by Pamela Palmer

#89, 5 March 2007

BookThink's Top 10 Ten on eBay
January 2007

Top 10 on eBay

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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

Fish cropped up more than once in the January non-fiction top 10 along with a few more nature-oriented titles. Balancing those are the regulars, including a Bible and Alcoholics Anonymous. The big question, though, is not how to enjoy the great outdoors. In February, eBay announced testing that may lead to books from UK sellers losing their automatic placement in eBay's US search. UK sellers are advised to list directly on the US site to ensure exposure. Will they - or will this tilt dominance of the Fiction Top 10 away from the UK?

Fiction Top 10
January 2007

#1 $5,500.00 Ian Fleming Moonraker -a true 1st Edition- Fine condit
#2 $3,800.00 Isaac Asimov SIGNED 1st PRINTING Foundation trilogy
#3 $2,457.75 THE HOBBIT - 1st Edition - 2nd Impression - 1937 - RARE
#4 $2,399.00 A Time To Kill John Grisham Limited Ed. Numbered Signed
#5 $2,007.49 C S LEWIS. 1st UK Edn. LION the WITCH & the WARDROBE
#9 $1,661.44 Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange - 1st in d/w 1962
#10 $1,512.28 RINGWORLD Larry Niven UK FIRST EDITION Gollancz HB 1st

Ian Fleming

Described as fine in a fine dust jacket and appearing unread, this true first edition of Moonraker received 21 bids in a 7-day auction with 16 photos. An "extremely small chip" in the corner of the dust jacket was the only flaw. The US seller with 5 feedbacks had a $5,500 payday with this auction. This seller also sold #2 in non-fiction.

Foundation Trilogy Foundation
Foundation and Empire
Second Foundation

Isaac Asimov

The trilogy was published 1951-53 and all are stated first editions in very good first bindings with very good dust jackets. Foundation has a bookplate signed by Asimov. Foundation and Empire is signed in the book to the publisher Stuart Schiff whose bookplate is in the book. The third volume has an Asimov-signed bookplate. The US seller listed it in a 10-day auction with 7 photos. It received 2 bids, selling for $3,800.

The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien

A 1st edition, 2nd impression, the 1937 volume is described as "the first and only UK edition published with Tolkien's colour illustrations and is one of 1877 copies of the 2300 that survived the bombing of London in 1940." Listed by a UK seller in a 10-day auction, it sold as a BIN.

A Time to Kill
John Grisham

In mint condition and signed, the limited edition leather-bound book in slipcase and dust cover was listed by the original owner in a 5-day auction with 2 photos. It sold as a best offer at the BIN price of $2,399.

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

Listed by a UK seller in a 10-day auction with 4 photos, the "nice clean copy" of the 1st British edition with professional restored dust jacket received 16 bids.

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


Tolkien makes his second appearance on the January 2007 top 10 in this 10-day private auction by a UK seller. Shown in 12 photos, the set comes with a letter of provenance from the daughter of Dr. James Dyson, friend of Tolkien's daughter. Two Towers is signed by Tolkien and inscribed by his daughter to Dyson. The auction closed with 1 bid. This seller also sold #7.

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


Sold by the UK seller of #6 in another private auction, this set also comes from the estate of Dr. James Dyson. Tolkien inscribed The Return of the King "signed for Jim, J R R Tolkien." Sold with a letter of provenance from Dyson's daughter, the set includes The Fellowship of The Ring 1st ed., 7th impression; The Two Towers 1st ed., 7th impression; and The Return of the King 1st ed., 10th impression. After a 10-day auction with 8 photos, the set sold for $1,947.91.

Haunts and By-Paths and Other Poems
J. Thorne Smith

Signed and in a dust jacket, the book was listed by a US seller with 2 photos. It sold as a best offer at $1,800. Flaws include a stained endpaper with the signature and an "edge chipped/torn dust jacket."

A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess

This very good book in a very good dust jacket is an association copy, previously owned by John Pearson, biographer of Ian Fleming. A 1st edition, 1st impression, it was listed by a UK seller in a 10-day auction with 6 photos. It sold after 29 bids brought the selling price to $1,661.44.

Ringworld Larry Nevin

A first UK edition in very good condition with a very good dust jacket, the book received 6 bids and sold for $1,612.28. It was listed by a UK seller in a 7-day auction with 5 photos.


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