I just scored a big win yesterday! The clip that I use on the end of my personal take up reel that I use for the vanishing birdcage is something that was on a pull that was given to me more than 25 years ago! I’ve been trying to find another one for about 15 years and really haven’t had any luck.

The first challenge was figuring out what the clip was called. Trying to call manufacturers or distributers to ask for it is really hard if you don’t know what to ask for. And usually the guy that answers the phone doesn’t know their parts well enough for my description.

Once I managed to figure out what it was call, then next step was finding them. I found one on ebay, and after getting it, it was too big. This was an achievement, and I’ve confirmed someone is still making them, just not in the size I need. More hunting and phone calls followed and I learned the manufacturer still listed them their catalog in the smaller size I needed, but no distributor or retailer would special order them for me…not even when I offered to fill the minimum wholesale order and they could just tack a fee on top of that.

I continued to push forward trying to work directly with the manufacturer in Europe, but they only deal with people in certain industries, and magic isn’t one of them. This was a dead end, but I was still occasionally email the manufacturer, distributors, and retailers and get the same response.

That leads me to a few months ago when I noticed that the manufacturer had recently opened a warehouse in the USA! Unfortunately there was no phone number on their website, just a contact form. I sent a bunch over the last months and finally got a call back from them! It was a new salesman that was hired on and he happened to see my email and was intrigued by me using it for a magic trick.

After some chatting, he found a workaround to sell them to me as I’m not in an industry that they supply stuff to. Oh, then there was the problem that while the clip in the size I needed was listed in the catalog, they don’t make them any more. He talked to some people in the warehouse and they found a box of them. it was far less than their minimum order, but if I took them all he’d sell them to me…and of course I said YES!

So I’m now owner of a box of clip I use for the vanishing birdcage.

The moral of the story is to keep pushing ahead. When you are working on a trick, or trying to build a prop and you hit a wall, keep pushing forward*. Sure, you can put the project on the back burner for a bit, but you will usually eventually come up with the solution.

*Sometimes there are projects that after some point need to be abandoned.

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