Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tips for Hand Selling Tarot, part 1

Tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional life for over twenty years. As a tarot expert, author, and consultant to publishers, she brings a unique and interesting perspective on the subject of selling tarot and what customers – from tarot enthusiasts to newbies – are looking for when shopping around for a new deck. Here’s part one of Barbara’s insightful three-part series on selling tarot.

Tips for Hand Selling Tarot, Part One
By Barbara Moore

A few decades ago, there were only a handful of tarot decks on the market. Now there are thousands available, from mass-market decks from large publishers to some print runs of handcrafted collectible art decks. Such variety and selection can be a mixed blessing, particularly to a beginner. For someone trying to pick out their first deck, the number of choices can be overwhelming. How can we help customers select the best deck for them?

Show Off the Art!
At Llewellyn, we know that the art is the main selling point of the deck. We carefully select the image that appears on the kit box cover. We design the packaging to show off as much of the art as possible. Tarot is a visual medium and if the art does not resonate with the customer, then that deck is not the right choice. Tarot speaks to us on several levels. One is the symbolic level. Here tarot works the same way as dreams. The images and the symbols create a bridge between the conscious and subconscious selves. This is how we access the wisdom of the Divine and our Higher Selves. Shelve your kits and decks so that the covers are face out. Shelf space is valuable, but this is one way to put it to good use.

Sample Decks
Buying a deck or kit is an investment for the customer, both of money and magical or spiritual energy. No one likes to buy a wand or a crystal or other magical tool without touching it. The same goes for tarot decks. Tarot, indeed any form of divination, is a magical and spiritual act and tarot cards are magical tools. Like shelf space, having sample decks, and I mean full decks not just a few cards, is an investment for your store, but it is one that will pay for itself in increased sales.

Being able to look at all the cards helps newcomers to tarot as well as more seasoned readers. Newbies can get a good sense of the images and how they relate to them and therefore feel more confident about their purchase. Seasoned readers usually have cards that are “make or break” ones in a deck. These are the cards they always go to first. If they click with them, they are more likely to buy that deck. If not, they probably won’t. If they cannot see those images, they are more likely to pass.

It may be argued that customers can look up images online and thereby save you, the store, such an investment. However, if they are online anyhow, they are more likely to purchase from Amazon, where they can get the product at a lower cost. Moreover, tarot is a tactile experience. There is something about holding the cards that is important. The weight of the card stock, the way they shuffle, how the size of the cards fits in your hands. Again, think of other magical tools. Touching them, connecting on a physical level is important.


Next week, Barbara discusses the all-popular Rider Waite Smith tradition and its significance in the tarot community

Barbara Moore is the author of the guides to Mystic Faerie Tarot, The Gilded Tarot, The Mystic Dreamer Tarot, and Shadowscapes Tarot. She also wrote Tarot for Beginners. Her new book Tarot Spreads will be available in April 2012 and her latest deck, The Steampunk Tarot, will be available in Spring 2012.

In addition to teaching tarot classes and providing personal readings, she works as a consultant for tarot publishers Llewellyn Worldwide and Lo Scarabeo. She also contributes to Llewellyn’s Tarot Pathways blog, keeps a personal tarot blog, and a blog documenting the creative process of The Steampunk Tarot.

Here’s one easy way to show off your tarot decks. Check out this Lo Scarabeo tarot counter display (ISBN-13: 978-0-7387-0857-7) that holds twenty decks -- FREE to stores that have a business account with Llewellyn. For more info, call us at 1-800-843-6666.

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