By Tom Congalton
With the advent of the Internet anyone with a computer and a few books can set up as a rare bookseller, and it's occasionally difficult to tell who is an expert, who is a casual hobbyist, and who is an Internet scammer. Here are a few simple reasons to buy from an ILAB bookseller:
1. High Standards
Individual bookseller members are admitted to their national organizations, and to ILAB through a process of sponsorship, investigation, and the vote of their peers, after they have demonstrated expertise, excellence, and experience as rare booksellers.
2. All the World’s Expertise
Virtually all of the world’s greatest and most experienced booksellers are members of ILAB, with tens of thousands of years of experience between them. ILAB members have authored hundreds of bibliographies and other scholarly works.
3. Ethic and Consumer Protection
Ever bought something online and was dissatisfied with it? ILAB, and its member nations maintain detailed Codes of Usages and Customs, and individual ILAB booksellers are required to adhere to these under pain of expulsion.
4. Authenticity Guaranteed
The Codes of Usages and Customs require that books and related material are accurately and professionally described. The authenticity and genuineness of all books, manuscripts, autographs, maps, and related material must be guaranteed. Otherwise, customers get their money back.
5. Book Fairs
ILAB and its member nations sponsor and produce the world’s greatest book fairs and exhibitions of rare books for sale, in many of the world’s great cities. Paris, London, New York, Milan, Stuttgart, Tokyo and many more great cities host ILAB fairs on a regular basis. A visit to an ILAB book fair is an education in the world of rare books, and the equivalent of a visit to a museum, with the difference that you can purchase the exhibits.
6. International Collegiality and Cooperation
Afraid to buy rare books from overseas dealers because you think you will have no recourse if you are unsatisfied? ILAB dealers are responsible to a world organization, and ILAB can help to foster communications and help to facilitate communications with overseas dealers. Everywhere in the world, you can buy the best books from ILAB booksellers with confidence.
The ILAB Directory is an encyclopedic listing to the world’s greatest booksellers, and a guide to their specialties.
ILAB sponsors the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography that awards scholars for excellence in furthering the knowledge of rare books and their makers. Many members lecture, teach, and participate in other educational programs that help to increase the resources for scholars and the general understanding of rare books.
9. Appraisals and Consultation
Many ILAB dealers actively provide appraisals and consultation to private collectors and institutions alike, and have the expertise and experience to help you to organize, insure, and otherwise provide professional advice.
10. Rare Books for Sale Online
The ILAB website book search is the only worldwide database that is limited exclusively to professional, peer-evaluated rare booksellers. You can buy with confidence from a world of expert and ethical rare booksellers.