Finding the Value of Encyclopedia Britannica Encyclopedias

Category Books
Sets of these often updated reference books are not as useful as they used to be, since the advent of the computer. This page is about finding the value of Encyclopedia Britannica encyclopedias.
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December 2, 2014

Hi, for everyone asking questions as to the value of Encyclopaedia Britannica sets, the basic guideline is that the 1st up until the 8th Editions have great collector values, defined by condition. The 9th and 10th Editions are so numerous that they are of small value; up to maybe $3-500 in good condition. Anything after the 11th, 12th, 13th (1910-1928) is basically worthless.

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What is the value of 19 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th Edition?

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January 23, 20200 found this helpful
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There are a lot of these books out there. Only the ones that are over 100 years go for a fare price.

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This set only going between $25 and $35. Try auction/bid for better price and collector/buyer!

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January 23, 20200 found this helpful
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Hi! Was this set originally a 24 volume set?

I see the 24 volume sets selling on eBay rather consistently in the 100 range + shipping. The higher value ones are "free" shipping, which means the seller pays the price to because he/she pays for shipping.

The blue/white cover is different than many I have seen, so I am not sure if that will change the value.

There is a slight resurgence in all encyclopedia in a few markets, from my research.

1. is that there are some nursing homes that like to have sets on hand for their residents.

2. Junk journal and collage artists like them for tearing out pages and using them in their projects.

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3. Home schooling parents are starting to be interested in them again to keep the kids off the screens and to teach reading skills.

Perhaps you could tap one of these markets and get yours sold!

Post back with an update!

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January 24, 20200 found this helpful
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Selling an incomplete set is usually more difficult than when you have a full set but some sellers try their hand at individual volumes.
Most of these are listed at less than $10 plus shipping and are usually very slow selling - but they do occasionally sell.

Your pictures look like your books may be in pretty good condition and that is a plus. You might try listing them on eBay with several pictures and good description of which volumes you have.

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Shipping is always a problem due to the size and weight you will probably have to ship in 2 boxes so be sure of the shipping cost before listing. These can be shipped media mail so shipping is not very high.
If there is anything of real interest in any of your books - like maps or pictures - be sure to state that and pictures also as these are used for different projects.
You can start your set at a higher price and offer 'best offer' just to see what the market is for an incomplete set.

You might also try some local venues - Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, LetGo, OfferUp are some popular sites. Post at a higher price and reduce it if no one shows any interest. This way you can also have local pick up so no shipping involved.

Check out Britannica on eBay so you can get an idea of the best way to list your set.

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People still buy encyclopedias and a large majority sell for good money.
So - Just don't give up without trying some of the suggestions provided.
Remember - nothing ventured - nothing gained.
Good luck...

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January 17, 2020

I recently found a complete set of 1900 Encyclopedia Britannica. Does anyone know what they are worth?

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January 17, 20200 found this helpful
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A person is asking $349 on eBau for a set from 1911. The value of your books is determined by the condition of the book plus the supply and demand.

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I would recommend seeking the help of an auction house to sell the books for you. You will probably get a better price like this for your set plus they can tell you how much they are actually worth.

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January 18, 20200 found this helpful
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I can find very little information about a 1900 edition except that it is one (maybe first) edition of the Americanized version with full contents of the the previous 9th edition.
Your books look to be in very bad condition (just looking at the pictures) so I do not believe a collector would be interested and they are usually the people who pay the big money.

I would just suggest you list them on several local venues like Craigslist, LetGo, OfferUp, etc and have them as pick up only so a potential buyer could see the actual books.
You will need good pictures but you can start your price high and lower it is no one seems interested.

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January 18, 20200 found this helpful
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I have tried researching these before and like cybergrannie, come up empty handed. As amazing as Google and all of the analog resources are, they are not perfect and sometimes the especially old items get lost in some gray area of knowledge.

So that said, my best suggestion is to try to call Abe's Books at 1-800-315-5335 and see how much it would cost if you were to purchase this set from them (they don't have it for sale that I can see, but I would hope they could ballpark it for you. That would give you an approximate retail value (I find their prices a tad high, but ball park is good).

You can then use that price to start yours knowing that as a person you most likely won't fetch retail for them; most likely you will get 25-50% of retail depending on where you are located and how bad someone wants them.

One thing I can tell you is that because of the age and that they should be out of copyright, there are junk journal artists who may want to get their hands on one or more volumes. They will tear them apart and use them for art. Some find that blasphemous. I personally think it is awesome because the alternative is often the landfill, burn pile or if you are lucky, being recycled (which if that was all the time would be awesome, but it often is not the option).

If you are on Facebook, look at the group junk journal junkies boutique. You can join this group and then post them for sale--I would do one or two volumes at a time for a set price.

People can pay through Paypal and in most cases the cost includes shipping, just be sure your price is high enough to cover shipping and leave a few bucks for profit and paypal fees. US media mail if you are US is the least expensive method to ship.

I hope you do well with them!! They are neat!

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September 30, 2013

I have an Encyclopaedia Britannica published in 1963. It also has a complementary bible and two year books as added extras. It is in its original bookcase. Is it worth any money or collecting?

