Using the terminology Brand New for Books.

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I recently bought a book off an ebayer who described it as "Brand New". It wasnt brand new in my opinion because it was printed 4 years ago and the seller was not a book shop.As it happens the book was a rare 3rd edition and I was very pleased to keep it.

I think the words "Brand New" describe something made or printed this year unless the seller is a shop of some kind.

I have been a semi professional dealer in books.I appreciate not everyone is aware how to describe a book correctly.Here are a few tips. A small sized book with a cover of say 10cm by 15 cm would be described as having a size of "Small 8vo". An average sized book may be around 15cm by 24cm and would be described as "8vo". A large book may be around 24cm by 29cm and be described as "4to" or "Quarto".

Most books come with a dust cover (abbreviated to dc). The first page you come across on opening the book is the title page.This should have the title of the book written on it.(This is the page we all wrote our name on when we were children or drew pictures on! Lots of people tear this page out when selling the book because it looks a mess.Both removing and writing ones name devalues a book but removing the page or any page is worst and cutting out pictures seriously devalues it.)  The second page has details of who published the book and when.A book collector wants to know which edition the book is.It is important.If there is only one date say 1998 and it says "Published in 1998" Then the book is probably the first edition of 1998. If there are several dates such as 1998 1999 2001 I would describe the 2001 book as a 3rd edition of 2001.Sometimes you will see words used like 1998 1999 2001 revised. This means 1998 was the first edition.1999 (the 2nd edition) was an exact replica word for word of the 1998 edition but the 2001 edition (the 3rd edition) has extra words written to the two previous editions.Sometimes it might say "revised and enlarged".

If you go into any book shop selling new books and check the second page you will probably be very surprised to discover when the book was actually printed.5 years previously is not uncommon.I would still describe the books for sale as brand new because they have come to the book shop directly from the publisher or printer.When printers and publishers get stuck with a particular book that is not selling in the volume(numbers)they expected then they try to sell those that remain as a whole lot to a  book shop who specialises in remaindered stock. This remaindered stock may well find itself in the hands of an ebay trader who I think is fully justified to sell the books as "Brand New". But someone who is neither a book shop nor a remainders dealer selling a book as "Brand New" on ebay is I reckon committing an offence under the trades description act! Surely a "brand new" book is one that has been unopened and unread?Also known as "a new copy".Anyone who is not a book dealer,nor a book trader,nor a book shop can only sell the book as secondhand.What do you think?

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