Tolkien Collector's Guide

Price Clipping?

Aug 3
2020/8/3 15:46:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

I was doing some searches on some older, out of print Tolkien titles. Specifically, the A&U editions that are included in The Tolkien Library boxed set (the editions of The Lord of the Rings exist in that, as a 3-book boxed set, and individually).

I've been noticing that a lot of sellers have mentioned whether or not the dustjacket was price clipped or not.

So I've got to ask - why was that a thing?? I mean, to take a pair of scissors to a dustjacket just feels blasphemous, and out of the ordinary in today's world.

Here is The Tolkien Library (and the editions contained) :http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details2.php?id=1242

Here is The Lord of the Rings boxed set (and the editions contained) : http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details2.php?id=1180

I quite like those, as there aren't that many Allen & Unwin editions of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion that have a matching design style; and in hardback. (ie, The Lord of the Rings editions share a design aesthetic very similar to that of The Silmarillion first edition, and the first edition of Unfinished Tales)
Aug 3
2020/8/3 16:13:11 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Three answers pop to mind immediately...

  • Gift giving. If you bought something to give as a present, most would remove the price-tag. For books, this means having to trim the corner with the printed price in many cases. In fact, I have seen many dustjackets printed with a dotted line showing people where to cut the price off. 😉 I will see if I can find an example and will share it here.

  • Publisher changes the price of the book, and cuts the old printed price off. This prevents consumers (in a bookstore) from peeling off the new price label that was stuck on, and purchasing the book for the old printed price.

  • Same as the second, but a bookstore - cut off the MSRP printed price, and put a price sticker with the current price.

Different currencies for commonwealth countries that imports UK printed books are another example - cut off the price in £ and put a sticker in NZD.
Aug 3
2020/8/3 16:16:34 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
[EDIT: Urulókë has beaten me to it!]

So that when you gifted the book or set to someone they didn't know the price you paid for it. Same reason people biro'd out prices on Pb copies. Booksellers may also have been responsible for removing "Net Price" jacket prices because they picked up copies that had been remaindered & wanted to sell for another price. Lots of reasons why one would want to make the original price of a book go away...

People also didn't value jackets as much in the past as they do now.
Aug 3
2020/8/3 16:23:09 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:


  • Publisher changes the price of the book, and cuts the old printed price off. This prevents consumers (in a bookstore) from peeling off the new price label that was stuck on, and purchasing the book for the old printed price.

George Allen & Unwin used to price clip dust-jackets that they had had printed and glued on new price labels themselves to the clipped dust-jacket.
Aug 3
2020/8/3 16:28:07 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
"People also didn't value jackets as much in the past as they do now. "

That makes total sense as to why it did happen, and why it no longer happens (though it might still, if Grandma gifts you a book or something haha)
Aug 3
2020/8/3 18:20:36 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:



  • Gift giving. If you bought something to give as a present, most would remove the price-tag. For books, this means having to trim the corner with the printed price in many cases. In fact, I have seen many dustjackets printed with a dotted line showing people where to cut the price off. 😉 I will see if I can find an example and will share it here.

Oxford University Press did that a lot I think, this is Essays and Studies 1953:

4451_5f28557283f2b.jpg 500X467 px
Aug 3
2020/8/3 18:24:32 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Berelach wrote:

Oxford University Press did that a lot I think, this is Essays and Studies 1953:

Thank you! I have that exact book but couldn't remember which, so I have been poking around my collection all morning trying to find an example.
Aug 3
2020/8/3 18:27:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

Berelach wrote:

Oxford University Press did that a lot I think, this is Essays and Studies 1953:

Thank you! I have that exact book but couldn't remember which, so I have been poking around my collection all morning trying to find an example.

Sure thing! I was just looking at this the other day so it came to mind instantly.
Aug 3
2020/8/3 21:33:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
There is a certain book pertaining to Huddersfield with the same "clip here" dotting....
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