by Pamela Palmer

#72, 3 July 2006

BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
May 2006

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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.

A Mexican and a Japanese seller broke into the Top 10 in May, demonstrating the reach of eBay and the growth of international bookselling. In both cases, they sold items in their native languages. Watch future lists to see if there is a trend toward sellers from countries other than the US and the UK.

Thanks to BookThink readers who wrote and made good suggestions about improving Top 10. Look for some of those to appear over the next few months. For the May list, a new tally is in place - the private auction. In May 1 seller launched 2 private auctions with the bidder's names and buyer's name concealed.

Fiction Top 10
May 2006

#2 $4,683.00 Ed Ruscha Billy Al Bengston 1st Business Cards SIGNED
#4 tie $3,000.00 QUIXOTE 1815 Edition 4 Volume With Error EXTREMELY RARE
#4 tie $3,000.00 Stephen King Cycle of the Werewolf
#6 $2,278.75 **A PASSAGE TO INDIA**E M FORESTER (1924) 1st/2nd imp
#7 $1,951.74 Ian Fleming Casino Royale 1st Cape D/w James Bond 1954
#8 $1,928.92 The Return of the King JRR TOLKIEN 1st/1st HB DJ 1955

The Fountainhead
Ayn Rand

Twenty-eight bidders vied in a private auction for this stated first edition in a first edition first issue dust jacket. Calling it "extraordinarily rare," the US seller included 12 photographs in the 10-day auction that started at $1 and ended after 28 bids at $6,100. The same seller sold #3 in this list.

Business Cards
Billy Al Bengston and Ed Ruscha

Signed by Ruscha and initialed on the cover by Bengston, this 1 of 1000 limited edition copies of the self-published book was offered by a UK seller. The 7-day auction with 1 photograph attracted 2 bids, selling for its starting bid GBP 2,500 or $4,683.00. A questioner wrote to confirm that the business cards of the authors were both laid in.

We The Living
Ayn Rand

Rand's first book is described as "NF-/VG+++" by the US seller who started it at $1 in a 10-day auction with 10 photos. After 13 bids, it sold for $3,438.88 in a private auction. The same seller sold #1 in this list.

#4 tie
Don Quixote De La Mancha

The 4-volume 1815 edition in Spanish is leather bound and contains a press error - volume 1 contains 4 pages that should be in volume 3. Described as in "magnificent condition" by the Mexican seller. It sold for the starting bid of $3,000 after a 10-day auction with 12 photos. The seller notes that it will be shipped by certified airmail from Mexico and that the buyer should anticipate up to 3 weeks to a month for delivery.

#4 tie
Cycle of the Werewolf
Stephen King

Called "the real collectors dream book," this #348 of 350 signed copies is in "perfect condition." It is signed by both King and Wrightson. The illustration portfolio accompanies it; Wrightson's signature appears 4 more times. Listed by a US seller in a 5-day auction with 6 photos, the book started at $3,000 and sold at that price with 1 bid. For sale again, the seller explains, because "Last buyer bailed."

A Passage to India
E. M. Forester

Listed in a 7-day auction with 5 photos, the book attracted 13 bids and sold for $2,278.75. The UK seller started the auction at GBP 25.00 and noted it is a 1st edition, 2nd impression in "very good condition for age."

Casino Royale
Ian Fleming

The 1st edition, 3rd impression copy of Fleming's book is described as "in excellent clean unread condition without any inscriptions." The dust jacket is in very good condition. Listed in a 10-day auction with 6 photos, the book started at GBP 1,050.00 and sold at that amount with 1 bid.

The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien

Described as in fine condition and including the fold-out map, this true first in dust jacket is not inscribed. The dust jacket is described as in "really wonderful condition" by the UK seller who listed it in a 10-day auction with 7 photos. Starting at GBP 4.99, it received 15 bids and sold for $1,928.92. A questioner confirmed the sloping text and dropped 4 on page 49.

The Lord of the Rings
The Fellowship of the Rings
The Two Towers
The Return of the King

J.R.R. Tolkien

Sold at the starting price of GBP 995.00, 3 volumes are described in detail by the UK seller. The Fellowship of the Ring is 1st edition, 2nd impression without the original dust jacket. The Two Towers is 1st edition, 1st impression with a poor dust jacket; a facsimile dust jacket is included. The Return of the King is 1st edition, 1st impression, 3d state and the dust jacket is first state. The dust jacket is in poor condition and a facsimile one is provided. Each volume has flaws. The set was shown in 6 photos in the 7-day auction.

The Stand
Stephen King

Signed by King and illustrator Wrightson, this is #420 or 1250. It is housed in a black box with red satin lining. The book and dust jacket are both described in "as new" condition. Listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with 3 photos, the book started at $999.99, received 7 bids, and sold for $1,800.


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