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Mustlovebooks

Condition of Books

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Mustlovebooks

I just love all the books I list for sale. And I'm very honest when it comes to describing the condition of each book. If I list a book as being in a very good condition, it will have minimal wear on the cover and spine.

 

I know there are many opinions on the condition of second hand books, but I have purchased books that were described as being in a very good condition (without pics) and when they arrived, I was totally dismayed. I would have said they were fair, maybe good if I really had to stretch my imagination.

 

What is your opinion on accurate descriptions of book conditions? I always add a scan of the actual book as image and if I look at some other listings, I think I'm way off base. Or aren't I? :unsure:

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booksallsizes

I must say that I totally trust your descriptions. If you say a book is very good, then it is usually even better than very good!

 

I am also very careful with descriptions because I know what sort of quality I would expect when someone says a book is very good. But quality is subjective - I have also been a bit upset when books have arrived not in as good a condition as I was led to believe. You kind of get to know who describes books accurately to your standards. Unfortunately this does mean receiving less than up to scratch books from time to time.

I usually try and take quite a few photos - this makes listing take a bit longer but it makes me feel a bit better that the buyer can actually see a book's condition along with a description. With the average softcover novel - I don't bother with too many photo's unless there are some major flaws. But with collectibles I think it's nice for a buyer to see as much as they can before they buy. And I also tend to be on the more negative side of describing - so much so that a lot of buyers have said that the books were better than they thought from my descriptions...

 

But, as I say, I think quality on second hand books tends to be subjective - I've bought from overseas sites a few times where their descriptions were extremely questionable (and these are professional booksellers!:ninja:).

 

By the way, it's so nice to have another bookseller on the forum :cool: And one with an obvious love for books!

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Mustlovebooks

Thank you for the welcome and thumbs up! Isn't the forum awfully addictive? :cool:

 

I agree with everything you say. Especially on the multiple pictures for collectables. Then you know that your buyer can rest assured that he won't be disappointed with it. It's just a pity that book collection isn't as big in SA as in other countries. The second hand book market is not easy, I must say, but I love every minute of it.

 

Sometimes I look at pictures of second hand paperbacks with their descriptions as being good or very good and I think "you must be joking". I'm happy to know that there are people who have the same high standards and I can buy from them with confidence.:bigsmile:

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Vinyl Lady Decals

Hi, yes I agree with you all the way - an accurate description is extremely important for your sake and the buyer's sake.

I make sure all my descriptions are extremely accurate and point out any flaws that there might be.

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kyle2

I love books, especially older ones, I have a book with an inscription from the early 1800's and it is in relatively good condition, I also collect certain esoteric books, hard to find stuff, out of print and so on. Descriptions are vital to me and it is very refreshing to see some people who take the time to do things properly.:bigsmile:

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lilythepink

I also love books and believe that, as with all other items listed, a fair description of the condition is vital. On a couple of occasions I have really wanted to read a particular book so haven't minded that it is yellowing and well thumbed and the seller has been honest enough to say so.

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mellowred
It's just a pity that book collection isn't as big in SA as in other countries.

 

Hi MLB. It's amazing what books sell for in the UK in particular. That is why the BoB link is very important to the book site (can't remember the name and too lazy to search :wacko:) that has been mentioned in another thread.

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booksallsizes
Hi MLB. It's amazing what books sell for in the UK in particular. That is why the BoB link is very important to the book site (can't remember the name and too lazy to search :wacko:) that has been mentioned in another thread.

 

Bookfinder :bigsmile:... It would also be nice to link to for the fact that there are books people have which are valuable but don't have a market in this country...

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TS Ron

We love books in this family and absolutely abhor it when people damage books..I often wonder what joy people get from damaging books?

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Mustlovebooks
We love books in this family and absolutely abhor it when people damage books..I often wonder what joy people get from damaging books?

 

I usually get a fit when people fold the page corner over to mark their place or put an open book down on its face.

I also don't like lending books out. I once lent a brand new Jodi Picoult book to a cousin and when I got it back, all the pages were loose. I haven't even read it myself yet. Since then, she can only borrow my old books :notrust:

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TS Ron
I usually get a fit when people fold the page corner over to mark their place or put an open book down on its face.

I also don't like lending books out. I once lent a brand new Jodi Picoult book to a cousin and when I got it back, all the pages were loose. I haven't even read it myself yet. Since then, she can only borrow my old books :notrust:

Oh Mustlovebooks I shall not talk about loaning books to friends I have lost so many that I get tearful about it. I can not handle people scribbling in library books I want to hang them by their thumbs forever!

