Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2005 Issue

Book Valuation Gets a Place at the Table

Money2

Old books, like old money, need to be translated into today's values


Today there are numerous ways to know what the asking prices of books are and as Mike Stillman has correctly pointed out these are the prices of all the books that have not sold. What we show you are almost a million records of books, manuscripts and ephemera that have sold and we adjust the prices to current value. Now, for the first time, you can obtain a reasonably good idea of what your book is worth using a systematic process that identifies appropriate records, adjusts them to current value and averages them to provide you with a single valuation. Stray and inconsistent records are easily checked and eliminated if inappropriate.

Ultimately a seller may not agree to sell at the historically derived value but there is simply no reason not to know what the market history is. If you don't want to know it before you buy you will in any event learn all about it when you decide to sell. It's called reality. You may well have to pay more to buy material than these projected valuations suggest but you will also feel empowered to buy when the offers are well below what history suggests the real value is. Most booksellers want to sell their books. Some become argumentative if you discuss price but most will listen to an offer. If, in a reasonable amount of time, they believe they'll sell their book for their price they aren't going to discuss any concessions. If not, they will prefer to negotiate rather than lose the chance to sell their book to a knowledgeable buyer. This software helps both buyers and sellers to find the middle ground.

The development of this project has been undertaken by Mike Stillman, evaluated by Jenny McKinney who has already proposed a second version we'll begin work on this summer and implemented by Wei-cheng Chu, our software engineer. It is an important step in the evolution of bookselling on the net.

If you would like to sign up for a week or a month to give this software a work out click here and we'll take you to the sign-up page. A one week sign up is $7.95, a month $14.75, a year $141.60. For years the book business has been all about "asking prices." This is a step toward building the "bid side."

Rare Book Monthly

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    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
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    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
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    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
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