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Tarot Parties-What is an appropriate and reasonable amount to charge?

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Tarot Parties-What is an appropriate and reasonable amount to charge?


Hi,

I am advertizing to do tarot parties for the Halloween season. I advertized "10 for 10" 10 cards for $10 -host read free. I got a party right away but the hostess already sounds like she wants me to do more -read longerthan I am prepared to do. I told her readings would be short -15-20 minutes and if they wanted a longer reading then they could set up an appointment with me later. I plan to charge my usual rate at these later appointments if they happen. I feel abit like I am losing control of the situation even though it hasn't happened yet. I know I will be set up in a spare room so there will be privacy-I insisted on that-but I don't want to do unlimited readings-I know I will get exhausted from that.I told her I would do the seven guests and her and just do "quick " readings. Also, she told me I am to collect the money from the guests. Is this done? I thought the host paid the whole shot in the beginning for all the guests. I have never read in a situation like this before and am looking for some feedback. Am I charging too little? What do you think?
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FIrst off, You're charging WAY too little if I'm reading this right. $10 for a 10 card spread. 1 spread could take you an hour!?

When you say 10 for 10, do you mean you're doing 10 single card readings of 15 minutes each? This is where my confusion falls... Any spread beyond 3 or 4 cards at a party is likely to be too large and take too long. I can't imagine trying to cover a 10 card spread in 15 minutes. Let alone 8 times in a row on the margins of a party.. Maybe you can clarify, in case I'm misreading.

In any case, don't let her dictate the tieme it takes to read. If people want readings beyond 20 minutes then they need to visit you outside of the party context. Otherwise you're going to be reading for 5 hours solid. I really suggest 3 card spreads and an hourglass/timer at your elbow to keep things chugging along... And at $10 a head I fear you're underpricing yourself severely.

Scion
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At a party 10 minute readings are perfect, not longer. It gives everybody or at least most of the interested people a chance to meet you and have their cards read. When people want more they can make an appointment with you for a later time. I see party reading as a perfect way of finding new clients in a not too serious, more playful setting.
If your hostess is not paying you, she has nothing to say about how long you read at a time. You also decide yourself when you have a break, and a drink, etc. Independant of who is paying. Most often I get the fee from the people who organize a party, or I have a set fee for every client. For a party I would ask 1 dollar a minute if it was up to the clients. And that is a low price, but well, it's a party and I like that kind of atmosphere for quick readings. It is also my fun! Good luck!
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Possibly you could add a second tier to your business proposal - and if what you are offering as a base deal (the 10 for 10 - and I think they should be 10 minutes each not 20) is not suitable, then you have the next tier ... 15 for 15 ... (or something like that) 15 readings - 15 minutes $15 ... and put a cap on how many reading you will do in one session. So this means you are working in $ increments ... This would be a limit ...

You will need to allow for time between readings - even if its 3 minutes to pre-prepare for the next reading - or grab a drink ... Have a break of more time half way ...

15 is a big deal ... you have to be 'fit' for it, and prepared.
Pre-payment preferred or at least a deposit to secure the booking ... (as you may find some people dont attend the party, but you have turned up and expected to read for a certain number) ...

Another way to organize this might be determine how long you want to read for in total - like 5 hours.
What type of readings and number of clients can you put into this time amount.

If your hostess has 20 people for you to read for then you can determine if that is going to be possible in the time span you intent to read for inclusively.

Even at 3 people an hour - this would be 15-20minute readings back to back basically for 5 hours ...
5 x 10 minute readings an hour is really pushing it ... yet this is 4 hours of reading back to back basically ...

I would suggest you restructure your spread firstly ...
Have more than 1 set of Reading options for the Hostess to choose from ..
Include a travelling fee, and a cancelation fee ...
Add a preferred payment method plan
Let the hostess know that you can design the Party readings to suit - but any alterations to the standard offerings are then priced accordingly.

.... hope this helps a bit ...
Blessings Elven x
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And put it all in writing! Make up a written agreement between the two of you to be signed and mutually agreed to. If there's anything in dispute that you change before signing, then make notes on each copy and each of you initial the changes. Get the host/hostess to sign both copies. You're unlikely to ever be sued, but just knowing it was all agreed to and put into a written agreement that was mutually agreed to at the time is very helpful for many reasons. Not the least of the reasons is that it's good business practice.

Coming back to add that the hostess may want more than you're willing to provide for the agreed price, but that's not your problem. It's her problem for trying to do something she hadn't done her homework about. It doesn't mean you're being unreasonable at all. Just that she didn't research how much it would cost or what the limitations would be before she planned the party.
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I agree with everyone else... and don't let the host "tell" you anything!

This may be a bit quick-fire but here goes...

I charge 20 (approx. $40) per person in the Midlands, England and when in the South of England, I charge 30 ($60) per person. They get between 20 - 30 mins reading (depending on the amount of guests - my parties last for no more than 3.5 hours) and 15 mins as a group either side of the readings for some mini-workshops.

The biggest reading I have ever done at a party is a 7-card horseshoe, although I tend to stick to a smaller 5-card version. Anything more than that is too much really for a party situation.

