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How To Spot Fake Tarot Decks

Example: Modern Witch Tarot By Lisa Sterle next to classic example of a fake deck, you can see the shocking difference!

Don’t be The Fool, and fall for a fake deck!

By Rebecca Bell

Fake decks come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. But what they all have in common is they are poorly produced and ripping off not only you the customer, but the artist and the tarot publication industry as well. Basically everyone gets a bad deal and bad energy from these counterfeit decks, and thats not something we want for the tarot community and those discovering tarot for the first time! So let’s keep tarot magical and protect the industry by supporting genuine decks made by tarot experts and artists, and cracking down on fake decks together!

Example: Modern Witch Tarot By Lisa Sterle next to classic example of a fake deck, you can see the shocking difference!

Why it’s important to make sure your deck is the real thing

It’s bad for artists, and it’s bad for the industry:

  • Artists and Aathors work extremely hard on their decks. One deck can be the result of years of work and devotion, and they do this to bring joy to your life as the customer. By purchasing a fake deck, the artist makes NO MONEY from that sale, which means their time and energy has been wasted.
  • Designers and publishers spend time and energy making the deck as pristine and gorgeous as possible, from choosing the layout, card stock, and packaging as well as any extras to wow the customer! Again, by purchasing a fake deck, the designers and publishing staff make NO MONEY from the sale. That could cost jobs and mean tougher restrictions on publishing, so fewer artists get the chance to publish their work.
  • When fake decks are tagged as the real thing on social media this can tarnish the reputation of the publisher and the artist, so make sure to check before sharing with our handy guide below.  
  • The more fake decks are brought, the more the counterfeit industry is funded. This might in turn fund potentially dangerous products and poor working conditions.
  • Selling fake decks is plagiarism, and as such is illegal.

It’s bad for you as the customer:

  • With a counterfeit you receive the worst quality version of the deck. Flimsy paper, bad packaging, missing elements, and poor-quality art.
  • Sometimes you are charged the same amount for a counterfeit deck and get an inferior product.  
  • What is the counterfeit deck made of? We don’t know either and that’s worrying. These decks are made by unregulated and unlicensed individuals who want to make maximum profit with no care for the safety of the customer.
  • Counterfeit decks often have a digital guidebook attached to a QR code. By opening that link on your device, you are opening yourself up to viruses and hackers, as these are not regulated. 
  • Counterfeit decks have bad energy as they are doing harm to the artist. Bad energy is not good for tarot reading!

How do I spot a counterfeit deck?

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell when you are buying a fake deck, especially when you’re excited about getting your hands on the latest product! However, there is one sure-fire way to buy an official deck and that’s to check our publications page, pick the product you want, and follow the links to buy, as we will list our publishing partners and foreign editions here too. In addition, we also have some wonderful shops around the globe that also sell our products officially after purchasing them wholesale from us.

When you’re browsing online however, many sites automatically list counterfeit decks alongside the real thing. Although we will always flag fake sellers to the platforms when we spot them, it’s like playing whack-a-mole — they always pop up again. So how do you spot a fake tarot deck?

  • Most official decks come with a booklet, and ours always have a hardback guide inside the pack. If you spot a QR code on the box or the website is advertising a PDF download of the booklet then you have found a fake.
  • Fake Decks are smaller and come in a poorly printed flimsy box, and the cards are printed on thin floppy paper.
  • Fake decks are also printed with the wrong colours or no colour, and the details are hard to see.
  • Counterfeit deck sellers and distributors will sell multiple knock-off tarot decks in one listing. If you see a fake Modern Witch in the listing, then it’s highly likely that the rest of the decks they sell are knockoffs too.
  • Counterfeit decks can sometimes be unbelievably cheap compared to other prices you’re seeing online — if it’s more than half the price, that’s a red flag!
  • Counterfeit decks are more likely to be much lower in the product listings, as the sellers aren’t trusted and create many accounts to avoid being taken down.
  • Avoid: Wish and Ali express. These sites are notorious for listing fakes.
  • Check your seller. If they are a well-known or independent shop, they are more likely to sell legitimate decks.
  • If you are concerned about your tarot deck, head over to our shop page where you will see official photos of the products to compare against. You can also check photos on our Liminal_11 Instagram as we only share the real thing! 

What can you do?

The best solution to stop fake decks is if you the customer are aware of what you’re purchasing. So share this post with your tarot community, remember to check our publications page, and make sure to follow those tips to avoid buying a fake deck. If you suspect a fake deck you can report the seller to legal@liminal11.com. Ultimately, by helping to stop fake decks you are supporting artists and the publishing industry, so we can keep making new decks and books for your enjoyment!

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