Close this window to return to BookThink

BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
June 2007

by Pamela Palmer

#103, 17 September 2007

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. 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

The June Top 10 revealed both good and bad news. On the positive side, there were more international auctions with sellers from Poland, Canada, Australia, and Germany.

NARUs were the negatives. They struck 5 of the top fiction and non-fiction winners, including the top sale in each category. Was it summer "fun" or the start of a trend?

Fiction Top 10
June 2007

#1* $12,000.00 To Kill a Mockingbird
#2* $2,800.00 Stephen King SIGNED/DATED 1st Print Carrie TASTY COPY!!
#3 $2,200.00 Stephen King "FROM A BUICK 8" LETTERED (K)/SIGNED!!
#4* $2,199.00 Easton Edition of Dune Signed by FRANK HERBERT
#5 $1,899.00 1938 Hard Cover First U.S. Edition "The Hobbit" Tolkien
#7 $1,700.00 Stephen King THE STAND SIGNED# 358/1250 in wooden box
#8* $1,500.00 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#9 $1,299.99 SIGNED 1ST! A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut HB
#10 $865.11 RARE! Hobbit JRR TOLKIEN in *!" PERSIAN *!* language

*Non-registered buyer so sale not completed and final value not validated.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

By coincidence, this auction is #1 in the fiction top 10 and #4 (tie) in the Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5. Ending with a BIN, the buyer is not a registered user. (NARU)

Stephen King

Calling this a "tasty copy," the US seller listed the near fine+ copy of Carrie with 4 photos, and it sold as BIN to a buyer with 0 feedback. A quick check 9 weeks later showed the buyer feedback is now -3, no longer a registered user. The same seller sold #7.

From a Buick 8
Stephen King

A US seller listed a signed and lettered copy of From a Buick 8 with 1 photo. It sold as a BIN. Described as "the RARE cemetery dance LETTERED and TRAYCASED version of "From a Buick 8," the edition is said to be limited to 52 such copies. Features include leather black goatskin spine and French marbled endsheets with the volume housed in a traycase "lined with purple baroque satin purple/black corinthian paper wrap silver curved hinge and button clasp ...." It was signed by both King and Bernie Wrightson, the artist.

Frank Herbert

Yet another NARU struck at #4, an Easton edition of Dune with a signed bookplate tipped in. The NARU ended the auction with a BIN.

The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien

The 1938 1st US edition with no dust jacket was listed by a US seller in 10-day auction with 5 photos. It received a single bid. Flaws were described as a two small stains and light wear.

I, Robot
Isaac Asimov

A 1st edition, 1st printing limited edition (of 5000) copy of I, Robot with the dust jacket attracted 4 bids to sell for $1,824. Listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with 13 photos, the book is described as having slight rubbing and the volume as spotless with "very tiny bumps at the top outside corners of the boards."

The Stand
Stephen King

Listed by the same US seller as #2, the leatherbound copy of The Stand runs 1,237 pages with illustrations by Bernie Wrightson. This is #358 of 1,250 copies and is housed in a velvet-lined wooden box. It sold as a best offer.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

The second copy of To Kill a Mockingbird in the June list met the same fate as the first - another NARU struck.

A Man Without a Country
Kurt Vonnegut

Selling as a BIN, the signed first edition, first printing has Vonnegut's "self-portrait caricature on the first asterisk page ... filling the whole page." Condition is described as fine in a fine dust jacket. It was listed by US seller with 2 photos.

The Hobbit
[in Persian]
J.R.R. Tolkien

How many Persian language books have you run across? The Polish seller listed this copy of The Hobbit in a 7-day private auction with 1 photo. The seller commented, "I don't know how to spell the name because everything is in Persian language... because the book has been printed and published in Iran only.... The only non-persian characters have been used for the ISNB number...." Condition is described as very good/excellent. After 9 bids, the book sold for $865.11.

Non-Fiction Top 10
June 2007

#1* $4,500.00 Frank Moore, Diary of The American Revolution
#2 $3,000.00 The Babe Ruth Story autographed book by Babe Ruth
#3 $2,676.00 RARE! First Edition of the Doway Bible (1609-10)
#4 $2,201.00 Security Analysis
#5 $2,001.00 Willy Ronis Photo Portfolio Lim Ed 290 SIGNED
#6 $1,923.74 IDRIESS, MADMAN'S ISLAND, 1ST 1927
#7 $1,811.76 BRETT WHITELEY Sandra McGrath SIGNED & DRAWING
#9 $1,650.00 Book by Evangelist Billy Graham of Wheaton College (IL)
#10 $1,613.71 Alcoholics Anonymous 1st Edition 2nd Printing 1941 Work

*Non-registered buyer so sale not completed and final value not validated.

Diary of the American Revolution
Frank Moore

A NARU caused the charity sale of Diary of the American Revolution to go awry. Listed by a US seller to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Vermont, the listing closed with a BIN.

