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Finding used decks, sigh.

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bogiesan  bogiesan is offline
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Finding used decks, sigh.


There was a time when a guy could wander into any used book store and, if one looked carefully, score the occasional abandoned tarot pack. Sometimes bound in a powdery rubber band, sometimes still in the original but tattered box, sometimes unopened. A few dollars changed hands and everyone was happy.
No more.
I was in Tripp Taylor's book shop in Boise ID today and he had just acquired a miniature Albano-Waite. I don't know the lineage of the deck but this was not older than 20 years because there was an ISBN/SKU whack on the side of the box. I believe the first printing was before scanners. The deck had not been placed into inventory yet so I thought I'd offer $10. He immediately looked it up online and said, "Hmm, I think I can get $40 to $120." I said, "Probably only for the original printing but, umm, yeah, too much for me, buddy, good luck with that."
I left with a copy of The Greater Trumps for $10.00.
Top   #1
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Yea old tarot is big business now for several big people on ebay even. The second edition of the Melissa Lenormand is up there now for like $95 and that just started to ship out to people. I guess there is a market there for them so if money is to be made then someone will make it. It does take people knowing what they REALLY have apposed to what they THINK they have though and that's where it gets muddy. I was in a Half Price Books and they had I the Rohrig tarot behind glass priced at $95.. along side it was the Tarot of Oz for $150 and I was like... ummm ok where did YOU get your prices. Needless to say they are still there.
Top   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogiesan View Post
There was a time when a guy could wander into any used book store and, if one looked carefully, score the occasional abandoned tarot pack. Sometimes bound in a powdery rubber band, sometimes still in the original but tattered box, sometimes unopened. A few dollars changed hands and everyone was happy.
No more.
I was in Tripp Taylor's book shop in Boise ID today and he had just acquired a miniature Albano-Waite. I don't know the lineage of the deck but this was not older than 20 years because there was an ISBN/SKU whack on the side of the box. I believe the first printing was before scanners. The deck had not been placed into inventory yet so I thought I'd offer $10. He immediately looked it up online and said, "Hmm, I think I can get $40 to $120." I said, "Probably only for the original printing but, umm, yeah, too much for me, buddy, good luck with that."
I left with a copy of The Greater Trumps for $10.00.

Do you know wherehe looked it up?
Top   #3
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Yes, Half Price Books used to be a great source for cheap used (and sometimes new remaindered) decks. I think they've started checking the net before pricing decks now. The problem is, a lot of decks on Ebay, etc are listed at inflated prices, but never sell. They just keep getting re-listed until someone buys one without doing their homework first.

They do track how long they have inventory on hand so you could always try for a discount if a deck sits in the collectible case for awhile. All they can do is say no.
Top   #4
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Don't despair. I found a first edition (pre-USG) Medicine Woman tarot in a used bookstore for $20. I have a friend who found a Greenwood for $12 in a used bookstore maybe 5 years ago. I have another friend who found a pre-USG copyright yellow-box Rider Waite for under $10 and who found a blue box non-copyright Rider Waite for under $12 at two different used bookstores. Pickings are slim, but bargains are out there. Just take a look at the Best Bargains thread here in Tarot Decks. Now it's all about the hunt....
Top   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwcarter View Post
Don't despair....Pickings are slim, but bargains are out there. Just take a look at the Best Bargains thread here in Tarot Decks. Now it's all about the hunt....
IN larger markets this might be true. Boise ID has few likely outlets and they are run by earnst capitalists; I do not begurdge them their business acumen. The energy drained haunting antique shops and yard sales is only partially recovered when a prize is found.

Still, hope springs &c.
Top   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarot heart View Post
Do you know wherehe looked it up?
Sorry, no. Tripp's monitor is noti visible unless he spins it around.
I'm guessing there is a secret website for antiquarian dealers that requires initiation rituals in addition to esoteric login credentials

I put the miniature Albano-Waite into a search and I got similar results. But the prices were all over tha map from $1.00 to $100+ suggesting more research is necessary. For all I know, Mr Taylor may have the $1.00 version and he will attempt to sell it for $10.00. He may post it on his website for $100.00 if he's got a winner. He probably acquired it for essentially nothing in an estate purchase.

The weird thing about operations like Tripp's though, and this remains a puzzlement, he has books on his shelves that have been sitting there for 20 or more years. Many of these titles are interesting and even appealing for may reasons including their rarity, leather bindings, letterpress printing, signatures, marginalia. But I'd never give him $50 for a first edition John McPhee when I can get the mass paperback, used, from Powell's in Portland, for $8.00. I would, however, give him $15.00 for it and he'd have the cash. The McPhee has been there a l-o-n-g time.

There is obviously so very much about the used book business I do not understand beyond the desire to make a decent living and share one's love of beautiful books.
Top   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogiesan View Post
There is obviously so very much about the used book business I do not understand beyond the desire to make a decent living and share one's love of beautiful books.
Not trying to go off-thread here, but at Abebooks. com - an online used book business, they just sold a first-printing copy of 'The Day of the Triffids' for $14,500 - so the idea that it is 'just sitting there for 20 years why don't they sell it already' doesn't work for book sellers.
Top   #8
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I think the Internet is where a lot of used book sellers are making a profit. It's a good way to match up buyers with your current inventory. Sales like that may be the only reason that these sellers can maintain their bricks and mortar stores for the locals to browse in.

So, yes, I can still find bargains at HPB (like the Weiser RWS I got for $4.98), but my previous motto of "Be patient. Sooner or later, it will show up at HPB" may not be quite as true as it once was.
Top   #9
Bhavana  Bhavana is offline
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I agree that the pickings are getting slim. When I do find used decks at bookstores, they are usually not very desirable one's to own - or, as you say, overpriced. The internet has been the downfall of a lot of us second hand shoppers. Now, at the click of a few keys, sellers knows what they have and what it is potentially worth. Same thing goes for a lot of used items. I was at a flea market yesterday and could not believe some of the over inflated prices. I could see charging more if you have a store and overhead, but when you pay 10 bucks for a table to sell your stuff on a Saturday afternoon, you should not be charging retail prices. Oh well. People have a right to charge what they want - but when they are packing these unsold items up at the end of the day, you have to wonder about their priorities.

That being said, there are still some good buys out there - I have found awesome out of print decks for under $10, both online and at flea markets, garage sales, etc. You can't give up!
Top   #10




 


 


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