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Question: Such Thing As Tarot Collecting Burn-out or Funk?
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 Posted: Fri Sep 13th, 2019 03:12 pm
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TarotScholar
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Happy Friday the 13th and Happy Mid-Autumn Festival

Just wanted to poise a question to more of the tarot collectors' side of the community.

I noticed a lot of people in the tarot community have been stepping back from tarot due to burnout, loss of interest, and/or hitting some sort of tarot "funk" but I noticed it was happening to those more on the spiritual tarot readers spectrum of the community. Was wondering if those that consider themselves more as collectors have experienced such a slump in their collecting. If so and if you're willing, would love to hear about your experience. TIA :)

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 Posted: Fri Sep 13th, 2019 05:25 pm
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Peter
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I think it's partly because prices seem to have shot up recently. Living in Europe means that due to the strong dollar and high import tax, I really have to want something badly from the US to fork out a lot of money. Even in Europe, though, people seem to be asking a lot more for decks than they did a few years ago, particularly on ebay. We're thinking about organising an exhibition of esoteric (and maybe art) tarot at one of the places I work here in Amsterdam, so I'm just keeping my eyes open for interesting imagery, as obsessively as ever.

Last edited on Fri Sep 13th, 2019 05:28 pm by Peter

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 Posted: Fri Sep 13th, 2019 08:51 pm
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gregory
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I saw you elsewhere with this question :cl

I say again what I said there - it's both cost (not forgetting UK import fees which have rocketed due to the post office collecting £8 on top of whatever) and also the amount of rubbish that is being self-published. It leaves me a bit jaded over all.

Also I suspect Kickstarter may soon start to feel a few boycotts:

https://twitter.com/taylordotbiz/status/1172257828473573377?s=21

Their response is pretty feeble:

https://twitter.com/kickstarter/status/1172230162588536833

Last edited on Fri Sep 13th, 2019 08:52 pm by gregory

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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2019 05:04 pm
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Reece
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gregory wrote:
I saw you elsewhere with this question :cl

I say again what I said there - it's both cost (not forgetting UK import fees which have rocketed due to the post office collecting £8 on top of whatever) and also the amount of rubbish that is being self-published. It leaves me a bit jaded over all.

Also I suspect Kickstarter may soon start to feel a few boycotts:

https://twitter.com/taylordotbiz/status/1172257828473573377?s=21

Their response is pretty feeble:

https://twitter.com/kickstarter/status/1172230162588536833


If ethically sourced material was such a concern for collectors, there wouldn't still be a demand for the reprint of the Greenwood :(

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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2019 08:18 pm
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gregory
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Pardon ?

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 Posted: Sat Sep 14th, 2019 10:59 pm
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Reece
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I should have said "some collectors", sorry. (I certainly didn't mean "all"!)

If someone really wants a deck, I think they'll overlook certain... things.

Last edited on Sat Sep 14th, 2019 11:00 pm by Reece

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 Posted: Mon Sep 16th, 2019 08:49 am
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gregory
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That wasn't what I meant. The OP was asking about burnout. Ethics didn't get a mention. I agree that the Greenwood reprint is shonky as all get out. But firing workers for unionising isn't quite the same thing as running your own personal evil. That affects innocent creators of hundreds of things. And a lot more people buying are affected. Not buying the effectively bootleg Greenwood as well as LoS and MRP knockoffs from Ukraine - is easy. Resisting all those lovely decks on Kickstarter is tough. The decks aren't bootleg. But the management sucks.

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 Posted: Mon Sep 16th, 2019 09:56 am
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Reece
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You brought up kickstarter and some problems with the creative process (i.e., management there). both not necessarily related to collecting. Or maybe they are related to collecting.

