Yes. In general, we will pay from 20-25% of what we determine the resale value of a book or a collection to be. For more valuable, collectible, books this percentage can be larger than 25%.
We do not normally buy ex-library books, mass market paperbacks, or book club books, but there can be rare exceptions to this rule.
There are two answers to this question, long and short. The short answer is that a given book is worth what someone is willing to pay for it at a given point in time. The long answer is much more complicated, and is really an explanation of the short answer.
The value of a book is a function of several things: its content, scarcity, condition, potential audience, and edition being the most important. Content is what the book is about, and includes such considerations as priority, originality, uniqueness, quality of prose and the like. Scarcity refers to the number of copies of a book that are available for purchase on the market at any given time. Condition refers to defects that might be found in a used book: highlighting, soil, torn pages, cracked hinges, and so on. The list of possible defects can be quite long. Basically a defect is ANY condition of a book that it did not have when it was new. (An exception would be an inscription by the author or by an important public figure.) Potential audience refers to the potential buyers for a book. Who would want this book, and why? Finally, for collectible books, Edition can be extremely important. A first edition of Moby Dick is vastly more valuable than later reprints of this classic.
The most valuable books are those that are scarce in relation to the size of the population of buyers who would potentially like to own them, and in excellent condition.
This is not an easy question to answer, and we cannot even begin to provide an answer here. However, we can say that (1) it is generally neither necessary nor sufficient for the phrase "first edition" or a complete number line (1234567890) to be present in a book for it to be a first edition, and (2) the practices that publishers follow to indicate a first edition vary from publisher to publisher, and for a particular publisher over time. And sometimes a publisher will for whatever reason fail to follow its own established practice for a given book. These variations can make the identification of true first editions quite challenging.
There are literally thousands of reference books that assist the expert in identifying a first edition.
We ship our books in a sturdy box, well-protected with packing materials. Shipments to locations in the U.S. include Delivery Confirmation. We do not ship books in flimsy manila envelopes. We do not ship books in cereal, cracker, or shoe boxes. We do not ship in recycled grocery bags.
If customer has requested Priority Mail shipping, we will ship some books in a cardboard Global Priority flat-rate envelope, if the book will comfortably fit in one with appropriate padding material. Larger and more expensive books will always be shipped in a box.
Absolutely. We own all of our books and they are all in our possession. Given a few minutes to find a given book, all questions can be answered. Scans or photos can be furnished by email. We are happy to do this for anyone who is seriously considering the purchase of one of our books.
We do not list books we do not have. We do not sell phantom books.