The Babe Ruth Story
Babe Ruth

Signed by Babe Ruth, this first edition "has been kept in a plastic book cover, and still have the paper dust cover, which is also in good condition." Listed by a US seller with 5 photos, the book sold as a BIN.

The Holy Bible
Faithfully Translated into English out of the Authentical Latin ...

[Doway Bible]

A 1582 Bible was rebound, "probably well over 100 yrs ago." It was listed by a US seller in a 5-day auction with 4 photos. After receiving 7 bids, it sold for $2,676.

Security Analysis
Benjamin Graham and David Dodd

Security Analysis frequently shows up in the top 10. This first edition was listed by a Canadian seller with 1 photo. Described as in fair to good condition, the corners are bumped. It sold as a BIN 2 days after listing.

Willy Ronis
Willy Ronis

Ronis' 2001 portfolio of photographs was issued in a limited edition of 290 and signed by the photographer. Listed by a US seller in a 7-day auction with 6 photos, the listing attracted 6 bids and ended at $2,001.

Madman's Island
Ion L. Idriess

Listed by an Australian seller in a 7-day auction with 7 photos, the 1927 first edition attracted 10 bids. Madman's Island is a 1927 Australian publication and is described as "extremely rare." Condition is listed as very good; flaws include minor rubbing, small stains page aging, and some foxing.

Brett Whiteley
Sandra McGrath

The 1979 signed first edition was listed in fine condition with "an exquisite drawing of one of Whiteley's famous bums." It was listed by an Australian seller in a 3-day auction with 6 photos. After 19 bids, the auction ended at $1,811.76.

Narcotics Anonymous

Copy #400, the 1982 first edition was described as in near mint condition with a small amount of highlighting. It was listed by a US seller with 7 photos and received 15 bids.

Peace with God
Billy Graham

Listed by a US seller who wanted to use the proceeds of the 2 copies of the 2000 paperback "to pay for one graduate class at Wheaton College...." which Graham attended. With a focus on his religious beliefs, 1 copy sold as a BIN at $1,650.00.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Eighteen bids took the first edition, second printing from a starting bid of $19.99 to a selling price of $1,613.71. Listed by a US seller with 4 photos, the blue volume is described as in "good condition."

By the Numbers

16 sellers were from the USA
2 sellers was from Australia
1 seller was from Poland
1 seller was from Canada
1 seller sold 2 books 12 books were published during or after 1950
8 were published before 1950
1 book was listed for 3 days
1 book was listed for 5 days
5 books were listed for 7 days
2 book was listed for 10 days
10 sold as BIN
1 sold as a Best Offer
1 to 19 was the range of bids
Seller feedback ranged from 7 to 6741.*
8 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback ranged from 94.7% to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1609-1610.

*feedback is noted at the time the auction is viewed by BookThink.

Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
June 2007

#1 $70,099.00 1830 BOOK of MORMON - First Edition
#3 $15,000.00 Brant - Biblia Latina - Incunable Basle, Dec 1st 1498 !
#4 tie $12,000.00 Handwritten Book of Hours - Large format - France 1440
#4* tie $12,000.00 To Kill a Mockingbird

*Non-registered buyer so sale not completed and final value not validated.

Book of Mormon

Listed in an elegant presentation with 14 photos, the "authentic first edition in original leather binding, complete with all text ..." attracted 15 bids to sell for $70,099. Housed in a custom leather clamshell box, the book has some soil, a few repairs/restorations, faint damp stains, and foxing. It was listed is a 10-day auction by a noted expert in Mormon antiquarian books.

1479 Jenson

Described as "this complete 1479 Jenson's Biblia Latina with its stunning illumination, splendid typography, distinguished provenance and superb state of presentation ... museum quality ...," the volume was listed by a US seller in a 10-day auction with 71 photos. After 27 bids, it sold for $35,000.

Biblia cum glossa ordinaria Walafridi Strabonis aliorumque ...
1498 Brant

Nineteen woodcuts are among the highlights of the "first volume of the Biblia Latina by Sebastian Brant." It is described as "half bound in pigskin on wooden covers with six raised bands and one original clasp." Listed by a German seller in a 10-day private auction with 12 photos, the volume attracted 12 bids before selling for $15,000. The same seller sold #4.

#4 tie
[Book of hours, handwritten in Latin]

Sold by the German seller of #3, the heavily illuminated volume with vellum leaves is described as an "extremely rare example for the art of book design between the late Middle Ages and the early modern times." It was listed in a 10-day private auction with 12 photos and sold for $12,000.

#4 tie
To Kill a Mockingbird

This copy of To Kill a Mockingbird is the same auction that came in #1 on the non-fiction list. A NARU ended it with a BIN.

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

Copyright 2003-2011 by BookThink LLC