Posts tagged #selling books

Why is it so difficult to sell my books?

Ever wondered why it's hard to on-sell your old books to second hand or old book stores?

Currently it is difficult for the private seller of general secondhand books to sell them. Notice we said “general second hand books” and notice we said “currently”. This is because it is still quite possible to sell rare and collectible books. It is understandable that anyone with limited experience of the secondhand and antiquarian book trade can say “but I don’t know what is rare and collectible I just have these old books and someone must want them”. Unfortunately the truth is most people don’t.

From the point of view of economic theory, it's a matter of supply and demand.

On the supply side the volume of general secondhand books potentially available for sale is growing. This is largely because two generations of readers and collectors are downsizing at once. Those in their 80s and 90s are moving into aged care and those in their 60s and 70s are downsizing into apartments from their former larger homes. At the same time on the demand side, there has been a general fall in demand for real books due to the availability of ebooks and e-readers; changes in leisure pursuits and falling real incomes. Any HSC economics student will tell you that increased supply combined with a fall in demand leads to a fall in price.

From the bookseller’s point of view, who is conducting their business through a bricks and mortar store they are not only faced with increased business expenses but they selling a commodity with a falling demand and for which they may have to accept a lower price. Therefore they are only interested in stocking books that have a strong collector interest and consequently a higher demand.  This is why they are not prepared to buy the common and general books no matter how valuable the literature or information within.

Will this be the situation for the long term?

At Love Vintage Books we believe this to be the case. And that is why we are so particular about the stock we buy from private sellers.

Posted on March 1, 2018 and filed under Selling Books.

Selling Your Old Books: Love Vintage Books Book Buying Policy

We do buy books privately but rarely and are very selective. More often we are searching for particular books that will add to our expertly chosen collections.Thus we are not interested in what are commonly called "general secondhand books".

Considering this please read our Book Buying Policy below before contacting us. It could save us all some time!

Subjects Required

Titles, authors and subjects wanted will vary over time according to customer demand but in general the following we would consider purchasing particularly if hardcover and published before 1980:

  • Early Australian books particularly inland and coastal exploration, colonial times, bush-ranging and the gold rush; principle figures such as Bligh, Cook, Flinders

  • Australian local history, books on Sydney suburbs

  • Antarctic history and exploration

  • Transport particularly detailed and specialized publications

  • Military particularly regimental and unit histories

  • Biographies and related on T E Lawrence, Napoleon, Churchill, the Kennedy Family

  • Australian art, monographs rather than general works

  • Travel…older editions about the UK, western Europe and the Pacific

  • Technical books particularly woodworking, iron work, bee-keeping

  • Sport : boxing, fly fishing, croquet, athletics and fencing

  • Hobbies only chess and conjuring

  • Attractively bound and or illustrated editions of literary classics

To Save Your Time

The following are definitely not required:

  • Readers Digest Condensed Books

  • Coffee table books

  • Popular fiction in paperback

  • Recently published children’s books

  • Magazines

  • National Geographics

  • Encyclopaedias, dictionaries & thesauruses

  • New age titles

  • Health and diet books

  • Self-help manuals

How Much Will You Receive For Your Books?

In most instances what you will be offered is considerably less than our retail price. There are two main reasons. Firstly, we have all the usual expenses of retail which must be met, rent, advertising, maintenance, power etc. Buying in new stock is one of our few variable expenses. Secondly, even with buying wisely we may have a book on the shelf up to 5 years before it sells and this time is measured in interest forgone. Naturally there are some exceptions; in the case of titles in high demand and for titles for which there is a customer already waiting but in general what we are prepared to pay is far less than the usual retail price marked in our books.

The Importance of Condition

We aim to sell books that are as near new condition as possible. This means that all preliminary pages should be present, dust wrappers are not torn or chipped, cloth covers are not rubbed or faded and the interior is not badly browned or foxed.  An allowance for condition is made with children’s books.  However, tears, scribbles, colouring in and large gift inscriptions are not acceptable.

How To Offer Your Books to Us

Please send an email to margaret@lovevintagebooks.com.au enclosing or attaching a list of titles and authors. If possible also include details of publisher, publishing date and other pertinent details. We will  reply as soon as practicable. Please also email us if you want a list of current titles required emailed to you.

Posted on January 6, 2018 and filed under Selling Books.