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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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- Jeremy


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


Re: Super Deluxe values
Home away from home
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One of my wife's old business professor's commentary on value -

"If someone says, 'I own a million dollar house,' I say, 'show me someone who will pay you a million dollars for your house right now.' That is the only time you truly have a million dollar house. If you can only find someone willing to pay you $500,000, then in actuality you own a $500,000 house."

This is one of the things that always stands out in my mind when it comes to investment valuation and assessing risk. And, yes, while I occasionally purchase books just because I really want them and never intend on them leaving my collection, I usually approach book purchases with investment potential in mind. I never expect to make big bucks or have any sort of business success through book collecting (although it would be a fun career!), but I do like to know that if I come across something special that I can't pass up, I can recover some capital by selling a few other books.

There was a point in time when my collection was growing rapidly and I was accumulating books like you read about (nice pun, eh?). Over time, and with financial and space constraints, my approach has evolved. Now my collection generally sees a good amount of ebb and flow. I only own a small handful of (sentimental) things, with which I am unwilling to part. I find that this approach has allowed me to own (even if for only a short time) a great variety of books, to become more knowledgeable as a collector, and still satisfy an appetite for buying more books!

Posted on: 2011/1/2 4:15



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