How to Buy Used Tarot Decks
“But don’t you also have to be gifted your first deck?”
I don’t think any tarot myth gets me more worked up than this one. So it’s probably no surprise that I also love buying used and secondhand tarot decks for my collection. After all, tarot is simply a selection of images printed on cardstock. It’s what we do with them that makes them magical.
Here’s a few suggestions for seeking out these pre-loved decks, and stay tuned for a follow-up post on how to cleanse these and any new decks you’re adding to your collection…
Get thrifting: People often donate their collections to thrift stores and I’ve found some wonderful older decks like the Gareth Knight tarot at my local swap shop. Since there’s usually not an “occult/new age” section in these stores, be sure to look around. I’ve found decks in the books section (in their original packaging) and strewn about randomly. Bonus Tip: Let your friends know you’re on the hunt for decks - they can pick them up for you if they find any on their travels and have you pay them back later.
Search online: Local listings on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace often have tarot decks and books. I recently found a lovely copy of The Lioness Oracle Tarot on Facebook Marketplace - such a wonderful surprise. Bonus Tip: Save your search for “tarot” or “tarot decks” so that you’ll be notified when new listings are posted.
Swap with your community: Join a tarot meetup (local folx, come on over to the Durham Tarot Club) for the company, of course, and be sure to ask around about any decks people would like to sell or swap. Tarot lovers often buy a lot of decks (I know from experience…) and like to cycle out any that no longer resonate or just didn’t click. Be sure to have something you can offer in exchange, whether it’s another deck, a hug, or a cup of coffee. Bonus Tip: Make a night of it - host a tarot swap where people can bring their pre-loved books, decks, and accessories.
Check Instagram: Another reason to follow more tarot accounts? These people often sell their old decks on their feeds or stories. You can also search or follow hashtags like #tarotdecksforsale to stay in the loop. Bonus Tip: Create your own listing with decks you’d be willing to swap for. You never know who might love to trade.
Join a Facebook group: There are so many dedicated to selling and trading decks like Tarot Marketplace. They’re especially good if you’re looking for a rare of out of print deck, since the members are often die-hard tarot fans with huge collections. Bonus Tip: Communicate quickly as these decks often get snapped up fast.
Search on eBay and Etsy: And any other secondhand site you can find. eBay is especially great for vintage and antique decks. If you want a worn, cozy copy of the Rider-Waite-Smith from the 70s you’ve found the right place. Bonus Tip: Some older decks are quite collectible and expensive. You may want to buy a reproduction instead to get a feel for it, then decide if you want to spend the big bucks later.
I hope you have fun hunting for new decks and be sure to share any tips and experiences in the comments below.