Places to Buy Puzzles
It pays to look around before making a jigsaw purchase - in all probability you will be surprised at the diversity of jigsaw retailers available to you. Several different types of retailer are listed below and further details can be found from the links on our Resources page.
High Street Shops
Many jigsaws sold in the UK are sold from non-specialist shops and stores. The puzzles are usually chosen because the buyer is attracted to the picture on the box and because the price is affordable. High street shops are to be commended both for making jigsaws readily available to every shopper and for kindling the initial interest of future enthusiasts.
WH Smith deserves to be singled out for particular praise. Throughout the last century the company was always supportive of the jigsaw trade and they remain the most significant retailer of jigsaws in the UK. John Lewis department stores carry a range of quality puzzles and most other department stores will have some on display. With over 100 stores up and down the country, Toys R Us can also be relied upon to have a good selection in stock.
Car Boot Sales, Market Stalls and Jumble Sales
You can sometimes pick up a real bargain at one of these outlets. However, remember that if there is just one piece missing then the value of the puzzle will be greatly reduced.
Fierce competition and difficult trading conditions on the High Street have forced many specialist toy and puzzle shops out of business over the last few years. Unfortunately we no longer have the trusted names of Gamleys, Jigsaw Gallery and Jigsaw World. Thankfully Barney's News Box in the Lake District is still going strong and long may they continue! If you know of any independent shops that carry a good range of puzzles then do please let us know because we will be pleased to publicize them here.
Tom Tyler (Telephone +(44) 1473 723 458) is a leading expert on British jigsaws and carries a wonderful range of second hand puzzles. Call him if you are looking for a specific puzzle or a gift for a jigsaw collector. You might also buy his excellent book titled British Jigsaw Puzzles of the 20th Century.
Mail Order Catalogues
Barneys Newsbox (Telephone +(44) 1539 435627) publish a colorful catalogue that they will be pleased to send you. Especially useful when you are shopping for gifts.
Wentworth Puzzles of Malmesbury in Wiltshire (Telephone +(44) 1666 840033) sell their extensive, laser cut range by mail order.
eBay is the world's principal online auction site for jigsaw puzzles and is a great place to both buy and sell - it's also good fun. If you have never used eBay then spoil yourself by putting aside an hour to learn all about it. Simply do an Internet search for 'eBay' and click on their links and easy-to-follow instructions.
The quantity of jigsaws on eBay sometimes numbers many thousands and you are sure to find something of interest. If you are interested in the value of old puzzles then this is probably the best place to 'Get a feel' for the market - you can watch the prices that are paid over a period of weeks or months. Don't forget also that eBay is a good place to dispose of any of your own unwanted puzzles.
Specialist Online (Internet) Sites
The Internet really comes into its own for jigsaw retailing because it gives you access to a huge range of puzzles that you can view online. The trouble is that there is so much to see that it is easy to get lost! Our Resources page provides links that will help you to start finding your way around. In addition, it is well worth exploring Amazon because as well as Amazon themselves there are also many independent merchants listing an excellent range of puzzles.