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Frequently asked questions
What do you mean when you list an item as a first edition?
Unless otherwise stated, books we list as first editions are also first printings. The exceptions will be noted as a later printing. Revised, illustrated, anniversary, special, and other firsts are so noted.
How much is my book worth?
We have access to professional price and edition guides not generally available to the public. For a small $20 fee, we can tell you the value of your book.
We offer written insurance appraisals for a $150 fee. For other insurance and written appraisals, please contact a certified antiquarian appraiser on this page. There is a larger fee for certified appraisal services. Listings of appraisers are for your convenience only and do not imply an endorsement or guarantee of their work or expertise.
How much are my art pieces worth?
We do not appraise art, but you can contact non-affiliated certified appraisers on this page. Listings of appraisers are for your convenience only and do not imply an endorsement or guarantee of their work or expertise.
I saw the same book you have in your shop online for less, why is that?
Uncommon Works deals in rare, odd, vintage, and first editions or first printings. The nature and age of these types of books mean that no two books may be exactly alike as far as printing /edition or condition.
Online “prices” can be misleading, as the seller can list the book at whatever price they think it is worth, and 90% of the time the item does not sell at the listed price. Casual sellers often do not have the professional skills to know the true value or nature of the book. There are many hundreds of “first editions” and “rare” books listed on eBay and other sites by casual sellers who frankly do not really know if the item is a first edition, first printing, or rare book, and sometimes not even the actual year it was printed.
You must also consider that when you buy a rare or vintage book online, you have no idea what its true condition is until it arrives in your mailbox. Mold, pests, moisture, smell, smoke, and dirt are all enemies of books and could infect your own collection. There are shipping charges or return shipping fees if you get stuck with something you didn’t expect from the description of the book, assuming they accept returns. At the shop, you have the opportunity to examine the book before you make the purchase, so you know exactly what you are purchasing.
You also know who you are buying the book from. We spend many hours researching each of our books to ascertain its worth. Additionally, all of our books are checked against a master stolen works database, and no pest or mold infested books are sold. We offer a full refund if you find a book is not as described and a guarantee of authenticity on signed books.
Once you have considered all of the above if you really do find the same book online for less from a trustworthy source, we suggest you go ahead and purchase it there — you have found an outstanding deal for your collection!
Do you buy books?
Yes! We purchase select single volumes, books from estates, collections, and libraries. We also purchase maps, journals, manuscripts, letters, and Victoriana. We will offer you a fair price and handle all packing and removal.
Do you accept consignments?
Yes, we are currently accepting consignments on select items within our subject areas — there is a 30% consignment fee. If you have an older book, map, or manuscript that you would like to sell on consignment or by direct purchase, please contact Morgan at 530-354-4440.
You must be able to establish provenance, please.
If any item we sell is not as described pertaining to condition, edition, or authenticity, we offer a 100% refund on the item if returned within 90 days.
Unless otherwise requested, all shipping quotes are for media mail delivery of a 2.2 kg. book. Media mail can take 7-14 days for delivery. International shipping is available at actual cost, with customs declarations of sale value. Heavy or large items are billed at actual shipping cost. Insurance is optional for books priced below $100.
We value your privacy.
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We do not collect other information about your visit to this site, except in the case that you contact us directly. In that case, we will use your contact information provided to respond to your inquiry.
We do not process sales on this site. Data from purchases made on third-party partner sites (Abebooks.com, Biblio.com, Amazon.com, Alibris.com, facebook.com) are governed by the privacy policies of those sites, linked herein. These third-party sites are solely responsible for the use of your data, and endorsement is not stated or implied by our partnership with them.
We collect information from these third-party sites for the sole purpose of fulfilling your order or inquiry. This data is housed on a secure server in Gridley, California, USA. Your data will never be shared, sold, or used for marketing by us.
Data is stored for ten years from the date of purchase or inquiry to be in compliance with US tax law, and erased to DOD standards after that. If you feel you have a right to have your data deleted prior to that time under GDPR for any reason, contact us at the address below, and provide verification of identity.
We may sometimes use this data to request that you leave a review of our services and products on the site where you made the purchase. You can opt-out of any future contact by writing to Morgan Brynnan at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01-530-354-4440.