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BookThink's Top 10 on eBay
July 2007

by Pamela Palmer

#105, 15 October 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

How many NARUs can fit on the fiction and non-fiction top 10 lists? The answer in July was 25% with the non-fiction category leading by one. This month, we'll take a closer look at the related characteristics.

First, one NARU struck twice hitting both the fiction and non-fiction categories. That NARU's eBay name included the letter sequence "seco" as did another NARU. Coincidence? The books won by "...seco..." names were all BINs, but the other two NARUs occurred in auctions with 10 bids each. Though none of this is predictive, it serves as a preliminary look at high value auctions that fail to complete due to fraudulent bids.

The Antiquarian & Collectible top 5 proved to be international in July. A Japanese seller led the pack with a $67,860 sale of a German book. An Italian seller came in at #2, followed by one seller from the UK and two from the US. Book age was equally diverse, including c1200, 1493, 1561, 1928, and 1939.

Fiction Top 10
July 2007

#1 $6,065.70 Terry Pratchett Discworld Colour of Magic UK 1983 1/1
#2 $4,000.00 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowlin...
#3 $2,247.22 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows SIGNED 1st Edition
#4 $2,125.00 A Time to Kill by John Grisham (1989)
#5* $2,000.00 Faux Elvis (the book) #1
#6 $1,850.00 Heart Shaped Box Joe Hill Signed Lettered 1 of only 15!
#7 $1,650.00 Cien Anos De Soledad - First Edition - 1967 - Marquez
#8 $1,530.00 SIGNED Stephen King The Stand with Case No. 58 LIMITED
#9* $1,200.00 Stephen King, signed, Pet Sematary, hc/dj, 1st
#10 $1,180.00 Tortilla Flat, John Steinbeck, First Ed. Dust Jacket

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

The Colour of Magic
Terry Pratchett

Signed "if the buyer wants" is a new possibility offered by the UK seller with this 1 of 506 true 1st editions in the original dj. The offer led to a question, "Are you saying that you are able to get the book signed by terry pratchett?" "Yes," replied the seller, "can do but obviously that would be the present signature not how it would have looked when the book was released..." After 39 bids, it sold for $6,065.70.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling

Hot off the press, it sold as a best offer by a novice US seller.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowling

With a Rowling-signed bookplate, this 1st edition garnered 31 bids to fetch $2,247.22 for a Canadian charity.

A Time to Kill
John Grisham

The signed 1st printing, 1st edition was listed in very good condition.

Faux Elvis
Pat Cook

A NARU (not a registered user) spoiled this auction with a BIN of the signed #1 copy.

Heart Shaped Box
Joe Hill

Described as "perfect, untouched, MINT ...," the signed and lettered (F) 1-of-15 copies attracted 23 bids.

Cien Anos De Soledad
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Described as a Spanish 1st edition in a turtle shell cover, the book was sold to a buyer who had no feedback. Nearly 3 months later, there is still no feedback for the buyer.

The Stand
Stephen King

The mint boxed 1st edition was signed by King and described as "... so nice it is almost scary!!!!!" Did the scary part conjure up the 13 bids for the US seller?

Pet Sematary
Stephen King

Another NARU ended this auction with a BIN.

Tortilla Flat
John Steinbeck

11 bids took this 1st edition, 2nd printing with dust jacket to #10. Condition was described as very good; dj condition was fair.

Non-Fiction Top 10
July 2007

#1* $15,000.00 1970s THE OCCULT SCIENCES IN ATLANTIS Lewis Spence PB
#2 $6,234.71 Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous-1st Edition-7th Print
#3* $2,550.00 Book of Shadows from TV Series "Charmed" 1089 pages
#4 $2,500.00 Rare Old King James Bible (1613)
#5 $2,313.00 Alcoholics Anonymous 1st ed-3rd prnt-1942-Big Book AA
#6* $2,199.00 Rare and Unusual Fly Tying Materials Volume 2
#7 $2,056.00 Origin of species DARWIN early printing
#8 $1,802.00 Alcoholics Anomymous First Edition Third Printing
#10 $1,713.71 Alcoholics Anonymous First Edition Fourth Printing V/G

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

The Occult Sciences in Atlantis
Lewis Spence

A NARU struck this auction of a spiral-bound paperback.

Alcoholics Anonymous

After 17 bids, the 1st edition, 7th printing copy in good condition sold for $6,234.71.

The Book of Shadows

Yet another NARU problem.

King James 1613

Calling it "a close reprint of the 1611 King James," the rebound Bible sold after 29 bids in a private auction.

Alcoholics Anonymous

The 1st edition, 3rd printing copy in very good condition received 15 bids.

Rare and Unusual Fly Tying Materials
A Natural History
Vol. II: Birds and Mammals

Paul Schmookler and Ingrid V. Sills

Still sealed as originally mailed, the 1997 book fell prey to a NARU.

Origin of Species
Charles Darwin

21 bids were placed for the 1861 ex-library 3rd edition described as in very good plus condition.

Alcoholics Anonymous

An ex-library 1st edition, 3rd printing drew 19 bids.

It Works
Narcotics Anonymous

The 1st edition, #2262 sold with a single bid.

Alcoholics Anonymous

This 1st edition, 4th printing in very good condition received 16 bids.

By the Numbers

18 sellers were from the USA
1 seller was from the UK
1 seller was from Canada
13 books were published during or after 1950
7 were published before 1950
1 book was listed for 3 days
1 book was listed for 5 days
10 books were listed for 7 days
3 sold as BIN
1 sold as a Best Offer
1 to 39 was the range of bids
Seller feedback ranged from 0 to 14751.*
14 books were sold by sellers with 100% positive feedback
Feedback ranged from 99.4% to 100% for sellers who had feedback
The oldest book was published in 1613

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

Antiquarian & Collectible Top 5
July 2007

#1 $67,860.00 Schedel Nurnberg, Das Buch der Croniken und Geschicten.
#2 $32,100.00 1200 (XIII century) manuscript with miniatures
#4 $10,200.00 RARE 1st ed. 1928 GERMAINE KRULL photo book METAL
#5 $8,250.00 Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st Ed. 1st Printing

Das Buch der Croniken und Geschicten
Hartmann Schedel

Listed by a Japanese seller in a 10-day auction with 38 photos, the 1493 volume in "contemporary pig-skin binding" received 35 bids and sold for $67,860.

[1200 manuscript with miniatures]

69 bids made this a $32,100 payday for the Italian seller. Described as "restored in the twenties.... Binding is fine... Pages are in vellum," it was restored twice.

Re de Metallilca
Georgius Agricola

Listed by a UK seller, the 2nd edition, 1561 work in very good condition with woodcuts was "bound in a later reverse calf binding from anytime within the last 150 years." The auction with its approximately 100 photos attracted 33 bids.

Germaine Krull

A US seller comes in at #4 with a 1928 1st edition of the French publication that consists of a "portfolio of 64 loose laid plates... [and] cloth board slipcase with loose ties" listed in excellent condition. It sold after 48 bids.

Alcoholics Anonymous

A 1st edition, 1st printing in a replica dust jacket drew 33 bids to sell for $8,250.

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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