Please note that there is sometimes (though not usually) up to a two week to one-month wait before I can get to your order, based on my performing schedule.
RUSH ORDERS CANNOT BE DONE: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
PLEASE READ FAQ before e-mailing me "When can I expect my order."
Welcome to the new and improved website of Secret STUFF
SEPT 30th, 2017:
PLEASE READ FAQ before e-mailing me "When can I expect my order."
I've been maintaining product availability for the past year mostly out of creator's pride. On an hourly scale, it isn't profitable to me. If I take a day off (and some weeks, I take three days off) to make items, I lose money. DVDs and books will always be available. I don't have to take time from my "real" business to maintain this aspect of getting this out.
If you absolutely MUST have something, I will probably make it for you. But full retail, like I'm doing now, I just can't keep doing. More on this later..
May 25th, 2017:
I will be significantly reducing the variety of items I currently make until further notice.
This is a necesary step so that I can reduce the turnaround time. Some people, apparently reading neither this page nor the FAQ page, have been getting rude and ugly over the waiting period, and it's either streamlining my product line, or ending this aspect of my activities altogether. I'm only keeping it going these days from creator's pride.
April 28th, 2017:
Orders going out regularly. PLEASE READ FAQ before e-mailing me "When can I expect my order."
Basically, you can expect it when you get it. I believe my postage program, stamps.com, issues an e-mail to you when I print the postage. A least, it asks for your e-mail address. I assume it sends an e-mail to you. This was one of many reason plus tracking on every shipment) why I subscribe to this excellent service.
As I'm caught up on all March orders, and have worked my way to April orders, which for me is pretty good, I'm beginning on orders recieved in May. I have declined attending an event I really wanted to attend in in Mid-May, in California, where I was invited to deliver a presentation, so I can get caught up on pending business. I hope there is appreciation.
March 29th, 2017:
THE SKEETER HAS RETURNED
I have finally brought the skeeter out of retirement after two years.
February 3rd, 2017:
Good news, everyone!
I have begun mailing out backorders!
Those of you who have ordered Butterflies and Staplers will receive those first, the more complext delivery systems will follow. Patience will be rewarded.
January 23rd 2017
New address to find my SECRET STASH: www.brownhornetclipboard.com
I have begun making product. slowly, alas, as I have a limited workshop area in the new home. Plus am still unpacking AND moving. But getting there. Expect your stuff in the next few weeks.
The big news, for those who haven't heard, is that my family and I have mved to the new house as of january 19th. So I'm in the course of setting up everything and trying to figure out how to move my chapel/workshop to the new location.
What his means for you, is that I have no workshop area at the moment to produce items. I am intending to set one up as soon as the rain stops. At which point I'm going to work furiously to catch up.
November 3rd, 2016
Please read my FAQ page, and avoid disturbing events such as those which occured twice last month. I make it clear that there can be up to, and possibly more, than a month turnaround time on your order. Well, I was reported twice last month to Paypal. Once, seven days after I received the order. The other, twelve days. Alas. Both received refunds, a lecture, and a place on my Blacklist. This may seem harsh, but my merchant account has had some of its features restricted due to an excessive number of these disputes. I don't think seven disputes out of the hundreds of transaction I've conducted is excessive, and I resolved them all) but it got me scrutinized by Paypal's fraud department.
I'm going to put my TOS on the top of each page, since apparently a lot of people are quick to order without reading either this launching page or my FAQ page.
In other news, I'm completely caught up on orders as of today, so turnaround time should be fairly fast.
.July 29, 2016
The even better news is that after a week or so of working the new Chapel/workshop master-building, which is a beautiful piece of functional design (my late former employer and friend, architect Charlie Richmond would have been proud, then told me all the things i did wrong), I can report it is working spectacularly. I've increased productivity by a factor of at least five times my former inefficient pace, when I was running five separate enterprises from a single small room in my house. This week alone, I've made ten Brown Hornets, six Mascot Moths, eleven Butterflies/Staplers, five Papillons, and four Cicadas. I haven't achieved this level of productivity in over fifteen years, back when I had a house with a fully-equipped basement workshop. This Herculean output was shoehorned in between my usual busy schedule of providing spiritual services.
I would not want to have anymore weeks like this. I was catching up on a backlog of orders that extended back unto May. But it's good to know that I can whiz through these items like old times again. What this means is that, perhaps, I might be able to lay in a stockpile. Perhaps.
July 23, 2016
The good news is that for the past month and a half, I have been almost completely consumed with building my Chapel and it's finished. Mostly. The rest involves details and moving a few sacred items into place. The VERY good news is that the back quarter of the building is a workshop, where I can build things. Like products. My hopes, when I put this plan into motion, were that I could more efficiently handle the production side of my business.
