How to Sell Your Collectible Cookbooks - Cookbook Village (2024)

How to Sell Your Collectible Cookbooks - Cookbook Village (1)

Cookbook Village receives a lot of e-mail from customers asking us how they can sell their cookbook collectibles. The following article covers some considerations for selling your cookbook collection. Though we do not buy-in from private parties, we are happy to share tips on selling so that customers can enjoy the most value from their cookbooks.

Catalog Your Cookbook Collection Prior to Selling

We often get e-mail request for buying-in cookbooks and there is no list attached. Be prepared. You can't spark interest with a buyer or list a vague description of what you are selling. Create a simple old-school list or use a service like to create a library. This will help you stay organized. Later you can reuse details from your catalog in correspondence or sales listings.

Determine The Value of Your Cookbooks

Figure out what each cookbook is worth. This can be a challenge if unfamiliar with pricing. We have several articles on our store blog that will help you assign a monetary value to each cookbook. See How Much Are Your Vintage Cookbooks Worth? and our library of articles under Cookbook Collectibility Reviews, and Top 10 Most Collectible Cookbooks and lastly Cookbooks That Fetch the Highest Prices at Auction. Here below are also some general values you can use as a ballpark guideline:

  • Cookbook booklets or pamphlets generally sell for on average for $2/piece. Some can go up to $20 if from the 1800s or very early 1900s.
  • Booklets after 1920 will generally sell under $10, wartime booklets may be more easily sold than their 20s and 30s counterparts.
  • Vintage and signed cookbooks have a broad pricing range. Please review the articles above to help determine values.
  • Other categories of contemporary cookbooks will range from $8-25 on average.

Where to Sell Your Cookbooks

This is one of the top questions we receive. We don't have the perfect answer for you, but can tell you that most used and vintage cookbooks are worth less than $60. There are of course special cookbooks that can sell for several hundred dollars--even a thousand if a rare antique. But, the truth is individual cookbooks are not what will bring you a sudden windfall.

  • Sell to Book Dealers
    You need to look at your collection in its entirety for the numbers to climb. Book dealers don't usually pay more than a couple dollars max (if not cents) per book. If you have something rare--you can better sell it online, on your own. You will earn more. It's comparable to going to a car dealer for a trade-in or selling the car yourself. The direct route will get you a lot closer to market value. If you are on the brink of throwing out or donating the books, and earning market value is not your key goal, then taking your collection to a local used bookstore may be your best bet. They will often trade you for store credit.
  • Sell as a "Lot" on eBay
    If you are trying to earn some quick cash, but want a bit more out of your investment, we recommend selling the collection as a set or "lot" on eBay. The eBay marketplace in our opinion is the best when you want quick turn and the most for your collectibles. Amazon is a good marketplace, but it's hard to get noticed and isn't geared toward selling "lots"/collections. With a "lot" you can sell all the cookbooks in one listing making it less time consuming for you. Sell for at least 7 days. Sell it at auction and start with the lowest price you would be happy with receiving. Don't risk giving it away for a under a dollar. Selling as an eBay "lot" is our favorite option for those unfamiliar with their cookbook values. Let the market tell you what your collection is worth! One important tip is to set aside and pull out any cookbooks you know are worth over $25. Sell those individually on eBay if you have the time (see next option).
  • Sell Individual Cookbooks on eBay or Amazon
    This is for those of you who have a comfort level with selling online, understand the value of your individual cookbooks, and have time for a lengthy sales cycle. If all of the above are true...this route will get you the most money for your collection. We recommend eBay vs Amazon if you don't want to be selling for over a month. If you have a lot of time, Amazon works well for books and draws the largest audience. For quick turn, we prefer eBay. As noted in the "sell as a 'lot'" section above, choose the auction option and start with the lowest price you are willing to accept for each book. If you feel you have a rare find, take it to an expert to get it.
  • Let a Middleman Sell Your Collection
    If selling online doesn't appeal to you and you still want to try to get more than a few cents or dollars per cookbook, take your collection to an eBay middleman. Let them sell your collection for you on eBay. You should be able to find a local resource on Yelp or in your local yellow pages. You'll pay a fee and/or commission on the items you have them sell for you.

