How scarce is The Alice, anyway?

Scot Kamins kamins at dogeared.com
Fri Jun 22 15:57:55 EDT 2001


In a recent e-mail, jbkrygie at cc.owu.edu said (in part):

>Or is eBay a good random 'sample' of the relative
>numbers of different ML titles and editions out there?


John,

You've raised a lot of great issues here and I'd like to respond to this 
one.

Seems to me that eBay is a pretty good giant yard sale. It has a huge 
number of everything up for grabs all the time. So I'm betting it's a 
pretty good random sample of EVERYTHING that's out there, ML titles 
included. This becomes more true over time as more people from all over 
the place put everything in the cellar and attic up for bids. 

At the same time, I do NOT believe that the bidding represents true value 
because the number of people who bid on any one item is too small. Also I 
think that "bidding" is a different phenomenon from "buying." People get 
caught up in bidding -- it becomes an ego thing for some, a "fun of 
bidding" for others. I suspect that folks will pay more at auction than 
they would in a retial store. This is why I tend to use eSnipe.com to 
place my bids at the last second; I make a decision way in advance of the 
close of an auction about how much I'm willing to pay for a book, 
register that amount at eSnipe which automatically places a last-second 
bid for me [win or lose], and I try not to look back until the auction 
ends.

     `\|||/                     Scot Kamins
      (@@)
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