Friday, April 30, 2010

Using Stock Photos for Listings Part 2

I already mentioned that someone took issue with my post, Using Stock Photos for Listings. Scroll down near the end of the comments to read that person's comment and my response.

I made this statement in the original post:
Whenever I find a listing for a book I wish to buy, I always take a look at the seller's other listings to see if the photos match in style. Most sellers have at least some variance in style, and a minor variance does not set off alarms. I look for sellers who use too many different styles. I also am concerned about sellers whose pictures look a little too similar to the photos of other sellers, if you know what I mean.
This person thinks that I am jumping to conclusions. She states that she has many different styles of photos. I am not certain whether she uses stock images, since one part of her response makes it sound like she might. If she does not use stock photos, then I am bewildered as to why she would be worried that I would think she does. Apparently, I did not make myself clear.

I consider it a red flag when a seller uses many different styles, but I only conclude that the seller uses other seller's photos when some of the photos look exactly like the photos of other sellers, and I have found the exact photos elsewhere. I am not jumping to conclusions.

Each time I am suspicious of whether a seller uses stock photos, I can find either proof or no evidence in less than five minutes of investigation. It is that easy to decide one way or another. Sometimes I do find no evidence and conclude that the seller just likes to take some photos on the porch, some on the grass, some in the bathroom, and some on the roof. When the seller does use stock photos, I can find the sources very quickly, and then I have proof.

I would link to a couple sellers' listings to show you sellers who use other people's images, but I do not believe that I should do that to another seller. Instead, I'm going to copy some images from some listings that are not from any sellers known to copy photos and place them here, so that you can see what I mean.

These images were lifted by me at random, and all of them are from different sellers' listings. Let's hypothetically assume that I take a look at a seller's listings on eBay. Let's say that the following four photos represent the first four items in the list.

It is quite unlikely that one seller would take such different photos within a short period of time. When I see this type of disparity, I look over the rest of the listings. Let's assume this seller has copied photos. In that case, I will also see photos like these next ones in that seller's listings.


The first photo is from CAL's Book Inn, and the second one is from doc-h. Doc-h almost always uses a scanner for her photos, so they are very consistent and look the same. If I see a jacket and book side-by-side in another seller's listing, I am going to think of doc-h. Now, other sellers do use scanners, so I only conclude that the seller has copied one of doc-h's photos when I see the huge variety of photos in that seller's listings and can find the same photo in either a current or completed listing from doc-h.

I notice that CAL's Book Inn has a different photo style in recent listings. This is not a red flag. As the weeks pass, we shift to different methods. It is when a seller haphazardly shifts between many methods in a short period of time and has photos that are identical to other sellers' photos that I know that the seller is using stock photos. Make note of the word "identical," as that is the key.

I also know that sellers use stock photos when I find images from my website in their listings. Most of my dust jacket images have been edited, and I have intimate knowledge of those scans, since I created them. All that I have to do is look at the seller's image up close and my image up close and can see evidence of my photo editing. Nobody but me can see it, but all of my images have qualities that make them easily recognizable to me. I know what I did to edit the images.

So, if you like to take your photos in 20 different locations around your house, I might investigate your listings, but I will not conclude that you use stock photos unless I find photos that are completely identical to other sellers' photos. Have I made myself clear? I am not jumping to conclusions.

My main problem is that most of the sellers who use stock photos fail to tell their buyers that the photos do not represent the actual books being sold. These sellers should state at the beginning of each listing that the photo is not of the actual book for sale but is provided so that the buyer can see which cover art the book has. As a buyer, I want to know when I am looking at the actual book and when I am not. I need this information for a number of reasons.

Sometimes I need to see the exact condition because most sellers will not answer questions regarding certain concerns correctly. One time, I wanted to upgrade a dust-jacketed book with a faded spine. The seller photographed only the front of the book with the dust jacket in place, so I could not see the spine of the dust jacket.

I contacted the seller, asking whether the spine of the dust jacket was faded, and if so, to what extent. I made clear that I wanted to know about any level of fading. The seller told me that the spine was not faded at all. When I received the book, I was displeased to see that the spine did have fading. I was not happy, but I believe that the seller thought the spine was not faded.

Do you begin to see why we need to see the actual books for sale? As sellers, we may miss something that matters greatly to our buyers. We need to photograph the actual books so that unnoticed important flaws have a chance of getting noticed. I do not think that sellers who use stock photos are bad, but this is a very big deal to me as a buyer.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Nancy Drew!

