Friday, March 27, 2009

Sleuthing at eBay #15: Where Are All The Vintage Books?

I've been searching eBay from time to time lately and the more I thought about it the more I realized as I've discussed here before just how bare the proverbial shelves are these days! Perhaps one doesn't notice it as much when looking at the mixed version of stuff on each search page, but I decided to do a search by title and not within the description to avoid sets or lots of more than one book. I found about 170 vintage books with dust jackets--not including a few book clubs or those common Applewood Books reprints.

One other trend I noticed, is that about 95% were being sold by resellers. Where's "mom and pop" selling out of their attic? Fellow Blogger Jennifer White has pondered this same question as well...

Here's a listing by title/keyword and for each cover art dust jacke:

OLD CLOCK

1ADJ: 4
2ADJ: 7

STAIRCASE

1ADJ: 1
2ADJ: 7

BUNGALOW

1ADJ: 4
2ADJ: 6

LILAC

1ADJ: 2
2ADJ: 1
3ADJ: 1

RANCH

1ADJ: 1
2ADJ: 4

FARM

1ADJ: 3
2ADJ: 3

DIARY

1ADJ: 3
2ADJ: 1

LETTER

1ADJ: 2
2ADJ: 6

CANDLES

1ADJ: 2
2ADJ: 3

LARKSPUR

1ADJ: 5

LOCKET

1ADJ: 2
2ADJ: 2

OAK

1ADJ: 6
2ADJ: 0

CHARM

1ADJ: 5

STATUE

1ADJ: 4

BRIDGE

1ADJ: 4

HEELS

1ADJ: 3

TRUNK

1ADJ: 8

MOSS-MANSION

1ADJ: 4

MAP

1ADJ: 5

BOX

1ADJ: 4

ATTIC

1ADJ: 4

WALL

1ADJ: 4

BELL

1ADJ: 1

ALBUM

1ADJ: 3

HALL

1ADJ: 4

CHIMNEY

1ADJ: 6

LADY

1ADJ: 6

KEYS

1ADJ: 2

JUMP

1ADJ: 4

MASK

1ADJ: 4

RINGMSTER

1ADJ: 3

SLIPPER

1ADJ: 2

TREE

1ADJ: 2

WINDOW

1ADJ: 0

SHOWBOAT

DJ: 4

PAVILION

DJ: 1

STAGECOACH

DJ: 3

DRAGON

DJ: 2

It kind of reminds me of the old days of eBay when this few books of each title were being listed. But at the same time, the prices aren't overly high like they were back in the day. Of course, the auction world is cyclic--next week I might find double or even less. Scary thought!

Jenn:)

4 comments:

Margy said...

You seem Nancy Drew Savvy, so here's a question for you. :D

I found, in a junk shop, a copy of the yellow cover book # , The Hidden Staircase(the book is actully purple, though, not yellow).

But on the INSIDE of the book? It's a Hardy Boys story!!

Have you ever heard of this? Help me!:)

Jennifer said...

Where's "mom and pop" selling out of their attic?

Yes, where are they? Have they been scared off by eBay's fees? Have they been scared off by eBay's detailed seller ratings? Do they not want to be forced to take PayPal or credit cards? It is the people who sell stuff that comes out of attics and estate sales who bring out the fresh finds that always made eBay so exciting.

My primary reason for discontinuing to use eBay as a I once did as a seller is that my attempt to sell some desirable books was a spectacular failure in late December. I bled through money in eBay fees. I'm still smarting from it enough that I am choosing what I list very carefully and have now listed just six lots in the last month with a 100% sell-through rate.

I am reconsidering it, though. I am noticing that some auction lots are doing quite well. Take particular notice of these two lots that I sold:

15 Nancy Drew Hardy Boys Super Mysteries

This one sold for $46.00. The books were a bit rough, and I tried to convey that. These were books that I wanted to get rid of fast and did not expect to make a nice profit. The buyer has left positive feedback, so he was pleased with the books.

This lot shocked me even more:

Mixed lot of 22 books

I did not even care what I got for them. I just wanted them to sell, but did not expect $71.00!

I think the buyers are missing the excellent selection that no longer exists!

I predict that eBay's latest change to search, which I will discuss in an upcoming blog post that I am currently writing, and eBay's soon to be forced implementation of its new search will further kill off the good listings.

Jenn said...

Margy,

It's probably a library edition if it's purple--and with a HB story inside, it's what we call a printing error. Not a rarity or worth a ton, but some collectors like these:)

Jenn:)

Jenn said...

Jennifer wrote:

"I think the buyers are missing the excellent selection that no longer exists!"

Yeah I think that's definitely something that we miss! I am curious about what you're writing about the search so shall check out your blog.

Jenn:)