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Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
Just can't stay away
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Yes, that was me. But I don't think I will be able to buy it in the next 5 years or so. Too expensive for my student's purse
But quite nice to see there are still copies circulating, and thanks for your attention!

Posted on: 2010/9/5 1:47
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'Love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West, and cometh from the Sea'


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
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Someone mentioned wanting one of these recently. I just saw this and thought I'd post it. It is that special edition of Roverandom (25 copies).

http://cgi.ebay.com/TOLKIEN-ROVERANDO ... ction&hash=item2c571bdd49

Posted on: 2010/9/4 16:09


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
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Just a note - bruffyboy started this thread just over a month ago, and so far it's garnered some 2000 views, as well as thrusting out some unexpected roots.

All I can say is, well done! And keep it up.


Posted on: 2010/9/4 15:08


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
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Thanks for that, Beren. (wish we had a 'thumbs up' icon here).

Let's take a step back for a moment - and please bear in mind that, as always I can only speak for myself in these matters.

It may seem that we (or rather I) am taking a rather stern view of a specific dealer's pricing practices based on a report by one of our fellow forum members. In light of Beren's post just now, and looking back on his previous post (on p.7 of this thread) I think I am probably being too hard on Rene whom, I have to say, I have met on several occassions, and from whom I have bought some good stuff over the years. I've always been satisfied with my purchases, and find Rene a very kind and knowledgable person to do business with. I would recommend him to anyone.

I think what struck me as possibly an 'unkind' remark in Beren's post was this:

"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. "

On reflection, this seems to me to have been 'said' in what I would call a 'vaunting' style - the sort of thing I imagine one might hear behind the scenes at a book fair between dealers: 'I got rid of that book; you'll never guess what I got for it...' - that sort of thing is ok between one dealer and another. But when uttered on a site such as this, largely populated by those of us on the other side of the dealer's table, it might seem to smack of triumphalism.

But taking a further step back, I am just as 'guilty' of doing the same on the other side of the coin. I'm quite happy to tell my fellow collectors about the bargains I've managed to acquire over the years. Swings and roundabouts. The difference being that these conversations usually take place off - forum, often face-to face, so the person I'm speaking to can see and hear my expressions of gladness (when I've nabbed something good) or sadness (when one got away).

But I'd like to look again at Beren's original message: the passage which irked me comes from a larger portion of his post.

"In my book there is no such thing as aiming to make "as much profit as possible" ... We most of the time work with a fixed margin we aim at (that mostly includes free shipping costs, insurance and possibility for a reduction)... resulting in that when we manage to track down a very rare copy and after some negotiating pay a certain amount (mostly depending on what we believe the book can be sold for); the selling price is already set in the process.

So sometimes we get lucky and are able to sell some books at a price we think is very good or lower then we would actually estimate it. But since we were able to buy it cheap we can offer it cheap. Some dealers prefer to add a lot extra, but we prefer selling and finding a collector to treasure this rare book above making monster profits. Guess it is because we truly love to 'find' books and find our pleasure in the 'hunt' and not so much in the 'gain'.

Of course, since we are collectors ourselves, we always find it hard to sell some pieces or do not think it is time yet to sell some pieces... I know Rene also follows that rule... it indeed happens we list books at prices we do not expect to sell at. 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."

Sorry for the long quote, but I feel it was necessary, for my understanding at least, to put Beren's words into context. I do not now think that he was being triumphal in this post. I certainly don't think that he was implying any improper practice by himself (implicitly) nor Rene (explicitly). For my part, I'd like to withdraw my earlier remarks, and I offer my apologies to Beren and to Rene for any hurt caused.

*note - Khamul posted while I was away editing this (rather long) post. K. makes the interesting point about why B. used the word 'crazy'. Actually, it makes sense - I can imagine Rene using the word 'crazy', but in a self-deprecating way. If I'd heard him say this in person, doubtless I'd laugh along with him, taking the meaning in the way I think he meant it. To me at least, this is another example of the internet's frustrating inability to send clear 'messages' of a person's real intentions. To sum up - if I had any doubts about Rene's intended meaning, as reported by Beren, I have none now.


Posted on: 2010/9/4 15:01


Re: A nice blog on collecting Tolkien books
Shirrif
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Beren, I'm genuinely not having a pop. Looking back at my post (& I'll leave it un-edited, so others can judge how unfair I might have been) I may have made an error in specifically quoting you & discussing the Rene example in particular --for that I apologise if I've offended you; or perhaps (put better) totally mis-represented what actually happened in this case. No slur was intended at all against you or Rene. Please accept my apologies.

My post (rant?) also wasn't meant to suggest you're making a killing out of selling books; or that you're inflating prices or otherwise manipulating the markets. As I said, I wasn't specifically talking about you at all (--& I hope it is seen that most of my comments were generalisations using this example as a starting point.) [Last comment added for clarity -BH]

I'm not going to patronise you by heaping praise on your site (& bookstore) either --I think you know how I feel & view your own set-up. And, I ('we' I'm sure) do appreciate you posting (at length) regarding the other side of the trade i.e. from the sellers perspective. I do want to hear what you have to say; & not just so I can shoot you down or have a grumble (--altho' it might appear that way!)

But, why are you calling them 'crazy' prices? You made me think that you (& R) were of the opinion that the price you listed this particular item for was in your own opinion higher than it should have been (i.e. more than it was worth) --& that you were surprised that someone took the bait. Clearly I mis-interpreted quite how specific you were being i.e. in discussing purely one-off/unique (& therefore extremely difficult to price) items.

I'll try & come back to this a little less personally.

BH

Posted on: 2010/9/4 14:28

(edited)
_________________
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...



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