Which fiction and non-fiction books are winners on eBay? Each month this series answers the question and, along the way, looks at the listing strategies sellers use to bring in big bucks.
To learn more about what's in and what's out of the lists, read our
Top 10 on eBay Parameters.
NOTE: Items numbers are now included in this article. They are in the individual auction comments section below the author and title. Click the links to see the listings.
Alcoholics Anonymous monopolized the non-fiction top 10 list in July, filling 8 of the 10 positions. Selling prices ranged
from a high of $12,100 to $2,010. One US seller had a winning month on eBay, selling 3 of the copies. In case you wonder, #11 for the
month was yet another copy of Alcoholics Anonymous. In addition, it showed up as #5 (tie) on the Antiquarian & Collectible list. The fiction list counted its repeat winners as well. Ian Fleming's James Bond titles came in at #1, #2 and #3.
In an unusual twist, the Antiquarian and Collectible category included 4 buy-it-now (BIN) purchases among the 6 listed
(tie for #5).
Fiction Top 10
IAN FLEMING Goldfinger SIGNED UK 1st Edition James Bond
1ST JAMES BOND IAN FLEMING THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN
IAN FLEMING THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN FIRST EDITION
A HORNBOOK FOR WITCHES LEAH DRAKE ARKHAM 1ST HC DJ
Blood Meridian, Cormac Mc Carthy
STEPHEN KING LETTERED "FROM A BUICK 8" CEMETERY
George Orwell-Nineteen Eighty Four 1st 1st DJ NPC
1st Edition Ernest Hemingway Old Man and the Sea w/DJ
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban UK Deluxe MINT
The Hound of Baskervilles Conan Doyle 1902 1st ed.
Ian Fleming-The Spy Who Loved Me DJ NPC
A signed 1st UK edition Goldfinger brought in the top fiction dollar in July. Described as in near fine condition with a very good dust jacket,
the book came with a invoice from Christies "as provenance for the signature." It was listed by a UK seller.
The Man With the Golden Gun
Selling his grandfather's 1st edition, another UK seller noted that, unlike other 1st editions he had sold, this copy has a golden gun on the cover.
"The jacket is an original with chipping and tears. After 30 bids, it sold for $2,643.52.
#3 The Man With the Golden Gun
Another 1st edition copy of The Man With the Golden Gun was listed by an Australian seller. The book is described as having
slight wear and the dust jacket is in very good condition. It received 33 bids.
#4 A Hornbook for Witches.
Leah Bodine Drake
The 1950 1st hardcover in dust jacket was among the 553 copies printed by Arkham House. It sold as a BIN for $2,000.
#5 Blood Meridian
Noting that the book "appears to be in unread condition," the US seller saw this 1985 1st edition with dust jacket receive 21 bids.
From a Buick 8
Described as "mint in a mint handmade custom traycase," the limited edition is the letter "T" of the 52 lettered copies and was signed by
King and illustrator Berni Wrightson.
#7 Nineteen Eighty-Four
An Australian seller listed the 1st edition in maroon dust jacket, a less common color than green. It sold for $1,200 with a
single bid. The same seller sold #10 (tie)
#8 The Old Man and the Sea
20 bids took the 1st edition to $1,055. The seller called it "a very rare book in MINT condition." The same seller sold #10.
#9 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Part of the limited edition of just under 1000 copies, this 1st edition had its "shrink wrap removed to substantiate first edition
first printing status," and is described as in "Fine unused condition, as new." It was published without a dust jacket and
sold after 14 bids.
#10 tie The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sold by the seller of #8, the 1902 1st edition without dust jacket attracted 5 bids.
#10 tie The Spy Who Loved Me
The seller of #7 also sold this 1st edition of The Spy Who Loved Me. Listed in good condition, the book and dust jcket attracted
8 bids to sell for $1,025.
eBay Non-Fiction Top 10
Alcoholics Anonymous First Edition, First Printing 1939
Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book 1st Edition 1st Printing
Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book 2nd Printing 1941
Alcoholics Anonymous Red 1st edition 2 printing
Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book - 4th Printing, 1943
NELSON MANDELA ILLUSTRATED SIGNED LTD EDIT LONG WALK...
