's knowledge. Half the word 'knowledge' is 'know'; and since I already know it, why are you trying to re-sell it to me?
Tell you what - let me buy the gimmick on its own, and I'll even send you a couple of bucks for postage. I'll even pay $1.20 for the mis-aligned photocopy you have the cheek to call instructions, and a quarter to pay for the land-fill un-friendly non-biodegradable plastic bag, that I also have no need for. At least then you can send me exactly the same physical product, and won't feel compelled to charge me another $10 for handling a special order.
You see, I'm not an unreasonable man. I will pay for something I already have (like instructions and gimmicks) because I understand that the physical cost of the materials needs to be met. But paying again for a chimera is wrong.
Oh, and the next time I hear the "the trick is sold when the secret is told" you will have proven my point, and put a monetary value on the secret component of the trick. At which point I will non-proverbially bitch slap you, and expect replacement gimmicks at a reasonable cost.
Plus $2 P&P.