The Bare Minimum
As a POD (Print On Demand) site, TGC (TheGameCrafter.com) allows you, or anyone, to purchase a single copy of a game or deck. Their system doesn’t actually require a deck be packaged in a custom box, or have any instructional material included. You can (and someone does) sell just a set of cards; shipped in a zip-lock plastic bag.
As a Card Reader, deck collector and marketing person, I really discourage anyone from doing that. To my mind the absolute minimum you should have to attract buyers is:
# the deck of cards;
# documentation (whether printed, a downloadable .pdf, or both);
# a box.
All the decks produced at TGC are printed on 12 point (320gsm) black-core matte stock which results in stupendous colours on solid, but not too stiff, cards. They offer a wide range of sizes/shapes; 1 round, 1 hexagonal, 3 square, and 12 rectangular sizes. From a 1.75″x2.5″ Mini Deck to the Jumbo 3.5″x5.5″, all cards are die-cut for perfect rounded corners.
There are two upgrade options available; one of which I consider virtually required for Oracle cards receiving lots of use; a UV coating. They also offer a linen texture effect if desired. The next post will go into more depth on pricing, using a variety of sizes and options.
As noted above, you can sell a deck of cards without any documentation. If your Tarot deck artwork closely aligns with the RWS (Rider, Waite, Smith) paradigm saying “just use any popular tarot book” is acceptable. But even so, a single 8.5″x11″ sheet document allows you to list a website or social media accounts, a basic spread or two, or perhaps a short list of popular Tarot book authors/titles. If your deck is non-RWS, or not a Tarot deck at all, not including more information on card meanings is a major shortcoming.
TGC offers the aforementioned 8.5″x11″ full-colour document, which can be folded into any of their boxes. It’s possible to upload .pdf files that may be freely available (promotional literature) or downloadable only after purchase. We use both for the Tarot of Sister Who. They also offer saddle-stitched (folded and stapled) booklets in 5 sizes. And very recently they’ve added perfect bound and coil bound books.
There are 29 items listed in TGC’s packaging category– from paper or foil packs holding 18 Poker-size cards, to Tuck Boxes (for various card sizes and card counts), to Rigid 2-part Boxes for card decks or the board games for which TGC was created.
Tuck boxes, even in the thicker stock used by major deck publishers, are not really suitable long-term. In 1980 when I purchased my first Tarot deck most Card Readers had only a handful of decks, and people I knew mostly wrapped their decks in fabric or leather, and discarded the boxes. Over the past few decades there’s been an increase in the number of publishers, and an explosion of self-published decks. The majority of decks now available are not sold in tuck boxes. Both Deck Collectors and Card Readers are looking for sturdier deck storage; and having the deck name visible is helpful when trying to pull one specific deck from a collection of dozens (hundreds) of decks.
While choosing to use a Rigid 2-part Box rather than a Tuck Box means an increase in cost, I believe the increased ‘perceived value’ will more than offset. Part 3 will provide some pricing examples for various decks, documentation, and packaging combinations.
# This is NOT a ‘sponsored post’ – The Gamecrafter has not paid for, nor approved, my comments;
# Links to The Gamecrafter are not Affiliate links but I do earn the Designer’s Royalty on sales of The Tarot of Sister Who and Sister Flirt’s Meditation Tin.