By J. Scott

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February 2, 2020

Anyone know if these have any value?

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February 2, 20200 found this helpful
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These books are only valuable to collectors, because they are under 100 years old . You may get $50 for the set. Try auction/bid for a better price!

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January 1, 2018

Is there any value or worth to the 50th anniversary edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica?

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Anonymous
January 2, 20180 found this helpful
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Thank you, the set just sold for $500.00

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May 26, 2020

I have vintage set of the Encyclopedia Brittanica purchased in the early 1970s. It is in good condition with a bookcase. Some Encyclopedia Brittanica yearbooks are available as well. the bookcase is a little rough, but in decent condition since it is nearly 50 years old.

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November 28, 2019

I have just four volumes, leather bound, of the 1881 IX edition. Do they have any value?

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November 29, 20190 found this helpful
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If it is truly from 1881, it is an antique. It would be worth more if you had the complete set. Go see a dealer.

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November 29, 20190 found this helpful
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Normally collectors will want the complete set of books for their collections. However, it can be possible that a person will buy just 4 volumes of the set. The price you will receive will greatly depend on the condition of the books, the cover, and which volumes you do have. it is hard to give you an accurate quote on the informatoin you supplied here. I would suggest contacting a book selerl who specializes in antiuqe books and have them help you out.

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November 2, 2017

We have the whole set, 1974 Britannica Encyclopedias 1-23 and Index, which was handed to us. I am wanting to know how much they would be worth.

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November 3, 20170 found this helpful
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Encyclopedias that are +100 years old are valuable to collectors as long as they are in good condition. Depending on the year of the book, condition of the cover and pages will determine the price. However, encyclopedia that only date back to 1974 have no value whatsoever.

If you try to donate the books to a school, library, or thrift store, they won't accept them. These institutions receive so many encyclopedias that they normally end up sending them to a paper recycle center. Selling the books online will prove rather expensive when you try to ship them to the buyer.

Your best bet is to put these out at a yard sale and see if anyone would like to buy them from you. If the books are nicely illustrated, a few crafters will take the books to make crafts with them.

It is very hard to get rid of these books because they have no real value to people. All the information is readily available online and people no longer need these types of reference books.

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November 30, 2015

I have volume 13 of a set Encyclopedia Britannica, copyright 1948. It is in n perfect condition. What would it be worth?

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November 30, 20150 found this helpful
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Many people have old books they think are valuable and would like to sell. Most old dictionaries, references etc., have very little value-a few dollars at most. Encyclopedias dated after 1923 are essentially worthless but crafters may be interested for the old pictures. Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc., receive donations of tons of old encyclopedias but send them to recycling centers or dumps as they cannot use or sell them.

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November 1, 2012

We found in prime condition some Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 3 1768, publisher William Benton. The only problem is there is not a complete set. These are beautiful books; they look like they have never been used. How much would these books be worth, considering they are not a full set?

By Dianna L.

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May 31, 20131 found this helpful

Hi, please let me know if you still have the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1st Edition volume 3 that you mentioned in your post. You can email me at mrmima AT yahoo.de

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March 18, 2020

I have the 30 volume set in great condition.

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November 17, 2019

Are there buyers for a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, Ninth Edition, 1892? What is its value?

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November 18, 20190 found this helpful
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All books or sets of books that are +100 years of age have a value to a book collector and they can be sold. Now the second part is how much? This depends on the condition of the book, the cover, and the pages. Most times a person can make a couple of hundred dollars on a set of books like this and other times it can be much higher. You really need to see a auction house to find out the real value of this item.

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November 28, 2019

I am looking to see if someone would know the value of a complete set of 1909 Encyclopedia Britannica. It is in very good shape.

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November 29, 20190 found this helpful
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Your books are 110 years old which means they have a unique value for book collectors. These types of books are sought after and collectors are always looking for a set that is in good condition. When you search online you can see people are asking between $300 to $600 for a set. However, the best way to find out the true value if you are interested in selling them is through an auction house that specializes in antique book sales.

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April 2, 2018

I am trying to determine the value of a full set of 1944 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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April 3, 20180 found this helpful
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Great books but the value is low and only a few years/editions are selling for very much money.

  • Generally, age of books mean the value increases but this is not usually the case with encyclopedias.
  • As a rule encyclopedias were purchased for a family seeking to give their children an advantage by having "research" books right at their fingertips but the Internet has made information so easily available that students much prefer this media.
  • Your 1944 set is not one of the sought after editions and you will probably have a difficult time selling it even a low price.
  • Here is one set listed on eBay that has been listed a long time but will most likely never sell. The price has been reduced several times. One problem with this set is 2 volumes are missing and high shipping cost.
  • www.ebay.com/.../142730402301?hash=item213b6519fd...
  • Shipping is always expensive and very difficult for someone to pack.
  • If you are interested in selling your set you might want to list it on your local Craigslist as you can ask any starting price and if no one shows an interest you can lower the price. This way there is no shipping involved.
  • Here is a typical listing in a "local" auction.
  • ocala4sale.com/.../

You may be able to sell your set for some money but if not, you can try donating to your local library book sales. Sometimes it is even difficult to donate these sets free as they have a hard time selling them also.

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