Now, I will tell you that I receive, and this is no exaggeration, almost a hundred emails per day pertaining to my spiritual affairs. In my field, I have become much in demand. I've published books, have a radio show, a popular newsletter, and am the pastor of a number of spiritual groups with thousands of members. This level of notoriety didn't occur overnight. It was my plan for retirement, and the culmination of years of planning. I have to sift through these e-mails, (and dozens of spam) to filter out requests that are bogus, impossible, referrals to my colleagues, and glean out the ones that are appropriate for me.
Among these emails are orders--about 12-20 per week--from mentalists. Making props for mentalists is a very small corner of my business affairs. I need to repeat this: MAKING PROPS FOR MENTALISTS IS A VERY SMALL PORTION OF MY BUSINESS AFFAIRS.
And yet I still do it. Why? I think these days, it's creator's pride. It isn't the money. I crunched the numbers and realized that when I take a day off from doing readings and other works to make products, I actually lose money. I still have some loyalty and affection to the community, and pride in my creations.
HOWEVER: There are people who do not read my FAQ page, or this page either, who want their toys NOW. Some of these people badger, cajole, threaten and otherwise attempt to emotionally manipulate me. I've just finished dealing with one such fellow, who's entire history recently consists of less than $200 in sales with me. His barrage of emails and Facebook stalking could be used in textbooks teaching passive-aggressive emotional bullying. My FAQ states I don't have time to provide point-by-point updates on when you'll receive your order. But some people think they're special and crave more attention than others. I deal with such people in my spiritual practice too. I train them to be more respectful. But some people do not take hints. I've run into this trait a lot in the entertainment world. It's common narcissism, and is notable among show business folk. I tolerate a certain amount of it. I admit to possessing some of the quality myself. But too much me-me-me, and I say no-no-no.
The bottom line here is that I'm going to see if the new workshop helps expedite the one day per week I devote to making products. I'm hoping it will, otherwise, financial and business considerations being what the are, I'll be forced into a difficult decision I've been trying to hold off for the past couple of years: Whether I should discontinue the line of products altogether. This decision would be for the benefit of everyone. There is an increasing amount of dismay from people who want their toys NOW. And I'm having more and more trouble obliging.
OTHER NEWS: PAYPAL SUCKS
I've discovered that no less--and probably, many more--than a dozen orders through PayPal have gone missing. In other words, I never received notice of these orders. I only discovered this glitch when people began inquiring about these orders (some of which were made in October, others in February) and I could find no record, anywhere, in any of my mailboxes, of ever being notified by PayPal.
This has happened a couple of times in the past, but seriously? Over a dozen orders were made about which I never heard. I called tech support, and after much dissembling, was told this was an ongoing issue which many vendors had experienced! And that it was "being addressed." In the meantime, I pointed out, I had frustrated customers, many of whom weren't familiar with my ways of doing business and instead of asking me directly, were bypassing me and opening a complaint with PayPal. which is a one-way ticket to my blacklist, by the way.
So, two things:
(1) my sincerest apologies if you haven't received your order. I'm working on the backlog and am almost finished, and you should receive yours soon, UNLESS PayPal screwed us both.
(2) I'm currently looking for another payment/credit card processor. Last year I processed over $80,000 in credit card payments through PayPal ($25,000 of that was product sales) this will suck for them. There are other reasons I'm dropping them. Their merchant services have steeply declined in recent years, plus their credit policies discriminate against certain professions. Namely, mine. YES, I'M SERIOUS. I was profiled as "risky profession" and denied credit services (which I'd received before) by PayPal, despite a high credit rating and a successful business since 1978. I've been with them since 2003--for which the tech rep thanked me-- but enough is enough. I have a good reputation. I don't want it to suffer for reasons not attributed to my cranky nature.
Oh, a warning to potential scammers, and there have been a couple, unfortunately, since my Penguin lecture, who have tried to obtain a free extra notepad or clipboard by claiming non-delivery of an order. I'm using Stamps.com these days, which provides tracking on every shipment, even first class. So I can look and see if orders were delivered or not. I sent tracking info to one such wanna-be hustler, such info informing us all that the package had been delivered a few days before. He replied, "Oops, my bad." You bet. Nice try. Welcome to my blacklist, young'un.
February 2nd 2016:
I'm pleased to announce that as of the above date (2/2/16) for the first time in recent memory I'M CAUGHT UP ON ORDERS. The last batch goes out today. My Inbox is empty. Now is a good time to order for prompt turnaround.
