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JasonsMom08's avatar

Should I have these books appraised before putting them out at a yard sale?

Asked by JasonsMom08 (436 points ) March 29th, 2011

Cleaning out for a yard sale, I have come across some old books. I have not been able to determine fair market value through online searches.

1. Robinson Crusoe (printed as a part of the Columbus Series) – 1892 (author Daniel De Foe)

2. The Elements of Mechanical Engineering – Tables and Formulas – First edition – 1897 (prepared for Students of the International Correspondence Schools Scranton, PA)

3. Ralph the Train Dispatcher (includes book jacket) – 1911

4. Building Code of the City of Boston – (by City of Boston Printing Department – 1944).

I appreciate if anyone can offer some advice as to going about having these appraised, fair market value, etc. Thanks in advance!

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4 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

My best advice is to look each of these up on Ebay. If you have vintage book store near you, you could call and ask if they do appraisals. Many do them for a fee.

I happen to collect vintage books. Without seeing the condition, I can’t help, other than to say the only one that sounds like it may have value would be the Crusoe.

What condition are the books in?

Rarebear's avatar

Yup, I was going to suggest the same thing. Go to a vintage book store and have them take a look at it. They may just be able to give you a ballpark estimate.

WestRiverrat's avatar

You may get more value by donating the Building Code of the City of Boston to a museum or university. Then you can write it off as a tax deduction.

JasonsMom08's avatar

@SpatzieLover – I did check eBay first, I only found ‘Ralph’ was going for under $5. I agree , that perhaps ‘Crusoe’ might have a little more value, I have not been able to find a list of which other books were also printed in 1892 as part of this Columbus Series (I am assuming some sort of collection to commemorate the 400 yr anniversary of Columbus?) The books appear to be in good condition, ‘Ralph’ still has it’s dustjacket in decent shape. ‘Crusoe’ seems to be intact, although the title page is loose. Thanks for the advice!

@Rarebear – Thanks, I am looking for a store closeby, not sure if they will dole out some “free” advice on this books to me but it could be worth a shot.

@WestRiverrat – Thanks for the donation idea!

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