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Journal of No. 118

April 13th, 2004

Ebay shenanigans &c. @ 09:01 am

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As many of you know, I collect books published by Arkham House. Ebay has been my main source. A little over a month ago, I won this auction with two dustjacketless Arkhams. One of them I already own, so I figured I'd sell the duplicate, and get a relatively cheap copy of the other one. Since dustjackets mean so much to the price of collectible books, I got facsimile dustjackets for both of them. So far, I'm out around $150 and have two books with reproduction DJ's.
So I list my duplicate. It sells for $209.49.
So at the end of the day, minus some time and effort and some ebay, paypal and shipping fees, I not only got the other book for free, but actually gained $50.
I probably lucked out by getting a buyer with a lot of money on his hands. He's completed 100+ auctions in the last month and he's always the buyer. I've discovered he's also the president of a lobbying firm in Sacramento. No doubt, money from corrupt corporations now flows through my Paypal balance. Well, as Vespasian observed, "Pecunia non olet".
If I may wax bloggy(*) for a moment, it seems to me that selling multiple items nets you less than selling things separately. Sure, if you have a complete collection of something, that may pull in a premium price, but otherwise, breaking things up is the way to go. Since most of the people inhabiting Ebay are collectors, many of them are only looking for the few specific items they don't yet have. And those people are also the ones willing to pay just a little bit more to finish off their collection.
Anyway, I'm taking my logic seriously enough to put in a bid on this. There's a good chance I'll get sniped by a real bookdealer at the last minute, but I very conservatively totted up the values of the Arkham House books and arrived at a figure of about $1200. And that doesn't count the three or four books in that lot that I don't own. Or any of the Neville Spearmans, etc. If I win it, that'll keep me busy for a long time, selling them all off one at a time. Hmmm.... maybe I shoulda Bought-It-Now at $1000.

Wow, on May 2nd I'll've been registered for 6 years on ebay.

(*) I'm sure 'to wax bloggy' must be a euphemism for something that I don't want to associate myself with in any way, but it's kinda catchy.
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Date:April 13th, 2004 12:08 pm (UTC)
Just don't get too much wax on your bloggy, and I am sure that everything will be just fine.
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Date:April 13th, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
I rediscovered eBay last week. It had been a couple of years since I'd bought anything, but I was looking for baby stuff. In addition to a couple of lots of little boy clothing (0-3 months), I got distracted and somehow ended up with some cool pirate stuff.

Of course, the next step is to sell my Buffy figures....
Date:April 13th, 2004 01:37 pm (UTC)


As another six-year ebay buyer/seller (although not nearly as serious as you or my dad, who tries to make a living off ebay), I can see the value of breaking stuff up. I didn't do it with my Star Wars stuff, however, because after looking through the other SW stuff on ebay, I couldn't see how anyone would buy a bunch of shitty quality red series SW cards that aren't nearly complete. Plus, I hate having to list, handle, ship and track all those different packages. In this case, I just wanted to get rid of the stuff.

Coming up next for me are the rest of my trading cards (baseball, sci-fi, etc.) and then finally, chunking away at my comic book collection (not all at once, though). Problem is, most of my stuff is crap. I can't see why anyone would want to buy any of it. Then again, someone bought those hideous whale goblets, so I guess people will buy anything.
Date:April 13th, 2004 11:18 pm (UTC)
And, by extension, it makes even more sense to sell multiple things in a single auction but permit the winner to select just one of them. You then get multiple people bidding against each other for different items. I don't know if that's allowed, but it certainly makes economic sense for the seller.

Quite a while back I purchased a lot of around 50 issues of Crypt of Cthulhu for about $3.25 each through abebooks. Now, I'm down to needing the first four issues and I'd probably pay close to $50 for each of them.

Date:April 14th, 2004 09:49 am (UTC)
it makes even more sense to sell multiple things in a single auction but permit the winner to select just one of them

I've seen auctions like that on ebay. Usually, it's a pile of a dozen videos and you get to pick the one you want.
Date:April 17th, 2004 04:26 pm (UTC)
I wish I'd known you were a serious Arkham House collector - I was at NorWesCon this past weekend and there was a lot of good books to be had, including one dealer that had a whole shelf of AH editions.


Journal of No. 118