Feb. 14th, 2019 08:10 pm
green_knight: (Cygnet)
[personal profile] green_knight
No, this is not a post about the pirate tarot, which remains a marvellously funny deck (and which may or may not be authorised) – but I was looking at decks on Ebay to see a) how much the Art Nouveau really sells for, and b) what people charge for postage. The options there seem to be either 'free' (buyer never knows) or under £4; I think 'free postage' will work better for me - I know I'm going to eat some of the money I earn for postage, and that way I don't have to box it up and make it to the post office twice; I only need to go once, to actually post it.

The cheaper decks have high international postage, so it looks as if £75 is the low price point for this deck. (Do they actually sell? I have no idea. I assume that the £200+ decks don't sell quite as quickly.)

What I hadn't expected was that tarot decks are apparently big business in China. There are a number of decks that are available in large quantities for very small prices. Two - Shadowscapes and the Wild Unknown - are relatively recent and very popular decks; a third (Witches Tarot) is... kind of ordinary? Interesting RWS variant, nice graphics, but not special. Someone is printing these and selling them in large volume; there are plenty of sponsored listings (all around the same price point, all apparently different sellers, and some evidence of AB testing: does it sell better if we offer a volume discount? free shipping or lower price and inexpensive shipping?)

I'm surprised this is A Thing.

And while I have mixed feelings about people who download ebooks without paying the author (it's complicated), I draw a line at paying the pirates. (I have inadvertently bought one of these decks back in January when I was still figuring out and hadn't seen a lot of decks; it looked like fun, it was cheap, price and product seemed a decent match, and I had no idea what was going on. I was a bit baffled at the shipping time (it still hasn't arrived; right now it's Schroedinger's deck) but it appeared to be a remainder, not a pirated item. (If I like it, I will put the kit on my to-buy list.)

I'd like to work out why the mere _idea_ of selling something on eBay is such a problem for me. Part of it is the whole 'fear of rejection' thing and the memory of a catastrophic car boot sale (I spent four hours, made 50p before petrol, and got bronchitis in the bargain; this was when I was desperate to make SOME money for groceries, and nobody wanted my stuff. Not even for 50p. Not even, when I was packing up, for free.) But anyway, I seem to be plenty apprehensive.

In other news, Kew Gardens' Orchid display is as good as ever, and really worth seeing (Free with standard entry. Sadly, I can only take members of my family, but if anyone ever wants to meet up, I'd love to.)

Tarot Cards XIVa

Feb. 11th, 2019 01:50 pm
green_knight: FireDragon from the Druid Animal Oracle (Oracles)
[personal profile] green_knight
I had a lot of cats in the post today, and they are marvellous indeed.
This is a slightly weird deck, as in the backs are laminated and the fronts are matte. For all that it’s a one-trick Siamese, this is a highly inspiring deck and I can see myself use it for readings.
Many manys cats. And good advice. )

This is a marvellous deck, and I am SO happy to have discovered it.

How is the Tarot like Pokemon?

Feb. 8th, 2019 06:55 pm
green_knight: FireDragon from the Druid Animal Oracle (Oracles)
[personal profile] green_knight
Gonna catch them all

It is maybe no surprise that my renewed fascination with all things Tarot has occurred more or less at the time I mainly gave up playing PokemonGo. The beginning of it was KonMari enough – I had a cateogory of things I could evaluate and sort – but the energy I have invested since needed a little more introspection.
A(nother) rant about Pokemon )

But the other element of playing Pokemon is that every day I used to get one or more quirky Pokemon that make me smile. This has tapered off - there are fewer new or rare pokemon, and most of the ones I catch are so lousy that I transfer them immediately; I have good evolved forms of anything worthwile, I have more really great ones than I can use in even a good day of play.

There are, on the other hand, 78 novel items worth looking at in every tarot deck, and I have a lot of decks in circulation now.
That small daily reward thing )
Long story short: my brain seems to work better when I feed it a diet of steady nice surprises. Tarot decks give me a new opportunity to do so.

Ebay advice?

