Tolkien Collector's Guide

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Book prices in the time of COVID-19

May 11
2020/5/11 18:16:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

I thought it might be interesting to have a conversation here on what everyone is seeing in the market for book prices.

I received this email today from an auction house -
Lately, we have seen an unexpected increase in demand. Hammer prices are up. That’s the reason I am writing you today. We need quality consignments while the market is hot.

The four auctions we’ve held since March 4th have all exceeded expectations by 30% or more. After speaking to many of you, as well as other auction houses, I believe this increase is due to limited marketplace access to high-quality material. Money that used to be spent at live auctions, book shows, conventions, retail shops, and other in-person venues has been driven online.

On the flip side, it looks like eBay/personal sales have plummeted from what I am seeing in my general monitoring of the market. They certainly have for me personally - I am not selling anything as I cannot get to the post office to ship things out, and I am not buying much at all due to not wanting the hassle of more deliveries coming to my door.

What is everyone else experiencing?
May 11
2020/5/11 18:23:33 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
In terms of eBay listings: not just less of interest, just less generally. I've bought little in the way of books since March.
May 11
2020/5/11 18:23:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
would it be too much to ask governments to handle the economy better? Like more taxes for billion-dollar corporations vs putting people further into debt.

/end rant on politics
May 11
2020/5/11 18:45:43 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I've also noticed a considerably drop in quantity of new listings on eBay. On AbeBooks some UK companies stopped shipping to the US for a short time... one example being World of Books, who then offered shipping at a very high price, and since then their shippings costs have gradually been returning to normal, though they're still not there yet.
May 11
2020/5/11 19:40:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This is only related in as much as shipping is relevant to books but my friends over on the Steve Hoffman music forum are experiencing higher shipping costs and less choice. It is a different market but the Amazon's especially have increased prices while reducing services.

Personally I have bought less as we are concentrating on my mother-in-law and her needs obviously outweigh any pleasure purchases. I am not a collector like the majority here and generally stick to academia and books that aid in my personal research and I am not seeing prices rise too much to be honest.

As an aside, I collect steelbooks and movies in general and that market has skyrocketed with less on the market and right now prices are just insane for new items.
May 11
2020/5/11 20:05:07 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
For me, I have bought a little more than usual (mostly related to new releases).

But have also purchased more other items than usual also. Nothing to do with Covid-19 - just a spell where I found a few more items than normal.

Have had absolutely no problems with shipping. Based in Ireland and have received everything as per normal (with purchases in UK, USA, France, Spain & Germany). So far nothing seems any different.
May 12
2020/5/12 20:34:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Well, you guys are certainly clicking on eBay links here less often (understandable, we've been finding fewer items to share with each other as well)...

1_5ebb0862c885d.png 2068X484 px
May 13
2020/5/13 1:32:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Also, collectors will eventually run out of things to collect: either their collections will be completed, they got to a certain point of satisfaction, or they were unable to find everything.

There could be an increase when younger generations take to collecting - I don't mean "kids" I mean "younger."
May 13
2020/5/13 4:42:12 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

insurrbution wrote:
Also, collectors will eventually run out of things to collect: either their collections will be completed, they got to a certain point of satisfaction, or they were unable to find everything.

This is a joke, right?
May 13
2020/5/13 5:21:36 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

insurrbution wrote:
Also, collectors will eventually run out of things to collect: either their collections will be completed, they got to a certain point of satisfaction, or they were unable to find everything.

I think that’s called “death”...
May 13
2020/5/13 11:57:53 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Berelach wrote:

insurrbution wrote:
Also, collectors will eventually run out of things to collect: either their collections will be completed, they got to a certain point of satisfaction, or they were unable to find everything.

This is a joke, right?

Collector - a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby.

All of the dictionaries have this wrong.

Collector means a person who remains frustrated through their long days until finally death brings a shattering end and failure to their collecting disease.
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