The first three Nancy Drew books, The Secret of the Old Clock, The Hidden Staircase, and The Bungalow Mystery, were published on April 28, 1930. The plot outlines for the first three books were written by Edward Stratemeyer, and the three books were ghostwritten by Mildred A. Wirt under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene, which was the author name chosen by the Stratemeyer Syndicate for the series.

Prior to the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, most Stratemeyer series books centered around a group of boys and girls who would participate in activities such as camping, fishing, sailing, and traveling the country in their automobiles. The young people would almost always have a chaperone, who was an older adult such as a favorite teacher or a relative. The books contained exciting events interspersed with ordinary activities and lots of joking around by the young people.

The Stratemeyer Syndicate was hugely successful, and it was the dominating force in series books both before and after the release of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series. The Hardy Boys series was first published in 1927, and it had the basic formula of the earlier Stratemeyer books, but with a new twist: the Hardy Boys solved mysteries, often for their father, a famous detective.

The Nancy Drew series also focused on solving mysteries but with a big difference: Nancy Drew often worked alone, especially during the first few books. Nancy Drew had a level of autonomy that was unmatched in other series books. Even the Hardy Boys had to answer to their Aunt Gertrude. Nancy Drew answered to nobody.

Nancy's father, Carson Drew, worried about her, but he never prevented Nancy from doing whatever she wanted to do. In volume 5, Nancy's best friends, quarreling cousins Bess and George, began to join Nancy in her adventures, yet Nancy was still in total control.

Nancy seemed to be a kind of superwoman who bounced back instantly from all injuries. It is little wonder that Nancy Drew's success surpassed all of Edward Stratemeyer's previous creations. Unfortunately, Edward Stratemeyer did not live to see the tremendous success that Nancy Drew became; he passed away on May 10, 1930, less than two weeks after Nancy Drew was first published.

It is a continuing testimony to Edward Stratemeyer's legacy that Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have never been out of print since creation and are still published to the present day.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On the Subject of Image Theft

I wrote of image theft in this post. You should read the recent comments where someone took me to task.

The Outdoor Girls in Desert Valley - Laura Lee Hope

I wrote most of the seller's description, since the seller lifted it off of my website. I suppose that general information is more important than specific information about the condition of a valuable book and jacket. Who knew?

Even worse, the image is my image of Desert Valley from my website. I knew that it was my image at a glance, but I enlarged it and compared the two images side-by-side. The two images have identical patterns of pixelation. The images are the same image.

The seller says that the jacket has "wear and tear." What does that mean? The image makes the jacket look perfect; it should, since I edited out all the flaws. This is when I get angry. Buyers may assume that this valuable jacket is in far better condition than it is, and the winning bidder could end up very unhappy.

I have contacted the seller with my concerns. This is when I do not stay quiet. The image cannot be removed, but hopefully, the seller will add a note about the image to the description. My message may get added to the description.

Anyway, I decided to mention this since one person thinks I jumped to conclusions about image theft, and it happens all the time. Not only that, buyers get deceived when the image does not depict the actual item up for sale. Unfortunately, eBay condones this behavior, since they now have a database of stock images. For all I know, some of my images may have been added to that database. In fact, if this particular seller has not opted out of the automatic submit to the database, then my image of Desert Valley will become part of eBay's data base. OMG.

The eBay Meltdown Part 2

On the eBay message boards, the complaints of low or no sales continue. Sellers are also complaining of fewer watchers and fewer questions getting asked about their listings. Everyone is still pointing to the end of March as when sales slowed or stopped altogether.

Quite are few people are now mentioning odd regional sales. One person reports that all sales are coming from Ohio and Texas. Another person reports all sales coming from California and North Carolina. Yet another person reports sales coming from two distinct regions of the country with nothing from the rest of the country.

Someone else says that they sell to California, Texas, and Canada. A person in New Jersey reports that nearly all sales go to California, with no sales to the surrounding states where the postage cost would be lower. Another person reports no sales for weeks then four items selling to the same city in Michigan.

Does it not sound strange? It could be an odd coincidence, but it sounds like people who live in different areas see different items.

Most people still think that the store items going to core is the reason that sales are down, and I tend to agree. I had to change my search technique in order to overcome the problems caused by all items in the results. I now search newly listed only for Buy It Nows. I then run a search for ending soonest for only auction items. What if the average buyer is not doing this? They would be able to find nothing in a search that returns many thousands of items.

