Saturday, January 31, 2009

Those RARE $1 Box Editions

Remember this auction?

1961 Rare Nancy Drew BOOKS $1 BOX Vintage OLD Gifts


The seller sold the above $1 box edition of Fire Dragon for $15.50 with free shipping. In the auction, the seller made the following claim:

"Only a handfull of volumes were printed this way...just try to find another!"

Considering that the seller just dared us to find another, I was stupefied (<--sarcasm) to discover this auction. Check it out:
1962 RARE $1 DOLLAR BOX HARDY BOYS BOOKS Vintage GIFTS


Approximately three weeks later, the same seller had another one up for sale. This time he stated, "With the ‘impossible-to-find’…One Dollar BOX printed on the top right front cover corner !"

Now this is my favorite part: the seller goes on to say that the $1 box edition of Fire Dragon "is a rare printing" that "is increasing in value every day!" I love it because this second auction closed at just $5.95 with free shipping. It looks like the value went down by nearly $10.00 in just three weeks.

If the book is so very RARE, why did another seller also have one for sale?

Nancy Drew Mystery Books - 2 - $1 box books! GREAT

The above lot contained #4 and #38 with the $1 boxes, but it did not sell, most likely because the seller wanted $38.62 for the lot. Of course if the $1 box editions were as RARE as the first seller stated, $38.62 would be quite a bargain. Apparently nobody was interested in such rarities.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is why I am doing my own research before buying - you can't believe the seller's hype. I am actually turned off when there is a flashy attention-getting title/listing telling you how valuable this item is, because I know if it really was valuable, you wouldn't need to advertise to that extreme. Just state the facts about the book and it will sell itself.

The really big dollar ND books are still taking me by surprise because I am learning. :) I like to watch books I'm interested in and see how much they go for. When it is much more than I expected, I try to figure out why. It's quite interesting and I am getting better at spotting the "good" books. I'm also figuring out what I want to collect and what characteristics are most important to me, and conversely which I'm willing compromise, so that I can obtain books in my price range. For example, some collectors might insist on a dust jacket with a nice spine, so that when the books are lined up on a shelf, they look nice. They might be willing to accept a book with a small missing piece or a faded front cover picture. On the other hand, I'm all about the art, so I would consider buying a book with a piece of the dust jacket "spine" missing, as long as the picture on the front was vibrant and complete. To each his own.

You discussed this collecting attitude in your blog about owning the 1st printing of the 1st edition of the 1st book of the series - that was a great post. Collecting books is really a personal thing and the collection ends up saying something about its owner. There is value in imperfection. To me if a book from 1930 was perfect and pristine, it hasn't fulfilled it's purpose which is to be read! I love the little inscriptions you find in these second-hand books. And reading the ones written in mine, brings back all the childhoold excitement I felt when I received it.

You mentioned Fire Dragon - perfect timing for a question that I have today. There are bunch of listings on ebay for picture cover books that "list to Fire Dragon" as if this is something very special. One confusing thing is that Fire Dragon was published in 1961 and according to several websites I've checked, picture covers were not published until 1962. So my first guess was that these were printed in early 1962, before Dancing Puppet came out. But then I saw a Moonstone Castle (copyright 1963) in picture cover "listed to Fire Dragon" and it was, per the photograph. So do you (or anyone reading this) know the explanation for these books?

Thanks for your blog - I love it!

Jennifer White said...

I am actually turned off when there is a flashy attention-getting title/listing telling you how valuable this item is, because I know if it really was valuable, you wouldn't need to advertise to that extreme.

This is so true. I notice that so many buyers get caught up in the the flashy descriptions and pay too much, and I wish they would understand that those sellers' books are not as great as they think.

I am so turned off by the superlatives in auction titles that I boycott several sellers. I can think of at least four sellers offhand. The misuse of "RARE" is my biggest pet peeve and is the one thing that gets me to ignore a seller faster than anything else. I will buy from those sellers should they offer a book that is something I have wanted for years; otherwise, I'll wait until someone else offers it.

I'm also figuring out what I want to collect and what characteristics are most important to me, and conversely which I'm willing compromise, so that I can obtain books in my price range.

It sounds like you are being cautious, and that is good. I registered on eBay on March 17, 1997, so that I could bid on a Nancy Drew book, but I discovered the site sometime before that date. I think it was in January 1997. It took me at least two months of reading all of the information on the site and watching the auctions before I decided to take the plunge.

It is also a great idea to make certain of what you desire in a book so that perhaps you won't have to upgrade multiple times. It saves money in the end.

There is value in imperfection.

I have mentioned a few of my favorite inscriptions or bookplates in the past in this blog, and I wouldn't sell those books for anything. I dislike it when books have huge messy inscriptions in purple crayon, but otherwise, I do not mind inscriptions in books. They owned the books before me, so their names should be in the books.

It is better to have books that are at least slightly imperfect so that I don't have to be afraid to touch them. I am willing to read any of my old books, and I can do it without damaging the books.

There are bunch of listings on ebay for picture cover books that "list to Fire Dragon" as if this is something very special. One confusing thing is that Fire Dragon was published in 1961 and according to several websites I've checked, picture covers were not published until 1962.

All of the earliest picture cover books from 1962 list only to Fire Dragon on the back cover. It is probably that Dancing Puppet had not been released yet in 1962 when the books made the change to picture cover.

When sellers tout their books as listing to Fire Dragon, it does not necessarily mean that the books are the first picture cover printings, which is what those sellers want everyone to think. Quite often, the second picture cover and sometimes third picture cover printings also list to Fire Dragon.

The first picture cover printings all list to Fire Dragon on the back cover and either have no interior list of titles or the interior list of titles goes to Dancing Puppet and Dana Girls to Sierra Gold. That is how you can tell for sure. The second picture cover printings go to Fire Dragon on the back cover and to Moonstone Castle inside the book.

I have quite a few of the first printing picture covers in my Bonanzle booth if you want to check them to see what the lists are. If you start making note of the first printing points from online listings, you can collect a lot of the Farah's Guide data without having to purchase the guide. That in itself would save a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your remarks and the helpful information - I really appreciate it! I'm cataloging my books and came across two that have blue silhouettes in tweed books. That didn't match your guide, which I know is general description of the typical books in each group. So I looked up the blue silhouette endpapers on another website (Nancy Drew Sleuth), and it said they were used into early 1953. So even though there wasn't a list of books inside and I had no dust jacket, I could estimate the printing year of my book as 1952 or early 1953. This sounds similar to the "list to Fire Dragon" characteristic - it gives you a general idea of when the book was printed. I'm not too interested in different printings right now, but I'd bet none of those books were first printings - the seller seemed knowledgable and would say so if they were.

Thanks again!