by Pamela Palmer

#83, 4 December 2006

BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
October 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

Fleming, Tolkien, Pullman, King, and Rowling regularly dominate the Top 10 Fiction list and this month is no exception. The Non-Fiction list, though, could scarcely be more varied. From the 1794 American atlas to a German book on Constantinople and a look at early Los Angeles, the list has something for everyone - including fans of carp fishing, the Civil War, Muhammad Ali, U2, Scientology, Nelson Mandela, and Helmets of the Deep.

Fiction Top 10
October 2006

#2 $4,752.75 Ian Fleming.. Casino Royale.. 1st impression 1953 Cape.
#3 $3,410.50 J R R Tolkien Lord of the Rings 1st ed 3 vols HB DJ
#4 $3,293.63 Ian Fleming -- Casino Royale -- 2nd impression -- 1953.
#5 $2,661.54 The Haunted Storm by Phillip N. Pullman
#6 $2,550.00 Stephen King Dark Tower Gunslinger 1st EDITION SIGNED
#7 $2,499.00* HARDCOVER "DAVY" by Edgar Pangborn (cult sf novel)
#8 $2,413.84 J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
*Non-registered buyer so sale not completed and final value not validated.

Casino Royale
Ian Fleming

All the stir about Daniel Craig in Casino Royale likely brought this James Bond 1st UK edition into an eBay auction. Even though the UK seller noted a facsimile jacket, the listing attracted the right person who bought the book as a BIN.

Casino Royale
Ian Fleming

Another copy of Casino Royale came in at #2. This 1st edition, 1st impression is missing its dust jacket and the UK seller mentions the "chance that the endpapers may have been replaced." Signed by the "co designer Kenneth Lewis to the front endpaper," the book is rated a very good/very good+ copy. It sold as a BIN by the seller of #4.

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

J.R.R. Tolkien

Listed by a UK seller in a 7-day auction with 3 photos, this 1st edition/1st impression set drew 9 bids to close at $3,410.50, well above the starting bid of GBP 400.00. The flaws are described in detail - ex-library indicated by only a single stamp per volume, rubbed and faded dust jackets with a pasted-on dj in one case, and tape reinforcement on two volumes.

Casino Royale
Ian Fleming

This Casino Royale is a 2nd impression in the original dj. Described as in fine condition with a very near fine dust jacket, the book was listed by a UK seller in a 10-day auction with 9 photos. After 19 bids, the book sold at $3,293.63. The seller also sold #2.

The Haunted Storm
Philip Pullman

Signed by Pullman with his then cover name of Philip N. Pullman, this copy was dedicated to Roy, a colleague at Charing Cross Library who died recently. Sold by a friend of Roy, the dust jacket was kept fresh by its plastic cover. The flaw mentioned is "strong tanning on page 9." Listed by a UK seller with 5 photos, it sold at the Best Offer price of $2,661.54.

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
Stephen King

Described as in near mint condition with the original dust jacket, this hardback was signed by King and Whelan, the illustrator. Listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with 5 photos, the starting bid of $500 grew to $2,550 after 13 bids.

Edgar Pangborn

The original hardcover edition of a cult SF novel, this book was listed by a US seller who was the victim of a non-paying buyer who is now "not a registered user."

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
J.K. Rowling

Listed by a UK seller as a paperback copy for the first edition, the book received 35 bids during its 7-day run. Starting at GBP 19.90, it sold for $2,413.84. The seller differentiates this edition from the earlier proof copy.

Dark Tower
Books 5, 6, and 7
Stephen King

In this unusual auction, the US seller offers confidential information to the buyer - along with the books of course. The books are each #533 of "signed, limited, slipcased, still in the publishers shrinkwrap." The information is in two parts. First, the seller will divulge the name of the bookseller who can sell Books 2-4. It's his speculation that both this set and the unnamed seller's set together cost app. $6,000. The second item of information to the buyer is labeled part rumor and deals with the forthcoming new signed and numbered limited edition of The Gunslinger; seems King collectors are interested in the starting number. As a near aside, the seller mentions the books at auction are "in new condition in publishers shrinkwrap." The books sold as BIN for $2,300.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Changer of Secrets
J.K. Rowling

Given as a present from Viscount David Linley to the consigner, the auction includes Viscount Linley's letter that accompanied the gift. All three books were signed by Rowling. Two are 1st editions and the other "is very special because only 1000 copies were published by Bloomsbury with the misprint of Joanna Rowling ... on the copyright page." Listed by a US seller in a 10-day auction with app. 30 photos, the set attracted 19 bids, raising the starting price of $9.99 to $2,126.01.

*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.


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