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Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
Shirrif
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I just hate it when people have this much to say; it provokes too much thought! --I want to reply to so many (everything!) things others (everyone!) have said & I don't know if I have the stamina to type that much...

An aside to Bruffyboy: I think we probably all get what you mean regarding value, price etc. I think everyone likes to challenge their own collecting credentials; test them if you like --to make sure they aren't overpaying for items. (Paying market value is fine; paying under market value even better!) Inevitably this can appear as if one is overly preoccupied with price & money. I certainly can't deny thinking in this way on occasion, although, like you, I have no plans to buy & sell books. I haven't sold anything I've bought. So, I think I get where you’re coming from.

But, Beren! I read this a while back, & just can't let it pass without comment. Firstly, Stu --I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly with almost all of what you said. You quoted Beren at one point, and I'll put his comment up again (--from earlier in this thread.)

. An example was the Cor Blok painting Rene had listed on his website, he did not expect to sell it at the asking price, but was willing to let it go if someone was crazy enough to pay 'that amount' for it. It did however sell and both parties are happy. So does it mean this painting is worth this price? Not really, but some collectors do spent crazy money to obtain unique items like that.

Beren


I'm sorry, & I'm not having a go here at you guys as individuals [I'm only using how I've interpreted this statement as an example], but this is the perfect example of what should never happen when dealing with any seller. Buyers, especially when buying from reputable Tolkien specialist dealers (as in this case), trust you guys unquestionably to price honestly; as discussed, this would be in relation to the price you acquired the item for & what price you might reasonably think the item is worth. (Granted, the latter is subjective.) [Italics added for clarity -BH]

It is not [or would not be], however, acceptable (without seriously damaging your reputation as an honest, trustworthy, & ethically-minded seller) to put stuff up at 'crazy' [i.e. grossly overpriced even in your own judgement] prices & to pose this [a] disingenuous argument about market value. Unless the buyer went into this sale with their eyes wide (wide) open (& was fully aware of how overpriced the seller admitted this item was), then this kind of pricing policy is [or rather, would be] shameful profiteering & dishonesty by the back door. [Italics added for clarity -BH]

Let’s examine what was [or at least what I thought you] said. Your basically saying [this is what it sounded like] this: you buy an item for, let’s say (simplistically), £1000. You decide, what with all your overheads & your legitimate right to make money, that the item could be sold for £2000 --&, as well as making you a profit, this would also fairly reflect its current value. [This would be fine.] [But] Because you personally don’t want to part with the item (it’s nice; it’s unique etc), rather than just not listing it for sale, you list it for a grossly overinflated (overinflated in your opinion) price [e.g. £4000] with the delusional self-justification that if you are going to have to part with it --you’ll only do so if the up-side is great financial gain to yourself. [Italics added for clarity -BH]

This [hypothetical example] is wrong [if it were to happen] on many levels, but mostly because some buyers genuinely (& it is very hard, subjective even, to price unique items) have no firm idea of fair value --& are [would be] relying on you to adhere to reasonable practises in pricing items for sale. It is not justifiable to simply fall back on some old mantra that equates to: if people are willing to pay the price I list an item for, then it’s their own fault if they’re ripped off! --Why don’t [or rather, why wouldn't] you just not list it at this price? [Italics added for clarity -BH]

[Italics have been added for clarity to most of the above paragraphs, as they (originally) were clearly a mis-interpretation of what Beren said. Furthermore they were far too specific to the example Beren gave; the specifics of which I new nothing about --I should not have commented in this way. BH 5th Sept. 2010]

Maybe I’m over reacting slightly to this (casual?) comment. Does nobody else think that this is wrong? All I can say is, I sincerely hope this doesn’t happen with non-unique items too, where (to be frank) it is even less justifiable.

Second point:

Very important are dust jackets, for example the 1st US The Hobbit jacket is in itself more valuable then the book itself. Any flaw in the jackets can reduce the value of any book enormously.

Beren


I’m sure this is true, but can we concede that this is a decidedly modern phenomenon? And, that this is a kind of chicken-and-egg scenario. Clearly buyers, new to collecting, discover very early on that dustjackets are of extreme importance, simply because the market says they are important! The longer you are exposed to this concept of worth, the more you are inclined to believe it. In any case this is purely (hopefully) of neurotic importance to the collector only! (--& I’m a signed up member of this club!) Yes, the jacket can be of literary and bibliographical importance, but this hardly justifies its importance over the printed matter itself.

Lastly:

If you buy a brand new edition today and it looks *any* different in ten years time than it does today, then IMHO, you don't know how to look after your books!

-Stu


Spines (of books like the big oversized 2004 Silmarillion) do struggle to hold the weight of the pages if standing upright. Ten years on your shelf and these are going to struggle to remain square & tight I think.

Anyway, it’s hot & I’ve got my fan out. It’s heavy; made of gold I think. But it’s wafting a terrible smell my way...

BH

Posted on: 2010/9/4 9:27

Edited by Khamul on 2010/9/5 4:04:51
_________________
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...


What should I spend my £100 on- just for fun
Just can't stay away
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OK this is meant to be a bit of light-hearted fun, just to see the range of ideas that come up. I have around £100 to spend on my next Tolkien purchase. Imagine yourself without any of the books you own, and tell me what YOU think I should spend my £100 on.

Currently I am thinking a later edition of the 1969 deluxe bible paper LOTR and the 2004 deluxe Hobbit.

Posted on: 2010/9/4 9:07


Re: BBC Archive Video from 1968 - Tolkien in Oxford
Shirrif
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Trotter, which Tolkien interview does that BBC programme contain?


Both of these programmes are really "Tolkien in Oxford" from 1968,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/writers/12237.shtml

Posted on: 2010/9/4 8:13


Re: BBC Archive Video from 1968 - Tolkien in Oxford
Not too shy to talk
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Trotter, which Tolkien interview does that BBC programme contain?

Posted on: 2010/9/4 5:42


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
Just can't stay away
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I suppose I should clarify what I mean about Tolkien books being a good investment: I am not buying these books for re-sale, and plan on keeping them forever. However, I also wont buy a book that I think is overpriced or lacks value. Somewhere in the back of my mind is a part of me which wont part with the money unless it seems (to me') like it's a reasonable price. My definition of reasonable price is basically buying slightly under the going Market price. So, you could say that most of my purchases to date are already good investments because I could sell them today for a small to moderate profit. I have, in fact, recently done this with one of the books on my blog- bought two and sold one for a 20% profit. I am not looking to make money out of my collection, but likewise I am not going to buy any books that I think are well overpriced.

Posted on: 2010/9/4 0:50



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