Selling Old Encyclopedias

Unfortunately old sets of encyclopedias typically don't have much value, they have become dated. Some crafters might be interested for using them to make altered books or for decoupage projects. This is a page about selling old encyclopedias.
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For over a year I have tried selling an encyclopedia set that is in pristine condition on Craigslist. I have even seen ads where people are giving away their encyclopedias for FREE. Due to the internet there is nothing that you can't find that isn't in the encyclopedia except the photos. However, they like other books, seem to be a thing of the past. It really is a shame.

Unfortunately I have to downsize and one of the things I have to part with are my books, so the encyclopedias seem to be hanging around without any responses to purchase them. I will probably end up donating them if I can find someone who wants them. I guess the only value of encyclopedia is the sentimental value one has for them. I myself think it is a beautiful sight to see books lining a bookshelf.

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By carol from Beverly, MA

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Any ideas of what I may be able to sell these for, either individually or as sets? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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June 10, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

You will really have to research these books yourself as you have several years of each and no one can give you a really close value.

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Most are selling these separately but that may take a long time and probably not gain too much in the long run.

I would suggest you list them as a group but remember that you will have to pack and ship these so think about how many books to sell at one time.
These can ship USPS Media mail so shipping will not be super expensive but books are heavy and boxes tear up easily.

You can check eBay for each type of year book to see what others are asking but this is really just 'smoke' because only a sold item will tell current value and since you will not find the same books as yours that will be difficult.

Here are links to eBay Science and the Future to give you a hint about what sellers are asking for year books.

www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2334524...

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Here is the link to sold listings which can show what someone actually paid for some of these books.

www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=%22science...

You can also list books on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc and show them as pick up only with no shipping.
Always start with a higher price like $7-9 each and lower it if no one shows an interest (after at least 3-5 weeks).
It will probably take a long time to sell these no matter how you list them but show good pictures or they may not sell at all.

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June 10, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

This set of Encyclopedias will only at best $25 to $50 . They do not earn a large value. Only sets that are over 100 years old , bring in a fair amount of money in good condition.

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You could try auction/bid to see if you can get a better price, and selling locally to cut shipping cost!

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November 17, 2018

I have a set of the 1935 edition of the Book of Knowledge Children's encyclopedias. It is a full set including 20 volumes in 10 books. It's a 25yr anniversary edition done by Grolier. I'm trying to find out their value. They are in great condition.

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November 17, 20180 found this helpful

These are neat, but unfortunately these did not hold their value.

Now there are none of this exact match sold or unsold on eBay at the moment (SOLD are the only way to know today's market value), but you can see the others are all very low selling prices...if they sell:

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www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313...

I normally do not tell people values compared against like items....but in this case, the whole genre of these have taken a market hit and you can sell them, but the values will be low.

You may be better donating them and taking a tax credit, or using them to make crafts....which is one of my favorite things to look at on Pinterest...framed encyclopedia pages of neat things!!

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November 17, 20180 found this helpful

Unless they are 100 years old or more, they are probably not worth much. People get information online. Dictionaries and encyclopedias are going the way of dinosaurs.

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November 17, 20180 found this helpful

It is true that most sets like this are not selling for very much money and are usually very slow sellers but then, occasionally, a set will sell for $75-$125...but that is usually an exception and not the norm.

If you have these books in a convenient out of the way place then you might want to try listing them on one of your local sale sites. There are numerous places to list so check Google for sell sites with your zip code. I'm sure there is Craigslist, USA4Sale, OfferUp, LetGo and many more to choose from.

You can start your price at whatever you like - $150? - and lower it if you have no inquiries.
These listings are usually free and you can run them as long as you like so you might be able to leave them listed until the "right" person sees them.
Be sure to take several good pictures including the title page.

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July 22, 2019

I have an incomplete set of the New Werner Edition Encyclopedia Britannica dated 1903. The original set has 30 books. I have 27 books are all in very good condition with some cover wear on a couple books. The missing books are 13, 19, and 24. (Or XIII, XIX and XXIV). I need to sell them as I have no family to give them to.

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July 22, 20190 found this helpful

The missing books will decrease the value of the set. Go to several book dealers and see what they say.

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July 22, 20190 found this helpful

I see that you have your set listed on eBay for $350 with local pick up.

www.ebay.com/.../123846249445?hash=item1cd5cfcbe5...

I believe this is high but maybe someone in your area will be interested.
Since you have your set listed on eBay why not also list it on other sites like Craigslist, OfferUp, LetGo or Facebook Marketplace with local pick up?
More exposure and you can always reduce the price if no one shows an interest.

Just be sure to remove your listing from all sites it you sell your books.

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September 25, 2011

I have had this book for a long time and need to know how I can sell them. Thanks.

By JoAnn B.

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September 26, 20110 found this helpful

Unfortunately, most encyclopedia sets have very little monetary value. (Our library's annual book sale won't even take them, because they don't sell.) If you have a full set, you might do better to donate them to a school or youth program, and take the tax deduction.

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September 27, 20110 found this helpful

Most schools are not interested in old encyclopedias either. In my school, we toss out the old sets. Or try to use them for crafts or something.

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May 26, 2012

I am trying to sell my complete set of The Book of Knowledge, 1957, children's encyclopedia. It is the deluxe Mastercraft edition. Any advice?

By brickcity from Syracuse, NY

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September 5, 20130 found this helpful

Do you still have this item? I'll pay you $50 for it shipped.

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July 9, 2014

How much would I get for a set of Compton's encyclopedias?

By Maria

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June 4, 2013

I have a 20 book, full set of encyclopedias. They are in excellent condition, copyright of 1992, hardback. I'd like to know how much they are worth. Any help?

By Megan D.

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April 5, 2012

When my gran and I where cleaning out her bookcase we found 6 volumes of The New International Illustrated Encyclopaedia. We don't know if they are worth anything so any answers would be great.
Thanks.

By Alan

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