by Pamela Palmer

#54, 31 October 2005

BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
September 2005

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Top 10 on eBay

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.

How many signed copies of Pullman's Northern Lights books can one eBayer sell in a month? At least three at top dollar. That's what one U.K. seller did in September. First, he sold #3 on BookThink's Fiction Top 10 for $2,795.43. Then he sold #5, what seems to be a second copy (because the first buyer left feedback), for $2,223.50. And he also sold #7 for $1,983.85. Good month!

Top 10 on eBay
Fiction Top 10
September 2005

#1 $6,351.00 Signed 1st Dick's DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP
#2 $6,011.07 JRR Tolkien The Lord of the Rings 1st printings 1/1/1
#4 $2,540.35 Thomas Hardy. A Laodicean. 1ST ED IN THE ORIGINAL CLOTH
#9 $1,680.99 tarzan lord of the jungle 1st in jacket burroughs

#1 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Philip K. Dick

This signed first edition sold for $6,351 with 2 bids in early September and held its place in the fiction chart throughout the month. Carefully described as "price clipped, the jacket is better than very good, with about 1/3 missing from a small part of the bottom spine ..." with some rubbing, a few spots/smudges on the dj. The signature is pasted in and inscribed to "Forrey." The U.S. seller included four pictures and started the auction at $5,999 for this "better than very good condition" book.

#2 Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring (1st impression, 1954)
The Two Towers (1st impression, 1954)
The Return of the King (1st impression, January 1955)

Sixteen bids took this U.K. seller's auction from GBP 99 to $6,011.07 for the three volumes in a slipcase. Volumes are "re-bound in soft full red leather with intricate gilt designs to edges, all page edges are gilt...." Recently rebound, the volumes are described as having minimal foxing and no other flaws. The original maps are in fine condition. Eleven pictures illustrate the auction.

#3 Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman

Attracting twenty-eight bids, this auction started at GBP 0.01 and closed at $2,795.43 for a hand signed 1st edition described as "unread, or read once at most...." A photo of Pullman signing the book at the Oxford Literary Festival is included with the book. One of the questions asked was why Pullman signed this in black instead of his usual blue. In reply, the U.K. seller indicated others at the festival would agree that he signed in black that day, as well as mentioning the photograph of Pullman signing the book.

#4 A Laodicean: Or: The Castle of the De Stancys: A Story of To-day
by Thomas Hardy

In three volumes, this first English edition 1881 set started at GBP 4.99 and rose to $2,540.35 on 19 bids. The U.K. seller says, "The volumes have been neatly re-cased with the orig. endpapers preserved (only this inside of the hinges are repaired - the outside of the binding has NOT been distrubed)." They have some fading, several minor marks on the binding, and some foxing/browning. This is the English printing "presumably of 1,000 copies, the first week of Dec. 1881." Five pictures were included.

#5 Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman

From the same U.K. seller as #3 and #7, this signed first edition sold as a BIN in 2 hrs. 20 minutes for $2,223.50. The email prearrangement led to a brief auction description with eight pictures.

#6 A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

Described by the U.S. seller as "... a very rare signed and numbered copy ... printed in 1929 by Hogarth Press, London." This is #23 or 492 copies "signed in her characteristic purple ink" in good+ condition. Five pictures show the book. It sold at the opening price of $2,000.

#7 Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman

The U.K. seller of #5 and #7 wins again. The signed first edition sold for $1,983.85 BIN in nineteen minutes based on email pre-arrangement. Minimally described, the book is shown in eight pictures.

#8 Northern Lights Trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Northern Lights
The Subtle Knife
The Amber Spyglass

Yet another Pullman sale, but this time from a different U.K. seller. All are true 1st printings. Northern Lights is described as very good+, a true 1st edition 1st printing, "signed by way of signed raven bookplate (blue ink) stuck on copyright page." The Subtle Knife also is very good+ with "a Handsigned bookplate laid in loosely." The Amber Spyglass is "Flatsigned to the title page." Nine pictures are included in the auction. Eighteen bids took the auction from a starting price of GBP 0.99 to $1,839.57.

#9 Tarzan Lord of the Jungle, by Edgar Rice Burroughs

A "1st printing, 1st state in mcclurg jacket," this 1928 book sold for $1,680.99 with 8 bids and a listing price of $199. The U.S. seller writes, "tarzan lord of the jungle was printed in first edition for a run of 7,500 copies at 4 different times ... [this] is the toughest to find." The condition is very good+ "with a nice restored original mcclurg dustjacket" and all plates present. Six pictures illustrate the book.

#10 The Prince and Betty, by P.G. Wodehouse

Published in 1912, the first U.K. edition was published by Mills and Boon and called "VERY SCARCE INDEED" by the U.K. seller. Described as a "McIlvaine A15B2. First edition.... McIlvaine states this is the same as the first, just with the adds added." The book has heavy wear, is ex-library with two ink stamps, heavy browning, some chipping, and a few tears/ink marks. There is no dj. Starting at GBP 4.99, the book rose on 16 bids to $1,636.48.

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