Consignment and Purchasing
In addition to purchasing single titles to entire collections, we have customers that like to put their items on consignment.
As such, we will happily do this and following is the procedure:
- Contact us first with what it is you want to consign (we need a complete list of titles, author, state, condition of book, dustjacket, slipcase and/or traycase and what price you would like to get. Also, if the book has any inscription at all, we need to know that)
- We will e-mail you back with any questions and once we have agreed upon everything, we can move to the next step
- We do need to have the books in hand, which means that they will need to be shipped to us and you will need to cover the shipping costs, but DO NOT ship anything until we have agreed upon what we will do
- Once we have the books in hand, we will do up a newsletter listing them
- Put them on our website
- Once the book sells, we handle all the financial transaction and shipping
- When we have been advised by the customer that they book has been received and approved, we will make payment which can be either:
- Business check
- PayPal (just realize that you will be hit with PayPal charges on your end)
- Leave as Store Credit
Following is a breakdown of our consingment fees:
- We will not take anything that is priced $25.00 and under to sell
- Books priced, and sold, at $25.00 to $50.00 - 40%
- Books priced, and sold, at $50.01 to $100.00 - 35%
- Books priced, and sold, at $100.01 to $500.00 - 25%
- Books priced, and sold, at $500.01 and over - 20%
- the above refers to single titles, you cannot lump several titles together to reach the $500.01 level
Our policy on purchasing and trading books from and with our customers:
If you have been directed to this page it means that you have inquired as to whether we buy or trade books. The answer is yes! If you have the types of books you find on our website, that are in “as new” condition, (with a few exceptions of very early 1st edition books) we are interested. If you have a limited edition that is not “as new” we are not interested, it simply takes too long to describe the defects and our customers know we do our best to only offer the cleanest copies available, sometimes they have bumps, foxing or rubbing and we always try our best to describe it.
The next question is what will we pay for them? Before making any quote we like to explain our business philosophy to you so that you understand how we come up with our pricing. Keep in mind this is our philosophy and business practice, I’m not saying they are right, I just know they work for us. We’ve built three successful businesses over the last 40+ years, they have made us very comfortable and book dealing is where we are going to end it, our inventory is our 401K and we will continue buying and selling for as long as our health will allow us to. What that means is, while we have a substantial amount of money available to us to purchase inventory, it has to make sense in doing so, in addition it also means we are not in a hurry to sell most items, as long as the return on our investment is more than we will make on the money in the bank, we are ahead of the game, so that is why we only offer “Sales” once a year, do not generally discount titles we publish, and unless you are looking at dropping tens of thousands of dollars in a purchase, we don’t negotiate prices!
Now back to buying. As we see it there are three prices when buying and selling:
- What someone is willing to pay for something they don’t necessarily want or need.
- What someone is willing to pay for something they are looking for.
- What someone is willing to sell certain, very rare books or sets of books for, and in doing so they won’t feel bad when it does go out the door.
As to #1, we have found that if you go on ABE Books, pick the lowest price, for a comparable book, and reduce that by 30% you can generally sell a book because there are enough people out there that see the title, see it is a good deal, and if they don’t have it, but it fits within their genre, they figure they will buy it. We discovered this a few years ago when we offered for sale the largest collection of books we had ever acquired at one time, an estate of over 1000 significant titles. We consistently started titles at the lowest comparable price and began lowering them in an effort to move the books for the estate, and once they hit that magic 30% off mark a significant number sold, not all but enough to make us begin looking closer at this correlation. As such we have to buy to be able to sell them at this price, or less, when and if we chose to “move them quickly.” I say, or less, because not all titles will sell, some are just too plentiful on the market, or we have many in back up stock, and simply do not want to add another to the pile knowing it make take years to sell, unless we can get it cheap.
#2 and this is the price we generally set out of print titles at (in print are priced at published price or below, when they go out of print, supply and demand take over, what someone who is specifically looking for a particular title is willing to pay for the book, not everyone, those people who really want it and are willing to pay a to get it.
And finally, #3, in some really rare situations, and believe it or not we have quite a few titles that fall within this category that generally consists of books that you simply do not find for sale anywhere and/or titles that rarely come up for sale. The best way to describe this price is as a book dealer described it to us many years ago, you price it so that if it goes out the door you won’t feel bad!
So when buying you can figure, except with certain titles or authors, for instance Ice and Fire limited editions, Stephen King limited editions, that we will pay about 30-40% of the price listed under #1 and will list it based upon #1 if we have a lot of them or #2 if not. Our hope is to at least double our money on the generic titles, why, simple, overhead, rent, electricity shipping supplies (we spend hundreds of dollars every week on boxes, labels and packing material, website maintenance, etc.) When buying anything falling within #3, it is a whole other ball game. King limiteds for instance we will generally pay 60-70% of the current going price, and a good place to figure that, is the stephenkingcollector.com. And while you can get 80% by putting King titles on consignment, that is time consuming and we pay immediately upon receipt and verification of condition when we buy!
Now you may say that you want more that 30-40% of 30% off ABE prices, you have a number of options
Try selling them on e-bay yourself, you pay the overhead and you take the chances; or
Let us sell them on consignment, in doing so you must keep in mind
- We’ll price the books whatever you want, within reason, we have to believe there will be some opportunity to actually sell them within a reasonable amount of time.
- We need the books in hand, most people don’t want to wait for a book once they decide to buy it.
- For the more expensive books consider allowing the purchaser to put it on lay-a-way.
- And finally for generic limited editions whose published price is in the $30-$40 price range, don’t bother, especially if we have them in stock, we’ll generally pay $10 a piece for most of them and by the time you price it where it will bring any attention and possibly sell and we take our cut you are only going to end up with about $10 anyway!
Our most recent exmple of packing, below are two boxes received the same day, one from Subterranean Press the other containing about $1000 worth of books, one of five boxes, that contained books we were going to buy from a customer. . The other four boxes are being refused, this box is going to be sealed up and returned the the seller, we cannot harp on this enough, if the books come in damaged, which they will surely do if not packed properly we don't want them! FYI, the few books we did look at in this box had bumped cornders, frayed jacket edges, torn cloth on slipcases, etc.
First Picture: Top of box when opened
Second Picture: Top of box with first layer of packing remove, books packed end ot end, sideways, some in plastic bags some not, all rubbing against one another.
Note when shipping books to us, we are receiving a lot of damaged books, please see two examples below, one the books arrived in perfect shape, the other $1200 worth of books were damaged! See if you can figure out which one is which!
Double walled with plenty of packing vs single walled even with an inner box, which was split by the way, with little or no packing! We're not saying you have to spend the money for double walled boxes, but don't leave any free space in a box for the books to move around!
Just another example of what we get sometimes, yes 90% of the books in this box were damaged!
While the books were nicely put in bubble wrap, they were set on the bottom of the box, edge to edge with some craft paper put as packing material on top of them. If it were a double walled box, maybe but a regular box with nothing inside giving it some strenght, it is going to be crushed and books resting on the bottom, sides or even the top of a singled walled box, especially large heavy ones will reflect each and every ding the box takes.