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BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
March 2007

by Pamela Palmer

#94, 14 May 2007

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. In early January, we'll look back at the year and consider trends and highlights. To learn more about what's in and what's out of the lists, read our Top 10 on eBay Parameters.

NOTE: For item numbers of auctions featured in Top 10, subscribe to our free email list by writing Editor Craig Stark at

March 2007 came and went with eBay fiction sales turning distinctly domestic. No UK sellers showed up at all, though an Australian and a Canadian made valiant attempts to fill the vacuum left by the precipitous departure of UK listings on eBay US. Meanwhile, King and son wrapped up 4 of the fiction slots. As if that wasn't enough, there were 3 separate ties totaling 6 titles in the mix.

The nonfiction list had pairs too. There were 2 Peter Beard books both from a German seller. Two copies of Sumo, and 1 each from Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Fiction Top 10
March 2007

#1 $4,300.00 Joe Hill HEART-SHAPED BOX dlx limited Copy #1
#2 tie $2,500.00 Edgar Rice Burroughs ETERNAL LOVER 1st -DJ
#3 tie $2,000.00 Stephen King's S/L New Lieutenant's Rap Chapbook 1/ 500
#3* tie $2,000.00 RARE PRINTING!!!! Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus
#4 tie $1,700.00 Charles Dickens A CHRISTMAS CAROL 1st edition
#4 tie $1,700.00 Stephen King The Stand Limited Edition
#8 $1,300.00 Rare first edition The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
#9 $1,225.00 The Green Mile by Stephen King - signed limited edition
#10 $1,200.00 NEAL STEPHENSON Snow Crash 1st EDITION 1st PRINT HCDJ

*Non-registered buyer so sale not completed and final value not validated.

Heart-Shaped Box
Joe Hill

"Copy #1 of the deluxe limited edition" plus 2 signed book-related items and a provenance from the publisher went to the top of the March 2007 fiction top 10. Described as new, the book was listed by a US seller for 7 days with 1 photo. After 33 bids, it sold for $4,300.

#2 tie
Ian Fleming

Listed by an Australian seller for 7 days with 4 photos, the 1st edition 1st impression copy of Moonraker was married to a "later original dust jacket" both described as in very good condition. The auction attracted 32 bids.

#2 tie
Eternal Lover
Edgar Rice Burroughs

Coming in at #3, the 1925 book is a 1st edition in a restored dust jacket. The US seller noted, "supposedly only 5000 copies were published in 1925." Listed in a 7-day auction with 8 photos, the auction received 2 bids. This seller also sold #6 (tie).

#4 tie
The New Lieutenant's Rap
Stephen King

Sold as a BIN, the signed book is 1 of 500 that were "given to the 100 to 150 attendees of the 25th anniversary of King's Carrie." The US seller listed it with 3 photos and it sold the next day.

#4* tie
Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus
Mrs. Shelley

Frankenstein didn't cause this auction to go awry. A NARU did. Listed by a US seller with 5 photos, the undated book contained an inscription dated 1897. The BIN eBay member is now not a registered user.

#6 tie
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens

A 10-day private auction with 12 photos by the seller of #3 attracted 2 bids to a rebound 1843 1st edition published by Chapman and Hall in London. Flaws include "the first few pages and front cover are disbound." Pages and illustrations are described as very good.

#6 tie
The Stand
Stephen King

The signed 1st edition leather bound book in a wooden box is described as in new condition. Listed by a US seller with 2 photos. It sold as a best offer for $1,700.


The Secret Agent
Joseph Conrad

Another best offer acquired this 1907 1st edition in good condition. Described as 1 of 2500 published that year, it is unusual in having "40 pages of advertisements at the rear." It was listed by a Canadian seller with 3 photos.

Green Mile
Stephen King

The just released Stephen King signed limited edition was listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with no photos. Starting at $800, the 6 volumes in slipcase attracted 9 bids, selling for $1,225. It was #2 of 148 copies.

Snow Crash
Neal Stephenson

Listed as very fine in a very fine dust jacket, the 1992 1st edition 1st printing "with correct number line" is 1 of the 600 copies of the trade edition. Listed by a US seller with 4 photos, it sold as a BIN the day after listing.