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spacefinder

Hi, I also love old books and mainly list an eclectic mix of pre-ISBN books. I agree condition is subjective and so rely on photographs to describe my listings. I started the Bookfinder thread, and would dearly love to see our bob listings show up on Bookfinder, but it might be some time, I think, before that happens. Meantime, I think we all need to market bob book listings wherever we can, and use Bookfinder as a comparison for pricing. One idea I've had is to create my own "front door" website which links directly to my bidorbuy listings. Unfortunately bob rules dictate I can't give out the URL, but by using the bob affiliate trade feed I have been able to dedicate separate pages to several categories, including cook books, Africana and militaria books. By marketing this website, I drive traffic to my - and everybody elses! - bob book listings, and new members to bob, as well.

Finally, I love your reactionary approach to justice, asecon! What do you suggest for people who write their name on the title page?

Ciao!

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booksallsizes
I love your reactionary approach to justice, asecon! What do you suggest for people who write their name on the title page?

Ciao!

 

Or those who stick down plastic coverings with sellotape? :ninja::ninja::ninja:

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voldermort

The sellotape can with a bit of a struggle still be removed but those who stick down the dustjacket with pritstick......ai, the book immediately plummets down in value :sad:

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mellowred

I'm interested in the "name in the front of the book" part. I just have a load of old books but don't really know what is good or bad. From a personal, sentimental view I like the name in the front of the book with a date. I'm not referring to scribbles and nasty stuff, but a neatly written birthday note or owner's name.

 

What impact does this have on the value of a book?

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voldermort

Mellow, seriously from what I have found is that a neatly written inscription or birthday note etc does not lessen the value of the book at all, this is specially so in the case of more sought after books, but even in the normal run of the mill books Dean Koontz, Patricia Cornwall etc etc it does really no damage to the price. Incidentally a lot of the much older first editions sometimes do not have dates so coming across a dated inscription actually helps you to date the book.

What does lessen the value though is when you have an owners name written on the outside spine eg: end pages across on the outside, you could literally throw the book away :sad2:

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Mustlovebooks
Mellow, seriously from what I have found is that a neatly written inscription or birthday note etc does not lessen the value of the book at all, this is specially so in the case of more sought after books, but even in the normal run of the mill books Dean Koontz, Patricia Cornwall etc etc it does really no damage to the price. Incidentally a lot of the much older first editions sometimes do not have dates so coming across a dated inscription actually helps you to date the book.

What does lessen the value though is when you have an owners name written on the outside spine eg: end pages across on the outside, you could literally throw the book away :sad2:

 

Thanks for the info. It's good to know.

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mellowred

Thanks Voldermort. I've always liked those neat old fashioned ink penned names and dates, so it's good to know they do not devalue the books.

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booksallsizes

Pen inscriptions actually do devalue some books to a certain extent. But now I'm talking about collector's of first editions and suchlike. I DO NOT want an inscription (or a dustjacket price clip) on first editions that I collect. I will, however, at first buy one for less if it has an inscription (they usually are cheaper than the spotless ones) and get rid of it once a better, cleaner copy comes up for sale.

 

But generally those books that are bought for interest and not collector's value are not at all affected by inscriptions. In fact, these can make a book more personal and of sentimental value. And dates on these are very helpful when a book is without publication date.

 

Again, though, we are talking subjectively - some people may not mind inscriptions in their highly collectible books - I don't actually mind them in old old books, they add charm - but I think they are terrible in modern first editions (which I collect). And I actually don't know of any collector of these that doesn't feel the same.

 

But also, if it is an exceptionally rare book and has problems - people will buy it anyway...

And in your average book I don't think they're a problem at all. But the cleaner the book, the more one can ask for it (especially in an overseas market, where they seem to be very very fussy about these things).

 

Just my opinion ... :cool:

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booksallsizes

Oooh - but if it is the right inscription (i.e.the author's signature :awesome:), then there are absolutely no worries - in fact, then do a happy dance 58f5a729875f1_coolchickendance.gif.13bac2e804238c6724f484776b01dc91.gif

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mellowred

I had a book of Thomas Hood's poetry. Nice little book and signed by Thomas hood. You could even see the impression of the signature through the back of the page!

 

Luckily before listing this I checked up on Thomas and found that he had died in 1845. The book was published in 1906. :wondering:

 

Thomas Hood

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booksallsizes
I had a book of Thomas Hood's poetry. Nice little book and signed by Thomas hood. You could even see the impression of the signature through the back of the page!

 

Luckily before listing this I checked up on Thomas and found that he had died in 1845. The book was published in 1906. :wondering:

 

Thomas Hood

 

LOL Good thing you checked! It's like finding an author's signature in ballpoint pen in the 1800's...

People do strange things sometimes... :rolleyes:

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booksallsizes

BTW - that was a nice little book... Now there is a case of having inscriptions being not so bad - definitely adds character.

I can't see all that clearly but it looks like the signature, taken from an original, may have been printed on by the publisher - this can often press through to the other side.

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mellowred

I think you are right BAZ.

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