Rare and antique books can be collectible items if they are in good condition and in demand, but it can be hard to determine whether your books are valuable and, if they are, where to sell them to get the best price for your items. Rare and antique book buyers often frequent certain web pages and auction sites in the hopes to find themselves a special edition. Whether you are selling old classics, rare cookbooks, or a signed first edition, we have a few tips and tricks to help you out.
Where Can I Sell Rare Books?
This is a common question that we get asked often. Before you sell your book, it is important to determine whether your book is valuable or not. To help work out whether your book is worth some money, it is important to do your research.
The value of your book will depend on a number of things. Firstly, it depends on the level of demand for your book and how many copies are available on the market. If there are too many on the market, it will be saturated, and your book may not sell. Next, it is important to check the edition of your book to see if it is a real first edition.
Your book’s value also depends on its condition – it should be well-preserved and include its original dust jacket. Without the dust jacket, its value will be much lower. To find out more on how to value your old or rare books, check out ourblog post here.
There are a few ways to sell rare books. Firstly, many small book stores may be interested in your item, but this option may require a lot of work as you will need to visit them in person. You might also find that you don’t get the right price as the book shop will be looking to sell it on to make a profit. Secondly, auction houses are a great way to reach a number of buyers, and with the right catalog advert, you can make a good profit here. It is recommended that you use an auction house that has an online presence in order to market your book to as wide audience as possible. There is also a number of websites that will help you to sell a rare or old book. Let’s take a closer look.
BookScouter.com is a great option if your rare book has an ISBN number. Simply enter the number and receive offers from over 30 buyback vendors, allowing you to find the vendor ready to buy your book. For older books without an ISBN number, however, you cannot use this site. There are several alternatives that we recommend. They are:
- Rare Books and Manuscripts Section
- Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America
Rare Books Value – Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes A Book Rare?
There are many factors that contribute to how rare a book is. Firstly, the condition of the book is important as it impacts how desirable they are. This can include if the book contains its original dust jacket, has unusual binding, and is undamaged. Secondly, it is important to consider its publication – is it a limited or first edition, a work of historical significance, is it by a famous author or signed by them? If so, then your book may be rare and in demand.
It is important, however, to note that even if a book is rare and copies are difficult to get, it may not be valuable. To help understand how in-demand your book is, look for the ISBN number, as you can use this to find the exact details of your book.
Are All Antique Books Worth Money?
In short, no, they are not. In fact, more books published between 1800 and the 1920s that are old enough to be considered antiques are not worth anything. This is because during this period, printing presses were developed, and more and more books were mass-produced, meaning that many of them are not uncommon. If the book was published before 1800, then it is likely to be rarer, and therefore could be worth more money – although this is not guaranteed. A rare book appraisal would.
How To Determine Antique Book Values?
To help determine the value of an old book, consider taking it to an antique book appraisal, where an expert will give you an estimated value that you can then use for insurance purposes. If you are looking for a rough price, rather than an exact one, you could browse bookselling websites online, where you can search for the same book in a similar condition to see how much it is selling for. It is important, however, to note that sometimes these prices will be higher than they should be as this is simply the seller’s asking price rather than what the book is actually worth. Auction records are also a great place to look for the price of similar books as these prices are what was actually paid for the book – just ensure that the book is of a similar condition to yours for an accurate price.
Why Sell Rare or Antique Books at Auction?
If you are looking where to sell your antique books, online rare book auctions are a great way to do so, as this is a great platform to expose your book to rare book buyers around the world. An auction houses job is to market their products effectively to the correct audience, meaning that they may be able to get you a great price for your book.
Parting with a special old or rare book that you have owned for a while can be a difficult experience, even if you are looking to sell it on to someone who will appreciate the text as much as you, you may miss owning it yourself. When you do sell your book, however, it is important that you first ascertain its value and then find a suitable platform to sell it in to help you get the best deal.