Yes, it's possible to let the person know if there's a slight possibility that the book has value, but that's a touchy approach.
There's also the question of whether or not you want to sell your old book. In this case, it's a good idea tell the appraiser/dealer this up front that you just want to know what it's worth or that you do want to sell it. (A dealer will generally offer between 20 and 25% of retail value. While this may not seem like much, you have to understand that the dealer will have to market the book himself and may have it in stock for weeks, months, even years before a buyer appears. Telling the appraiser what you plan to do with the book doesn't mean the evaluation will change; it just means you won't be unnecessarily suspicious about the fairness of the pricing.
If you have access to the Internet (which you probably do since you're reading this article), you can do some checking on your own. You can visit websites such as abe books or bookfinder, or even amazon (but the latter, in our opinion, is not the best place to get a true value), to see if others are offering the same title.
But beware. When searching the net, you must find a title that is in the same condition as yours. Be as accurate as possible in your comparisons. Find listings that come as close as possible to the condition of your book.
Got questions? Feel free to post in the comments area or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to read part two of this article.