Buying odd old books is a gamble

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I'm buying books from a fellow who's cleaning out a couple of storage buildings. Clearly he's been buying odd lots at flea markets and yard sales. The books run from 40s juvenile series books (mostly the ones that aren't sought after) to recent history.

I take maybe half and try to pay him a fair price. Not the easiest thing to do. It is impossible for me to know which old car repair manual I'll easily $30 for and which I'll be glad to part with for $5 until I research them. Or that a book of Southern humor is one the rare ones that is both uncommon and sought after.

Most likely the books I discard or shelve even though I wish I hadn't bought them will balance out the $100 bicycle history.

Sometimes I inadvertently cheat the person I'm buying from. Other times I overpay. Recently I bought a book published by an Air Force history specialty publisher. I paid expecting to sell it for $10 but put $25 on it. When he came back with more I assumed they'd all be worth at least $20. Hope I get the $8 each I'm asking for most of them.

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about Buying odd old books is a gamble.
Thanks,
Richard

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