Ethics and eBay Book Buying

Scot Kamins kamins at
Sun May 29 18:18:38 EDT 2005

On May 29, 2005, at 2:31 PM, J B Krygier wrote:

> If there is an ethical problem with not letting a seller know they
> have vastly underpriced a book, then many book sellers and buyers
> (those on limited budgets, or those who enjoy getting a bargain as
> much as the book itself) are in trouble.

Not to take sides but to further the discussion: Isn't there a  
difference between what we expect of a book dealer (and his presumed  
expertise) and the typical eBay seller-of-stuff-in-the-attic?

We all agree that knowledge is power - especially in the field of  
collecting. If an alleged expert (that is, someone holding himself  
out to be a professional bookseller) offers a great rarity at a dumb  
price, isn't the fault his? But if Gramma Shoebox offers in her  
ignorance a great rarity for a pittance, doesn't a different standard  
come into play? While we can take advantage of the former with few  
ethical qualms (he should know better!), aren't we stealing from the  
latter (how can she be expected to know?)?

And how thought that last phrase be punctuated?

- Scot Kamins

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