Frequently Asked Question

white bookshelf filled with colourful bound books

 

Why are your Collections priced in USD?

We generally only deal in collectable items, most notably our books and prints. These items usually have a stronger international collector base, so pricing is typically done in USD. For this reason, we follow the same practice and price our products in USD. However our website does allow you to check pricing in a number of other currencies, and the exchange rates are updated daily.

 

Do you buy stock?

Yes, we do buy stock and we are always interested to see what you might have. We prefer collectable and rare books, prints and related items. The easiest approach is to send us a list of items you have available, with pictures showing copyright, condition and relevant information. We are mostly interested in Speculative Fiction (Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror), Fine Press Books (in particular Limited Editions Club), Arkham House, modern First Editions, Signed and Limited Edition books. It doesn’t however mean we only buy in these categories. We are happy to have a look at what else you might have available.

 

Do you only buy books in South Africa?

No we don’t, we are part of a larger group of companies in South Africa, who regularly import products from around the world. We are able to consolidate orders specifically from the USA (in New Jersey) and UK (Staffordshire and London) and can often make a plan in other countries as well.

 

I’m looking for a book can you source it for me?

Absolutely! We are happy to discuss the books you are interested in and look at the current market related prices  so you can get an idea of costs. From that you can let us know what price you are comfortable with and we will use our large network to do our best to source the books for you within your price range.  We usually offer discounts if we receive a firm commitment for these books.

 

Can I return an item?

We pride ourselves in giving you all the details and clear photographs in order for you to make an informed decision on the condition(s) of the item(s) you are buying.

If you are not happy with your purchase you are able to return the item(s) within 30 days of receiving it. If we made a mistake, we will pay for the shipping back to us, if you simply changed your mind you are still able to return it, but at your cost and in the same condition it was received. If the item is damaged, we reserve the right to charge an appropriate amount for the loss of value on the item. Refunds are limited to the original price paid.

 

Can I visit your Library?

Yes you're welcome to. We operate from two venues. Our industrial offices in Muizenberg which houses all of our companies, here we keep a selection of our online stock. Most of our more valuable items are kept at a private venue in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. You are able to make arrangements for a private viewing at either location. Please contact us at info@rarecollections.co.za to arrange.

 

Are rare books a good investment?

Like most questions around investment the answer is not straight forward. Yes, books can be a good investment and historically books tend to hold their value well and, in some cases, even grow significantly. There is always an element of risk and no book or author is guaranteed to give continued growth. Past growth is not a guarantee for future growth and particular books can go in and out of fashion or popularity like any other investment. Similar to other collectable categories, including art, coins, stamps and more, selling your books can take longer than disposing of a unit trust portfolio for instance. With collectables you need to connect the book with the right collector, which you can do with the help of your local rare books dealer, or you can consider placing your items on auction. Do however keep in mind that auction results are typically below the retail value of the books, but it will give you a fairly quick turn around time. Speaking from a South African point of view, books are a good currency hedge since they are valued in US Dollars. Collectables also currently do not attract capital gains tax in South Africa.

We will however always advise caution. We do not advise buying rare books purely for investment reasons. You will get the most enjoyment out of collecting books and titles that hold special meaning to you. Be prepared to look at this as a long-term purchase. Also remember in the rare books world, condition is EVERYTHING. Always buy the best book your budget allows. Over time the stock of fine books of any particular title will only increase, which means your book will likely increase in value for that same reason.

Decide what you are interested in and get to know more about that category and genre, we find that is more than half of the enjoyment in collecting. Discuss your needs with us or any other rare items dealer and make sure you deal with reputable dealers.

 

Do you ship books outside of South Africa?

Yes we do and a large portion of our clients are based outside of South Africa. Our collection of items are normally of international interest and we regularly ship to collectors around the world.

 

Do you work with interior designers and other professionals?

Yes we do and Rare Collections tie in closely with the rest of our group of companies, which includes www.thewineroom.co.za and www.adventureinc.co.za. We regularly design wine, cigar and library rooms and also fill these spaces. We will be happy to work with you on this and we have a large team of designers on hand to assist. If there is any interest, please contact us at info@rarecollections.co.za to discuss our professional rates and agreements.

 

Can I make an offer on a book and do you provide discounts for regular clients?

You can absolutely make an offer and we are happy to review it, but remember we might also decline the offer. We certainly do look after regular clients and we will handle this on a case to case basis. Regular clients will get first options on new stock before it makes it to our website so feel free to get in touch and discuss with us.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

On our website and social media pages we will be covering books spanning several centuries or representing a single publisher over a prolonged period of time. We are well aware that at times these books might include text, illustrations or more that are no longer appropriate or sometimes rightfully offensive.

Our goal is the visual cataloguing of books and publishers and the historic value of these works. Debate on the content is an important and worthwhile endeavour and we will of course often have our own strong feelings on many of these topics. However this platform is not the place for these discussion or debates.

Personally I’m fascinated by previously banned books, often they had an important, but unpopular message for the time. We will cover these books as well in time.

As much as we hate censorship, and we fully recognise the irony in our policy, we will reserve the right to remove (and or close comments) when they seem likely to move towards heated debate and discussions. We hope you understand and respect the purpose and goal of our pages and our right to enforce this policy at times if required. Thank you.