Jennifer Fisher wrote about this collector's will which left her books to three collectors. Another will surfaced leaving the books to some cats, then the estate ended up in disarray. Unfortunately, the collector's will was ignored, and the books ended up on eBay. Altogether, this is an unfortunate and distasteful situation.
Apparently, the books were given to a library, which then sold the books. Based on the unusually low starting bids, I believe that the books were sold rather cheap to the sellers who listed them on eBay. The deceased collector lived in southern Florida in the area of Fort Lauderdale. Most of the sellers who sold the books on eBay were located within 15 miles of the collector's residence. Ultimately, at least four sellers offered books from this collection.
I purchased a number of the lots offered by the different sellers. One seller in particular did not sort the books, and I was forced to purchase many duplicates that I would have preferred not to have had to purchase. Since the prices I paid for those books will be quite apparent, I want to mention that I have offered some books at less than what I paid and some at more than what I paid. I am taking a loss on some books of necessity, while I make up the difference with other books.
Seller #1 sold the following lots of books. I purchased one lot of books, and the deceased collector's name was on printed emails found inside some of the books, thus proving that the books belonged to her. Click on the images to view larger versions.
Seller #2 sold the following lots of books. This seller called all of the books "flashlight picture cover books." It's kind of amusing to see Norwegian Nancy Drew books called "flashlight" editions.
This seller sabotaged the second listing, the Swedish books that sold for $9.99, by inexplicably reducing the length of the auction a few days after the books were listed. I would have bid, but the lot had closed early. I'm sure that the seller realized the grave error days later after seeing the high prices of other listings. He didn't make that mistake again. You might think the listing closed low because Nancy Drew was misspelled in the title, but it was in the description. I was aware of the listing from the day it was listed. The change of duration was the real problem. I always bid at the end, but I couldn't because it had ended.
Seller #4 sold the following books. For me personally, this seller's listings were the most interesting. The Danish Nancy Drew books were mistakenly called Norwegian editions. Also amusingly, the seller misspelled "Froken Detectiv" as "Frozen Detectiv."
I found it interesting how every seller dumped the books into large lots. Most buyers are not willing to purchase large lots where not all of the books are needed. This caused the price per book to be well below what each book would have cost if purchased directly from other countries. I have collected foreign editions since the late 1990s, and it is hugely expensive. Most of these books were very cheap in comparison to the prices I have actually paid for foreign edition books.
The prices realized for these listings were likely all less that what the deceased collector paid for the books. The prices she paid would have been comparable to what I have paid for similar books. I found printed emails or invoices inside around six to eight books. In each of those cases, what the collector paid was much higher than what I paid for her books. If those sellers had bothered to inspect the books and had noticed the printed emails and invoices, they might have realized that the books are worth more than how they priced them.
I do not believe that all of this collector's books ended up on eBay. A small number were listed on Amazon by one of the sellers, and many other foreign editions that the collector would have likely owned have not shown up for sale anywhere to my knowledge. If you live in southern Florida, consider checking your local stores. Perhaps some of the books are there.