Tags: Cookbook Collecting selling cookbooks vintage cookbooks

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How to Sell Your Collectible Cookbooks - Cookbook Village (2024)


Where is the best place to sell old cookbooks? ›

Sell Individual Cookbooks on eBay or Amazon

This is for those of you who have a comfort level with selling online, understand the value of your individual cookbooks, and have time for a lengthy sales cycle. If all of the above are true... this route will get you the most money for your collection.

Is there a market for vintage cook books? ›

"Cookbooks can have auction potential, especially if they are rare, valuable, or have historical significance," said Sawyer, who's based in New York City. "Some vintage cookbooks can fetch high prices at auction, particularly those that are in excellent condition and have a strong provenance."

What is the best way to sell a cookbook? ›

One of the best ways to market yourself to your local community is to set up a stall at a market (craft markets, farmers markets and small business events all work equally well). A good way to garner interest in your cookbook at these kinds of events is to offer free tastings of some of your recipes.

Are cook books worth money? ›

For many rare and collectible cookbooks, a first edition, first printing makes the difference. Betty Crocker vintage cookbooks are a good example of this. Early printings are far more valuable than later printings of the same edition.

How do I sell my old cookbooks? ›

Tip #1: Find the Best Places to Sell Used Books Online
  1. BookScouter. The first thing you should do is go to BookScouter. ...
  2. Amazon. If you like more complicated ways, you can go directly to Amazon and try selling your books there. ...
  3. eBay. ...
  4. Etsy. ...
  5. Decluttr. ...
  6. Powell's Books. ...
  7. Half Price Books. ...
  8. Local Bookstores and Book-Buying Markets.
Sep 29, 2022

Does anyone still buy cookbooks? ›

But do cookbooks still sell? Yes, they do. In fact, it's a burgeoning and competitive market. But that's just another reason to make sure that you do everything possible to make your cookbook the best it can be.

Should I get rid of old cookbooks? ›

As much as we all love cookbooks, sometimes you hit a point where you just have to let a few go. But unless a cookbook is totally trashed or something flimsy you put together in grade school, you don't really want to just throw them in the garbage. Someone else could get use out of them!

Where can I sell old cookery books? ›

Exchange your unwanted cookery books for cash

At WeBuyBooks, we provide you with a simple and quick way to earn cash in exchange for your unwanted books, so that you can make room on your shelves for books on the next big thing.

How much do cookbooks sell for? ›

The list price for print cookbooks typically runs anywhere from $15 to $30 for popular cookbooks and $25 to $50 for gourmet or restaurant cookbooks. Amazon usually discounts these by 30% to 50%. It is usually ideal for most Monetizing or Marketing books to fall somewhere in this range.

What is the average cookbook sales? ›

Sales fluctuate a little year to year, but they're generally stable — around 20 million or so. In the first year of the pandemic, cookbook sales spiked about 16%.

How do I market my cookbook? ›

  1. Foster a genuine community.
  2. Build your presence across social media.
  3. Have a regular posting schedule.
  4. Create a sensory experience.
  5. Share teaser photos and recipes.
  6. Run giveaways to increase followers and engagement.
  7. Interact with other authors and their recipes.
Nov 8, 2023

Is there a market for cookbooks? ›

Publishers and bookstores have noticed a positive trend in the past few years: Their cookbook sales are jumping, with cookbooks flying off the shelves. Always a popular category, cookbook sales have soared in the past three years. In 2021, cookbook sales were 42% higher than they were the year before.

What is the number one selling cookbook of all time? ›

Betty Crocker's Cookbook (originally called Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book) by Betty Crocker (1950) – approx. 65 million copies.

Why do people collect cookbooks? ›

Wistful in a way that only the combination of food, words, and images can be, the collections become more than mere anthologies of recipes and instructions: they form the stories about the folks who write them and provide a glimpse of the time during which they were written.

Is there still a market for cookbooks? ›

But do cookbooks still sell? Yes, they do. In fact, it's a burgeoning and competitive market. But that's just another reason to make sure that you do everything possible to make your cookbook the best it can be.

Who is buying cookbooks? ›

Most people buy two or three cookbooks each year, and 12% of buyers buy four or more. 70% of cookbook buyers buy for themselves, and the remaining 30% buy cookbooks as gifts. Half of all cookbook buyers say they cook at home at least once a week.

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