Finding the Value of World Book Encyclopedias?

Category Books
Old reference books such as encyclopedias may have some resale or collector's value. This is a page about finding the value of World Book encyclopedias.
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January 14, 2015

I have a set of World Book Dictionaries (24 volumes). The copyright is 1988. Is there any value for these?

By heli

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January 14, 20151 found this helpful
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Most old dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc., have very little value-a few dollars at most. You can check online for old book collectors, on Craigslist and other retail sites for possibilities. Everything is now online and updated constantly.

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January 14, 20150 found this helpful
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A lot of people see these on Ebay for $100 to $200 and get excited. But that's just the price they're listed at. That doesn't mean they actually sell for that. They don't.

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Most old Encyclopedias, with the exception of something extremely rare, aren't worth the cost of shipping them to a buyer.

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Does anyone know please the approximate value of 1948 era The World Book Encyclopedia set in decent condition? I believe one volume is missing.
Thank you in advance.

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March 20, 20181 found this helpful
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Only a few years/sets of any brand of encyclopedias are valuable and most of those are newer sets. Older sets are many times even difficult to give away because they are difficult for even thrift stores to sell.

  • A "set" with one book missing is even less valuable but some sellers do list them by single books for $8-$15. Most never sell.
  • There is no era - only a last publishing date for the set.
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  • Here are all of the encyclopedias listed on eBay (world Book) and Etsy (all brands). You can go through and see how they are listed and selling (this is all brands - not just World Book).
  • www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_nkw=encyclopedia+world+book...
  • www.etsy.com/.../encyclopedia_set
  • Here is a set of 1948 World Book that sold in 2016.
  • www.ebth.com/.../4743996-1948-the-world-book-encyclopedia...
  • You might try listing your set on Craigslist so there would be no shipping costs.
  • You can ask whatever price you wish and just reduce the price if no one shows an interest.
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February 24, 2018

I have a complete set of the 1992 World Book Encyclopedia. What is its value?

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February 26, 20180 found this helpful
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All the information contained in these books is old and outdated. The books are now online and updated all the time.

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If the books were published in 1902 instead of 1992 they would be worth something today. %Right now you just have a set of old books that is outdated that you might be able to sell for $25 locally.

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March 17, 2013

I have the entire set of 1973 World Book encyclopedias. What might they be worth if I were to sell them?

By Lisa V. from Lake Worth, FL

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March 18, 20130 found this helpful

We get asked this question very regularly. Unfortunately, there are a glut of these types of encyclopedias. Unless they are very old or rare, they are pretty much impossible to sell. You might consider donating them to a school or retirement home as sometimes people use books for art or craft projects.

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Good Luck.

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March 19, 20130 found this helpful

Jess is right... I couldn't even sell a set of 1932 books I had at one time.

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March 19, 20130 found this helpful

I don't think they have any real value in this new technical world. First of all, there would be many subjects that are missing new information. History would not be up to date. nor medicine, just to name a couple. And with computers in almost every home, the current information is available in an instant, no matter what the subject is. I had a set from 1973 at one time. I am so glad that I sold them as soon as my children were out of school. I kept the 2 volume dictionary, and still use it today, but so glad that I don't have the rest of the set packed away somewhere.

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Harlean from Arkansas

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March 19, 20130 found this helpful

They have no value at all as encyclopedia. You may find someone who can give them to for some sort of craft. Some people carve into them and make sculptures out of such books. Some people use them as lamp bases. However, no one is going to pay for them. Advertise them to give away on Kijii or freecycle or something like that.

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February 20, 2018

I have an ex-library set of 22 volumes of the 2014 World Book in excellent condition. How can a non-profit group market the set to make the most money for a public library?

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February 23, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you Google 2014 World Book Encyclopedia you will most likely find that asking prices run from $100 to $500 but you may not find what any of these actually sold for.

  • The fact they are ex-library does reduce the value but if they are still in very good condition, then you may still be able to ask $100-$300.
  • These sets are difficult to sell so do not expect any fast results no matter where you list them for sale.
  • Since you are working with a non-profit you may want to try listing on your local Craigslist as anyone interested could see the books and there would be no shipping involved.
  • If you list them, you could start your price higher ($450) and see if you receive any calls. If no interest is shown then you can reduce the price until they sell.
  • Craigslist is easy to use and mostly free where other on-line sites may pose a stiff learning curve unless you are already listing other items.
  • Here is a link to present listings on eBay that will give you an idea as to seller's asking prices. Bear in mind that many of these sellers will keep relisting their items for many, many months or even years.
  • www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p4840.m570...
  • Here is a link to sets presently offered on Amazon.
  • www.amazon.com/.../ref=tmm_hrd_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition... (Affiliate Link)
  • The following link will show you sets that actually sold on eBay in the past few months.
  • www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=2014...
  • Here is link to the World Book web site that has a brand new 2014 set listed $299.
  • www.worldbook.com/World-Book-Encyclopedia-2014

I listed the links so you can see that placing a value on a set like this is not an easy task as the true value is what someone will pay.
I hope you can realize a nice price as libraries are always in need of extra funds.

