Were you a Harry Potter fan back in the early days? You may have the opportunity to earn some fast cash. Some old editions of the book are worth serious money, in the thousands of dollars.
If you think you may own one of these specific editions, you might want to check out your bookshelf and start making an account on eBay, where die-hard Harry Potter fans are paying top dollar for these books.
A “First UK Deluxe Edition” of “Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkaban” sold on eBay for a whopping $7,500, and the book was even signed by J.K Rowling herself.
Even if you don’t own this rare edition, there are a number of other Harry Potter books being sold from $1,000 to over $5,000. Most of these are first edition, and many are signed, but you never know what yours could be worth.
One of the most valuable is the hardcover first edition/first printing of, “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone,” but only if it has an image of a train on the cover next to Harry.
The one below is listed on eBay for a whopping $5,495! The listing says it’s part of the first printing of the softcover version of the book from the UK publisher Bloomsbury.
Another eBay listing from the same seller offers a first Bloomsbury edition second softcover printing (book publishers will release the paperback or softcover edition of a book about a year after the hardcover is released). This one is listed for $2,895.
The most valuable publishing company is Bloomsbury, so check your front cover to see if you’ve snagged one of those. These early editions are worth much more because not as many copies were printed as the later editions. When it was clear to the publisher what a massive success the series would be, no doubt the number of books ordered in later printings went up substantially!
Only around 500 of the Harry Potter books were printed initially—with an estimated 300 going into libraries—so the chances of owning a first edition are extremely rare.
How To Spot A First Edition
According to those who specialize in rare books, in addition to ensuring the publisher is Bloomsbury, you want to look for the following:
- The latest date on the copyright page should be 1997
- The print line on the page reads “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1”
- Page 53 contains an error that was corrected in later printings: On a list of items Harry must take to school with him, the entry “1 wand” is printed twice.
Back in 2012, a video from a company that sells rare books online noted that a first edition had recently sold for about $36,000—and shares how to identify a valuable Potter book.
As of 2017, however, a first edition of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” sold for $81,250. According to the director of the Dallas auction house that sold it, the book was in great condition.
“The book was an exceptionally nice copy. It had really been taken care of. It was bought in the UK 18 years ago and had been with one collector since,” he told the Scotsman.
Makes you want to scope out new work from the next J.K. Rowling, doesn’t it?