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Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books

Subject: Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
by Khamûl on 2010/8/17 5:29:55

Fascinating indeed Beren. However, I suspect you had your bookdealer hat on for most of that!

Look, you're perfectly correct about specialized book dealers like you, David, and Andy (--one would include Rene in this category too.) --but you guys (or you at least) are dealing at the very top of the market. You have lovely copies of many very fine items; most low print run deluxes, with some very rare & scarce stuff too. I'd trust your judgement on pricing these to sell, but listen, there is an enormous amount of Tolkien on somewhere like Abebooks with very little of it priced to sell.

I'm, to be honest, astounded that anyone would have paid you over £350 for CoH. Sorry, this is naive buying. Why would you be so lazy as to not buy direct from the publisher? Yes, on release, it was maximum purchase two per person, and they wouldn't ship to the US; but, come now, the argument about low numbers has been discussed here before.

Within living memory, for some of the older collectors here (myself not included), the book community held (I think, historically) fairly ambivalent views on these manufactured 'collectors' 'deluxe' editions; false, created, manufactured rarities . I think these same people must shake their heads at today’s low number chasers. This ultimately has very little relation to value, quality, rarity, or worth.

I don't particularly object to people having old sets of LotRs from the late fifties in decent nick, now finding they have books worth quite a bit of money. But it kind of annoys me that books which maybe will be worth a few quid in decades to come are already commanding the kind of prices you might imagine them going for in years to come.

I agree with everything else regarding selling; you know far about this than me. Timing is crucial, and some fairly simple practises in good accurate listings, being trustworthy, offering a superior buying experience (nothing specifically to do with book selling) etc etc --these would all seem to allow books to be sold for far higher prices, should that be your aim.

BH