Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
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.
By carol from Beverly, MA
Almost every day someone asks the value of a set of encyclopedias. Every day the answer is nothing. There is a reason for this. Information in a set of encyclopedias is almost instantly outdated. Names of countries change.
I already intered a suggestion as to saving the pictures in these books. Some of them are of places as they were years ago or of places that no longer exist. They can be used for art projects. Someone suggested hollowing several of them out to keep valuables in. No one is going to steal these books.
I also thought that if you have friends or family members who appreciate a good joke you could give them wrapped version of the book with has their initial in it then when they open it there could be a nice gift inside or an envelope of money.
I took my 1955 World Book encyclopedia set to Half Price Books in the Dallas area. They buy books but said all they could do for me was to recycle them.
If you're having trouble finding a home for your set, call up your local theater company. Mine was more than happy to take one of my old encyclopedia sets to use as stage decoration, and they sent me a thank you letter that I could use for filing the donation as a tax deduction.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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.
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:
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!!
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.
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.
By JoAnn B.
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.
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.
By brickcity from Syracuse, NY
Do you still have this item? I'll pay you $50 for it shipped.
How much would I get for a set of Compton's encyclopedias?
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.
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.