1. I have seen your books listed on eBay or Abebooks.com, but the prices are higher for your books on those sites compared to this site. Why?
This is our official, direct website. When we process a sale through any site other than our official site, we have to pay the other site a percentage. When we list our books on other sites, we adjust the price to compensate for the fees we incur should the book be purchased through that particular site. In any case, the lowest price for our books will always be found right here, on our official website. Plus, as an additional incentive to purchase directly from us, we offer free shipping for select items purchased directly from our official site.
2. I have found other copies of a book you have listed that are more expensive or cheaper than the copy you are selling. Why?
When comparing prices between exact editions/copies, condition is typically the main factor that determines where in the price range a book is priced. If one of our books is of average condition, the price is usually in the middle range when compared to other copies. Most of our books are above average in condition when compared to other copies on the market. Other factors also play a role. Some of our books are signed, and this increases value. Others are bound by a famous binder such as Hayday or Zaehnsdorf; in some cases, the bindings can actually be more valuable than the work itself!
3. Is Addison's a member of the ABAA (Antiquarian Bookseller's Association of America)?
The ABAA is a national bookseller's association that promotes a certain code of ethics among its members. While Addison's adheres to, and exceeds (see examples) the code of ethics set forth by the ABAA, we are not a member. While the main reason is simply a matter of cost vs. benefit, we are also wary of associating our good name with any trade organization as any such organization is subject to scandal. The most recent example was the 2009 sentencing and jailing of former ABA president David Slade for the theft and illegal sale of approximately $300,000 worth of books from the Rothschild library. While his actions certainly contradict the ABAA and ABA code of ethics, the event serves to illustrate why Addison's lends its name to no outside organization with the exception of periodical support of charitable organizations. Purchasing an item from a member of the ABAA, SquareTrade, or other similar organization does not guarantee that a buyer's money is insured or protected from dishonest dealers, and being a member of the ABAA does not denote any specialized education in antiquarian books nor any formal education in a related field such as history or literature. To learn more about Addison’s experience and formal education, please see the “About Us” page. Where consumer protection is a concern, click here to learn the best way (and really, the only way) to protect your dollars from dishonest sellers.
4. If I purchase a book via Paypal using my checking account, debit card, or credit card, may I have the book shipped to an address other than my billing address?
Unfortunately, we may only ship such purchases to the address associated with your credit card or bank account. We understand that this can be an inconvenience. However, due to the high value of most of our items, and due further to the frequency of credit card fraud, we must be very cautious about electronic payments. Shipment to your billing address ensures that only the card holder or bank account owner can take delivery, and signature is also required. If you pay via check or money order, then we will ship to any address you may require; however, shipment is delayed several days until such payments clear our bank.
5. Does the shipping include insurance?
Absolutely. If your book fails to arrive or is damaged in transit, your purchase is fully covered. Furthermore, the shipping is typically via USPS Priority (2 to 3 days, within the USA), and orders are shipped within 24 hours of cleared payment. All books are packaged securely, padded and water-proof.
The free shipping for Bargain Basement books is via USPS Media Mail (6 to 9 days) but may be upgraded to Priority or Express for an additional charge.
6. I just purchased a book on your site using Paypal, but I see the book is still listed on your site for sale. Why?
The payment buttons on our site have to be manually removed by us. As soon as we see that the book has been purchased, we immediately remove the payment buttons and mark the book as "Sold." Depending on the time of day (or night) you make the purchase, it is usually anywhere from 1 hour to 8 hours before we learn of your purchase and mark the item as "Sold." If, by some unusual circumstance, two people purchase the book before we know it, then the book is sold to the first buyer and the second buyer is immediately refunded.
7. I just purchased a book. Now what?
When we receive notice of your payment, we will contact you to let you know we've received your payment and to let you know when delivery can be expected.
8. I need the book ASAP and can't wait 3 to 4 days -- can you expedite the shipping?
Yes. For an additional fee, we will ship your book over-night via Express Mail (within the USA). Keep in mind that delivery will require a signature, so be sure someone will be available at your address to sign and take delivery. Contact us prior to purchase.
9. How much do you charge for binding and restorations?
We calculate binding/restoration charges on a case by case basis. We calculate the charge by estimating material cost and the time the work will require. Based on those estimations, we charge the cost of the materials plus between $30 and $50 per hour depending upon the amount of demand at the time you contact us for a quote. Hand binding and restoration of antique books is a very tedious and time-consuming process, and it can be quite expensive. If a binder offers you a cheap price, then it means two things: He or she is using cheap and/or non-archival quality materials, and he or she does the work quickly and non-attentively, resulting in an inferior binding. In short, there is no fast, cheap way to do quality binding work. We will only put our name on quality work.
10. If a book is not in its original binding, does this effect the value positively or negatively?
This entirely depends upon the book and the quality of the binding. First, it is important to understand that most books printed prior to 1850 had no original publisher's binding. Before this date, nearly all books were printed and sold as text only; the buyer then took the book to their local binder to have the book bound. Putting a book in a new binding is often an expensive proposition, and many send their book to the cheapest binder they can find. In such cases, the work is typically sloppy and/or not appropriate to the period of the book's printing. Such bindings can negatively effect value (library bindings are an extreme example). On the other hand, high quality bindings typically increase value. In fact, some bindings are worth substantially more than the book they contain. In our experience, the outward appearance of a book dramatically effects value; a good looking book sells rather quickly and for a good price. As a testament to the appearance of our own bindings, the books that we have bound and put up for sale, on average, sell at twice the rate of our other inventory.
11. What makes a book valuable, and how do you arrive at your prices?
In short, the value of a book is based upon rarity, demand, and condition. Not all rare books are in demand, and not all books that are in demand are rare or hard to find. When rarity, demand, and good condition come together, then value is elevated. "Rarity" can include many factors: Maybe there are 30 copies of a particular book on the market, but only one of them is in Fine condition while the others are inferior. The condition could be rare, the binding could be rare, the illustrator could be rare, etc. Our prices combine auction records, price guides, current asking prices by other sellers, condition, special attributes (such as being signed, limited, or finely bound) and investment value. For more information about books as an investment, please click here.
12. Do you accept returns?
Absolutely. For our regular inventory, we accept returns for any reason; however, there are two different types of refunds. If you purchase a book and find that there is a material fault in our description (such as missing text, for example), then we fully refund your purchase. If there is a disagreement which is subjective, such as the degree of toning or foxing for example, or you if just change your mind, then we do accept returns or exchanges (respectively), but we refund or exchange the purchase less our shipping costs. We do not charge any "restocking fee" or anything of that nature. If you wish to return an item for refund, we only ask that you contact us within 3 days of the item's delivery. In other words, we have one of the best return policies in the business, but due to the care taken in collating and the detail provided in our descriptions, we have never had any item returned in all of these years of business!