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Best place to sell FS books in London

Folio Society devotees

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1Pepys
Edited: Feb 27, 11:33am Top

I plan to visit London next week (Tuesday to Saturday), and I wondered what would be finally the best place to sell a dozen FS books. They are all in perfect condition. No bump to slipcase. I know Skoob (because it's close to my hotel), but I don't expect them to be very interested; or, if they are, that could be for a couple of titles only, and for a miserable price... Any other address where you would have recently sold FS books?

Unless one of you is interested to meet me and my suitcase, under an umbrella on the pavement of a London street? Your price will be mine.

Non fiction:
Boethius - The Consolation of Philosophy - 2014 - 207 p.
Burke, Edmund - Reflections on the Revolution in France - 2010 - 234 p.
Hill, Christopher - God's Englishman: Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution - 2013 - 278 p.
Hobbes, Thomas - Leviathan - 2012 - 539 p.
Rodger, N. A. M. - The Wooden World - 2009 - 422 p.
Searle, Ronald - Slightly Foxed---but still desirable - 2015 - 128 p. - NO slipcase

Fiction
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury - 2016 - 533 p.
Green, Graham & Hugh - The Spy's Bedside Book - 2006 - 261 p.
Miscellanous - A Traveller's Christmas - 2006 - 287 p.
Miscellanous - The Folio Book of Humorous Anecdotes - 2005 - 272 p.
Stevenson, R. L. - Travel with a Donkey - 2004 - 135 p.

2podaniel
Feb 26, 9:07am Top

Great selection--I own them all, but would just point out for prospective purchasers that the Slightly Foxed was originally issued without a slipcase so it should not be discounted on that account.

3Chawton
Feb 27, 10:37am Top

You could check on ABE Books to see if there are any booksellers on what is the most important collectible books website in the world who sell Folio Society books.

They might pay more for the books as they are often internet based only and do not need to rent expensive London premises.

4elladan0891
Feb 27, 11:25am Top

But any bookseller, even internet-only, will offer just a fraction of a book's potential market price...
>1 Pepys: Have you considered ebay? I'd think you'd be able to sell at least The Sound and the Fury for a decent price even from France.

5Pepys
Feb 27, 11:44am Top

>3 Chawton: (Funny: there are 2 messages #3 just above. Never seen that bug.) Yes, I'm considering ebay now, because skoob offer only a ceiling price of £2 per volume, and only for a few titles they would be interested in. (I've not visited them for a while, but I can't remember their FS stock is that cheap when you buy...)

I wanted however to avoid ebay, because I've no selling experience at all. I've always been a buyer, not a seller.

By the way, the Sound and the Fury is now gone.

6TheEconomist
Mar 1, 9:28am Top

Bookshops are generally a little wary of people offering books in this fashion; they have little to gain for what (to them) is a small purchase, and there is a potential loss if you take offence at their offer and start spreading rumours that they offer peanuts for books. They also have no way of knowing that the books you are offering are genuinely free of defects, eg a blank page halfway through or a missing plate.

Rather than lumping the books from shop to shop getting agitated at the lack of a decent offer, why not email several shops beforehand with your list and see if you can elicit any interest? You are far more likely to elicit interest if you include a ballpark figure of what you think a fair price would be.

7boldface
Mar 1, 1:49pm Top

>6 TheEconomist:

I've tried both the approaches that you suggest. Some shops have even looked them over to check for defects, etc., while I went off and returned an hour or so later. I have found, almost without exception, that either they offer a derisory sum, or - and this goes for many who actually advertise that they buy books - they are not buying "this week", "this month", "until the summer" - you name the excuse! These are not rubbish books either and equate very much to the type and condition of books they are already selling. Emailing in advance does sometimes produce an invitation to bring them in, but usually the final response is the same. I think most average booksellers buy their stock in house sales and auctions for similar derisory prices! That's just the economics of bookselling.

What was the exception? I sold a virtually new Folio Society book in perfect condition (cost around £65 from FS) for about £8. The next time I went in it was on sale for £70. This particular business was sold to new owners about a year later, and they promptly disposed of the premises and went online.

I think Pepys's best bet is to sell on ebay or a similar platform - unless he has a First Folio Shakespeare or a first edition of Audubon's Birds of America. (I'm willing to offer anyone up to £15 each on either of these - please pm if interested.)

8TheEconomist
Mar 4, 7:19am Top

>7 boldface: "That's just the economics of bookselling"

You have hit the nail on the head there - most members of the public have little idea of the profit margins that are needed in the secondhand book trade, particularly on cheap books, and this is why they often use words like "derisory" to describe an offer that, in reality, is actually pretty reasonable.

Secondhand booksellers are well aware of this, and will generally try to steer away from making an offer when, in their judgement, the offer is likely to be seen as derisory. This is why you get responses such as "we are not buying today", when the reality is that they are buying if, in their opinion, there is a reasonable deal to be made.

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