Selling Your Books

As a used & rare bookseller, Motte & Bailey buys books from a number of sources, including organizations, estates, library sales, and individuals.

What We Buy
If you have books to sell, we suggest you look at the list on the right to see what books we like to buy. We are a smaller shop with an emphasis on condition and quality, so we often look for special collections of books or books on focused subjects. The more general the book, the less we are likely to be interested in it.

We are happy to have you come by, or to go out to see you at your location if you have many books.

First Time sellers
If you have not sold books to us before, you might find it helpful to bring in no more than 3 boxes to see how we operate, and, if you you are pleased with the result, move forward with the rest of your books. You do not need an appointment to come by. However, The *worst* times to come by (because of parking and local activities) are Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings. We are closed on Sundays.

Our Payment Offers
We generally pay $1 -2 dollars for books we will sell for $10 or less, and a third (approx 33%) for books we will sell for $15 or higher. If a book is more exceptional and above $250.00, we pay up to one half of our retail price. Again, we are smaller shop, and only rarely buy outside our areas, listed to the right.

For better books, our offers are higher than most online consignment shops and you do not have to wait for the book to sell. We pay you when we make an offer on your books, unless special arrangements are made.

We buy books on many subjects, but if the book is just a coffee table book or a very general history, we would pass. What we don't buy is at the end. 

Below are our preferred areas:

  • Scholarly History in all subject areas (law, economics, art etc)
  • American History Before 1990
  • Ancient History & Philosophy
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Art Books ( scholarly preferred)
  • Bookplates & Books about Booksplates
  • Books About Books
  • Children's Picture Books (in dust jacket)
  • Classic Literature, esp. 20th century classics. Must have dust jackets (do not need to be collectible editions)
  • Culinary History
  • European History
  • Exploration
  • Film & Movie (unusual or scholarly preferred)
  • Gardening & Botany
  • Graphic design, Illustration, & Posters
  • History of Science & Medicine
  • Medieval History
  • Military History, esp. Unit histories, Napoleonic, Civil War
  • Music History (unusual or scholarly preferred)
  • Mythology & Folklore
  • Poetry - classics & award winners preferred
  • Photography  (unusual or scholarly preferred)
  • Pre-Columbian Era (Maya, Aztec, Inca)
  • Sci Fi & Fantasy (classic, uncommon, award winners)
  • Transportation History (Cars, Plains, Trains, Ships)
  • Young Adult & Intermediate Children's Fiction in DJ

What We Don't Buy
Moldy or damaged books, incomplete sets, magazines, newer books missing their dust jackets, ex-library books, Readers Digest books, Time Life books, American Heritage, Diet & self Help books, inspirational books, romances.