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August 1, 2017

I have the 1964 set of World Book encyclopedias with study guide. It is time to let them go are they worth anything?

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March 20, 2017

I have a set of World Book encyclopedias from around 1959 and a set from around 1980. What would be their value to sell?

Thank you.

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I have two questions about two encyclopedias that I have. I have one that has the World Book B 2, copyright 1979 and the other one that I have is the Encyclopedia Americana volume 14, Hawaii to Index of Refraction. It has a map when you open it and then copyright is 1952, but it also has other copyrights 1957, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1932 and it goes on and goes on. I need to know the value.

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December 18, 20160 found this helpful

Antique and vintage items are only worth what people are prepared to pay. Your best bet is to see if anyone is selling, or even better, has sold, anything similar on Ebay. Your books are not really that old. I have antique books, including books that are about 200 years old that are no more valuable than any modern second hand book. It is possible that you may be lucky enough to have a rare book in your hands, but sadly unlikely. You need to go see a real expert in person

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December 21, 20160 found this helpful

Those books are not old enough to have any great value. With the internet, info is so easy to get on any topic, which makes encyclopedias outdated and not worth much. Except maybe to someone who doesn't have access to the internet. Even so, the books have outdated info for the most part.

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December 24, 20160 found this helpful

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, dictionaries and reference books but send them to recycling centers or dumps as they cannot use or sell them.
You can check online for old book collectors, on EBay, Craigs List and other retail sites for possibilities. Everything is now online and updated constantly so old books are just that-old.

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February 15, 2019

I have a nice set of 1958 World Book encyclopedias with the updates for years to follow. Are they valuable or should I try to take them to Goodwill?

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June 14, 2013

I have a complete set of 1968 World Book encyclopedias. How much are they worth today? They are in good condition.

By Lynette C from North Brunswick, NJ

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June 15, 20130 found this helpful

Encyclopedia sets don't have much value. Usually nobody will buy them. Maybe your local recycling company would recycle them.

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October 28, 2019

How can I get rid of or donate a like brand new set of encyclopedias I brought I believe in 1987. I also have the year in review beginning in 1988 to I believe 1995. It has some other sets that go with it. They are basically new. My children never used it for school work only to look up information. Most volumes haven't even been opened.

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October 22, 2017

I am curious. I have 1972 World Book encyclopedia collection of 228. I am wondering if there is any value. They are in great condition.

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June 15, 2017

I have an old set of World Book Encyclopedias copyright 1933. Can anyone tell me what it might be worth?

I also have an old set of McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology 7th edition 1992. Can anyone tell me what this might be worth also?

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August 16, 2016

What is the value of a set of 1972 "The World Book" Encyclopedias? I have the entire 21 volume set, including 20 book volumes plus (1) 1972 Year Book.
It is in excellent condition.

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August 17, 20160 found this helpful

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, dictionaries and reference books but send them to recycling centers or dumps as they cannot use or sell them.

You can check online for old book collectors, on EBay, Craigs List and other retail sites for possibilities. Everything is now online and updated constantly so old books are just that-old.
*

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August 9, 2016

How much would a 1929 World Book Encyclopedia set be worth? It is a 10 book set in excellent condition.

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August 9, 20160 found this helpful

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, dictionaries and reference books but send them to recycling centers or dumps as they cannot use or sell them.

You can check online for old book collectors, on EBay, Craigs List and other retail sites for possibilities. Everything is now online and updated constantly so old books are just that-old.

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March 27, 2012

I have a full set of World Book Encyclopedias, copyright 1979. They are in excellent condition. How much would they sell for and where can I sell them?

I also have a full set of Young Students Encyclopedias, copyright 1977. These are showing a bit of yellowing from age, but otherwise are in good condition. How much would they sell for and where can I sell them?

By jenj

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March 27, 20120 found this helpful

Your best bet is to recycle them. No one can sell, give away, donate or dump-and-run a set of encyclopedias these days.

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March 28, 20120 found this helpful

Sorry...with the unlimited knowledge available on the internet, they're nothing but a 'door stop'... recycle.

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