Non-Fiction Top 10
March 2007

#1 $6,900.00 Peter Beard, Collector's Edition: 965 Elephants, Top-RAR
#2 $4,550.00 Peter Beard, Collector's Edition: Fayel Tall, NO.109
#3 $3,437.87 Charles Darwin On te Origin of the Species Rare 1860 ed.
#4 $3,200.00 Helmut Newton Sumo Photography Book w/ Philippe Starck
#5 $2,683.00 SUMO - Helmut Newton - Rare Collectors Edition #8170
#6 $2,000.00 Return of The Enola Gay - Autographed Book & Picture
#7 $1,976.00 Lee Friedlander - The American Monument 1976 New,sealed
#8 $1,907.71 Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st Edition, Signed by Bill
#9 $1,874.00 Narcotics Anonymous It Works First Edition Book # 599

Peter Beard, Collector's Edition
Owen Edward and others

The signed, limited edition with an accompanying print of 965 elephants is among the 250 copies of this edition. It is described as having a "sumptuous leather cover" and being "packaged in a velvet-lined wood shipping crate." A German seller, who also sold #2, listed it in a 7-day auction with 1 photo. After 25 bids, it rose from the listing price of $1 to sell for $6,900.

Peter Beard, Collector's Edition
Owen Edward and others

The German seller of #1 had an encore with this signed limited edition, adding up to a $11,450 sales total plus $400 in shipping costs on the title. This time, the print is Fayel Tall.

Origin of Species
Charles Darwin

The US seller cites Freeman's Darwin bibliography to label this a 2nd edition, 2nd issue 1860 Origin of Species, mentioning specifics such as folding diagrams and title page wording. Described as in fair condition, flaws include a front hinge split and worn extremities. The seller's attention to detail broke down a bit when he mentioned, "Guilt lettering on spine bright." Listed in a 7-day auction with 9 photos, the book attracted 16 bids.

Helmut Newton

Listed by a US seller in a 10-day auction with 3 photos, this copy of Sumo is #06071 of 10,000 and is signed by Newton. Described as in excellent condition except for a small tear, the book received 12 bids before selling for $3,200.

Helmut Newton

Another copy of Sumo came in at #5, sold by an eBay drop-off store. Listed in a 7-day auction with 8 photos, the lister neglected to indicate the number of this signed limited edition. After 22 bids, it sold for $2,683.

Return of the Enola Gay
Paul W. Tibbets

Listed by a US seller in a 7-day private auction with 6 photos, the 1998 signed first edition received 8 bids. Both book and dust jacket are described as a very fine. The auction includes an autographed photo of Tibbets with the Enola Gay and a certificate of authenticity.

The American Monument
Lee Friedlander

"New, never opened" describes this copy of the 1976 book listed by US seller with 4 photos. It sold as a BIN.

Alcoholics Anonymous

A 1954 1st edition signed by Bill with a fair dust jacket was listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with 4 photos. The book is described as in "great shape" with a few light spots and a few marks in addition to Bill's signature. After 23 bids, it sold for $1,907.71.

It Works
Narcotics Anonymous

The 1st edition #599 copy of It Works is in "crisp tight condition" and was owned by a man who read a later edition. A few sentences are underlined. Listed by a US seller with 7 photos, it received 2 bids.

Atlas Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition During the Years 1838,1839,1840,1841,1842, Vol. 6
Michael Cooper

The 1845 atlas is volume 6 of a set. The US seller indicates the 5 maps are present and describes the flaws, including some crease splitting of the foldout maps and 1 map separated into 2 parts. The seller, who listed it in a 10-day auction with 12 photos, opened the volume as briefly as possible, explaining, "At this point any future wear would be put on the NEW OWNER."

By the Numbers

0 sellers were from the UK
16 sellers were from the USA
1 seller who sold 2 books was from Germany
1 seller was from Australia
1 seller was from Canada
13 books were published during or after 1950
7 was published before 1950
10 books were listed for 7 days
4 books were listed for 10 days
4 sold as BIN
2 sold as a Best Offer
2 to 33 was the range of bids
2 were private auctions
Seller feedback ranged from 5 to 4666.*
7 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback ranged from 98.3 % to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1843.

*feedback is noted at the time the auction is viewed by BookThink.

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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