Jeff Koons [SIGNED] (Hardcover) TASCHEN BRAND NEW
Alcoholics Anonymous FIRST EDITION Fifth Prt Baby Blue
Rare First Edition 3rd Printing Alcoholics Anonymous
Atop the non-fiction top 10 at $12,100, this 1st edition, 1st printing 1939 copy of Alcoholics Anonymous is 1 of 4730.
Sold with the original dust jacket, the book is described as a gift "to an AA member with 38 years sobriety by one of the
original 100 members." The US seller described one flaw - "one mark on top of dust cover." It sold after 5 bids.
The US seller described this 1st edition book as in fair condition with a reproduction dust jacket. "It was signed by
Clarence H Snyder, one of the 1st one hundred."
After 24 bids, it sold for $8,600. The seller also sold #3 and #5.
Listing a 2nd printing 1941, the seller of #2 and #5 graded it as in good condition with an original dust jacket in poor condition.
It was signed by
Clarence H Snyder. After 14 bids, it sold for $5,800.
A red 1st edition 2nd printing was listed by another US seller, who called it "Rarest of rare red cover with lazar jacket."
The seller added,
"The jacket appears authentic. However upon closer inspection it is my opinion that it is a nearly perfect copy of an original 2nd
printing dust jacket." The auction received 6 bids and closed at $3,650.
The seller of #2 and #3 hit the jackpot with #5 as well. This, a 4th printing 1943 1st edition came with the original dust jacket.
The book is
described as good condition in a poor condition dust jacket.
Long Walk to Freedom
A UK seller's listing came in at #6 and sold on a single bid. The signed goatskin-bound limited edition is #266 of 425.
Hans Werner Holzwarth, Ed.
Sold as a BIN, the 2008 Taschen publication was still sealed in its original double box.
A 1st edition 5th printing in baby blue came in at #8. It was a very good hardcover in a reproduction dust jacket, 1 of 5,000 copies.
The 1st edition 6th printing in very good condition with a reproduction dust jacket sold after 15 bids.
A 1st edition 3rd printing 1942 is described as in very good condition and lacking a dust jacket.
By the Numbers
15 sellers were from the USA
3 sellers were from the UK
3 sellers were from Australia
2 sellers each sold 2 books
1 seller sold 3 books.
11 books were published during or after 1950
10 were published before 1950
sold as BIN 3
sold as a Best Offer
1 to 33 to was the range of bids
Seller feedback ranged from 51 to 6615.*
12 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback ranged from 98 to 100 for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1902.
*feedback is noted at the time the auction is viewed by BookThink.
eBay Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
1731 FIRST-EDITION WYCLIFFE NEW TESTAMENT HOLY BIBLE 16
Peter Beard Collector's Edition with 965 ELEPHANT Print
Pable Picasso vintage signed book with 24 POSTERS !!!
PICASSO THE HUMAN COMEDY/VERVE 1ST ED 1954 PARIS***
1600 RHEMES ENGLISH CATHOLIC NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE Relic
1731 Wycliffe New Testament
Sold as a BIN for $25,000, the English Bible was described by the US seller as "PROFOUNDLY ASTRONOMICALLY INCREDIBLY RARE AND LIGHT YEARS BEYOND SCARCE." The same US seller sold #5 (tie).
Peter Beard, Collectors Edition
Described a bit confusedly as "#180 of 125 to 250 in the Limited Edition with '965 Elephants,'" the Taschen title sold for $14,000
as a BIN.
Posters of Picasso
Pablo Picasso and Joseph K. Foster
The 1957 Crown Publishers' 1st edition with 24 signed posters attracted 31 bids. Listed by a Belgium seller, the book was
accompanied by two appraisals. It sold as is for $11,330. The same seller sold #4.
Suite de 180 dessins, 28 novembre, 1953 au 3 fevrier, 1954. [Picasso et la comedie humaine]
Pablo Picasso and Michel Leiris
Verve, revue artistique et litteraire, vol. VIII, nos. 29 et 30.
From the Belgian seller of #3, another Picasso title took 4th place. After 62 bids, it sold for $10,100.
1600 Rhemes New Testament
Sold by the seller of #1, the Rhemes Catholic New Testament was printed in Antwerp in 1600 and is in its original binding
professionally rebacked." The seller
described it as "signed on the title page and once owned by John Gelibrond!" It sold as a BIN for $9,500.
Tied for #5, the 1st edition red book was among the 4730 published. Listed by a US seller, it is described as in "solid
It sold as a BIN for $9,500.