Rare Book Appraisal

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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You may need a rare book appraisal in two different scenarios. One is when you are considering selling a book that you own, and the other occurs when you are thinking about buying a rare book. It makes sense to have an accurate assessment of a book's value whenever you're negotiating a sale transaction so that you can be certain you are making the best deal.

In some cases, however, knowing the market value of a rare book doesn't necessarily mean the sale price will be anywhere near an appraised price. This situation can occur when a buyer is so intent on getting a particular book that he/she will pay far more than would normally be warranted. Obviously, it's best to be on the receiving end of an overpayment. If you're not sure, you should get an appraisal.

Collection Appraisals

For any appraisal to be as accurate as possible, it's important that it be done first hand and not through photos. If you suspect that you have just made an incredible find, have looked for a similar book online, and have discovered that the value of your book may be in thousands of dollars, it is well worth the effort to either bring the book to an experienced appraiser or to have the appraiser come to you. Most single books don't fall into that category.

Many collections, however, do rate the expense of an on-site appraisal. You will find that appraisers associated with reputable rare book sellers charge by the hour whether they come to you or you go to them. The hourly rate is usually applied to travel time, with expenses such as plane fare, added in. Again, your own assessment of the value of your collection should be a major factor in how much you're willing to spend on a rare book appraisal.


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