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How much are you folks willing to pay for independently produced playing cards?

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How much are you folks willing to pay for independently produced playing cards?


How much are you folks willing to pay for independently produced playing cards? Full disclosure: this is a loaded question. I have a couple of playing card designs I am considering having printed, and am interested in people's responses to my question. Plus it's always good to have a nice discussion.

Aside from being a tarot enthusiast, I am also a playing card enthusiast. One of the differences I noticed with the playing card collector world is that really cheap is the only way to go - they'd laugh at the idea of a $35 Lenormand deck. For the most part, for a crowdfunded playing card deck, $15 is the ceiling - and that's a really upper threshold. Most would prefer paying for much less than that.

I guess part of it is how people from both communities look at cards differently. Playing card collectors put more value on certain things like gold foil in the box, embossing, really good cardstock, etc - but they want this at a cheap price since, to them, playing cards are a disposable item (no matter how limited edition or collectible the cards are). They want premium card quality at a low cost. They're also very picky with printers. As an example, to them, cards from Makeplayingcards are of inferior-to-moderately adequate quality - while I have read good stuff about MPC's cardstock from tarot folks. I have read -people here gush over Printer Studio's linen cardstock - playing card collectors find it... meh. In fact, the community has only a limited number of preferred publishers (like, only 4) - although because of MPC's recent cardstock improvements, some people are warming up to it as an up an coming printer they might consider in the future.

This is why most independent playing card artists resort to really huge runs at really low costs per deck - it's the only way to achieve the costs the collectors want. But that's really risky too - imagine paying for the costs of 1,000 cards and you probably will only get a quarter of that sold even via crowdfunding.

To tarot, Lennie, and oracle, cartomancy, etc. folks, they put more value on the thought put in the imagery of the cards and execution of of the artwork. People seem more willing to pay more because they appreciate the effort the artist has put in the cards and how the cards are to be used long-term. But of course, it still should be within a certain price level (I don't think a lot would go for a $100 deck!).

So... if you were to purchase a playing card deck via a crowdfunding campaign, what's a good price range you're willing to pay for it? It would really help set goals not just for me but for other artists too.

For example, if most responses prefer a price within a $7-$12 range, then that would mean having a campaign goal that would cover 1,000 decks! And that's... a rather big number of pledges to fill!
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Just to add: I have also noticed how there seems to be more cases of successfully funded playing card kickstarter campaigns (as compared to tarot, Lennie, oracle, etc. ones) which... implode - there's so much pressure on the campaigner to deliver and at such a low cost, there's hardly a buffer amount to fall back to in case unexpected costs crop up (and they almost always do).
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Not much help here, as it's a negative answer - but thought some response might help
For myself, I don't collect playing cards at all, so unless the theme was something which really spoke to me - umm, something I was deeply interested in like archeology of something (for myself personally) then I wouldn't go there at all.

Hopefully this might spark some more folks...

Best wishes
PW x
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Could you do a sliding scale price? Like... start at $10 per deck or something for the early birds to get the worm-y deal, and as time progresses on the project, increase the price...?

I don't know how these things work... just a thought.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PathWalker View Post
Not much help here, as it's a negative answer - but thought some response might help
For myself, I don't collect playing cards at all, so unless the theme was something which really spoke to me - umm, something I was deeply interested in like archeology of something (for myself personally) then I wouldn't go there at all.

Hopefully this might spark some more folks...

Best wishes
PW x
Why do I feel that one of these "exceptions" you have is the Ditha Moser playing card deck (the other one, since the Tarock pack has some justifications for being Tarot)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda View Post
Could you do a sliding scale price? Like... start at $10 per deck or something for the early birds to get the worm-y deal, and as time progresses on the project, increase the price...?

I don't know how these things work... just a thought.
I think it works like how you said it. A basic campaign would have an early bird promo at the cheapest price, then maybe a second one, till the actual pricing.

