Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Outrageous Ebay Book Listings

Like many book collectors I search the auctions on Ebay for items within my area of interest. I especially check the Henry Altemus listings. It is troubling of course that at least 40% of the listings have significant errors regarding date, edition, or something else. (My study of Altemus Ebay titles) Occasionally items are priced to start at unreasonable amounts. I thought from time to time I would point some of those listings on this site. I think I will designate them-Outrageous Ebay.

Here is one of the really bizarre ones. This seller has listed an Alice in Wonderland for a Buy It Now at $500 or Make an offer. This book is a 1907 late Henry Altemus Company reprint.
Fairly common. It does not have the original box. My price would be maybe $10 on a very good day.

I think some sellers feel that since the title is very well known that the book must have value. Altemus published this title in hundreds of different formats and only a handful of them have any significant collector's interest.

After seeing this book I thought I would look at what else this seller had on his/her list. It was then that I saw a real eye opener (or eye closer). He has an ad for Helen's Babies by John Habberton at a Buy it Now for $850. (That's dollars not Rupees)

Helen's Babies is a Peter Parley to Penrod book published by Loring in 1876. This is a book I do not know much about but there are a number of Loring copies advertised as first editions on book search services from $25-125.

So you might be thinking he is only trying to get 8-10 times the going price. Not so quickly book collector. His book is not a Loring book. His book was published by The World Publishing Compnay. I have a few World Publishing books. They are in the garage. World was a publisher of mainly cheap reprints. From 1929-1940 it was known as the World Syndicate Trading Company. From 1940-1974 it was the World Publishing Company. So this Ebay book is a late reprint without a jacket. I am not an expert on pricing but this book cannot possibly have any dollar value at all.

Hurry-These books will not last forever. Well, maybe they will.

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