Biblio recommended best practices for booksellers and book descriptions

Modified on Tue, 19 Sep, 2023 at 1:05 PM

Biblio is committed to the continued success of the tradition of professional independent bookselling.  The hallmarks of professional bookselling include adherence to established trade practices, such as the use of standard book description terminology.

Here's a list of the most common condition descriptions:

New A previously uncirculated copy of a book.

As New A book in the same condition in which it was published, with no flaws or defects.

Fine A book with no flaws or defects.  Similar to As New, but having been previously circulated.

Very Good A book showing minor wear, but still attractive and free from any major flaws or defects.

Good An average used book, showing some wear.

Poor A book with greater than average wear. 

Reading Copy Indicates a book that is serviceable for reading.  It may have considerable wear, defects, or damage.

Here's a list of best practices for book descriptions:

Any flaws or faults should be specifically noted.

A buyer should be confident that any flaws or faults have been sufficiently noted.  The practice of describing a book as "Not price-clipped" or "Not a book club edition" should not be necessary.

Have a working knowledge of publishing practices, including binding formats.  You should also be able to identify a book club edition of a book, and authoritatively identify a first edition based on the specific publisher and date.

Your prices should be based on the printing and quality of the book in relation to the current market demand for that copy.

You can find helpful articles about identifying first editions and other important aspects of collecting and seller here.  Click here for our glossary of book terminology.  If you are interested in learning, even more, get a copy of ABC for Book Collectors, by John Carter.  Find a copy on Biblio today!

Biblio's commitment to independent bookselling means that Biblio accepts only books and book-related material (including ephemera) for inventory added to the site. Listing non-book-related items can result in the suspension of your selling account.

Biblio expects that prospective booksellers will have some experience in the book industry, from selling books to collecting books.