View Full Version : Going pastel shopping - need help with good sites :)

02-07-2006, 10:37 PM
Hello everyone,

It looks like I might be able to afford to splurge on pastel sets soon. I looked online and saw that ASW Express and Jerry's Artarama have reasonable prices. I haven't ordered from either place before, so I was wondering if I can expect my pastels to arrive safely or will I be disappointed? The prices are very appealing, but not at the expense of getting dust I hope :D.

I know there are other places out there, but I need other art supplies as well, and these two carry a large variety.

If there are any good, cheap one-stop-art-shops online that you can recommend, that would be great! I'm going to pick up a soft set and an oil set.



Paula Ford
02-07-2006, 10:41 PM
I love Jerry's, Dick Blick's, Dakota, and the Mount Visions' website!


02-07-2006, 11:01 PM
Jerry's is usually no problem with shipping stuff in one piece (or however many pieces the order is SUPPOSED to be in!) altho their shipping is a little steep in price and it's usually a full two week wait. Dakota has a nice one flat shipping fee which makes up usually for their slightly higher prices. Blicks is always reliable, too.

02-07-2006, 11:05 PM
Everyone says Jerry's shipping is horrid but, no different from ASW and Dick's. Dakota has flat ship of 8.00. I have to do online because no art stores. I'm an expert. What I do is cruise the online sites of the best prices and price compare for what I'm wanting to buy. Right now I'm look for an easel and will probably go with one I like from Jerry's Artarama. Shipping is comparable but, actual price is cheaper. Top priced stores are:
Dick Blick
Cheap Joes.
do your comparison and go from that.

02-08-2006, 12:37 AM
If your list of supplies is longer - Blicks and ASW have free shipping if the total amount is $250 and over. Jerry's shipping just incrementally increases, though someone on this site mentioned coupons from Jerry's - dont know how that works. Just be careful and double check all the prices for your items - some of their carts seem to have been going a little awry - Dakotas was showing a unit price of $394500.00 for a 49.50 item - obviously i didnot put that order thru, will call it in instead.
good luck - you'll probably love whatever you order.

02-08-2006, 08:15 AM
Rain; Jerry's and ASW might have the lowest prices right now on at least some brands, but if you are in a hurry, then Blicks is the way to go. Jerrys and ASW both take 2 - 3 days to respond to and send the package(UPS ground, and where I live that's 4 - 5 days). I just ordered a set of GA's from ASW and it took a full week for the pastels to arrive. All the previous times I have ordered from Blicks, the package arrives on the 4th day, unless a weekend is involved.


02-08-2006, 09:03 AM
There are some really good deals on eBay.

02-08-2006, 10:20 AM
For me, it takes blicks 2 days. That's why I'm willing to spend a few $$ more on Blicks and get my stuff as I tend to wait until I'm in dire shape before ordering. Dakota is the 2nd best, usually about 4 days. Jerry's and asw takes about a week for me to get my stuff. That's the delivering I find where I am at.

02-08-2006, 12:41 PM
Thank you Paula, Sooz, Diane, TJ, M.A. and John for sharing your experiences.

I was hesistant about ordering from ASW again due to my previous experience with them (wrong things in the order, a little dent in a watercolor kit...). I didn't know if they were so cheap because they were restocks or something (basing this on the dented and slightly rusty watercolor pan set that I got).

But that was years ago, so they may have gotten better now. Their prices are still slightly better than Jerry's due to the shipping (haven't crunched all the numbers, but from my quick little cruise around, it looked cheaper).

I also really appreciate the comments on how fast they ship relative to each other.

I love Blicks and go to their physical stores often enough, but can't bring myself to buy their sets when I know that it is so much cheaper online (by quite a bit). I usually run in there for absolute emergencies and just to browse.

Wow...Dakota's is really a pastel specialist, isn't it? It's pastel mecca! I'm going to have to cruise around that site just a bit more...so many nice things. And yikes, not amongst the cheapies, but I found Rochester Art Supply online last night. Really nice job on making their pastel sets looks so...i don't know...buyable! *LOL*

If anyone else wants to add anything, I'm all ears (or eyes).


02-08-2006, 02:13 PM
DICKBLICKS is great because they sell open stock pastels at a great price. I dont' know if any of the other places can compare; at least for the oilys which i like.

02-08-2006, 03:19 PM
I have always gotten good service, reliable and timely deliveries from both Dick Blick and Jerry’s. I live fairly remote and buy all my art supplies on line. I have ordered both open stock (all in great shape) and a small set from both (a few broken in the set from Dick Blick but with sets there is always a chance of a few broken), and I have also ordered papers. I have been pleased with everything so far. Time is not so much of an issue for me, I truly expect everything to take over a week and if it ends up sooner I am pleasantly surprised. I do want to try some of the samples from Dakota Pastels it looks like a great way to try things out without a big investment.

02-08-2006, 04:48 PM
The sampler sets from Dakota are a great way to try out both papers and sticks of various types. Another online seller who's usually just a tad higher than the cheapest is Fine Art Store (FAS) out of NYC. They have wonderful color swatches for all their pastel brands online to look at and sell almost every brand, both open stock and set. They even carry Roche pastels which should be checked out by every newbie who's suffering "sticker shock" over the price of other pastels. LOL Roche will make the rest look CHEAP!

BTW, Blick's online prices are cheaper than their brick and mortar stores...same as Jerry's. Lower overhead=better pricing, I imagine. Enjoy buying those pastels...it's fun to open the pkg when they arrive and see all those pristine, perfect colors just waiting to for you to use 'em!

02-08-2006, 07:58 PM
sooz, I'm with you on opening a new set and seeing all those scrumptious pastels looking so perfect. the pity with Great Americans is that I suspect all thier sets are like that and are just ready for someone to droll over.
I do enjoy the Fine Art site. A total joy.

02-08-2006, 09:23 PM
Sooz...I heard about those Roche's...which is why I ended up at the Rochester Art Supply store oneline (FineArtStore.com). Wow!

Valentine's day is coming up...wouldn't it be great if those we love would express their love in Roches and not roses? *LOL*

Yeah Diane...that site is a joy (and potential trouble!) :D

Dianna and Mimi...I'll go check Blick's again to compare prices. I know what those pastel sets go for in the physical stores that they have...a LOOOOOT of $$$.


Tracy Lang
02-08-2006, 10:11 PM
I just ordered a few things this week and had both the Jerry's and Blicks sites open on my computer, going back and forth like a mad woman! I was pleasantly surprised to see that Blicks prices were better or the same as Jerrys on quite a few items. Combined with the fast service, better shipping rates and support of WC, they got most of my order. I can't wait until they add more pastel inventory!


02-17-2006, 06:17 PM
I just placed an order at Jerry's and they have some great sale prices going on through Feb. 28th. Needless to say, my order was fairly large. :rolleyes:

-- Goewyn

02-18-2006, 02:15 PM
From what I've heard from a couple of the gals on here who tried out a few Roche pastels, they're not worth that much more than any of the better brands and shatter at a touch almost! Glad I didn't give in and order a 9-shade set!

02-20-2006, 01:08 AM
Thanks Sooz...that info will keep me away from those Roche's :D.