What exactly is a Counterfeit or "Fake" Tarot Deck?
Counterfeit decks (and Oracle decks too) are popping up for sale everywhere. You can find them being sold in online internet shops, metaphysical festivals and fairs and even in "brick and mortar" shops. What you need to know is that these decks are poor quality and unethically produced and rip off not only you as the customer, but also they rip off tarot artists and the tarot publication industry as well.
How to Recognize a Counterfeit of FakeTarot Deck?
If you are shopping online, you find that counterfeit tarot deck’s prices are usually unbelievably cheap compared to the other deck prices you are seeing online. It’s a big "red flag" if it’s less than half the regular price. Also instead of a standard barcode and suggested retail price, if you see a QR code on the box or the website advertising a PDF download of the deck’s guidebook, you are probably looking at a counterfeit tarot deck. Also by opening these QR codes you could be putting yourself in danger for "phishing" and computer viruses.
If you are shopping in a retail store look carefully at the box, counterfeit decks usually come in a flimsy “tuck top" box. If you can open their boxes you will find that these cards are smaller in size than “official” tarot or oracle decks and that the cards are printed on thin floppy paper instead of standard card stock.
Why this is Important to you as an educated Consumer?
Tarot artists and creators put a lot of love and hard work creating their decks when you purchase a fake deck, the artist makes NO MONEY from that sale, which means their time and energy has been wasted. The end result is everyone gets a bad deal and bad energy from these counterfeit decks. This bad energy is not something we want for the tarot community and those discovering tarot for the first time!
What you Need Do?
Ask for your money back! A refutable vendor like Amazon will usually give you a refund. It you see counterfeit decks in a brick and mortar store complain to the store and even boycott them.
If you have unknowing bought a counterfeit deck using PayPal or a credit card, you can sometimes get a refund if you alert the payment processor or your bank that the seller misrepresented the deck as genuine but was actually selling a counterfeit product instead.
If you suspect a counterfeit deck you can email and report the seller to the original publishing company. Don’t email the artist as they don’t have the legal resources to send a “cease and desist” order to the vendor but the original official tarot publishers do. Lewellyn provides an excellent page: www.llewellyn.com/about/report_piracy.php
Also you should avoid retailers like Wish, Temu and Ali which specialize in counterfeit and cheaply made products. You probably also don’t want to share with them personal and credit card information.
Counterfeit Tarot decks have “bad” energy! They are doing harm to the artist and the Tarot community at large. After all …who wants to bring “bad” energy into their Tarot readings!
By Sharonah Rapseik
Director of Education - The Tarot Guild