Thursday, July 29, 2010

Listings That Make You Go "Hmm."

Sometimes I read an eBay listing, and I have to shake my head in wonder. Here are some examples.

1931 1st Red Covers LINDA CARLTON'S ISLAND ADVENTURE DJ

This auction is for a Saalfield edition of Linda Carlton's Island Adventure which has a dust jacket. The seller wants $49.00 for the book. The listing states:
Very hard to find First Edition hardcover with dust jacket and protective transparent sleeve. A true 1931 first edition with red covers. Third in a series.

Primary indications of a first edition:

* last book title printed on jacket's back panel is "Island Adventure"
* Book is bound in red cloth, typical of a first edition from 1931.
* Copyright date printed in Roman numeral is 1931.
Saalfield was a reprint house, and as far as I know, none of the books were first printings. That in itself is all that we need to know. Island Adventure is the last title listed because Saalfield only reprinted the first three books. All Saalfield Linda Carlton books list to Island Adventure.

The part about the red cloth is just plain bizarre. Does the seller think that all red cloth books from 1931 must be first printings? I have to wonder if the seller is aware of the early Hardy Boys books in the red cloth binding and has the Linda Carlton books confused with the Hardy Boys books.

What does the copyright date of 1931 in Roman numerals have to do with anything?

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Lot 3 CAROLYN KEENE NANCY DREW 1930 Facsimile HC Books

This lot is supposedly for three Applewood Nancy Drew facsimile editions. My problem is the photo.


These look like old Grosset and Dunlap books to me. Perhaps the color is way off on the seller's photo, and they are really Applewood editions. Most Applewood editions have been kept in nice shape, and these look like old books with some wear and tear. I also see a few stains.

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Beverly Gray Treasure Hunt, Clair Blank DUST JACKET 1ST

A reader of this blog brought this one to my attention. First off, the seller plagiarized a large portion of my Beverly Gray page. I never understand why sellers do this. Do they not realize that anyone who actually cares about buying a Beverly Gray book is already aware of this information?

The "Hmm" part is this portion of the listing, which is one of the few parts that I did not write. The seller stated, "I believe this may be a First Edition because this title is the last title listed on the Copyright Page which is usually good evidence. However, the dust jacket list extends to 'Beverly Gray's Mystery' so I am not sure."

The copyright page is never accurate. Aside from that, if the jacket lists to Beverly Gray's Mystery, isn't that a good sign that the book was probably not printed until around the time that Beverly Gray's Mystery was first published? This book is not anywhere near a first printing.

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The Clue in the Diary by Carolyn Keene (1932, HC)

This one is funny. Here is a screen cap of the title and subtitle.


I have to buy thirty books to get free shipping! Isn't that a bit extreme? My first thought is that this is a typo, but the seller has dozens of listings with the same subtitle.

2 comments:

Brandi said...

I have read over the Linda Carlton listing in shock more then once. As a matter of fact, I called in the significant other to read the description to him too. I found it amazing that they based they're decision on the red cover! I don't collect Hardy Boy books, so I didn't put two and two together and think that was where they got it from. At least I can see some reasoning now that you explained that.

The valuable, hard to find first edition has been relisted at a significantly lower price.

stratomiker said...

Such problems arise when people who are not trained booksellers try to sell books. Just imagine what goes on at eBay Motors! I have friends who do 'used cars' and their eBay complaints make the ones on this blog seem sweet and tame.

Some ignorant sellers of books give it their best shot, others just make stuff up or copy what they read on someone else's site.

To keep it in perspective, the series book guides that so many rely so heavily on as fact are in actuality 99% speculation since none of it is 'stated'. And the only real example given in one guide of a 'printing' form disagrees with that guide's listing by a great number.

Hmmm ... good, smart speculation, maybe, but speculation just the same.

Mike