It seems to be getting pretty popular to charge for your readings (check out my shop!) yet there is a huge issue with people under- and over-charging for their readings. “Overcharging? That is not a nice thing to say!” Hear me out. Everything can be overpriced or even really cheap. Same thing goes for the readings you are getting or providing. This will be an easy to follow guide for both readers and seekers to know if the product is over, under, or rightly priced.
Disclaimer: I am not saying that you should charge more/less if you are at where you are comfortable at. Also, just because you charge less does not mean you are not as skilled as a reader who is charging $100+. It is all about perspective. This is more of a guideline I use to price my own readings, and I an confident enough in my logic behind it to share it, but you do not need to follow. Opinion, not Facts.
Of course I am going to talk about this first, but I am more focused on people who have never read a deck before. If you want to pick up a deck for the first time, and read the cards for the very first time, and do so with a friend, that is completely okay and can be a fun experience. However, I am highly against reading for other people seriously at this stage. If you want to joke with your friends and play with the cards to help get practice (by doing not serious readings) that is fine. Do not read seriously for other people. Read seriously for yourself. I will talk about this further in a future post most likely, but to summarize is that if you are not experienced, you can cause some serious damage. If you do not know what you are doing completely it can be dangerous to read for other people because you are most likely influencing that person’s life. If not, you might make them feel it is completely a waste of time and tarot is not real. Practice on yourself, and when you read for others make it known you are very new to it. Either way, you should do it for free at this point.
The more experience you have in the field, the more you will get away charging. However, this does not necessarily mean that if you are practicing for five years, you should charge 5x the ammount as someone who only practiced for one. There are more things that come into play which is why I think it is common for people to overcharge because of their exerpience level. I will talk about this in the next session.
This includes how much information you are providing, as well as the type of information you are providing. “What? There is a difference” Of course there is!
If you, as a reader, are more experienced with financial or family life readings, those readings will come more naturally to you compared to love, health, or prediction readings. For this reading, you would charge less for the readings you are more accustomed to. This is because the readings you are more comfortable with and do more often take less energy compared to ones you are unfamiliar with. The extra energy and effort will be what effects the reading.
Also, the amount of information you are putting into the reading is going to affect the price as well. If you are only giving the seeker one paragraph, do not charge an arm and a leg. Your time is valuable, but so is their money. If they pay $40, and get a small paragraph that you spent maybe 10 minutes on, they will not be happy. “This is a rip off!” they will exclaim! Don’t be the person that someone does not want to go back to because of your price. However the same goes the other way. If you are putting your heart and soul into a reading 4 or more pages, do not charge $5, $10, or even $15.
Supply and Demand
Let’s talk numbers. Let’s say I give myself one hour to work on a reading- 15 minutes pulling cards and reading, 30 minutes typing it out, and 15 minutes editing. That is an hour’s worth of work. I only have 4 hours a day to do readings- meaning I can only take four readings a day. Let’s say I do this for seven days a week. I have 28 slots. Now, let’s say there are 40 people wanting a reading. The demand is now higher than the supply. The supply can change, but the demand being that high can make people feel left out since you are always booked up. So, let’s raise our prices. Instead of $30 readings, we do $40. “Wow, that’s too expensive!” people exclaim! 10 people back out and no longer a demand. Now, there is a difference of 2. Those two now have a higher chance than when there were 12 of them waiting. However, be careful of raising your prices too much, because if the demand becomes less than the demand, you can risk not making as much as you could.
This is why big name readers can charge so much. Their time is now way more valuable as everyone wants a reading with them. If your demand is five thousand, you can easily bump your prices to $125 a reading, and people will take it. However, this is why they tend to mainly do live readings – people are not only paying for the service, but to be live with their favorite reader for that time slot. Also, this can guarantee the service is completed and their name is not tarnished- keeping the demand high.
There are many different formats we can use to produce readings, and each of them have their own pros and cons. I am going to be talking about the most common ways I see readings occure.
PDF: This is one of the most common forms of readings I see in the community. You draw the cards and you start typing out the reading as if the person was there and you are speaking to them. The way I do these readings is I draw the cards and take notes on what I see in the cards. Because these spreads are pre-built, I know what secton is what. I give myself fifteen minutes to do this in point form. Once I am done, I give myself two hours to type up the reading, and an hour to edit it. Could this be done more effectively? Yes.I would suggest you not send it as a pdf but a docment that cannot be edited so that way screen readers can read it to make it more accessable. Pros- You can break it up onto seperate days and do it when you know you have time, flexible schedule. Cons- Editing. Spellchecking. Keeping up the momentum.
Live/Skype: This is another common one I see, and works in a pretty simple way. You schedule a time with the Querent/Seeker, and you do the reading live throughout the timeslot. This is super helpful because you know when the time is up, you are done and don’t have to worry about it, plus it allows the seeker to interact with you in real time and ask questions if they are ever confused. These readings tend to cost a lot more than the PDF ones because it is not as flexible- you are quite literally booking off your day. Also, since everything is no longer in your control as now you must rely on the seeker to be available and not bail last moment, there is normally extra charge involved to avoid those inconveniences. Pros- Time efficient, You can choose to only use your voice Cons- You need to make sure you both have a strong connection. Not time flexible (have a condition that if they do not cancel within 48 hours and no show, that they are not entitled to their money back. Maybe keep 50%, for the time.)
Video: This has all of the benefits of the live readings, except you cannot interact live with the querent, and it takes much more time. The reason for this is that even if you do not wish to edit it, you still need to prepare and compress it properly so that way it works properly. Is the audio working throughout the whole thing? Is my camera good quality? Is it loading properly? Does the link to the video work? All of this comes into play. Good thing that this makes time more flexable. Also, this is really good to include closed captioning for those hard of hearing. This is about the same as a live reading since even if it is a bit more work, there is more flexibility and less risk. Pros- Flexibility with time, Typically quicker than PDF, can do multiple in a row if you have the time and upload/fix them at the same time. Lets the seeker feel like they are there without needing to be. Cons- Editing(maybe). extra time put in to make sure it functions.
So How Much Should I Charge?
This is, and always will be, up to you. With the information I provide, I hope you understand how to actually set the price and what to look for in doing so. What is important is that you are honest with yourself and know how much is fair for yourself and the customers. Hopefully this can set you on the path to finding the price that works for you.
There is a lot of talk how people are undercharging, and I for sure see that in the community. However, we cannot forget to talk about the issue of overcharging. If you want to raise your prices, make it worth it. Give the customer what they have paid for. If you do not have the time or energy to write pages worth, do a live reading facing the cards, or a video to upload unlisted to youtube to give to the seeker. There are no excuses. If you want to charge that much, you can. Make it worth it.
If you read this and discovered you are undercharging, don’t worry. A lot of people are. You can fix this by raising your prices slowly. The reason you do it slowly and not make a sudden jump is because the major increase in price at once will cut down on your demand. If you were use to paying $10 for a phenominal and detailed reading, and suddenly it costed $20 or $30, that is quite a jump. However, raising it by two dollars every month will make the adgustment easier for the seekers, and allows time for new demand to slowly steep in for those who may be leaving.
I hope this helped, let me know your thoughts!