Value of Encyclopedia Britannica

I have a complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica in its original bookcase. This set is the 200th Anniversary Edition. Are these worth anything?


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July 12, 20180 found this helpful

They usually dont unless they are over 100 years old

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July 12, 20180 found this helpful

One just sold on eBay recently for $265.95 + $37.85 (see if this set matches yours so you can get an apples to apples idea of exact value of the books only since this ad says nothing about a case):

There is a CURRENT auction you may want to set up a watch on this auction as it DOES mention the case and see what it sells for and how much:

It is important to remember when valuing something ONLY use sold auctions. Sold tells you what people actually pay, not what the seller wants for the item.


What people pay in today's world is the value.

While it is probably the way to the best money for them, I will tell you selling them on eBay is not for the faint of heart because as you know, they are super heavy and you have to get them packaged up carefully and haul them down to the PO to ship them.

If you go this route, you may want to consider local pick up only OR be sure you weigh them in the boxes, wrapped and measure the box exactly, so you don't get cheated on shipping charges (meaning the buyer doesn't pay enough and you have to foot the bill).

Hope this helps you get started with valuing your set.

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July 16, 20180 found this helpful

There are several different 200th edition sets available so no one can really supply a value since we do not know what binding or which set you have.

  • The only suggestion I would have would be for you to check the 200th edition sets now listed on eBay and find out if there are any matches to your set.
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  • If you find a match you can follow that listing to see if it sells (watch list) and you can check to see if there are any matches to your set under sold listings. The sold listings are your sometimes true value as it means that someone actually paid that price for that set.
  • The big problem with all of this is there are such wide differences on what is listed and also the up and down of what is sold.
  • As a general rule, sets like this are very slow sellers and some sellers keep sets listed for months and months (even years) on eBay and sometimes on Amazon and Abe's Books. Some never sell (one seller told me he had books/sets listed as long as 4 years and never sold).
  • Here is what is currently listed on eBay so check for your set:
  • Here is what has sold over the past several months so check for your set:
  • Here is an auction where a set sold in 2016 (prices do not change very much):
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  • Here is some information from a few years ago:
  • It shows that value for insurance purposes and resale value have a wide range. Retail may be only 40% of "insurance" value.
  • Shipping set, especially with a bookcase can be very expensive as it may take 3-4 boxes (and case may have to go FedEx or USP) so should you decide to sell your set be very careful with how you charge shipping (maybe pick up only) would be best.
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August 23, 20180 found this helpful

short answer is you probably can't get much for them now but to me they are worth holding on to and i expect books may appreciate in value again

people neg on book values because internet and because there really are too many floating around out there, like those everpresent 'collectible' porcelain dolls


the only difference between those dolls and other doodads and things like encyclopedias is that encyclopedias have actual knowledge and utility attached to them - and thus will always have an inherent value, especially for those with less internet access.

I was lucky enough to sell a whole set for close to $1000 5 years ago - and it wasn't even an antique, but a semi recent edition from the 90's.

so saying there probably aren't a lot of buyers right now which is why you see the whole thing going for $22 or $75 elsewhere

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