I'm not a book collector, but I do have an appreciation of books. I have a few classes in Library Science from years ago in my background, though I'm not a Librarian, and I read a lot. I buy many of my books on Ebay and I sell many of my books on Ebay. I keep some of the books, too, for different reasons. Over the years I have picked up some insights to buying and selling books from the many friendly people on Ebay and elsewhere.
I'd like to share some of those insights about selling books that I hope will help others, especially those new to the growing Ebay community. This information might also be helpful to those buying books on Ebay since this is the type of information they should expect to see.
Basic Tips for Selling Books - Buyers May Find These Helpful Too:
Technical Language: Since I'm not a professional I may not always use professional language. If you are a profesional use it, but be sure to explain the more technical and less used words.
Condition: Overall condition with words such as, Good, Like New, Fair, is helpful but subjective. Please include more descriptive information, preferably broken down into the different parts of the book; pages, cover, dust cover. Always mention creases, tears, marks and any other significant flaws.
Edition: This is usally available on the copyright page (page after the title page). A First Edition is usually somewhat more valuable to a lot more valuable than a later edition of a book.
Other Important Information: When you use Ebay's pre-filled information, it should include Title, Author, Publisher, Edition, ISBN Number, Copyright and/or Publication Year, Format (soft or hard cover). In my description I always repeat the title, author, format and edition if its a first edition. If you are not using the pre-fill, make sure all of these are part of your description.
Picture: I believe in having a picture of the actual book being sold and if there are flaws, try taking a picture of the flaws. If it is not possible and a stock photo is available, go ahead and use it.
Provenance: This is the history of ownership. If this is a very collectible book, this is important. If this imformation is too private or too long to put in the description, offer to make it available to the winning bidder/buyer. If the book is not that collectible, its not important.
Preserving: If a book has tears or the binding is loose with pages falling out, you have choices as to preserving the book. If it is a collectible/antique book, consult a professional about book collecting and preservation. NEVER EVER try to do anything to preserve it yourself. Sometimes collectors do not want a book preserved and a professional can tell you that, also. If you believe the book is an everyday book, not valuable to a collector, and you just never know, you can consider doing something yourself, or selling it "as is". I HIGHLY recommend you sell it "as is". Laminating it like a library does, or taping it, etc., can lower the selling price, even for an everyday or reader's copy of a book.
Reviews: Check to see if there is a review of the book in the Reviews and Guides section. If so, state it in your description.
General Information: Keep your information about shipping, payment, buyers requirements, other auctions/sales, and stores to a minimum. Put the information about the book first and keep it precise. Don't put it in the middle or the end of all the information about your other auctions or payment or about your pets. Yes, I said pets. If the buyer wants the book, then they'll read about your requirements for shipping and payment to decide if they want to work with you, the seller. If they have to wade through too much other information to find the information they need about the book, they may give up and look elsewhere.