Generally the most important consideration for a book’s value is its physical condition and, if present, dust jacket.
Book dealers use a system to describe the condition of books. The world of warning is that except for the best, Mint or Like New, there’s a bit of leeway and personal judgment.
The rating system is, from best to worst:
- Mint or Like New
- Near Fine/NrFine
- Very Good+/VG+
- Very Good/VG
- Very Good -/VG-
From here down condition becomes questionable.
- Reading copy
Dust jackets will always add to the value of a book. For very common books, they will be desirable though not valuable. But for especially rare books they can sometimes double or triple the worth of a book.
Generally book collectors desire first editions.
Determining first editions can sometimes be tricky. Publishers don’t always mark editions and even when they do they may change their policies over the years.
The age of a book does not always mean much. We have books from the 1880s that are $10 while more recent books are going for hundreds.
We appraise books and documents.
If you have books you want to donate for tax purposes, or for settling estates, you sometimes need an appraisal. or insure you must have an appraisal document.
There is an appraisal fee, an hourly rate, but with that you will receive a written and annotated letter describing your book(s) and how we arrived at the estimated fair market value.
Please note that if we appraise your books we will not buy them. And vice versa. If we make an offer to purchase (which you can accept or not) we will not turn around and appraise them. It could easily be a conflict of interest. However, not every book is worthy for appraisal because of the cost, and we will tell you that right up front. It’s an ethical issue.
If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us.