We have it lucky that most series book searches return only a few hundred items. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys are the worst, but those searches return under 9,000 items each. I just did a search for "cell phone" and found 369,000 results. No wonder sellers in other categories are having serious problems.

Some people point to Google at the culprit. Quite a few people have indicated that their items are suddenly very hard to find on Google, and they believe that their sales have decreased as a result.

I find this very interesting, because my Bonanzle sales from Google slowed to almost nothing back in October. The specific reason I find it interesting is that my sales from Google have started back up in just the last two weeks. I have had 11 sales since April 17, and five of them have been through Google. I have been averaging no more than one sale per month through Google since October. Hmm....

I suspect that eBay has come into disfavor in the most recent Google update, and those of us who sell on other marketplaces are benefiting as a result. While I do not like seeing people on eBay going through these problems, I have to admit that I am happy to have the Google exposure again.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The eBay Meltdown

A large number of sellers are complaining about a lack of sales on eBay since March 27. Some sellers state that they have had no sales and that it is not normal for what they sell. Other sellers have noticed a dramatic decrease in views and in sales. A few sellers report that their business is as usual.

I can report that I unsuccessfully tried to sell two large lots of books in the last month. I tried three times, and the last time, I lowered my prices significantly. My items had close to no views until the very last day, and the lots had very few watchers. I have never seen such a lack of interest in those kind of lots. I gave up.

On eBay's community boards, quite a few message threads exist with numerous posts from people discussing the lack of item views and lack of sales. The message threads contain so many common complaints from so many different people that there must be something wrong with eBay.

I would link to one or more message threads, but the last time I did that, the message thread got deleted fast. Why should I put up a sign pointing them out to the entire world? People who work for eBay do monitor what is said about eBay on the web. This is why I had to change the comment settings in this blog to allow only people who have a Google account. I had to make it harder for people to bash me because of my comments about eBay. I did not appreciate being told that I should be "grateful" to eBay for the changes.

With regard to the message threads scattered around eBay's community boards, many people think that eBay placing the store items into the core search results is responsible for their lack of sales. Others are certain that eBay's search has several serious glitches.

I skimmed through the various message threads, which contain a huge amount of information, and here are the main points that I remember.
  1. Across the board, everyone is reporting a steep drop in sales beginning on March 27. Some people are also pointing back to March 7 as the date when traffic began to dip. Top-rated sellers and small sellers alike are reporting this steep drop and are all pointing back to March 7 and March 27.

  2. Some people report that store items are not in core in their results. This has been confirmed on AuctionBytes. Some people think it is a browser issue, while others think it is a glitch. I recall someone stating that customer service mentioned a glitch.

  3. A test search is being conducted by eBay that supposedly affects only a small number of users. In the test search, some items are not shown to buyers. This could have a negative impact on the sellers of the items that are not shown.

  4. One person reported that when the title of a listing was copied and pasted into the form during the creation of another listing that the second listing was not searchable due to a control character added by eBay to the title as a result of a glitch. This person reported that the glitch was mentioned by customer service and that advice was given always to type the listing titles.

  5. Many people are now reporting odd patterns in sales, like one sale every four days or sales to just one part of the country then all sales switch to a different part of the country. There do seem to be quite a few people reporting these patterns. This is why many people believe in the rolling blackout conspiracy theory.

    I now believe that something like a rolling blackout is occurring, but I do not believe it is a conspiracy. More likely, eBay's servers are out of sync and displaying incorrect totals, and the traffic is too high on some servers and people are redirected to other servers. I now feel confident that something is wrong, but I disagree with the belief in a conspiracy. It is probably gross incompetence on eBay's part.

    I saw another item this weekend in a completed items search that I never saw before it closed. I cannot account for why I never saw it, unless eBay never displayed it in my search results.

  6. A number of people have reported that the store items that were switched to fixed-price by eBay have had no traffic, but the few items that expired naturally and were relisted have had normal traffic. These people believe that a glitch is causing many store items to be invisible until they expire and are relisted.

  7. Several people report that they have spoken to people at their post offices who have reported a sharp decrease in the number of packages mailed by eBay sellers. If true, this is very interesting.

  8. Multiple people are reporting starting valuable items at $0.99 in auctions, getting very few views and very few watchers, and having the items sell well below value.

