An auction for the 1930A-1 first printing book for the Nancy Drew, The Mystery at Lilac Inn, just closed. The book sold for $407.07.
The Mystery At Lilac Inn - Nancy Drew - Blank EPS - 1st Edition - 1931
The book is not in the best of condition, but the seller provided pictures of the post-text ads, proving that the book is the first printing.
The photographic proof of the content of the post-text ads likely helped the book reach this high of a price.
I have previously written about the extreme scarcity of the first printing of Lilac Inn. I gave detailed information in my post, "Scarcity of Nancy Drew Lilac Inn First Printing". I also included the book in my list of the "Ten Rarest Nancy Drew Books and Collectibles."
The first printing Lilac Inn book may perhaps be the most difficult to acquire of the early first printing Nancy Drew books. It is definitely harder to find than the 1930A-1 Old Clock first printing book. Keep in mind that I refer to the bare books, not the dust jackets, which is another situation entirely.
Farah's Guide values the 1930A-1 Old Clock first printing book at $1,000, yet I know of only one time that an example sold that high. That example hardly counts since the buyer was that infamous buyer from the summer of 2008 who was buying $30,000 in books per month on eBay and allegedly paying with stolen money. Aside from that one case, I do not recall seeing the book sell that high in the last ten years.
By contrast, Farah's Guide values the 1930A-1 Lilac Inn book at just $500 in very good or better condition. The example that just sold is not in very good condition. If Farah's value were correct, the book should have sold for far less than the guide value. This example sold for slightly above $400, which is higher than the 1930A-1 Old Clock in similar condition normally brings.
I feel like the values given for the two books should be switched with each other. The 1930A-1 Old Clock first printing book is worth more like $500 and the 1930A-1 Lilac Inn first printing book is worth more like $1,000. That would seem to be more accurate, in my opinion, especially since this one first printing continues to elude me. Of course, I have no intention of paying $1,000 for one, but the value of the Lilac Inn first printing book is certainly higher than that of the Old Clock first printing book.
Remember that no portion of this post is meant to be critical of David Farah or his guide in any fashion.
Edited on November 23, 2011 to add: The first printing of Lilac Inn cannot be determined by outward appearance only. You must give the post-text ad information, which you will note is shown in photographs in this blog post. The four post-text ad pages are "This Isn't All!" followed by Hardy Boys to Great Airport Mystery, Outdoor Girls to Canoe Trip, and Blythe Girls to Margy's Mysterious Visitor, in that exact order. The same ads in a different order means that the book is not the first printing. Any other combination of ads means that the book is not the first printing. Later printings are much easier to find and are worth much less than the first printing.