Ethics and eBay Book Buying

J B Krygier jbkrygier at
Tue May 31 08:29:31 EDT 2005

On May 29, 2005, at 6:18 PM, Scot Kamins wrote:

> 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?

Poor Grandma Shoebox!  Alas, the world of book collecting
(and antiques, art, collectables of all sorts) is full of
stories of phenomenal finds at garage sales, thrift stores,
etc. for a few bucks.  There may be an ethical issue at
some point - the copy of Poe's Tamerlane bought with a box
of books at a yard sale for $25 in the 1950s (and sold
shortly after for $10,000) - but where is that point?

I guess someone needs to draft a letter to the ethicist
column in the NY Times.


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