Just wanting to hear people's thoughts on what they feel is an acceptable price range for a non-mass market, independently produced playing card deck. Like, would $20 be too much? Especially considering Lennies sell at $35 or so in Kickstarter, and they're about the same size as playing cards but have less cards. On the other hand, Lennies tend to have much more elaborate art, compared to a playing card deck.
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If I really wanted a playing card deck, sure. I'd probably pay $20 for it.

I don't think comparison to Lenormand on the basis of the number of cards is really apt, though? Unless the playing cards have individually designed artwork on the pips, which I rarely see (not that I look at playing cards a lot - but usually the decks I see have standard plain pips). Even when the pips are more fancy, they usually all look like each other, so it seems like it's less work than a Lennie. Not to belittle the work that goes into a deck like that, but that's my thought process.

I'd gladly pay $20 for a nice repro of Jost Amman cards (16th century). I have a cheap repro on heavy paper (not cardstock) but they are printed very dark and I can't see the details. They were only $3.00 though...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Borealis View Post
If I really wanted a playing card deck, sure. I'd probably pay $20 for it.

I don't think comparison to Lenormand on the basis of the number of cards is really apt, though? Unless the playing cards have individually designed artwork on the pips, which I rarely see (not that I look at playing cards a lot - but usually the decks I see have standard plain pips). Even when the pips are more fancy, they usually all look like each other, so it seems like it's less work than a Lennie. Not to belittle the work that goes into a deck like that, but that's my thought process.

I'd gladly pay $20 for a nice repro of Jost Amman cards (16th century). I have a cheap repro on heavy paper (not cardstock) but they are printed very dark and I can't see the details. They were only $3.00 though...
Yeah it's a bit of an unfair comparison. But it's something that a lot of playing card collectors wouln't really get... or care for. Anyway, I love the Jost Amman deck. Have you considered printing one for yourself? Or is that, er, illegal? Lols

$20 does sound a bit on the high side. I just wanted to get the ball rolling in terms of an actual price. How about $15? That seems more... manageable for a crowdfunded campaign.
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$15 sounds doable to me.

But I should say, I'm not really a playing card collector - not your intended audience. I do love your artwork though!

I hadn't thought of printing my own Jost Amman deck, no. That's a good idea. I don't know about the legalities though. Something to look into.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Borealis View Post
$15 sounds doable to me.

But I should say, I'm not really a playing card collector - not your intended audience. I do love your artwork though!

I hadn't thought of printing my own Jost Amman deck, no. That's a good idea. I don't know about the legalities though. Something to look into.
I am not sure but I think the deck is available online via a museum somewhere? Will have to double check as I am using my phone to browse right now. If that's the case, you'll just have to check the museum's use of image policies.

As for my playing card designs... well, it's just because I'd rather make them available than just being on standby. There are currently four separate sets. One's fully completed.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_fusion View Post
I think it works like how you said it. A basic campaign would have an early bird promo at the cheapest price, then maybe a second one, till the actual pricing.

Just wanting to hear people's thoughts on what they feel is an acceptable price range for a non-mass market, independently produced playing card deck. Like, would $20 be too much? Especially considering Lennies sell at $35 or so in Kickstarter, and they're about the same size as playing cards but have less cards. On the other hand, Lennies tend to have much more elaborate art, compared to a playing card deck.
Out the gate with no idea what style of art, I'd say $10 is my max on a playing card deck. However, I'm not your intended target audience either. I will say that, if an artist can truly draw me in with their style, I could be made to want to learn playing cards in much greater depth because of the art, and may pay more. I am the type of person that can appreciate an artist's impression, and I actively seek that out in other decks that I buy (tarot, mostly). I want to see things through another person's eyes, and look at cards through a perspective I haven't seen before. I like to be inspired to think differently.

It might be good for you to get specific -- perhaps post some samples of your work and run a poll on price here (if that's allowed).
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