Value of Compton's Pictured Encyclopedias 1939

I have a set of Compton's Pictured Encyclopedias, copyright 1939 in very good condition. Are they worth anything?

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March 19, 20200 found this helpful

Because your set is under 100 years, they do not bring in much. On ebay here is a idea of the price. www.ebay.com/.../bn_7024731357 of many sets. You could try auction/bid for a better price !

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March 20, 20200 found this helpful

They are not worth much a no one want them.You can loo on E-Bay.

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March 20, 20200 found this helpful

Is there a photo of them that you can post--front cover, spine, and inside page with all of the details?

I can't offer any specific guidance without seeing exactly what you have. There are too many variables and this isn't enough info to help give you a value on them. Also where are you located and how did you plan on trying to sell them?

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Values are regional so that can help me point you in more specific directions.

I can offer some general guidance from being a long time reseller.

Age has very little to do with a books sell-ability. It is all about supply and demand, condition, and marketing.

The age factor--There are very old things that have a huge value because there is a huge demand for them and a low supply. There are very old things that have no value and no demand, and there are lots of places in between. Without knowing what you have, I can't place you in the right category.

Condition is critical. You say your books are in very good condition, but that tells me nothing, as condition is subjective. My very good could be a rare book collector's poor. I am not saying this to be disrespectful, but to help you understand the best thing to do when you figure out how to sell them. Early in my career I was burned by using terms--so I learned this strategy...I don't tell them condition, I tell them what I see...which would be answering some of these questions....and letting them decide:

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--are there any places where the pages are tanned or totally brown?
--are the spines intact or starting to crack?
--are there any bent corners or torn or missing pages?
--is there any smell to the books?
--are there any stains on the covers?
--do you have every book in the series or is one missing and which one?
--how has the book been stored...was it in a basement or garage, or in a clean, dry bookcase in the living areas of the house?
--is there any fading to the covers?

Even one of these factors can turn very good into fair quickly so you solve that by just giving a good description for the potential buyer.

Marketing old books, especially those with interesting photos often have some value because artists like to craft with them. If you are not familiar with the term Junk Journaling, check it out. This may be where you market your books.

I have found in some cases tearing the books apart and grouping like pages together will sell the pieces much faster and for much more than trying to sell them as whole.

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You can explore this by looking at the values that paper ephemera is going for on eBay (look at sold prices) and on Etsy (can't look at sold, but you can see what people are asking which tells you what SELLERS think they are worth...not necessarily the actual value--but it is a starting point).

My last piece of general guidance is now is not the time to try selling anything. My eBay sales have been flat for a month with the COVID-19 situation. People are holding on to their money and don't want packages coming in from somewhere else.

This is the time to gather info and then hold until the world settles.

Post back with more info and I can see if I can help you with the value as a whole! Thanks!

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