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To the collector the value of his or her collection is in the content and the enjoyment it brings, but on a practical level it is sensible to have a professional valuation made of the books
Condition is everything when it comes to working out the value of Wisdens and that is why an independent assessment of the value of your almanacks is prudent. Now some people may charge for this service, the Wisden Collectors’ Club offer it free of charge to all members and will gladly give advice and an indication of value to all enquirers
A valuation of a recent collection (e.g. Post 1946) can be done either by email or over the telephone, by the valuer asking a number of pertinent questions such as spine and dust jacket condition etc. Older editions would require a viewing
If dealers charge for the valuation then it is unwise to ask for more than one to undertake the task. Chances are that the figures reached by both will not differ too much. If selling then more than one dealer should be contacted
When visiting to value a collection it is made clear to the collector or indeed the relatives of a collector that any valuation is based on what would need to be paid at today’s prices to replace the books. So although for example a 1949 hardback was bought for only £5, today £90-£100 may be required to replace one in similar condition (or better).
The valuation is not what a Wisden bookseller would pay nor is it likely that this will be the figure realized if selling at any form of auction. It is a common misconception that a book listed on a dealer website for (example) £100 would be bought by the dealer for as much as £70 or £75. In reality nearer to £50 would be realistic.
Without justifying what a dealer may pay for a book it is only fair to stress that Wisden dealers are in business, overheads such as staff and premises need to be factored in and more importantly they will have built up a database of buyers over the years, something the Wisden seller will not have.
By having a professional valuation a collection can be insured correctly and with peace of mind. The valuation report and the insurance taken will give those left with the task of selling the books a benchmark of their potential market value.