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Re: Super Deluxe values
Thain
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The house example is a good one to spend a little more time on, I think.

In your example a homeowner said "I have a million dollar house" and the professor says "show me someone who will pay you a million dollars"...

If I put my house on auction today, for seven days, for the highest bidder, I will get X dollars. If I put my house on the "market" and I am willing to wait for the right buyer, I will get Y dollars.

No-one can tell me what X and Y are specifically, but experts can certainly give me a reasonable range for each of X and Y, and I can guarantee you that Y is higher than X except in ridiculously spurious conditions. This is why people do not sell houses at auction unless there are serious time considerations (bank forclosure, etc.)

The same applies to rare books - if you wait for the right buyer, you will pretty much always realize a higher price than if you have a very time limited auction. The conditions (bidder frenzy) that cause auctions to go above "market price" are pretty much ignorable, from a statistical point of view.

Thus, when considering rare art, rare book collecting, antiques, etc. you will almost always see dealers buying at auction, then pricing the item and eventually finding a buyer (and making a profit). Compare this to the number of times you see a dealer buy something at fixed price (on the open market) and taking it to an auction house to realize a profit.

It is all about finding the right buyer. For an eBay auction, you have seven days to find the two people* who really want your book the most in the whole wide world. That is an incredibly short window of time to make sure your book gets marketed and discovered by all/most of the people who might be interested in it. If you have the patience to wait, you will have much better odds at finding the right buyer and getting a better price.


*As others have already pointed out, the realized price at auction is one bid above what the second-most-desperate person was willing to pay.

Posted on: 2011/1/2 10:33
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Re: Super Deluxe values
Shirrif
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Beren, nice points, but...

In the case of a house, the estimate given by an 'expert' (a surveyor in the UK, or perhaps an estate agent) is simply based on the market at that time. It is really just a comparison of your house (i.e. its condition, & possibly some other factors) to similar houses; invariably the same style of house, in the same area --& taking into account historical sales & (more importantly) recent sales.

The surveyor doesn't just pluck a number out of thin air. Yes, they may base some aspect of the value on prediction (e.g. the surveyor believes that prices are, despite the downturn, holding up well --even this is drawing largely on knowledge & experience), but most is simply comparison.

So, to disagree with alpingloin, & agree with yourself, provided the 'expert' is indeed an expert, & the estimate is a good one, a "million dollar house" really should realise about this price --unless conditions are highly fluctuant, or unpredictable.

However, you state: when it comes to selling books at their true value that is a completely different issue.; & when it comes to books, especially expensive ones it all comes to finding a buyer - timing is probably everything.

How is selling a house & a book any different? With house selling surely "finding a buyer" & "timing" are just the same as in book selling? I fail to see how the two markets differ markedly or what marks out book selling as so unique.

You also state: ebay and abebooks are very bad parameters to find out the value of a book. Only rarity, state of the book and demand can tell us the real value. So what market should we gauge price, or price range from? You seem to be alluding to some 'true' value that items should carry, but which isn't readily available or known.

(Explain yourself! )

My real disagreement with the market will reveal the value model is simply this: if a book fails to sell at auction, this does not, in my opinion, mean it is literally worthless; either generally, or at the time of the auction. Therefore the market does not (always) determine value/worth.

Ultimately, I agree with your value range model alpingloin. (Your collecting method is imminently sensible too!). I don't think anyone thinks a single value can possibly be applied to a given item. And laurel, how right you are about prices. If 'true' values were revealed, we would have no underpaying, or overpaying --& frankly no book market (in its present form) at all. That would be no fun indeed...

BH

Posted on: 2011/1/2 10:20
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: Your bookshelf
Thain
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That's the "Occult" section - ghost shelves I guess.

Posted on: 2011/1/2 10:20
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Re: Signed 1968 UK Paperback LOTR
Home away from home
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I seem to remember seeing a letter sold with one of these signed books a few years ago. It was from Allen & Unwin to a bookseller and said something along of the lines of: If you order a certain number of copies you will get a signed one for free.
I will try to dig it out.

Posted on: 2011/1/2 10:02


Re: Super Deluxe values
Home away from home
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ebay and abebooks are very bad parameters to find out the value of a book. Only rarity, state of the book and demand can tell us the real value.
And when it comes to selling books at their true value that is a completely different issue. One can indeed own a 1 million dollar home and sell it for 500.000 if you wish... if the state is correct, the estimate is done by a specialist it IS a 1 million dollar home. If you can sell it for that amount or not is a good test of the estimate. But when it comes to books, especially expensive ones it all comes to finding a buyer - timing is probably everything.

Posted on: 2011/1/2 8:32



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