Feb. 8th, 2019 12:25 pm
green_knight: (Solutions)
[personal profile] green_knight
(I promise that this journal isn’t ‘all tarot, all of the time’ even though it might feel like it. I do have a couple more posts in the works, though…)
Why I'm letting the Art Nouveau go )

So. I have on my hands an item in very good condition (handled less than ten times) that appears to be moderately valuable.

Where do I sell it? Options are Ebay and Amazon, and while both are moderately evil, I'd prefer to use Ebay unless someone convinces me otherwise.

HOW Do I sell it on Ebay?

Options are auction with minimum bid, auction with 'or best offer', and 'buy it now' listings.
I don't know anything about any of them other than I usually acquire things with 'buy it now' since I've been pipped to the post by bots in the last 30 seconds of an auction too many times: it's an emotional rollercoaster and I hate the manipulative aspect of it.

I don't mind sitting on this for a while - it's a small item - and I'm not that desperate for cash; but I want a fair price for it. [*]

What's my best strategy?

Also, what do I do about postage? While I'm happy to entrust a £5 or £15 item to Royal Mail, if someone pays £50 or more for this, they probably want it sent by courier and insured. I've never arranged this: how do I go about it, and how do I give a 'xx postage' figure?

[*] If someone this side of the Atlantic on my flist is desperate for cash and wants to figure this out, I have a few more potentially-valuable-but-time-intensive items. I'd be happy to ship them and let you take the bulk of the profit; selling German stamps or vintage postcards is more hassle than I can deal with. Collectively, given what similar items sell for on eBay, they're worth something, but I am overstretched on spoons and focussed on developing skills I can hire out rather than a one-off-asset-sale.

Tarot Cards XIII

Feb. 7th, 2019 09:00 pm
green_knight: FireDragon from the Druid Animal Oracle (Oracles)
[personal profile] green_knight
Two decks in the post!

(And life intervenes: I am copying a very large amount of files from a USB2 drive, and it’s taking FOEVER. As in, I started this morning and there’s another 3h to go, so I cannot clear the table for a reading. Nooooooo.

The first is the Tarot of the Pirates, which you can buy on Amazon for £120 (used) or on Ebay, as ‘Pirates of the Carribean Tarot’ for £20 (new). The downside of the Ebay bargain was that the booklet, like the box, are in Russian. (the cards have captions in six languages). Since the booklet is extremely brief, and many reviewers say not to bother that’s not a great problem (I would rather have this deck than not have it), but if anyone DOES have the booklet and can scan it, I’d be grateful.

I saw this and fell in love. It fits very much with my ‘quirky’ needs, and I was pretty disappointed to find it out of print. Then synchronicity struck: I usually collect Tesco vouchers to give myself a treat; then the card reader failed and I used them to pay for groceries, so I had twenty-odd quid in hand to treat myself. I now have the Tarot of the Pirates, and I laughed out loud several times while going through the deck.

Avast, me hearties. There be pirates ahead )
The other delivery on the same day (you wait a month, and then two come along at once) is the Wildwood. This is the last of my core library (Sacred Circle, GreenWitch, Druidcraft, Wildwood). I had meant to stick to the ‘one standard price deck a quarter’ rule, but I want the Darkana for my birthday (it’s special, it’s grungy, it’s not cheap, I have no idea whether it’ll work for me, but it has a ‘badass’ card and how can I resist?) and that would make June the earliest.

Self-imposed rules exist for a reason, and part of that reason is to give myself permission to splash out a little. An out-of-print-deck find for $$reduced is one thing – I cannot guarantee that I’d be able to get the Pirates deck in June – but this was starting to make me unhappy; I was starting to look for loopholes, and so I opted for the easiest: the £15 for this deck are coming out of my self-care budget.

The Wildwood - an inspired deck )

And now I shall… buy another tarot deck.
The moment I discovered the Bleu Cat Tarot I knew I had to have it. And since it is not in my budget right now, I spent two hours of my day doing the froggiest, most spoon-sucking jobs around the house that I could find.
I now have thrown £16 at Blackwells. Worth it. And yes, £15 (+rounding error) is not the world, and well within my budget _if I do this once a month_, but I am having a lot of weasel attacks over ‘OMG spending so much money on this hobby’ that a little weasel repellent will not go amiss. And some of these jobs *really* needed doing.


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