Locating common decks
I know that many people who shop on-line for tarot cards rely on Amazon for one stop shopping. They have a very good selection of current decks and books. However, I have found that the Barnes and Noble bookstore usually beats Amazon in their prices and carries items in stock that Amazon sometimes has to backorder. But as they are both in direct competition with one another, I have witnessed them each lowering prices to beat each other.
Borders bookstore on-line also carries a wide selection, although I haven’t seen them try to be as competitive with their pricing. Until recently Borders didn’t add the handling charges the other two did – but now they do. Check the math. Check shipping and handling charges. You may not be getting the deal you think you are.
Locating so-called hard-to-find common decks
Sometimes, the big book chains don’t carry some decks that are still in print. For instance, The Fairy Tarots or Tarots of the Golden Dawn, both Lo Scarabeo decks, are not listed on any of the above-mentioned sites. I have found one very good source for these – Mabel’s Music and Card Shop. Mabel’s will order any deck offered by U.S. Games or France Cartes/Grimaud. The nice thing about ordering from Mabel’s is that all orders over $15 ship for free and they ship very quickly. Plus, there are no handling charges. They also offer a wide variety of unique playing cards from around the world.
Locating rare and out-of-print decks
For out-of-print decks, the best resource is often the local New Age bookstore. They usually have several distributors that still have many of these old decks in stock. If you don’t see it on the shelves – just ask. Often it is just that easy.
There are other advantages to purchasing your tarot deck from the local bookstore. Many have decks available for you to actually handle and look through. You can’t do that over the Internet. Plus, nothing beats the one-on-one interaction you get from a small bookstore. They know just about everything they have in stock and can offer wonderful assistance in helping you find “just the right deck.” You don’t get that with the larger bookstore chains.
Locating independent decks
Some decks are distributed by the artist or small independent publishers. These can be the most frustrating to locate. First, check sites that do tarot deck reviews. Often they list the name and address (or just an e-mail) connected to someone associated with the deck. If little information is available, these decks can usually be located by using a combination of web-based search engine techniques.
Submitted by: Lauren Casey