by Pamela Palmer

#92, 16 April 2007

BookThink's Top 10 Ten on eBay
February 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

Feedback numbers came to the forefront in February when the self-proclaimed #3 feedback leader on eBay hit the non-fiction list. Though sellers with 6-digit feedback aren't common, neither are novices with 4 feedbacks and 3 books in the fiction top 10. And if those numbers weren't enough for one month, another seller sold 2 books, and there was a 3-way tie.

Keep the number 11 in mind too; it's the count of UK sellers on the February list. In March, we'll measure the impact of eBay's stopping automatic inclusion of UK books on the US site. Will we say good-bye to regulars such as Fleming, Rowling, and Tolkien?

Fiction Top 10
February 2007

#1 $6,068.97 Ian Fleming Signed Spy Who Loved Me James Bond Hb 1st
#2 $5,284.17 The Lord of the Rings Tolkien TRUE UK 1STS 1954-1955
#3 $4,390.20 Ian Fleming CASINO ROYALE 1st / 1st 1953 Jonathan Cape
#4 $3,104.93 Ian Fleming Signed Thunderball James Bond Hb1st / 1st
#5 $3,024.36 David Gemmell WAYLANDER 1st ed HB SIGNED+ DVD Footage
#6 $1,983.54 Northern Lights Philip Pullman 1st/1st Point Signed
#7 $1,963.90 Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban Deluxe 1/2 Signed
#8 tie $1,957.10 Signed 1st Edition Inside Out by Nick Mason/Pink Floyd
#8 tie $1,957.10 Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets 1st 1st Signed Deluxe
#8 tie $1,957.10 Harry Potter Philosophers Stone Deluxe 1/2 Signed

The Spy Who Loved
Ian Fleming

A signed copy with a known provenance took this 1st edition, 1st impression copy of The Spy Who Loved Me to the top of the fiction top 10. The UK seller, who also sold #4, inherited a large collection from his grandfather, who was in printing. The auction includes a letter from Ian Fleming about the signing. Listed as "almost as good as new," the 10-day auction with 9 photos garnered 6 bids to sell for $6,068.97.

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

JRR Tolkien

Selling as a best offer, the trio of first edition, first impressions were listed by a UK seller with 12 photos. Two of the books are described as having very good bindings with the third in good condition. All three have the original binding and are in facsimile dust jackets.

Casino Royale
Ian Fleming

The 1st edition, 1st printing of Casino Royale was listed by a UK seller in a 10-day auction with 6 photos. It was described as in very good+ condition; the seller notes this is from the 4,728 copies in this printing. After 23 bids, the book sold for $4,390.20.

Ian Fleming

The UK seller of #1 also sold this signed 1st edition, 1st impression. Listed in a 10-day auction with 7 photos, the auction includes a photocopy of a letter to the seller's grandfather from Ian Fleming. Described as in very good condition, the book attracted 8 bids.

David Gemmell

In a change of pace from Fleming and Tolkien, #5 on the fiction list is a "very rare first edition hardback" of Waylander, "one of only 750." The UK seller listed it for 10 days with 5 photos. Included in the auction is a DVD showing Gemmell signing this copy. After 5 bids, the auction closed at $3,024.36.

Northern Lights
Philip Pullmanen

Listed by a UK seller with private feedback in a 7-day auction with 6 photos, the signed 1st edition, 1st printing was relisted "due to a non paying bidder." Described as very good in a very good dust jacket, the book attracted 32 bids.

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban
J.K. Rowling

Though the UK seller had only 4 feedbacks, he managed to sell 3 of the fiction top 10 in February. Listed "as new, unread" and signed by the author, the special edition UK deluxe clothbound edition was listed in a 7-day auction with 3 photos. It sold with 1 bid.

3-way tie

Inside Out
Nick Mason

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

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

In a rare occurrence, February saw a 3-way tie for #8; all 3 titles appear regularly in the top 10 fiction lists. First was a signed, first edition of Inside Out by Nick Mason. The Genesis publication was listed by a UK seller in a 10-day auction with 2 photos and attracted 9 bids. Then on February 19th, the seller of #7 saw 2 more of his Harry Potter deluxe books sell for $1,957.10, making for a stellar payday. When a new seller with few feedbacks shows up in the top 10, particularly with multiple sales, we often check to see if the sales were completed. In the case of the UK seller of Harry Potter books, each of his/her 3 top 10 auctions received only 1 bid. These were private auctions, so there is no clear way to determine if the sole bidder in each case was the same buyer or if feedback was left.


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