Monday, March 19


19 March 2007 - 13:25

Apart from Ebay, the other place to look for collectable books or in fact books of any kind is AbeBooks. They have over 80 million books on offer from dealers all around the world. They also have a search system which will find you just about whatever you're looking for, provided it exists.

Also, as AbeBooks is the recognized online market leader you can get a good idea if the price you see on Ebay is a good price or not and how high you should go in your bidding. I have seen people buy books on Ebay that they could buy cheaper on AbeBooks! Bear in mind however that AbeBooks is a good reference source and also a good place for finding books you may not be able to find elsewhere, but, despite the odd exception as mentioned above, the prices tend to be higher than on Ebay. Some of the prices being asked are in fact outrageous, given that you can buy the same book for half the price or less with another seller.

If, for example, you do a search on signed first editions of Eragon by Christopher Paolini (the original first edition published by Paolini) - there are currently 15 copies on offer, with prices ranging from 9,000 USD down to 1,250 USD - quite a difference! Clearly the condition of the books may not be the same in all cases, so you need to look closely at the details to see which book represents the best deal and at the same time don't forget to check out prices on EBay.

It is also sometimes possible to find a book on AbeBooks which is being sold for less than the prices currently being paid on Ebay. This is because some books on Ebay tend to be 'flavour of the month' and you sometimes get a bandwagon or 'me too' effect which drives the prices higher.

So all in all AbeBooks is an excellent starting point for research into prices and information to enable you to spot genuine first editions and distinguish them from the 'imaginative' first editions you sometimes find on Ebay.

If you have a lot of books of your own for sale, ABE could also be a good place to list them, although you will need to take a close look at their costs/commissions structure.
Where over 80 million new, used, rare, out-of-print books are just a click
away, online @

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