Saturday, October 02, 2010

Nancy Drew Format One Printings Sell at eBay

Recently listed at eBay were 4 1930s Nancy Drew books--three were first printings and one was a 2nd printing. They were books three through six: The Bungalow Mystery, The Mystery at Lilac Inn, The Secret at Shadow Ranch, and The Secret of Red Gate Farm.

Upon looking at each book listed, the main comment from each description that stood out to me as a "red flag" on condition was this: "Mildew odor from basement storage. Book has a minor roll or curving in the middle. Rear cover has color spotting discoloration. Minor spine discoloration." Each book had "mildew" listed and "odors."

When it comes to a vintage book like these, and especially first printings with the dust jackets which come up seldom for sale, condition is very important. If you purchase a book that's not in tip top shape, you're always looking for an upgrade. A mildewy book is always in need of being upgraded, so is your initial investment one you could recoup if you find a better copy and want to sell it? It's iffy.

There are ways one can try to undo the effects of mildew odor such as microwaving a book, and that can help substantially, laying it out to air out too, but one that might be warped or pages moisture damaged can't be undone.

In accessing these books for sale the only one I would have considered bidding on was #3 The Bungalow Mystery as it appeared to be in the best shape of the four. It went to a collector among us. The other 3 books went to a reseller.

Here were the results of each auction and I've added in what Farah's Guide lists as a value in excellent condition:

Bungalow: Sold for $3305.00
FG Value: 5000.00/400.00=5400.00

Lilac Inn: Sold for $2330.00
FG Value: 3000.00/500.00=3500.00

Shadow Ranch: Sold for $2130.00
FG Value: 2000.00/250.00=2250.00

Red Gate Farm: Sold for $2130.00
FG Value: 800.00/400.00=1200.00

The two values for FG listed are first the dust jacket and then the book. Considering the mildew issues, the values would definitely be lowered off of those FG prices.

It's interesting to see that Shadow Ranch sold for just a bit under FG value but Red Gate Farm sold for nearly double FG value and it had the worst looking dust jacket spine of the four up for sale! Lilac Inn sold quite high for being a second printing too! The best pricing/bargain appears to have been Bungalow Mystery! Congrats to the winner :)


1 comment:

Jan Markley said...

Interesting advice and interesting post!