eBay question

Joe Singleton joesingleton10 at mindspring.com
Tue Nov 5 10:10:50 EST 2002

I have a hard time paying the full price for a ML in the guide.  The hunt is
the thing, and it seems that there are enough MLs floating around that a
newer collector, such as myself, could find thriftily a full collection in
about 5 years--by my estimation.  I am not real picky about firsts, but will
pay more for them and am always thrilled to find one (eg.  yesterday I found
Mary Renaults LAST OF THE WINE for $7.50 F/VG that I estimate to be worth
about $17.00) that brings the value of my collection up a bit.  I have a
spreadsheet listing all of my collection with prices that I paid for each
individual book, as opposed to its actual value from the guide.  As of now I
have about 60 ML titles, and average about G ($11.00) in value each(I am up
about $100.00 on cost vs. value).  I prefer to be on the plus side as
opposed to the minus (I'm sure this will change when I am down to the rare
titles to finish out the collection) but in the end,  it is my goal, I bet I
am still on the plus side.  Value still counts down here in Texas!   Of
course value cannot be attached to sentiment and a good library in your home
to pick and choose from when you please--

Joe Singleton

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-modlib at algol.owu.edu [mailto:owner-modlib at algol.owu.edu]On
Behalf Of Allbooks at aol.com
Sent: Monday, November 04, 2002 1:44 PM
To: modlib at algol.owu.edu
Subject: Re: eBay question

Interesting.  It is almost enough to make one believe price is a major
consideration.  Well, each to his own.  In every field there are those whose
main satisfaction is the thrill, so to speak, of the chase, among many
factors.   Allow me, please, to ramble a bit.  The  main point is at the end
of this post.

Probably the worst field is cookbook collectors.   Apparently you are not
even in the league until you own several hundred.  These are not collectors
of antiquarian cookbooks, just cooks who want lots of recipes at their
fingertips.  So they won't pay any money for them, which in turn means it
doesn't pay for dealers to stock cookbooks except those we may acquire for
next to nothing.   One collector explained that there is no reason to pay
money for a book you'll only use once.

Birdwatchers are almost as bad.  But they seem to be very nice people.
mind the thousands they spend on cameras and travel, but not on books.

It is amazing how many of our walk-in customers expect used book stores to
something akin to thrift shops.  The reality is that we buy from thrift
shops.  (I  personally collect John McPhee.  Found the very last McPhee
to complete the collection in a thrift shop trash can.)

We stock several hundred ML titles.  Never do we list them online.  The
prices just don't make it worth the effort.  But there are enough local ML
collectors who will walk out of here with an armload of ML to make it worth
our while to continue stocking them.  By definition, we rarely see the rare
ones.  Most of ours have dust jackets; first ML editions are scattered among
them.  So we supply those who are not yet real fussy.  (No, we do not have
any B&L in dj.)  But we love our ML books and our ML collectors.  BTW, we
now having a sale:  Buy two books, and the second (of equal or lesser price)
is half price.  We also have a few Everyman's Library and a few dozen Oxford
World Classics, which seem to be hard to find and a neglected collectible in
this country.

The landlord, OTOH, really insists on regular payments.   (The obvious
question of open shops vs. home dealers is one that has been discussed at
length on other lists.)

Which leaves me with the real point of this post, which is to wonder, given
the existence of the ML price guide, how often the actual prices paid for ML
books are, more or less, those indicated by it?   Are we fantasizing the
notion that ML collectors will actually pay the prices in the guide?

Best Regards to All,

Don Ramsey
ALL BOOKS CONSIDERED   <A HREF="www.AllBooksConsidered.com">
10408 Montgomery Ave., Kensington MD 20895
(301) 929-0036

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