Advice for selling Biggles books

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mandy
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Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by mandy » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:17 am

Hello Biggles experts,

My father is wanting to sell his Biggles books and has asked me to help as he is not computer savvy or book selling savvy (and neither am I, really).
He has over a hundred books, although he has multiple copies of some titles. I've had a quick look through them and there are a variety of publishers and they are in various conditions - some very good, some not so. I have started to research publishers, editions etc online to get an idea about what to look for.

Basically, I am looking for some advice on the best way to go about it and where to sell.
Should we try to sell them as a group to an antiquarian bookshop? - this seems more convenient but less profitable (not that he is looking to make a lot of money from them).
Abe books appears to be for book selling businesses only. Is this correct?
What about Biblio? Has anyone used this for selling?
Ebay seems like a popular option but I don't have an online reputation on Ebay and I wondered if this would restrict my ability to sell there.

Where do most people purchase their books?

We live in Australia and would be happy to sell the books individually online and post if this is best way to do it.

I have attached a photo of a group of his books that are probably the oldest and rarest. No dust jackets unfortunately.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Many Thanks,

Mandy


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mandy
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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by mandy » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:21 am

Apologies - here is a bigger photo
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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by kylie_koyote » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:14 am

Hello and welcome!

I buy most of mine on eBay these days.

Where in Australia are you? RSG and OzB are in the greater Brisbane area and may be able to suggest bookshops where they have seen them for sale.

Archie is in the UK, but can help you figure out pricing. She does bookselling professionally.

I hope that helps.
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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by Sizzling Sausages » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:05 pm

You appear to have some valuable books there. The John Hamilton ones in particular are rare, but any early first editions or similar are of interest to people. Ebay might be your best bet - a low track record shouldn't matter to people who want to buy them.
For help working out which edition you've got, this site is worth its weight in gold:
http://www.biggles-online.com

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by Anticlockwise Prop » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:10 am

Hi Mandy,
Welcome to the Biggles forum. As Sizzling Sausages stated your small sample of books is very interesting and are of value. If I can be of any help please let me know. I live in Perth WA and travel extensively in the South West. I also know of some WE Johns collectors in Canberra and Victoria that are not members of the forum (and a couple that are members) and 1 in Tassie that can be of personal assistance if you think that may help.

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by Anticlockwise Prop » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:38 am

Sorry, in my previous post I did not answer a couple of your questions.

To the best of my knowledge both abebooks.com and biblio.com are for professional booksellers.

Selling them to an antiquarian bookshop is by far the most simplest method for yourself but as you have guessed it is by a long way the least profitable for you and your father.

Auction houses may be an option depending on what part of Australia you are in but their fees usually make them only a little better than a secondhand bookshop.

Selling them individually via e-bay will probably make you the most money in the long run but you have all the extra work of writing appropriate descriptions, creating the listings with photos etc and then eventually packing the books up and carting them down to the post office. Your lack of reputation on ebay should NOT make a difference but don’t make the mistake of listing them all at once as most bidders are on limited budgets and they won’t bid on multiple books (or give their highest possible bid) if there is a danger that they will win too many at once and then be left with a big bill. Only list 1 Hamilton at a time but with some lesser editions so that you are not listing the collection for a huge amount of time.

Collectors like the people on this forum purchase their books where ever they can find them. e-bay is a good source but lots of us have a great story about that ‘Find’ we made at the local secondhand shop/garage sale/car boot etc. IMHO the search for a new ‘find’ is half the fun.

Finally don’t be fooled by some of the high prices you see on ABE etc. Some of those books at higher prices have been listed for sale for years. When books are listed at the right price they quickly sell.

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by kylie_koyote » Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:39 pm

You should be able to get a couple hundred dollars apiece for the early Hamilton and Oxford books, obviously the most money for first editions.

I hope you do well selling them! I’m quite envious and wish my bank account extended enough to buy them all!
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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by mandy » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:43 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions so far.

We're east coast Australia - I'm on the Gold Coast and Dad is in Brisbane. I have only some of his books with me so I will need to go back now that I've done more research and check if he has any others of value. I recall he has quite a few Dean & Son, Regent Classics, Kingston Library so it may just be those in the photo I posted that are of value.

Anticlockwise Prop - thank you for the website link. Very helpful!
According to the info there "The Cruise Of The Condor" and "Biggles Flies North" are both true first editions. The others are all early reprints.
As you say, some books online seem to be priced high. I saw Cruise of the Condor priced at over AU$1500 and it was not the first edition. This seems very high so any assistance with realistic pricing would be greatly appreciated. (I can private message if that's better).

Kylie_Koyote - you suggested Archie? Is she contactable on this forum?

Of course, if anyone on this forum is interested or knows of anyone who may be interested in purchasing please private message me.

Again, many thanks for your help.

Mandy

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by mandy » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:45 pm

Sorry, and thank you to Sizzling Sausage for the website link!

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by Sizzling Sausages » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:56 pm

You're welcome! A first of Cruise of the Condor is a fine thing indeed. To be doubly sure, our own Dr Biggles's site is also a must. He's got a whole piece on this at:
http://www.biggles.info/Details/02/First%20Edition/
plus masses of other material besides.

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by Anticlockwise Prop » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:56 am

Sorry Sizzling Sausages for almost getting credit for your post of that link :lol: , I see Mandy has already corrected that error.

Yes Archie is on this forum. You will probably need to send a PM to establish contact.

Many of us can give you an idea of what titles to look at in more detail. Could I suggest that you take a group photo of the Spine of the books set up in a book case or in rows on the floor. Generally speaking the older the book the more expensive but there are some exceptions such as Deep Blue Sea which was one of the last titles published but its quite hard to find because there was only a small print run and now there are only limited numbers of them in good condition. Obviously any Biggles book published by John Hamilton is worth a close inspection.

From your photo Biggles Flies Again and Biggles Secret Agent could also be 1st editions but a closer examination is definitely required to determine the status.

The Spyflyers (titled Spy Flyers inside the book) could also be a 1st edition, there are at least 3 editions of that title. Sadly because its not a Biggles book it does not attract the price normally found against a Biggles book of that age. There is very little info online about identifying editions of that title

The Biggles & Co and Biggles Flies West in your photo are reprints but still worth a few $ if they retain all the illustrations and are in reasonable condition.

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by Anticlockwise Prop » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:28 am

I notice that the Cruise Of The Condor has been listed for sale on ebay Australia.

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by mandy » Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:10 am

Hello!

Sorry, I've been caught up with work and such and haven't been on the forum for a while.
We sold Cruise of the Condor through Ebay. Seemed like the best option to do it that way, and I will probably put some more of Dad's books up on Ebay before too long. I'm going to sort through the rest this weekend to see if there are any more gems so I'll post here if I find anything.

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Re: Advice for selling Biggles books

Post by Sizzling Sausages » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:46 am

I bought it! :D I was very surprised there were no other bidders, but I'm definitely not complaining about that either. :-)

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