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23 Apr, 2012
2012-4-23 2:10:26 PM UTC
Because, as I said, reserving a £35 book, esp. one the buyer most likely knows the significance and rarity of, seems highly unlikely. You would think the buyer wouldn't want to take any risk of missing it by proposing a reservation that the buyer has no guarantee the seller will accept, and by the time it takes to determine this.

Would _you_ have done so?
23 Apr, 2012
2012-4-23 2:42:08 PM UTC
Indeed laurel --another reason why someone might not use ABE's checkout. I for one, if I were purchasing several items (particularly from the US), would not individually checkout using ABE. For a start the postage would be highly inaccurate.

I'd possibly want to ask for some sort of price knockdown too, for buying several items. In this example (without paying) one would verbally (email) agree to take a particular book, while browsing their online ABE catalogue for another book that could be slipped into a USPS envelope with the first. Most sellers would hold the initial book for several days while you did this.

Some sellers even "hold" (i.e. reserve) books when you've only enquired about what printing it was, or some such query. On several occasions I've had to tell sellers that my initial enquiry was just that: an enquiry. And, that the book did not need to be held for me & should be made available to anyone else who wanted it. So, again, plenty of reasons why this might have happened.

(Sorry, just read your reply Carl...) It might seem unusual, but £35 is a lot to some poor student, whether they know how valuable the item is, or not. The obvious reason, to me, is as above --they were perhaps buying another item, or paying by cheque. (Or you've been had, as you suggest! )

23 Apr, 2012
2012-4-23 3:45:30 PM UTC
While there is no doubt that "£35 is a lot to some poor student", how would that explain anything? One way or another, the putative poor student is going to spend that £35. (Or even more, in your scenario of "perhaps buying another item".)

Wanting to pay by check is of course a possibility, but would that really be a strong enough motive to risk losing _this particular item_ by delaying to propose a reserve? We're not talking about just any old book here. How many ABE customers don't have credit cards -- particularly among those who would be watching for _this_ item?

Sorry, it all seems very unlikely to me.

23 Apr, 2012
2012-4-23 6:48:27 PM UTC
Hehe... you sound bitter!

I'm just saying there are quite a lot of explanations as to how this might have come about --& in my mind less of them point to you being diddled, and more point to more mundane book buying practises.

In regard to the poor student scenario --they might just want to double check that the listing is in fact what they think it is. They might just be starting out collecting & not believe their luck. Not everyone is confident of just clicking & spending £35. Loads of people don't want to get into a quarrel later on (asking for a refund), after they find out an item is not what they wanted, or in dreadful condition. It's not really that complicated. You're putting great store in the idea that only hardcore know-their-Tolkien types went for this. I just don't think that's necessarily the case.

Your point about the cheque --if the buyer has no credit card logged online (perhaps unlikely, but for about five years I had an ABE account & no credit card stored) --then how do you think they shake hands on a deal? How do you think anyone did it before mouse clicking? If they contact the seller & say "I'd like this book --could you just confirm who to make a cheque out to..." --then, provided they're first in line, a response of "make it out to John Smith" is the hand shake. They don't need any ABE confirmation of this. Most people would recognise this as deal done, even though there is no money in the sellers bank account. The fact that the seller doesn't immediately remove the listing is, frankly, unsurprising.

But, I'm not sure if I can peruade you. Seriously, someone (who even just wanted to pay by Paypal) just beat you to it!

23 Apr, 2012
2012-4-23 8:14:30 PM UTC
Bah, I don't even understand you guys that collect crusty old books of poetry. I still haven't finished collecting all the crap that HarperCollins has turned out in the last 20 years...

23 Apr, 2012
2012-4-23 8:44:38 PM UTC
Well, I didn't want to say...

6 Aug, 2013
2013-8-6 5:45:34 AM UTC
Another £35 Spring Harvest on ABE today - anyone here get it? I wasn't fast enough.
6 Aug, 2013
2013-8-6 1:10:40 PM UTC
It appears to be an exact relisting, from the same seller, of the copy I tried to buy before. I slammed a buy right on it, but I expect I'll be told it was a mistaken relisting.
6 Aug, 2013
2013-8-6 4:18:43 PM UTC
Methinks if I am ever going to find a copy of this book, it isn't going to be through ABE... too many of you guys in front of me in the Wants list queue.
6 Aug, 2013
2013-8-6 4:42:56 PM UTC
Since all of these so far are getting listed from the UK, and many of us hovering over the want list are in the USA, you have a chance of picking up a listing in your afternoon (our middle of the night). Don't give up!
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