How to avoid this common buyer complaint…
One of the issues that customers complain about regarding used books is specifically when dirt and grime are not wiped clean from covers.
It can be disappointing to receive books that have tea stains, dirty finger prints, and even dust on the books’ covers and page edges.
It does not take long to clean books and often this makes such a big difference. Sometimes it can increase the book value: it might raise the condition from acceptable to good or good to very good.
In any account, it’s worth taking the time to tidy up book appearances – if you don’t, it may attract adverse feedback.
The best ways to clean books…
Baby wipes – very handy to have around, baby wipes are very effective, and a pack of 50/80 can be purchased for £1 or less.
Kitchen spray and kitchen roll – this also a very low-cost method of cleaning book covers.
Use emery boards on page ends – emery boards are not expensive: you can purchase a pack for a small amount of cash – I usually pay £1 at the Pound Shop for a selection. They are great to use to remove imperfection to page edges. I use them when page edges are very tanned, which I treat by sanding down the page edges.
Tesco beeswax polish – I find Tesco’s own beeswax polish works a treat to remove stubborn price labels.
Sticky stuff remover – if you purchase books from charity shops they often have price labels strewn over the cover. These often leave a sticky residue once removed. I usually wipe over the marks with a small dab of sticky stuff remover: not too much – it is oil. Also, ensure the cover will not absorb the oil and ruin the cover completely.
Unfold turned-down corners – take the time to unfold turned-down corners. Once turned-down, the book pages do have a small creasing, but there is not much you can do about that. Just describe the book appropriately and all should be fine.
Invisible tape on cover corners – invisible tape is such a nice touch to tidy up book cover corners. With paperbacks, the cover corners come apart so easily, but a small piece of tape can make a difference.
Eraser – if I find books with pencil markings inside, if it is not too extensive I will take time to erase the markings. It’s also useful to remove pencil price markings and names/personal details from inside the book.
Tippex and white labels – If I have a book with names inside or a gift inscription, or any other marking that cannot be rubbed out using an eraser, I gently Tippex out the marking, then cover neatly with a white sticky label. As long as it look neat it’s usually fine.
Perhaps you have a favourite method of cleaning your books you would like to share: if so it will be great to hear from you – [email protected].
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