I am beginning to review stores across the country. Metaphysical, New Age and Pagan stores, and to provide information to the public. What do you want to know? What encourages you to go to a place?
What makes you feel comfortable, and what makes you never want to go again?
I like places that are well stocked with a wide variety of items that cover a wide variety of traditions. I like the folks that work there to be real, knowledgeable and not creepy or flakey. Places that are too "New-Age-y", trendy, gothy, or superficial turn me off.
Quality of merchandise and pricing are two big shopping points for me. If I see that all they sell is stuff from azuregreen, I'll go buy it from azuregreen, usually for a cheaper price.
Gemstones that aren't overpriced (paying $2 for a very small polished stone is outrageous), herbs that aren't stale and a book section that caters to eclectic tastes. If I wanted Silver Ravenwolf, I'd head to Barnes & Nobles. One thing I expect from a Metaphysical, New Age or Occult store is to have a more... advanced? collection of books instead of just the 'mainstream' ones. Since I've notice a trend with most major books stores, they have a tendency to put pagan books in with books about aliens and when they do supply useful pagan books there are only 5 of them and I swear they are the same 5 books everywhere I check!
I like a nice open store, one that looks well taken care of. I don't care for those dark and dusty stores where you have to climb over boxes of stuff or the shelves are soooo packed full of stuff that it's overwhelming. Having a large collection of items is fantastic but if you just throw it on a shelf and forget about it, I don't think I want to buy from you. These could potentially be my next ritual tools or learning tools, I would hope that someone cared as much as I do.
I hope this doesn't sound too snobbish, I've just had bad experiences with new age stores in the past. Some were fantastic and had great energy, others seemed more of a joke.
how long it takes to get to your door :) and if free shipping after spending xxx amount of dollars.
(i love the goth kids,lol :()
One of the things I'd look for as someone else has said is whether the store is generally pricey or manageable on a budget. Nobody likes to feel like they're overpaying.
Overall quality of the items is also a factor of importance. Just because something is inexpensive doesn't mean it should be cheaply made. You should be able to get quality for your hard earned money, not spend a bunch of money on an item that is going to break or blemish within a few uses.
Variety - Do they sell basically the same limited amount of things as you can get anywhere else, or is it like a one stop sort of shop for your every need, etc. If it's strictly an herbal shop, for example, do they have a wide variety of herbs and things relating to herbal remedies or herbs and their uses, etc
The attitude of the store keepers or workers - Are they basically just sitting behind the counter talking on the phone or reading a book and waiting for the moment you "get your stuff and get out", or are they friendly and willing to help you find what you need? Do they have a bad attitude or do they treat customers nicely?
Is the store well kept and the inventory well taken care of? Are there items sitting around collecting dust?
How would you rate such and such store on a scale of 1-5 taking into account the overall pros and cons in your opinion?
You might go and tell us about the look of the store, as someone said something about places looking too new-agey or trendy or so on, and tell us how this makes you feel when you walk inside and if the experience makes you feel welcome or otherwise. For me what would make me want to come back, would be great prices, great quality, a clean and well maintained shop, and a good attitude from the shopkeepers or employees who may be working with you.
I live in TX and a nice listing of stores SOMEWHERE in TX would be helpful... I know , I know, bible belt and all :) I am looking for a wide variety of items so that I can have a choice of which item to buy. I am also interested in books. I agree with the comments below, especially Hollibird90's comment about herbal stores. I am just starting out and I am very much interested in herbal remedies, homeopathy, and herbs for other reasons and really want a good source to visit/buy from.
One other thing is to check out also places that could be of interest: An example could be an eastern spirituality themed store, or a chinese spiritual store or what not. Keep an open mind of what could possibly interest witches and pagans. Even if you find, say, an organic market that has a lot of herbs, that's a great store for many witches.
Hello I may have some idaels that migth help out , some people like myself do not like ording on line me and others like to call in for ording the items .. And sell wax and wicks for people that can not get around ,and they love making candles . I hope that is helpful Blessed Be .
I am looking for metaphysical and new age shops in tampa florida. Better if its in South Tampa. Could anyone help me please. I look for knowledgeable staff and great customer service. I am a beginner and dont want to be pushed into buying something just to make a sale. Thank you so much
Well, I usually judge based on whether it seems they are catering to beginners (lots of books for beginners, big athame, wand, 'fancy tools' section that new practitioners would be drawn to). That isn't a bad thing, but some stores don't seem to provide more than that.
I like really friendly places - welcome you when you come in, get to know you by name if you're a frequent customer, show you various items if you express interest in something, definitely know whatever they are selling, be it books or supplies. I like stores that focus on one or two main items to sell, or who sell to a certain market in their area (because those are usually the stores that survive, rather than ones that don't think about their local buyers). For example, if they had a heavy Hellenismos community, they'd provide statuary, offering bowls/plates, books on ancient Greek paganism, as well as a few other things to appeal to other groups, but a lot focused on the local community. I'd actually base any shop's review more on how often the local community uses it and how useful they find it - a friendly place to get together, teach and learn, discuss and rant, shop and peruse. There was a very scattered metaphysical shop in my area a while back with a wonderful Tarot reader that was pretty much the only reason the shop kept going. Great energy, popular, cheerful and serious and well-educated on her subject and other metaphysical ones. When she left due to conflict...the store fell apart. The owner wasn't that friendly or helpful and didn't even talk to the customers, and she was horrible at sales. Oh well! It was a bummer to see the place gone, but I had stopped going there long before it closed.
I have been looking for regular Witch School patches. Nothing fancy just regular ws patches for my robe. That would be great. And maybe patches that have cute little witch stuff on that. Thanks