Tarot author and consultant Barbara Moore concludes her insightful series on hand selling tarot. (Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2.) In this last installment, she explores deck characteristics that are important to experienced tarot readers and offers guidance in selecting decks for beginners.
Tips for Hand Selling Tarot: What Experienced Readers and Newbies Are Looking For
By Barbara Moore
There are a few things that more seasoned readers will ask about. If you make a quick survey or jot down notes about these issues, you can easily answer their questions. Here are a few things I suggest you know about each deck you carry:
1. Strength and Justice.
In the RWS tradition, these are numbered 8 and 11 respectively. In other traditions, they are reversed. For many readers, especially those who incorporate numerology, this is very important to know before buying a deck.
2. Wands and Swords.
In tarot the four suits are associated with elements. Cups are water and pentacles are earth. Wands and swords, however, can vary. The most popular pairing is wands with fire and swords with air. However, there are a few readers who prefer it reversed and will ask.
3. Court Cards.
The traditional courts are page, knight, queen, and king. However, in many modern decks, even those in the RWS tradition, it's not uncommon for the court cards to change. Most readers have no trouble adjusting to new names (such as son, daughter, mother, father or seeker, explorer, protector, teacher), but most will want to know if the court names have been changed.
Once prepared with this information, it’ll be much easier for you to put the perfect deck in the hands of any customer, whether a newbie or seasoned professional. Simply ask a few key questions and you’ll easily narrow down the options.
First, find out if they are a beginner. If so, steer them toward the RWS decks and then focus on themes and the art. If they are more experienced readers, ask what tradition they like and if they have other preferences. Helping them weed out decks that are unsuitable to their uses and/or tastes will be a great service to them . . . and is something Amazon cannot do! Become a resource for sample decks and information and your customers will come to rely on you, coming back for all their tarot needs.
Bonus Tip for Selling to Newbies
Sometimes they get nervous just before a purchase, thinking that it will be too hard to learn to read the cards. Take the sample deck that they are considering, have them shuffle and lay out three cards. Then encourage them to tell a story based on the images. That will help them see how easy it can be to get started as well as help them determine if the art resonates with them.
New Deck Party
Once a season, offer a tarot open house. Have your in-house tarot expert give a short talk about tarot. Then introduce the new decks as well as old favorites. Get people excited about the decks and give them an opportunity to handle them and work with them with other tarot enthusiasts.
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.
Barbara's favorite metaphysical bookstore:
"I love the Eye of Horus, with its hip, urban, art gallery vibe—a great space for the mysterious content and magical items offered there."
Free Tarot Sample Cards
Make tarot deck selection an easy process for your customers. Take advantage of our free tarot sample card offer — exclusive to stores that have a Llewellyn account.
This offer includes all divination decks and kits available from Llewellyn and Lo Scarabeo. Card samples are absolutely free and consist of four to six cards. For more information, please call 1-800-843-6666 and ask to speak to a sales representative.