January 1st 2016
I'm getting orders out as soon as I can. As usual, they come in faster than I can get them out. I have discovered that a bunch of orders that came in during October were never reported to me by Paypal. So if you ordered something during October and haven't received it yet, let me know.
My DVD supplier, Kunaki, has a policy to delete DVDs when they're not ordered for over 180 days. So I noticed some of mine are no longer available. I'll upload the missing titles when I have a chance.
My life continues to develop complexities. My S.O. and I have taken custody of her two-year-old granddaughter, and having a toddler move in with you, when you're in your mid-fifties, is like having a bomb go off in your house. There have been some major life readjustments lately. The complications leading up to this (that is to say, the catastrophic events within the family) were why I may have seemed a bit under rehearsed, tired and distracted during my Penguin lecture. That I pulled it off at all was a miracle. To those of you whose kind remarks touched me, thank you. To those of you who posted snide remarks, who probably live in your mom's basement, never performed professionally in your life, never supported a family, know nothing of the pressures of self-employment or growing old, never had to deal with family catastrophes, probably enjoy socialized health care, and whose only concern for me seemed to be as a supplier of new cool toys--you can suck my dripping tool. That's all.
Speaking of new toys, despite getting about four hours sleep a night, I plan on news DVDS, new toys, and maybe a new book this year.
Other News: my son and I are working on reviving the Baby Hornet, so stay tuned.
-- REALITY SUCKS:
I know when you order stuff you want it NOW. I understand. I, too, order from Amazon and wait with bated breath until gratification is sated. I understand your urgency. This last two months have seen a deluge of orders, and it's taken me as long as six weeks to clean up my backlog, which I sincerely regret. However, there are circumstances of which many of you seem to be unaware.
So I must reiterate what most of you long-timers already know: I'm not a magic shop. I don't have items in stock, on the shelf, or ready to go out the door. I make every item by hand, and a lot of work goes into each item. Some of them, such as the clipboards, take days to make because of the staining and adhesive processes. Nothing is factory made, farmed out, assembly-lined. Everything is made to order. I move all incoming orders to a folder, open the folder, make every order as I get to it. Which means if there's twelve guys in front of you, I'll get to you when I complete those guys' orders. This is only fair. I set aside two days a week to work on fulfilling orders. This is all the time I can spare. I receive a lot of orders. I get to them when I can. Most of this is explained in the FAQ page, which for some reason very few people seem to read.
Other factors include that I actually perform for a living, unlike many manufacturers of magician's props. I designed these things for my own professional use, not to make a quick buck. That's why they work, why so many pros use them, and why people keep returning to them after abandoning the latest toy-of-the-month. As some of you long-time friends know, I almost killed myself by 2010 performing and traveling way too much. I was doing between 100-125 shows a year, on the road constantly, and trying to keep up with the increasing demand for my products. In the winter of 2010 I collapsed with pneumonia. In fact, I recorded the Brown Hornet Tutorial about five days before I collapsed on my way home from a show in Indianapolis (which is why I look like crap on that video). I spent 2011 recuperating, writing a couple of books, going back to college, getting a divorce (the bad marriage was one reason I stayed on the road so much) and finally returning to my home town of Knoxville.
The bottom line is that I've cut back on traveling, stopped doing mentalism altogether, travel seldom, and have concentrated mainly on cultivating my private reading/spiritual counseling practice. And in terms of defining myself professionally, this is my first priority.
Since returning to my homeland, my spiritual counseling practice has taken off with a vengeance. Not surprising, as I'm really good at what I do. I find myself occupied with reading appointments, on average, six hours a day. Some in person, many by telephone, Skype, chat. Since I still perform three or four shows (or to be specific, speaking engagements) a month, and some performances involve travel, manufacturing products is shoehorned when I can do it. As I said before, I devote two days a week to handling orders, or more if I can find the time. I appreciate everyone's patience.
RUSH ORDERS: AGAIN, seldom possible. But if you live overseas, (or even in the US) and you need an order within a couple of weeks, I'll try to accommodate. However, I strongly advise you contact me about paying extra for expedited delivery, such as overseas priority or even express mail. I usually ship First Class Mail, which the post office assures me is 5-7 days. Sometimes, I'm told, in certain parts of the world, this has been more like 3-5 weeks. So if you truly need the stuff in a hurry, and if I have agreed to get it to you in a hurry, do yourself a favor and pay for expedited delivery. Yes, it's expensive, but you will get it in plenty of time.
A NOTE CONCERNING MY PRODUCTS:
Imp devices are subtle tools which require experience in audience management and psychological touches to use effectively. This is true of any Imp device, not just mine. If you're a beginner or have little performing experience, my tools may not be for you at this time. In the hands of an experienced performer they are foolproof and undetectable, but these are not for beginners.