Since the beginning of print, more than five hundred years ago, authors have penned millions of books and manuscripts. A specialist would only consider a book to be rare usually when demand exceeds supply.
First editions of important literary works, for instance, are considered valuable for their content and who the author is. The same can be applied to unpublished manuscripts by celebrated authors. Or if there are only a few copies of a censored book that may have survived this will increase both its importance and value. Special binding, an inscription, or marginal annotations by a famous person, could all contribute to a book’s market value.
If you have antique books and manuscripts you no longer want or use, consider selling them through an auction house. This can save you the lengthy process of researching the value and rarity of your items yourself. A professional auction house will know what price they should reach and what reserve to start them at. Often with auctions they may be able to secure a price that will exceed your expectations.
You will receive advice on the market for your items and on pricing. After valuation, an auction house will also take care of the marketing. They will use many channels, to promote your antique books and manuscripts, to a list of serious buyers and devoted collectors. These are people who have an established interest in what you have to sell and are a ready market for your items. This list includes buyers and collectors who are local, national and international. Specialist sales events throughout the year mean that your antique books and manuscripts are on showcase to a large number of buyers. These buyers know they will have to act in the moment, or miss out on an opportunity. They come to events ready to buy.
Buyers and collectors have often developed trust in the auctioneers they use. This confidence brings commitment and integrity to the auction making the process of auctioning much more exciting as it creates an atmosphere of competition. Auctions are known to increase buyer interest and can push sale prices higher than expected when there is competitors in the room.
Auctions ensure that you get the best price, in the current market, for what you want to sell. They also come with further price guarantees. You know exactly when your items sell and close. You also know that once the hammer falls, your items have been sold. No lengthy negotiation periods, last minute indecision or requests to reduce the offer! The sale price is binding at the final bid price.
Essentially, auctions mean you don’t have to be part of the negotiation process and that you do not need to offer any guarantees. Your books and manuscripts are sold “as is” and buyers are already aware of the condition and what to expect.
Professional auction houses provide invaluable experience and specialised knowledge. They help you discriminate among your items, and ensure that someone wants and is willing to pay, the market price for your antique books and manuscripts.