  9. Various people are stating that they intend to start up a website in order to drive traffic to their eBay listings. This is amazing. Those of us who sell on alternative venues with low fees by necessity must drive traffic to our listings. It has always been assumed that by listing on the behemoth eBay that one's traffic is guaranteed, which is why the fees were justifiable. If people now have to drive traffic to their eBay listings, perhaps they are better off on Bonanzle.

  10. Perhaps most interesting of all is that while eBay's auctions have declined sharply, Goodwill's auctions on its own website are flourishing. Goodwill's site is simple and... an awful lot like eBay was back in the very beginning. Can you imagine that? People like it simple and uncluttered. It's too bad that the only sellers are the Goodwill stores, or I'd jump on board.
According to AuctionBytes, "eBay's traffic for the month of March was at a 6-year low compared to previous March numbers." For this reason, I believe that eBay is faltering, and sellers have just cause to be worried. Something is seriously wrong with eBay.

In my opinion, the service now provided by eBay no longer justifies the high fees.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book Hunting Locally

I have this theory that eBay's decline will result in more series books showing up in local stores. I have read several message posts on eBay's community boards in which people have stated that they are once again selling their items in flea markets. I just read one today in which someone stated that people are now buying on eBay and selling the stuff at local flea markets and making a profit. It used to be the other way around.

The people who post on eBay's boards are just a small fraction of eBay's total user base. If a few people have stated that they are returning to local sales, then many others must be doing the same. This would be part of the reason why fewer good books are showing up on eBay.

I had completely quit going to local stores several years ago. In the previous five or so years, I still visited the stores occasionally, but I had finally quit going to them. As I recall, the good books began disappearing from local stores in around 1999. By 2003, the local stores were barren of good books. For at least a few years, I still visited local stores occasionally, but by around 2005 or so, I finally quit due to stagnant inventory. The stores never changed, and I could never find any decent books at all. It became apparent that nearly 100% of the good books were going straight to the internet and eBay.

In recent months, I began testing my theory about books returning to local stores. In December, I reported of the great cache of books I found in one local antique shop. I have been gradually making my way around central Oklahoma, checking out various local stores.

A number of stores have closed due to the economy. In the stores that remain, the prices for the series books seem to be generally lower than they once were. If I needed the books for my collection, many of them would be worth buying. For the purpose of resale, many of the prices are too high. Even so, I have found quite a few books that I can resell.

Last weekend, I found these books:


Thirteenth Pearl is the second printing while Crocodile Island, 99 Steps, and Crooked Banister are first printings. Fire Dragon has the $1 box. Red Gate Farm has the black suggested retail price box. Crooked Arrow has a dust jacket.

The three Bobbsey Twins books are high-numbered ones that I might be able to sell for slightly more than I paid for them. Those three books were out at the same time as Crocodile Island and Thirteenth Pearl, so they should be about as scarce as those two books. The problem is that few people want the Bobbsey Twins books, so the value should be fairly low even though the books are harder to find.

This weekend, I found these books:


Crocodile Island has the double oval endpapers. The red book is a Kay Tracey book. Red Gate Farm lists to Fire Dragon and does not have the suggested retail price box on the cover. The Vicki Barr book has a dust jacket. Haunted Bridge is a thick book with a glossy frontispiece.

I have not seen enough yet to know whether more books are showing up locally on a regular basis, but I am definitely seeing more books than I once did. I estimate that what I am now seeing is similar to what I saw in the early 2000s after most books disappeared from local stores but before they disappeared completely. I will continue to check locally in the coming weeks to see what the trend is.

The books are out there, and we just have to find them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Be Careful of High-Priced Listings

People who are new to collecting are easily deceived by sellers who overstate the condition and rarity of their books. If you are new to collecting, be wary of all sellers until you figure out the true value and scarcity of the books. Yes, you should even be wary of me until you figure out what the books are really worth.

In this post, I gave examples of how inflated the prices are for Beverly Gray at the World's Fair. The prices are inflated because the sellers all copy each other's insane prices.

Many sellers on eBay and Bonanzle quote the high fixed-price listings as evidence of how valuable certain books are. Some of these sellers mistakenly believe that the prices are indicative of the value of the books. Remember that anyone can price a book at any amount. Never use a fixed-price listing from Amazon, the Advanced Book Exchange, Alibris, or anywhere else to justify the price of a book.

