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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

SELLING BOOK COLLECTIONS


bobpike
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I have Parkinson's and without  being morbid I  would like Pals' opinions on the best way to sell my collection when the time comes.

It is a significant collection of over 3000 primarily WW1 books some quite valuable.

I would like to sell them as s  collection rather than individually but is this the best way?

 Can you recommend bookdealers - I use Turner and Donovan .

Will dealers visit and value  one's collection free of charge?

I would value an members views and can provide a list 9n requesTtob

B
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Sorry for your condition. 3,000 is a lot of books, I hope you got enjoyment out of them.

Do you have a full list of you collection, annotated with the condition, and do you have an idea of what you want?

Tom of Turner Donovan has always been fair to me, and is one of the premier dealers, he gets the best prices too, for good conidition books.

If you sell individually the rare books will go easily and you will be left with the rump of the collection, I would suggest try and sell as a collection. 

Try not to sell at auction, its wholesale.

Some dealers will visit and value for free it you are close, they prefer to see an annotated list first.

Best of luck and my very best wishes.

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Just to confirm what Martin has said - Turner Donovan is by far the best. There’s Morton in Manchester but they’re a much smaller concern. Peter Harrington might give you a good price but they only deal with high end stuff i.e. rare firsts in jackets.

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Thank you for the advice, I have found Turner/Donovan very reliable over the years but I would welcome some opposition. opposition

  Bob 

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  • 1 month later...

Both Air Britain and Cross & Cockade have helped with the disposal of collections but the tendency is to eventually selling the books on an individual basis rather than as lots.

If giving consideration to breaking up your collection into lots then it might be worth considering a thematic approach? For example in line with some of the GWF categories such as 'War in the Air', 'War at Sea' and so forth. This would give you the opportunity to have the rare and valuable books linked to the plain vanilla local histories, war memorial volumes, etc, i.e. each Lot would still have an appeal to a specialist naval/military wholesaler but without leaving them with a massive volume of stock on their hands.

The Internet Archive has punctured the value of some of the older books in terms of readers' interest, though they've still value as artefacts. A similar issue has arisen in respect of reprints: what would've fetched £50-£75 might only have half that value if reprinted, though there are always buyers for first editions etc.

As someone who's moved house - and country - on more than one occasion I've had to be ruthless. Consequently I've enormous 'seller's remorse' on some of my disposals but equally I've often looked at my spreadsheets and wondered whether I'd ever really have looked at a particular work again. I suppose some memoirs lend themselves towards re-reading. In that regard you might well have a few in your collection which give you enjoyment beyond their monetary value. My instinct however would be to let everything go if you're attempting to dispose of a collection, as it'd be the combination of crown jewels and common/garden variety books that'd make grouping by lots a viable proposition. 

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Sorry to piggyback on this, but I am looking to get rid of about 40 books that my late father owned, from British Battles & Medals to Recipients of the DCM 1914-20 and one or two 9th Lancers books. There's also Forgotten Voices of the Great War. It'd be great to see them go to Forum pals. I can furnish a list. If anyone wants them all they're welcome to them, provided they can come and pick them up from Surrey. I have to confess there are one or two non-Great War titles on Mutiny, Boer War and Falklands!

Any interest?

Dom

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  • Admin

Probably best of you start a new thread in the Classified section listing each book.

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