When You Don't Know
What Your Book is Worth

by Craig Stark

21 June 2010

A Review of ValueMyStuffNow

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At a recent estate sale I acquired a copy of what I would be comfortable calling a rare book - in fact, an online search at WorldCat returned no results, and a Google search turned up only one copy, this in a library in the Tuscany region of Italy. Here's the book:

When this sort of thing happens, I usually do one of two things. Either I conduct a deeper search, looking for past auction records - American Book Prices Current is a good resource for this - or contact an auction house that I think might have an interest in it. Many booksellers, however, don't have access to ABPC - unless your local library has it, it doesn't come cheap - and contacting auction houses every time you want to know what something is worth isn't a good idea unless you are pretty sure you have something of interest going in and are willing to commit to consigning it - in other words, if you attempt to use auction houses as a free valuation service without an accompanying willingness to consign, doors will start slamming in your face. Of course, you could also post information about your book in a bookseller's forum or ask a colleague, but results could well be incomplete or unreliable.

So - what to do? Wait for Antiques Road Show to come to town?


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