It does not matter if a book is unavailable at a low price. Beverly Gray at the World's Fair is unavailable for under $332.45. However, Beverly Gray at the World's Fair does not bring a price of $332.45 without a jacket; yet, the fixed-price listings are all at or above that amount. The sellers have copied each other's prices.

I personally avoid all listings in which the seller quotes a high-priced fixed-price listing as proof of a book's value. Most of the sellers probably do not know any better, but some of the sellers are deliberately misleading their buyers. If you are new to collecting, be careful. Just because someone wants $200 to $300 for a book does not mean that it is worth that much. Even if the $200 to $300 book is the only one up for sale, the book may still not be worth that much.

Buyers can be easily swayed into believing that because there are no inexpensive copies available that the books must be worth that much. Do you know why there are no inexpensive copies? They have sold. Duh. The expensive ones remain untouched. There is only so much that the market will bear. Even if only one copy is available, most people are not so desperate as to pay three to four times the true value. Most buyers realize that additional copies will surface in the future.

Consider this: If a book is worth the price a seller has set, exactly why do some sellers feel the need to justify their prices by quoting the fixed-price listings on Amazon, ABE, and elsewhere? I also put the people who quote the Farah's Guide values into this same category. The Farah's Guide values are not indicative of the current value of Nancy Drew books. Some of the values are far higher than the current market while others are far lower.

When a seller has a book up with a $50 Buy It Now and quotes Farah's Guide has having a value of $250, do you really believe the book is worth $250? If so, then the book should be priced at $250, right? At the very least, the book should be priced somewhere near $250.

Recently, someone was selling a blank endpapers edition Nancy Drew book on eBay. The book was in rough shape, and the seller had the book priced at well under $100. Near the end of the description, the seller stated that the book was purchased for $200 and that he or she was taken advantage of by the seller.

Of course I immediately thought of one specific seller who is particularly guilty of asking far too much for the blank endpapers editions. So, I had this suspicion... I clicked on this person's feedback and then looked at the feedback received as a buyer. I did not have to look very far before finding feedback left by the seller who grossly over-exaggerates the condition and rarity of books. While I cannot be sure that that particular seller is the guilty one, I strongly suspect that I am right.

Buyers who are new to collecting can be easily misled, but they do figure out the true value of the books eventually. I am thankful that I was always cautious in the early days of my collecting. Sure, I have gotten involved in bidding wars and paid too much at times, but for the most part, I have cautiously avoided overpriced books.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Finding New Books to Read

Back in late December and January, I read the Percy Jackson series. More recently, Jack recommended The Secrets of Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott. I read those books and enjoyed them. I am looking forward to the release of the fourth book in May.

In the meantime, I would love to find some other current or recent books that appeal to me and are similar to these books. I am quite out of touch with what is available, and I have had no idea what to search for on Amazon.

I went to Borders and Barnes and Noble today to look over the children's and young adult books. I wrote down a number of series titles so that I could read over the customer reviews on Amazon and hopefully come up with some books that I think I might like.

There is one series called Wicked that I thought might be interesting, but the customer reviews are not very positive. Based on some of the comments, I am going to pass on those books.

Another series called Leven Thumps sounds like it might be interesting. The reviews are very positive, for the most part. Some people seem to like the Fablehaven series even better than Leven Thumps.

I also made note of the Charlie Bone, Keys to the Kingdom, Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Mysterious Benedict Society, Secret Circle, 100 Cupboards, Pellinor, and Darkest Powers series. These other series seem to have very favorable reviews, although I have not read the reviews yet.

I hope to select a series and read it soon. If anyone has any knowledge of these or other recent series, let me know what you think. If you have read one of them and think it is great, let me know. On the other hand, if you have read one of them and think it is horrible, I also want to know. Your comments could help me make a decision.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Using Stock Photos for Listings

When I buy books, these are my two most important considerations.
  1. The picture shows the actual book for sale.

  2. The total price of the item including shipping is within what I am willing to pay.
The seller must meet my first expectation or else I will not consider buying the book. If I have any suspicion that the seller's picture is not of the book for sale, then I do not care about the price.

On a related topic, some sellers put their listings up without photos and then add the photos days later. I'm sure they have a reason, but they lose me and possibly many other prospective buyers. I am relying on eBay's newest first sort more than ever, and when these sellers do not have the photos up, I have no photos to view.

I am not interested in bookmarking their listings and checking back repeatedly to see if pictures are there. My searches are too cluttered for me to go back and check previously viewed listings again. If a lot has no photo, then I'm out of there.