Here is what I do in a nutshell:

* Price is per-person - this stops "randoms" turning up, wanting a reading... You could end up reading for hours and hours and hours for hardly any money.
* All guests who want to attend must pay a deposit up-front, in cleared payment to me, before I travel to them to the party. This means if the hostess wants to send a cheque to cover it, I must receive it at least 6 working days before the party. This guarantees that I will be making some money that night, because -
a) I already have their money! and
b) No-one likes to lose a deposit
* I collect all other money straight away at the party. Before ANYTHING else. It may be hard to look folks in the eye and say "Okay, let's get the money stuff out of the way first" but it's much less difficult when you consider that you could well go home empty-handed!

Stand your ground, my love!

I wouldn't like to go to a party with no indication of how much money I'm coming home with. Don't trust the hostesses' reassurance either or you could go along intending to read for 15 people, and only 6 turn up (happens often)... Your money and your time has gone down the drain! What if you had turned down another party that night to do that one? Who knows how much money you would have lost?!

Christine Jette's book "Professional Tarot" is an amazing resource for advice.

Work out how much 1 hour of your time is worth and then divide it up! Find out how much other Readers or Entertainers charge in your area, then base your price on that. Charging $10 may actually make some people think they can boss you around or treat you badly... They associate higher prices, with a quality service.

This doesn't mean you should go nuts, but don't be afraid to charge what you're worth - being unwilling to do so could actually harm your business!

Hope that helps!
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Thanks for all your thoughtful replys. Indeed, there is much I didn't think about before I advertized this. The hostess told me there would be a maximum of eight people -I told her I wouldn't read for more than 10. The low price is $1 per card and I thought I would give them a choice of a ten card celtic cross or 10 card relationship reading. I think I can do all eight of them in about two and a half hours. I told the hostess the readings would be quick ones. She wants me to be available to read extra questions if they come up but I really think I am going to be exhausted by then. The reason I did this was to try and drum up business and I have seen similar readers at the mall reading for $10 a pop at Halloween. I have charged this before at street fairs and did fairly well-the point being not to make alot of money but to attract new business that I could charge at my higher regular fee. And I usually do attract one or two new customers this way. I am finding when people call me in response to my regular ad and I give them my regular higher prices then I never hear from them again. So this is an attempt to drum up some extra business. The contract idea was very helpful-I would never have thought of that on my own.

I may be doing something similar to this on the 30th but in a hotel with other business kiosks in the same area. But I have to see what the price of the booth is first -some places want as much as $360 (for the whole weekend) a booth! I can't afford that. So if it is reasonable then I will charge a little more per reading maybe $20.00 for a 15-20 minute reading. The hotel is a classy one so maybe people will be willing to spend that.

Perhaps I am undercharging but I don't know any other way to start attracting customers other than this. I do get repeat business but I think part of the problem is where I am living. In this part of Canada there isn't alot of openess to tarot reading. My sister who also reads, does better in Montreal. I am going to start a website soon and have online readings. Maybe that will work better.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celeste
I am finding when people call me in response to my regular ad and I give them my regular higher prices then I never hear from them again.
No matter what everyone advises you about how you have to keep your prices way up high, do what the market will truly bear. If you're getting inquiries and then never hear from people again, lower your prices somewhat. Or change your ad to offer a great discount as a sale price to get acquainted, then raise the price later on when you've got some established clients. If you lose quite a few clients for raising the price, then lower it somewhat again. Just because someone else can demand a big price where they live doesn't mean you have to demand a high price, because obviously it's not working where you live.
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Make it a "10 for 10 for 10"

You are already on the the line for the "10 for 10" so chalk it up to experience. Cap the number of people you will read for at 10. Any more can then be for more or less money as you deem appropriate. Can you select a spread in which each 'place' you can place 2 cards- a challenge and a gift? This would mean a five-card spread. Also, when reading, consider looking at an overview of the energies and preponderances to give you guidance without feeling you need to explain every. single. card.

The hostess should collect the money. Period.

Live and learn, sweetie. (((hug)))

Good luck with the on-line stuff. I am in Calgary and am in the process of starting an on-line tarot practice. Have been doing it for some time privately with good results through regular email- finally decided to see if others would be inerested. Remember: your time is worthwhile and you should charge accordingly. Don't sell yourself short.

Take care,

~Deborah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimbus
Make it a "10 for 10 for 10"

You are already on the the line for the "10 for 10" so chalk it up to experience. Cap the number of people you will read for at 10. Any more can then be for more or less money as you deem appropriate. Can you select a spread in which each 'place' you can place 2 cards- a challenge and a gift? This would mean a five-card spread. Also, when reading, consider looking at an overview of the energies and preponderances to give you guidance without feeling you need to explain every. single. card.

The hostess should collect the money. Period.

Live and learn, sweetie. (((hug)))

Good luck with the on-line stuff. I am in Calgary and am in the process of starting an on-line tarot practice. Have been doing it for some time privately with good results through regular email- finally decided to see if others would be inerested. Remember: your time is worthwhile and you should charge accordingly. Don't sell yourself short.

Take care,

~Deborah
That's good advice. Thank you.
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