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How to Quickly Find and Sell Old, Valuable Books and Cookbooks

Aug 17, 2007
Old books can make for a fun home-based business while giving you a profitable side business that will make you money and cultural experiences too. You may already have a nice collection of old, rare, vintage or antique books or cookbooks.

Cookbooks are the third most popular category among new books and a good one to start with. People often raid their parents' and grandparents' collections to find good used cookbooks.

To find and buy old books, first check your local library for its "Friends of the Library" book sales. They have annual sales of donated books and many antique dealers line up for these. Of course it helps to know your prices, so to begin with you might stick to a particular category, for example cookbooks. You can usually get books for 25 cents to a dollar and on the last day they have a bag sale.

Sometimes you can get books free at the end of the sale. But the best time to go is the night before the sale when they let the members of the "Friends" buy cheap, in advance of the sale. Membership usually runs about $10 a year and you can easily make your money back with your first sale. It's a good cause besides.

You want to look for books that you've done your research on, of course, but also look for any book from the pre 1900s in fair condition. They will usually get you at least ten times what you paid for it.

Also look at flea markets, garage sales, estate sales and auctions. I found a signed copy of a rare, signed Julia Child cookbook with dust jacket intact in fine condition at an estate sale. It was also signed by her husband Paul Child, the illustrator. The book was appraised at $500.

The house was in an area of little houses with older folks. Don't judge a book by its cover or a house by its appearance I guess is the lesson here! You never know what you'll find. I also found some other great cookbooks and books there.

To research the value I would avoid the usual rare book price guides. Many of these are outdated. The actual price is today's price.

To find out what the books should sell for, go to your favorite search engine and type in the title. You should be able to find sites that are selling the same title and give you a broad range to choose from. Finding 'sold' book prices are much better.

One you've established a price, the fastest way to sell these books is to sell them online at your own website or get a free one from any of the sites who are offering this service.

I'd definitely add photos of the books. They should be of high quality. Take close up shots of the title page and a sample recipe page. Take shots from different angles. Pick about six of your best shots.

If you're in hurry, price them lower than the other books. If you aren't in a hurry price them at the high end of the range. Then when the others are sold your price will be a bargain. Antique books will generally rise in price as they become rare.

Of course there are many other ways to sell your old books. eBay is another of course. And there are lots of ways to sell them offline too. Be open to different venues.

Finding and selling old, rare, vintage or antique books or cookbooks is great fun, with very little upfront costs. With these tips and this information, it should help you know how to start buying and selling used books and cookbooks, have a nice side home-based business, a cultural experience, and lots of fun too.
About the Author
For more information on finding and selling old books or cookbooks go to http://www.SellCookbooks.com a website specializing in buying, selling, publishing and collecting cookbooks with tips, advice, resources including information on selling old, rare, vintage and antique cookbooks
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