The sellers should photograph their books before the books are listed, especially when the listing is a seven day auction. Why would a seller not have a photo up for the first day or two of a seven day auction?

To go back to the main point of this post, I will only buy a book if I am relatively certain that the photo is of the actual book up for sale. When you buy a book, don't you want to see the actual book up for sale? Do you want to see a photo of a similar book? I am often upgrading books in my collection, so the number one most important part of a listing is the photo. I don't care as much for what the seller states about the book, although I do read it to make sure the book does not have unacceptable flaws not seen in the photo. I want to see the book, and I want a good photo.

Whenever I find a listing for a book I wish to buy, I always take a look at the seller's other listings to see if the photos match in style. Most sellers have at least some variance in style, and a minor variance does not set off alarms. I look for sellers who use too many different styles. I also am concerned about sellers whose pictures look a little too similar to the photos of other sellers, if you know what I mean.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot photograph my books exactly like another seller does. My camera has its own unique quirks, just like anyone else's camera. My photos all come out looking a certain way. If some of my photos should suddenly look almost just like another seller's photos, you should get concerned about photo theft.

I am particularly concerned about this issue right now because I recently became aware that a few sellers of series books are not taking their own pictures. I have compared their photos to those of other sellers and have found the sources of many of the photos. Some of the photos can be found in the completed item searches. Other photos are from Google's image search.

The sellers who "borrow" images have at least half a dozen "photography styles." Their pictures have a multitude of different backgrounds such as tables, blankets, etc. The pictures are also of varying quality from high to low. Some of the pictures have no visible pixelation while other have obvious pixelation. Sellers who have a wide variety of photography styles with many different backgrounds and who have pictures of varying quality have taken images from other listings and from websites.

Those of you who have books up for sale really need to look at the photos of the books other people have up for sale on eBay and Bonanzle. Really, you need to check. You may not care that your photos are getting used, but I think you should at least be aware of it. I was surprised at how many different sellers' photos have been used. I am also surprised that as far as I can tell, none of my photos are being used.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Something to Mull Over...

I run a Nancy Drew search. The default is "all items" with a total of 8,738 items. I click on "auctions only" and see 649 items. I then click on "Buy It Now only" and see 8,122 items.

8,122 + 649 = 8,771 items

Why does the "all items" tab only show 8,738 items instead of 8,771 items? Which items are dropped?

Regardless of whether the cause is a bizarre conspiracy theory or gross negligence on the part of eBay, it is a fact that not all items are showing in some of the search sorts. Why?

Since the item totals do not add up correctly, how do I even know that the totals are correct for the different tabs? How do I know that I am seeing all items that are auctions or all items that are Buy It Now?

More Crazy Deals for You

Many sellers feel like Beverly Gray at the World's Fair is worth $1,000. Um, no. Granted, it is a rare book... no, really it is just scarce. You can find multiple copies of World's Fair up for sale on the internet at any given time. The problem is that many of the sellers want around $1,000 for it. The two Linda Carlton books, Perilous Summer and Hollywood Flight, are truly rare books in the original A. L. Burt editions. They seldom come up for sale at any price.

One seller wanted $800 for a World's Fair that does not have a dust jacket.

Beverly Gray at the World's Fair

Shockingly, there were no takers. The seller relisted the book at $399.99.

Beverly Gray at the World's Fair Let's Try Again

Once again, shockingly, there were no takers.

Another seller tried for $229.99.

Beverly Gray at the World's Fair

Nope. Nobody wanted it.

Let's take a look at the fixed-price listings from Google's shopping search. In order from highest to lowest: $1,270, $920, $900, $700 (w/DJ), $495, $475, $380 (recent reprint), $350, $350 (recent reprint), $345, and $332.45. Outrageous. They all think the book is worth hundreds because they copy each other's prices.

While scarce, the book is not worth hundreds of dollars when it does not have a dust jacket. I estimate that World's Fair is worth up to around $150 without a jacket. It is worth up to $500 with a jacket that is unblemished and unfaded. It is extremely hard to get a World's Fair jacket that is unfaded. Most jackets are faded, and the books with faded jackets are worth around $200 to $350.

Just because a book is scarce does not mean that people want to pay $1,000 for it. The book has been reprinted twice, so there are a couple hundred reprints floating around. While people who want World's Fair cannot just go out and get one, with some patience, they will be able to find one for no more than around $150.