Saturday, February 27, 2010

2010 Book Sale Report Part 3

The general section of the sale always stresses me out. Since I go to the other side first, the general section is very crowded by the time I enter it, since the entire line has already filed in. The temperature inside the general section is at least 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the building. It is very difficult to move around the tables. The general section has so many books that the books are also piled in boxes underneath the table. It is just about impossible to get at all of them.

I decided to use a different strategy this year. Normally, I try to approach the general section in the same fashion that I approach the collector' choice section. I want to move fast when I cannot, so I get very frustrated. When I cannot move at a table, I quit and go to another. As a result, I miss books.

The night before the sale, I recalled that each year, the crowd begins to thin out towards 8:00 PM as more and more people finish and get in line. I realized that I needed to take it slow so that I could look for books after people began getting in line.

Each time I found that I could not move at a table, I stood and waited until whoever was next to me finally moved. By waiting, time passed and I was able to look easier as the checkout line grew. I did my most productive searching between 7:45 and 8:30 PM. At 8:30 PM, I joined the end of the checkout line, which had at least several hundred people in it.

I got lucky. The express line was nearly empty, and the person in charge of that line came over to the main line and began pulling people off the end of the line. This was done to expedite the process, since the sale was nearing its 9:00 PM close. I went to the express line with my books and was near the front of the line. I was checked out fast and left the sale.

Here are the books I found in the general section:

You will notice that the softcover books are in worse condition than the ones found on the other side. The books that are in lesser condition are placed in the general section. Some of the books that I found on the general side should have been on the collector's choice side, such as the softcover Trixie Belden books, which are in excellent condition.

I came away with more duplicates of the softcover books than I would have liked, but this always happens every year. It is impossible to keep track of what I have. In some cases, I see so many duplicates of some books that I do pass on them. I know I saw at least around five copies of Nancy Drew Girl Detective #24 that I did not pick up. When I see a book too often, I know not to get it.

In the collector's choice section, I passed on all of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys flashlight editions. I do not get everything that I see.

I spent less than last year, and I bought about the same number of books. The books on the collector's choice side were priced lower this year, and I am thankful for that. Most of the books on the collector's choice side are priced between $0.75 and $4.00. I did get a couple of $5.00 and $6.00 books. Last year, several of the books that I found were priced at $8.00 to $10.00, and those books made a big difference in my total cost.

All in all, the sale was a success, and I had a lot of fun.


Hannah said...

I am SO jealous! The book sales in my area that I've been to hardly ever have the old series that I collect. However, I'm glad that your books sales do 'cause I know you sell your extras and that's how I'll finish up my series. :-P

Paula said...

Hi, Jennifer,

Thanks for sharing your booksale adventures with us. It's fun and exciting to read about them!

I noticed you bought a lot of Boxcar Children this year. I don't remember seeing that series for sale in your booth. Is it a new one that you will be collecting/selling? Are they popular from a resell standpoint?

I also have questions about how you select Nancy Drew and other vintage picture cover books under the gun - do you grab them all up? Or do you take them only if they appear to be in very good condition? Do you take time to study them at all, e.g., to see if they have oval endpapers rather then multi-scene, or whatever? I'm interested to learn what you look for. I remember last year you found a Whistling Bagppipes w/ tri-fold ad!

Finally, Peggy Scott kind of looks like the girl that was on the front of your unusual Nancy Drew library binding that you blogged about recently... :)

Thanks again for the very interesting posts!

Jennifer said...

All of the softcover books that I picked up, including the Boxcar Children, will be sold in lots on eBay. I do not find it worthwhile to sell those books individually. Most people know that they can get the books cheaper in lots. The softcover books are usually priced at $0.50 to $0.75 each at the sale, so they are low enough that I know I can place them in lots and at least get my cost back.

The Boxcar Children books are pretty easy to sell in lots, as are the Nancy Drew Notebooks and the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Super Mysteries. Unfortunately the Notebooks and Super Mysteries are now out of print, and it has been a few years since I have found many of those at the sale.

I will pick up most of the Nancy Drew books that I see unless they are the flashlight edition books or in very bad shape. I pick up most of the matte PCs that I see. There were no matte PCs this year with double oval endpapers, but I have had to put a few of those back in previous years.