The market is flooded because demand is high. This could be a part of the conversation about burn-out, for sure. These two issues aren't mutually exclusive, law of supply and demand and all that.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 19th, 2019 10:27 am
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gregory
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Oh I KNOW - but when someone asks if your buying has slowed down adn why - that is a part of why mine has. and I know a couple of other people have stopped buying there and that's part of slowing down. I'm not burned out, but I have a number of reasons for having slowed down and ethics is one of them. HMRC in the UK is another.

Sure I can live with rip off Waite decks; no-one is losing money there - but the Greenwood is something else (luckily I have one !) and so are duff employment practices. (I am also at the moment considering boycotting ASDA in the UK for similar reasons.) MY reasoning is not everyone's; I fully agree. I am shocked by TABI's apparent support for the Greenwood.

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 Posted: Fri Sep 20th, 2019 12:05 pm
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Reece
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I don't think I've slowed down or burnt out. It's been a pretty steady process. The only thing that's gotten me to slow down is money. I suppose if I looked back over the years, there would be a correlation between income and deck-buying, but nothing to signal burnt-out as a factor affecting my collecting activities.

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 Posted: Tue Sep 24th, 2019 04:06 pm
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OnePotato
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Peter wrote: I think it's partly because prices seem to have shot up recently. Living in Europe means that due to the strong dollar and high import tax, I really have to want something badly from the US to fork out a lot of money. Even in Europe, though, people seem to be asking a lot more for decks than they did a few years ago, particularly on ebay. We're thinking about organising an exhibition of esoteric (and maybe art) tarot at one of the places I work here in Amsterdam, so I'm just keeping my eyes open for interesting imagery, as obsessively as ever.
Hi Peter.

Funny thing, I have quite a different view-
I've been astonished at how the market for the finest quality tarot art has nearly collapsed, with prices falling sharply over the past several years.
Hand printed works that I had been outbid on at $1000 to $1200 ten years ago are now often selling for $100 to $200, when they sell at all.
These days, the best tarot art is not in demand.

For several years, I focused my attention almost exclusively on antique decks. I hardly ever bought any "modern" tarot works, because I had lost confidence in their value. I've also been put off by the general decline in interest in fine art in the tarot world, as more and more people gravitated towards commercial tarot products. But watching  a few hand printed tarot portfolios sell for a fraction of what they used to go for has moved me to start up on modern tarot art again. I've gotten some really great things in the past year or two. For me, the increased cost of shipping becomes inconsequential when you can buy a $500 hand printed linocut deck for 20 bucks. (On the downside, for me, the fact that pretty much nobody in the tarot world cares about that deck anymore is more discouraging.)

On the other hand, I can see what you're saying about the prices of commercial "product-decks."
As prices were all over the place, and auctions became unreliable, when rare things did show up for sale, sellers started asking higher starting prices because they couldn't count on a stable marketplace. If a seller put up something great with a low starting bid, it could easily end up selling for a fraction of what it had been worth. So these days sellers start high, and often end up not selling at all. Very often some fabulous, rare tarot will languish for months or years at a high asking price, and eventually fade when nobody buys it.

Why this all came to be is a whole other discussion.

So, to answer TarotScholar's original post, I'd say I'm not burned out.
I'm just a lot quieter.

Last edited on Tue Sep 24th, 2019 04:07 pm by OnePotato

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 Posted: Wed Sep 25th, 2019 08:30 am
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Peter
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Hi OnePotato,
Thanks for a perspective from a collector of finest quality tarot. I don't have much experience of that and look at your collection with admiration.

I agree, though, that (at the high quality end) some prices are much lower. I picked up the Tarocchi di Sigismondo for an amazing price, compared to the initial asking price.

Of course, I really want to know now about that linocut for 20 bucks!!

It isn't the shipping costs that are such a problem, but the import duties. An expensive deck from the US can then have 50% extra added to its price by the time it gets to me. Dutch tax duties are horribly high! Of course, if something like Bill's Tarot or Le Tarot Tournant ever came up, I'd buy them without hesitation :D

Last edited on Wed Sep 25th, 2019 08:31 am by Peter

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