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Selling your Stephen King Collection

 

So you have a large pile of Stephen King books that you or a family member/friend have acquired over the years and you're wondering how much they're worth and how to go about selling them.... Read on!

The first thing to do is to separate your books out into 3 piles.

Pile 1 - Anything that was printed after 1990 -  These more recent printings, even if they're 1st editions, are usually not worth more than $20 retail; and if they're later printings or post 2000 they're probably only worth $5-$10 retail.  That means they're not really worth the time and expense of shipping these to any buyer, online bookstore or otherwise.  Your best bet is to take them to a local used bookstore and take whatever credit they'll give you.  In some cases they may already have too many copies of the book in their store, in that case I'd just donate whatever's left to your local goodwill/ charity. You can expect to receive anywhere from $1-$5 per book in this pile

Pile 2 - Anything that was printed before 1990 - For these books you'll want to check to see if you have a 1st edition or not.  Only 1st editions have any resale value in the collector's market.  On many of the books you can check the copyright page for a number line, if the lowest number is a 1 then you have a 1st edition and should hang onto it. If the book is not a 1st edition add it to the first pile.   For very early books (for example The Shining, The Stand, etc) there won't be any number line.  But there are ways to identify whether the book is a 1st edition or not.  Check out my online reference guide to help you.  If you're in doubt about a specific book, ask me...One last thing to mention, a book must have ALL the identifying marks to be a 1st edition, not just 2 out of 3, etc. http://www.stephenkingcollector.com/indentifyingUS1st.html


Pile 3 - Anything that is signed by King or anyone else (usually in the front few pages of the book).  As well as anything that might have come with a slipcase or traycase of some kind - usually this indicates a S/L (signed/limited) edition or artist edition.  As well as things that don't fit anywhere else, magazines, promotional items, etc. If it's a book you can likely find out everythign about it, including it's retail value by find the appropriate limited edition information page on the site. For non-book items drop me an email and I'll be happy to help you figure out what you've got.
http://www.stephenkingcollector.com/us_limiteds.html
http://www.stephenkingcollector.com/uk_limiteds.html

 


 

Now that you've identified which books are valuable and which are not, what's the best way to sell the valuable ones?

It all depends on what "best" means to you. If you want the absolute most money then you'll want to sell each book one-at-a-time yourself on eBay or classified sections of King sites (like this one). The downside is that it will likely take a while to sell everything and there will be a lot of work packing, communicating with buyers, collecting payments, etc. If you want the fastest sale, then you should sell the entire collection in bulk to one of the specialty King stores. The downside here is that you will get the least money, somewhere in the 50-60% of retail range. Other middle of the road options include putting your collection up for consignment, selling only part of it individually. I'll list out your options in detail below:

Sell the books yourself on eBay - You'll get a huge number of collectors looking at your listings, and as long as your item is priced correctly it should sell within the auction time. Depending on the title you may gross very close to retail price. The downside here is that you'll have to take the time out to list each book, including photos as well as pack up and ship every book. Remember though, basic eBay fees are 10% and if you take Paypal, those are another 2.7%

Sell the books yourself on sites that have a buy/sell section for Stephen King books - The two main sites for this would be the Collector Forums here on this site (you must register to see the buy/sell section...this is to prevent spamming) and I believe there's a spot on thedarktower.org as well. It's free to list your book and often you can sell your items for a similar price as on eBay. The downside is that only a fraction of the people on eBay visit the buy/sell section regularly. That means you're less likely to get offers, and if you have a large collection to sell there's a good chance many of the books won't receive any offers. Still it's free to try.

Sell your books in-bulk to a specialty King bookstore - The two main stores that this site endorses are www.bettsbooks.com and www.veryfinebooks.com, although there are some other less well known stores, and stores that don't specialize in King but do buy rare books in general out there as well. This is the fastest way to sell you collection. Email the store owners with a list of the books. The more details (and photos) you can provide the easier time they will have in quoting your a price. The downside is that you will get the least amount of money for the books. A typically bookstore will pay anywhere from 50-60% of retail depending on the popularity of the book.

Sell everything in bulk to your local used bookstore - Although I mainly advise this option as a place to dump your non-valuable books, any used bookstore would buy your more valuable King books as well. If you're already dropping off your "Pile 1" King books here it won't hurt to get a quote. Depending on the store they may not be set up for the buying and selling of rare King books in the way a specialty store would be. I'd anticipate their offer to be a bit less than a specialty store

Put your books up for consignment at a specialty King bookstore - Many specialty bookstores offer a consignment option. That means they will sell the books for you via their sites at whatever price you want. They will usually take anywhere from 15-25% of the final sales price, depending on the types and number of books you're putting on consignment. These stores have a large amount of clientèle and, if the price is right your book should sell within a few days or weeks. The downside is that you only get paid after the book sells.

For limited editions ONLY stephenkingcollector.com will make offers - Although the site is primarily for information, I do buy limited and gift editions for resale and offer between 60-70% of the price I will list the book for. The title must be one that's listed in the US or UK limited editions section. If you're interested please email me with a list of titles you're looking to sell.

I hope you found this guide helpful and informative. If you have any questions that aren't addressed in the guide, or need more information about a specific book please email me directly and I'll be happy to help you out.

 

 

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