by Pamela Palmer

#81, 13 November 2006

BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
September 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.

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

How many times have you seen a Best Offer reach to Top 10? If you answered "never," until now you would be right. During September, an Easton Press copy of Long Road to Freedom marked that milestone, followed a few days later by a signed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Keeping the pattern of twins, two buyers who are now "not a registered user" struck the Top 10 fiction section, and the September lists contain two copies each of It Works, Long Road to Freedom, and Legend.

Fiction Top 10
September 2006

#1 $4,743.49 Ian Fleming MOONRAKER UK 1st hc/dj
#2 $4,400.00 The Wonderful Wizard of OZ L. Frank Baum 1900 First Ed.
#5 $3,264.63 Harry Potter CHAMBER of SECRETS signed JK ROWLING
#6 $3,000.00* Stephen King, The Plant LIMITED SIGNED All Three Parts
#7 $2,798.25 RAREST COPY OF LEGEND David Gemmell HB 1/1 - UNIQUE
#10 $1,901.20 David Gemmell Legend Signed 1st HB
*Non-registered buyer so sale not completed and final value not validated.

Ian Fleming

Sold by an Australian in a BIN, this UK first edition, first impression copy of Moonraker is remarkable for its unfaded spine. The seller states, "… this spine condition putting it among barely a handful of unrestored DJ's to be in such unmelted condition left in the world." Listed with 8 photos, the book also has "the Scarce variant with the dropped t on page 10." The seller noted the things that have not been done: no re-colouring, no repairs. Book condition is very good+; dust jacket is rated near fine. The purchaser often appears as a seller of top 10 books.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Frank Baum

Listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with 4 photos, this first edition was published in Chicago in 1900. It is missing 1 of the 23 color plates. The seller enumerated 8 points, including "plate facing page 34 has 2 dark spots on moon." After receiving 3 bids, the price rose from the starting bid of $3,500 to the $4,400 selling price.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
C.S. Lewis

Sold for $3,802.40 after a 10-day auction with 7 photos, the first UK edition is rated very good in a very good dust jacket. Flaws include price clipped, a tear, and minor chipping of the dust jacket.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
Illustrated by Salvador Dali

After Oz and The Lion, The Witch … comes Alice, as envisioned in the illustrations of Salvador Dali. Sold by a Canadian seller in a 5-day auction with 5 photos, it is part of a limited numbered edition of 2500. Rated near fine, the book is in a hinged box with several flaws. The auction attracted 15 bids that took it from $250 to $3,307.51. Note: These are US, not Canadian dollars.

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling

A Best Offer won this first edition signed copy of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. Listed by a UK seller as a BIN at GBP 2,000.00 or Best Offer, it went for GBP 1,750.00 or $3,264.63. The book and dust jacket were rated in excellent condition.

The Plant
Stephen King

Though this auction ended with a BIN, the US seller was the victim of a non-paying buyer who is now "not a registered user." The item listed was all three parts of The Plant with part 1 being #118 of 200. All parts were signed by the author.

The Legend
David Gemmell

"For Mother," wrote Gemmell in the first hardback copy of this work, "With fond memories of the Tree Dwellers and Sharptooth. Love, David." The UK seller, who listed it in a 7-day auction with 3 photos, indicated the story of how he got the book will be told to the buyer. He reported, "Gemmell authenticated that the book was the one he dedicated to his mother at his Swords of Night and Day signing in Manchester." It sold with 1 bid at the starting price of $2,798.25.

His Dark Materials: The Trilogy Northern Lights
The Subtle Knife
The Amber Spyglass

Philip Pullman

The trio of signed first edition/first printing hardbacks was listed for 10 days by a UK seller who included 12 photos in the auction. For each book he indicated condition of the dust jacket, boards, spine, and pages but did not record an overall condition statement. In addition, he provided specific details of each book; for example, Northern Lights has a 4mm lean. The books sold for $2,416.43, up from the starting bid of GBP 0.99 after 17 bids.

The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien

A perennial on the Top 10 list, this copy of the trilogy is a signed, second edition set. Unfortunately for the UK seller, the 27 bids ended with a non-paying buyer who is now "not a registered user."

The Legend
David Gemmell

Another copy of The Legend came in at #10. This signed 1st edition hardback was listed by a UK seller in a 10-day auction with 1 photo. Most of the auction description consisted of a brief biography of the author and a plot summary. The book is described as in "great condition…, the DJ is not bashed or ripped …." It sold with 1 bid for $1,901.20.

*Auctions marked with an asterisk indicate those won by a bidder who is no longer a registered user. The final value should not be interpreted as valid.


>>>>>Click here for page two - Top Non-Fiction Books>>>>>>

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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