19Feb Where Can I Sell First Edition Books?
One of the questions we get asked the most is where can I sell my [insert rare book]. Here's a brief outline of your options and a short assessment of the pros and cons.
At Auction. This has been a common option for a couple of hundred years. We don't generally recommend an auction house unless a book needs a large market (i.e. is very specific), or you want a quick return. The exception is if you have an exceptional collection or item. Long and short of it, you'll get money quickly, but you'll likely have to pay a commission and the results might be lower than you'd expect. In our experience, things we've sold through auction have raised between 5% and 50% of what we'd expect a book to be worth.
Online. This is a popular option, and recommended if you want the maximum amount for a book. The downside is that it can take an awfully long time for a book to sell at a high price. Sometimes five or ten years. You'll have to deal with the administrative side (photos, answering queries, packaging, returns etc.) but that's not always an issue. Do bear in mind too that most sites and payment methods will charge a commission. All in, you'll probably make about 60-80% of the value.
To A Dealer. Though it might seem that we'd push this option all the time, in reality, it's we only recommend this option about half the time. This is most often because the collection isn't suitable for us. You will generally receive around 50% of the perceived value using this route. You will usually get your money straight-away, unless the book is being offered to another client (in which case you should expect to receive more than 50% - if a dealer's offering you 50% and paying you when they get paid for the sale then pick a different dealer).
If you want any advice on this, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 07557 652609