Pricing: The Step by Step Formula to the Goldilocks Number

by - April 02, 2014

If there was one thing I've heard from every single new tarot reader I've ever met, it's been "What should I charge?"

*sigh*  This is a bit of a sore spot for me.  I've had people constantly tell me "Emma, you don't charge enough!  That's just crazy!"  No, I do not feel I need to charge a billion dollars for my readings.  And YES.  I am a VERY experienced reader.  Actually this year on my 39th birthday, I will have celebrated 27 years of reading the Tarot.

Wow.  I've never done anything for that long in my life!  But my heart is in the tarot.  It always has been and always will be.  I am qualified to teach the tarot, read the tarot, and write books about the tarot. And my going rate is well below the normal asking price of a reading.

Why so little?

It just resonates with me.  

I know one woman in my town that charges around $80 per reading at a party.  WHY????  Are you MAGICAL??  Will you clean my house for that price too?  Does that reading include a free dinner?  Another woman I just found online charges $200 per reading!!  Holy crap!  I feel for that price, I need to be getting something out of it, more than just a simple reading.  But that's just me.  The person charging that obviously feels good charging that, and that's okay.  I just would not pay for that, even if had that kind of expendable cash. And if I do not feel comfortable paying for a reading at that price, I sure as hell don't feel okay charging that.

"If you're under priced, nobody will take you seriously," I've been told.  Over.  And over again.  Honestly it's a broken record that is wasted on me.

And if someone thinks I am inexperienced because of it?  Well, I think my track record will speak for itself along with my many years of expertise, and if that's not enough, then I don't feel they are the right client for me anyways.

But my point is, I feel comfortable at my prices.  I used to charge a lot more and I felt like a total asshat.  Money you feel bad about taking?  WILL NOT attract more money to you!  Whether it's too little or too much.  If you feel what you offer is worth more, then charge that.  If you feel less than that is right?  Then charge that.  I've charged $5 before.  I've charged $1.  I've charged big numbers.  And I've given away more than my fair share of readings also.

But the price I charge?  That's the Goldilocks Number for me.  It's not too hot.  And it's not too cold.  It's just right.

Now it's time to find yours.

I live in a very economically depressed town where people have very little spending money.  I am also friends with people who are in the same economical bracket as myself, so they aren't rich either.  That's why my number feels right to me.  I want to be available to EVERYONE, not just the people who could afford to pay $80.

The bottom line is: I have a very good gift of understanding how the tarot works.  And yes, I get paid for using that gift to help others, because my children need food on their plates and we need gas in our car.  So I have to charge something.  I cannot give someone the gift of my energy and not have an equal exchange in return.  It's a universal things balance out.  

You should learn to see you getting paid for your readings as the same: an equal exchange in energy. 

But I share my gift with the world at a price 99% of people can afford.  And the other 1% are the ones I give away, and only if I feel I need to.  I also reserve the right to turn away anyone I do not feel resonates with me or with what I do (never be scared to say "no" if you feel the need to, never EVER do a reading or someone you feel uncomfortable here to read my post about how to say "no".)

When you first start, you might feel bad about charging at all, I know I used to.  But when you do that, you are opening yourself to a whole slew of people who think they can ask you for free readings left and right, especially people you know.  So you have to be firm with everyone.  

You need to tell people "Yes, I do tarot.  My prices are $____.  Or if you want a sample 1 card reading, I can give you that for free," it becomes easier and easier.  And eventually, people stop asking for free readings from you all together. 

Is someone wrong for charging $80?  No.  I don't agree with it, but some do and are willing to pay that price and that's okay.  Granted, those readers are catering to a certain demographic of people, and that's fine.  But that's why I price mine at what I do so those who cannot get an $80 one, can still have the same quality reading (or perhaps better?) at a price they can afford.

So, try it out.  Charge different prices and see how each transaction makes you feel.  Good?  Or bad?  Does it resonate with you?  If not, try a new number.  And keep trying and eventually you'll find your Goldilocks Number.  You'll know it because it feels oh-so-right.

So here is the step by step formula to use help figure out your pricing:

  1. Choose to be a paid tarot reader.  Even if you're just beginning, take donations.  Or trade readings with other tarot readers.
  2. Choose to stop giving away your readings and your energy.  Pick a price, any price.  And see how it makes you feel when someone pays you that price for what you do.
  3. Set up a paypal account, and eventually make it a business account so you can get a debit card for it.  Otherwise it takes up to 4 days to hit your bank account.  And get a Square Reader (now known as PayPal Here) from them as well, so you can take credit/debit cards on the fly.
  4. Put your readings up on Etsy if you want more exposure. 
  5. Bring a jar with you and take donations for any public readings you do.
  6. What prices are people paying you for donations?  What do you feel comfortable charging?  Do the prices you've been charging make you feel wonderful?  Or do they make you stressed out or angry?
  7. Think about your demographics.  Think about your town:  lots of unemployment?  high living wage? (google "living wage calculators").  What kind of client do you want to attract?  High end, rich clients?  Then charge more.  The "everyday person"?  Then charge a lesser amount.  Most likely you want to attract the type of client that fits into your own economic demographic.  What can YOU afford?  Start by charging that.  And see how it feels from there. 

Eventually you'll find your Goldilocks Number.  And you'll feel oh-so-good!!

AND when you feel good, you'll be attracting more of that feeling into your life, and subsequently, more clients.

Good luck tarot readers!!   And let me know below what the story is behind your Goldilocks Number! 

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