You may be one of those people who have collected cookbooks over the years that ended up, used or unused, gathering dust on bookshelves or in boxes piled up in the attic, garage or basement. Old, rare, classic, vintage, antique and collectible cookbooks can be a hidden source of instant cash. You can easily learn how to sell these old cookbooks.
And many people underestimate the value that these old, collectible cookbooks have, for example Betty Crocker Cookbooks and Better Homes & Gardens Cookbooks, and have never even thought about selling them. There are many other old, valuable cookbooks of course. But for the purpose of this article we’ll start with these two well known cookbook publishers’ cookbooks. They’ll be easier to research.
Do you have any old Better Homes and Gardens Cook Books? How about Betty Crocker Cook Books from the 1950s, 1960s, or popular editions from 1959, 1961 or older? Pie or plaid covers? Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook or Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cook Books or any others?
Maybe you do have some of these cookbooks now. Maybe you have some at mom’s or grandma’s house or even better at great-grandma’s house. Perhaps you’ve seen them at garage sales. A lot of old cookbooks can be valuable — worth a lot of money. Even those of lesser value may sell for ten times the original price.
Whether you have cook books with binders, hardcovers, plaid covers, or pie covers, you need to do a little research. You’ll need to know the title, year of publication, edition (usually printed inside the book in front) and condition, before you can come up with the TRUE value.
You can start by gathering as much of these facts as possible. If any of your old books have been signed by the author or in some cases the illustrator, that’ll bring up the price significantly. Then, first of all, go to Google and type in the exact title – for example, ‘Betty Crocker Cookbook’ and the year published, and see what comes up. Then try using the same phrase with cook book as two words. If you have a plaid or pie cover or other distinct cover, then try again adding ‘plaid cover’ or ‘pie cover’. Do it again and type in the edition if known. You may find some others for sale or that have already sold. Then try again with your variations and add the words – excellent condition, fine condition or good condition.
Next go to eBay and go to the search feature and then ‘completed listings’. Search by the category ‘cookbooks’ and the title of your cookbook and look for similar titles and editions. Only look at those that have sold, to get a feel for the price range. In terms of pricing, ignore the cookbooks that are still for sale. Many factors go into why they didn’t sell. Finding sold copies in these cookbook listings will give you a general idea of the range they’ve sold in. The binding, year and condition are just some of the variable factors. You can do the same with your Better Homes & Gardens Cookbooks. Then try some of the other old, rare, vintage or antique cookbooks that you’ve collected.
The deciding factor for price in every case will be the condition of the cookbook. Condition is everything. Handle your cookbooks carefully. Collectors and buyers expect cookbooks to have an occasional spot on them. If they’re fragile, handle them with white cotton gloves. Never put them in airtight bags or containers, because the moisture content in the pages will cause them to mildew. You can bag them but leave them open. In any case protect them.
So you need to decide on the condition of your cookbooks, find the price range of cookbooks that have sold on completed listings and then decide how to price your book. Be very wary of putting any old, rare, vintage or antique cookbooks on eBay for 99 cents or without a reserve price. You don’t want someone walking off with your precious book for just pennies. The sold cookbooks on eBay completed listings have a distinct advantage. You know what people are actually paying for cookbooks and current price ranges.
As for books that list the value of cookbooks, I have them all. But I find them worthless because the values do not reflect what people actually pay for cookbooks or the current prices, whether it is Betty Crocker Cookbooks, Better Home & Gardens Cookbooks or any others. And the cookbook value books go rapidly out of date as time passes since publication.
Besides eBay there are a lot of other ways to sell your cookbooks on the Internet or outside of the Internet. There is too much to go into in this short article. There are many other trade secrets. One easy way — there is a free cookbook listing service online, for old, rare, vintage or antique cookbooks where you can list your cookbooks for sale, yes free of charge. Collectors and buyers come to the site. You can continue to sell them using other methods and not wait for a buyer to make contact from the site. You can always have your listing removed from the site if it sells or you sell it another way.
You can buy and sell old cookbooks easily once you become familiar with one cookbook and you’ll probably be able to find more of them at garage sales. With this basic knowledge of how to sell cookbooks, you’ve just become a mini-expert on selling cookbooks. So go to your cookbook shelves now and see what you already have and start from there. Once you’re an expert on Betty Crocker Cookbooks and Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooks you can start researching other old, rare, classic, vintage, antique and collectible cookbooks.
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