Book values & ratings
July 8, 2009 3:31 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a quick & dirty way of determining both the value & quality of a very large number of books (> 1,000).

One thought:
Scan the barcodes/ ISBNs into a text file and use those to create a "bookstore" on Amazon to get access to price & star rating info.

I've created an aStore with an Amazon Associates account, but I haven't figured out how to specify particular titles or how to get product ratings displayed.

First problem would be solved with LibraryThing, but as far as I know they don't provide price information.
posted by woodman to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you just want the value or are you planning to actually sell them? Because listing less than a thousand books on Amazon isnt a big deal. What type of books are they? Unless they are all serious quality then you can expect a good chunk not to sell.
posted by fire&wings at 3:53 AM on July 8, 2009

Delicious Library lets you quickly inventory (by scanning barcodes) a large inventory of books (among other things), value them via Amazon (with a three-click sell option) and keep track of what is sold and what isn't, among numerous other features.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:45 AM on July 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

The quick and dirty way would be to somewhat knowledgeable about book values and visually inspect them. That would be a helluva lot quicker than scanning ISBNs/uploading data and waiting for answers then going back and still trying to figure which books are which. A couple people could visually inspect that many books in an afternoon and sort them into several piles based on value. You don't have to be exact for the majority of the books but you don't want to pass up the extremely valuable books. For the few that you are unsure of then you can scan/upload them to Amazon.
posted by JJ86 at 5:47 AM on July 8, 2009 is now partnering with amazon. Check it out
posted by IndigoJones at 7:04 AM on July 8, 2009

SnapTell for the iPhone can tell you, if the book is available from Amazon, etc., how much it costs from such online retailers. It takes 20s or so for each book, and if they're old books or old editions of current books, it won't find them. (we used it to keep track of a bunch of math books we were shipping.)
posted by leahwrenn at 8:33 AM on July 8, 2009

Response by poster: I work for a library where people drop their orphan books off by the box-load. The vast majority, probably around 95%, are indeed worthless (the books, not the people). The chaff ends up in our book sales, for 50c or $1.

My thought was to use our supply of unskilled volunteers to manage our book sales. Since even I'm often surprised by what's selling online for what we would consider big bucks ($5 - $30+), my suspicion was that it would be hard to train our volunteers to spot the more valuable items. I'll re-consider this, though.

Listing books on Amazon is in fact a bit of a chore as you have to provide item conditions & ideally descriptions for each title, along with prices of course.

Delicious Library is Mac-only. Unless I'm missing something, Bibliofind seems to be just another online bookstore within Amazon.

Will keep looking ... thanks for the responses!
posted by woodman at 7:41 PM on July 8, 2009

Best answer: Check out Librarian Pro. It will gather value and other data from Amazon for just about any media item. It's cross platform and will work with a barcode scanner.
posted by the biscuit man at 7:21 PM on July 10, 2009

Response by poster: Librarian Pro looks like a nice program, for $29.95 -- will download & give it a try. It would probably pay for itself fairly quickly if it works well.
posted by woodman at 6:54 AM on September 7, 2009

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