I will pick up all of the matte PCs that I see and then I will look through them when I am ready to check out to make sure I don't have any bad condition ones and that the prices are not too high. The PCs are usually priced at $1.50 to $3.00, but some books will be higher, for no particular reason. This year, I kept a first PC of Velvet Mask that was priced at $4.00, since it was the first PC. Otherwise, I would have put it back.

The good books go so fast that I have to grab the ones I think I want without taking the time to look at prices and be discriminating. I do keep most of the books that I pick up, but I always end up putting some of them back.

My main criteria for picking up books is that I choose ones about which I have some knowledge and know that I can sell. Most all matte Nancy Drew PCs are worth picking up as they can be sold either individually or in lots.

Here are some books that I do not collect but look for because I know they are desirable:

I picked up two Lone Ranger books with dust jackets, since I know they have value. I also look for books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of Tarzan, as his books are very popular. This was the first year that I came away with no Burroughs books. Old hardcover Grace Livingston Hill books are very collectible. I always look for Three Investigators books since I have done very well with those in the past.

Let me know if I need to elaborate about something. I may be leaving out some part of my thought process that is not obvious to others. ;)

Paula said...

I went to a big "Friends of the Library" booksale today and bought allot of books - allot for me anyway - and I'll post later about those, but I wanted to share something that happened. I saw two twin lavender ND's on the shelf but decided to leave them. A little later, I was thrilled when I saw a little girl, at the perfect age, hugging the books in her arms with a big smile on her face. I was so happy I had left them on the shelf and that she had picked these vintage Nancy Drews out of all the books there, including slick new Nancy Drews and other modern children's books. She looked quite happy also. :) I imagined the excitement she would feel reading those books and relived a very happy part of my childhood in those moments. I felt like giving her my number and telling her to call me when she was done reading them, and if she liked them, I would give her all the Nancy Drew books that she wanted! But from her perspective, I'm sure that would've been really weird, so I didn't - I just enjoyed the moment!

Paula said...

I don't know if this will work or not, but below are the links to pictures of the books I bought at the booksale on Thursday.

I couldn't believe it when I saw an almost complete set, in VG condition, of Dana Girls from the 60's! They were right out on the children's table in the front row. This was my big find of the day! It includes books 1-29, obviously one owner, with 27 picture covers and 2 tweeds w/ DJ. Several of the last books may be firsts!

I had arrived about 15 minutes after the opening time of 9 AM so I don't know how big the crowd was before that, but it couldn't have been like you described. There were plenty of people but not crowded. I went to the collectibles table first but they had no children's books there. They referred me to the Children's section, where, upon passing the first row of high shelves, I saw a few Nancy Drews on the shelf. I went to them first and spent a little while there scanning the books in that area. Then I went to the tables where most of the people were, and where more books were laid out spine side up, and that's when I saw the DG's. I guess I was really lucky no one else was looking for series books because they were right there in the open!

Buoyed by actually finding some Nancy's this year and the great DG's, I kept looking and picked up some other children's books that I found interesting, not really knowing if I can sell them or not. Some were in what they call the "Hidden Treasures" section, which can have books from all areas. I loooked for older books with dust jackets, and vintage series books and mysteries. A few, like The Black Stallion, I picked up because they rang a bell from your post about what you bought at your booksale. So please take a look and tell me what you think!

If anyone can give me tips about which books are good and which are duds, please let me know! Even if they are not collectible, I like to learn so any information and knowledge is welcome!

It was allot of fun this year and there is another booksale next week which is closer to my home - this one was about an hour away.

There are 5 pictures:

Jennifer said...

A little later, I was thrilled when I saw a little girl, at the perfect age, hugging the books in her arms with a big smile on her face.

It is really fun to see children excited about finding books. A couple of years ago, I saw a little girl thrilled to find one of the Nancy Drew Notebooks.

The Dana Girls books were a great find! It looks like you found Sierra Gold in jacket. It was the last Dana Girls book published in dust jacket, so it is the hardest dust jacket to find. The Dana Girls books look like they are in great shape, which makes it even better. Nice!

If you plan to sell books like the Boxcar Children, I'd put them in a lot. For the books like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, I'd also put those in a lot.

The great thing about library book sales is you just never know what you will find. I have to say again that the set of Dana Girls books was an awesome find!