When someone is hiring a magician they usually have no idea what a magician would cost? If you were given 3 different quotes they would most likely be completely different prices, and there may be a reason for that. From my experience in the industry and consulting with magicians from around Australia I want to give you an idea of why some prices are higher than others.
Roving magic is often booked per hour, some magicians will charge a flat fee for the night regardless of how long they are performing. It is most common that the magician will book per hour that way they may fit in multiple events during the evening. The time required from the performer may differ. I recommend for private parties or weddings, 1hr should be sufficient for entertaining up to 40 guests, for 40-60 guests 1.5hrs, for 60-80 guests 2hrs. Over 80 guests a minimum of 2hrs plus.
In essence there are three different levels of magicians
Level 1 $200 - $500 First hour
This is the entry level magician. They are by all means not bad at what they do. The lower price might be for exposure and to gain more experience in the real world. This price can be perfect for lower budget events and private parties. If it was your wedding or a very special event you might want to consider a more experienced magician. This was my price range in the first few years of entertaining and helped me gain the experience I needed before performing at corporate functions, and weddings etc.
Level 2 $500 - $1000 First hour
This level represents the professional magician with years of experience. When hiring in this range you will be getting an entertainer that has great people skills. They have spent tens of thousands of hours perfecting their material. And you will be confident they have performed their tricks hundreds of times in front of a live audiences. There are a lot of magicians in this price range and it gets tricky to know who to book. The best way is by recommendation. If you have seen someone first hand or someone has insisted on a magician they saw at another event you know you're in pretty safe hands. Always check out the magicians website, social media, reviews etc. to see it they are the right person for the job. This price range is perfect for corporate events, weddings, trade shows, award nights, Christmas parties etc.
Level 3 $1000 - $10,000 First hour
This price represents high end magic. The magic performed by this level and level 2 might not be that much different in a lot of cases. What you are paying for is someone who might have been on TV, is a celebrity or been in the business for a very long time. They might be very exclusive and very in demand.
All magic that requires an element of travel is priced according to the specifics of the event, there are different allowances that can lead to a price alteration; travel costs, accomodation, air fairs etc., and this also falls within this category. When a magician travels outside of their usual radius, the magician also needs to consider time away that inhibits them from taking on other performances.
I personally work in level 2 most of the time, except when I am traveling across Australia or internationally.
Prices for stage magic can very from $500 to tens of thousands. Stage magic is usually priced per show. Location, amount of guests, show time length, this and much more come into consideration when pricing up a stage show.