Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Books Listed on eBay

Nancy Drew Books Listed 

Using my primary ID serves two purposes. First, I want to have plenty of my 100 free listings left on my first ID so I can relist unsold items without having to pay a fee. Second, I can see how my exposure compares on the two IDs. This should give me some interesting information.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Free Auction Listings for Two Weeks at Any Start Price

You might recall that I recently stated that the only way eBay can get me to list items is for eBay to give me free listings regardless of the start price.

Free Auction-Style Listing Promotion

So of course I will see what I can come up with to list on eBay. It will have to be additional items that have been stagnant on Bonanzle or items that I want to move quickly. This will give me another opportunity to expose more buyers to Bonanzle.

For those of you who opened an eBay store to get lower fees, you are excluded from this promotion, unless you use a different ID to list the auctions. You will be charged for the listings if you use an ID that has an eBay store subscription. I disagree with eBay's exclusionary tactics, although I understand that eBay is trying to get people like me, who no longer sell on eBay, to list their items on eBay.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another Linda Carlton Boxed Set

In late 2008, I wrote about a Linda Carlton boxed set that was put out by Saalfield. I now have another Saalfield boxed set of Linda Carlton books.

The bottom of the box has the code 1390. I am providing this information since I know of someone who is researching the Saalfield boxed sets. This set contains the shorter Saalfield books. These intact boxed sets are rather uncommon nowadays, since most of the boxes have been discarded in the last 60 to 70 years.

I don't know that much about the Saalfield company, except that I have observed that all of the sets consist of three books. I presume that this is the reason why only the first three of the five Linda Carlton books were reprinted by Saalfield.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Latest eBay Grievances Part II

I have more!

6. I received a postage due notice yesterday and had to go to the post office today to pick up the package. As I expected, the seller misused priority mail supplies. The seller wrapped a priority mail envelope around the book and mailed it media mail. It arrived with postage due of $2.52.

Wrapping a thin envelope around a book is unacceptable packaging, but let's go with it. All the seller had to do is take a couple sheets of white paper and wrap around the book. Oh, but I guess a couple sheets of white paper might actually cost a couple of cents. Never mind.

7. This one has been a grievance of mine for months, and I am sick of it! This one is all eBay's fault. When a seller uses PayPal shipping, I get a shipping notice from PayPal. I then get a shipping notice from eBay. The seller also tells me that the book has shipped. If the seller uses auction management software, I get another notice about shipment. Enough!

Do you want to guess how many of these messages I read? None of them! I delete them without reading any of them. I don't care. I only care when around three weeks have passed, and I need to find out why I don't have the book. Otherwise, the information overload is unnecessary.

The money from my first transaction on my low-feedback eBay account was held by PayPal for around 14 days, until around a week after the buyer received the package. EBay does this to new accounts, even when the account holder is someone like me who has a long track record on other accounts. The notice that I received about the payment hold stated that I needed to contact my buyer "early and often." Gag. EBay wants sellers to harass their buyers. As a buyer, I do not wish to be harassed.

This is why I tend not to contact buyers to tell them that their books have shipped. Since I use PayPal shipping, the buyer receives a message stating that the item has been shipped. In my opinion, any further notice is unnecessary. Of course, I always respond promptly to any questions and concerns about the shipment. This philosophy pertains to my Bonanzle transactions. On eBay, it is apparent that I need to tell my buyers that the books have shipped, or they will give me a low DSR for communication. Currently, my communication DSR is 4.7, the lowest of the four. I am such a bad seller!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nancy Drew Values Part 1 - Dust Jackets

Many people cite the values in Farah's Guide when they list their Nancy Drew books for sale. In fact, price guides drive the values of items. If a noted authority states that the items are worth a certain amount, then it must be so. When I still actively followed the values of comic books, I remember that prices spiked each year shortly after the latest Overstreet guide was released. Were the comic books suddenly worth more, or were people reacting to the guide's statement of the books' value? I contend that people were raising their prices based on the new values listed in the guide.

This same phenomenon has occurred with Farah's Guide. I remember when Farah first released the 11th and 12th editions, sellers' prices spiked to match his values. Were the books suddenly worth more? I don't think so. In truth, the books were perceived to be worth more.

Before I continue, I want to make clear that this commentary is not intended to criticize Farah's Guide; but rather, I intend to explore how actual values vary from the prices listed in the guide. All of the old editions of Farah's Guide that list prices (the earliest editions did not have prices in them) are useful as they let collectors know which books are worth more than others.

The problem is that many people take the prices in the guide as the literal truth. As a result, they price some of their books too high, while others are priced too low. What Farah's Guide actually does is show which books are worth more than others, not the actual values of those books.

The most valuable Nancy Drew books are the true first printings of #1-7 with intact dust jackets, and the values in Farah's Guide are fairly accurate for the early dust jackets. The first printing books tend to sell for less than the quoted values. The dust jacket for the first printing of volume 1 is assigned a value of $10,000, and this value holds true as one example sold for $11,700. The first printing book for volume 1 is assigned a value of $1,000, and it rarely achieves that level. I recall seeing it happen at least once in the past, but generally, the first printing of volume 1 without a dust jacket sells for no more than $500 to $600.

The first printing dust jackets of volumes 2 through 5 and volume 7 almost always attain the values listed in Farah's Guide, which are in the low thousands of dollars. The dust jacket for volume 6 is valued at only $800, because the first five printings have the identical dust jacket, which makes it the easiest early first printing jacket to find. The bare first printing books of the same volumes seldom reach the values listed, which range from $250 up to $1,500.

This is particularly true for the first printing book of volume 7, which is assigned a value of $1,500 in Farah's Guide. I have seen countless sellers try to obtain $1,000 or more for this book without a dust jacket—and fail. The first printing book for volume 7, while very scarce, tends to sell for no more than $500 to $600 without a dust jacket.

For books from the 1930s that are not first printings and have dust jackets, the actual prices paid range from well below Farah's Guide to well above Farah's Guide. It seems that people have greatly varying perceptions of the values of the books from the 1930s, whereas the prices used to be consistently high.

The bare books from 1932 through 1939 are valued at $20 to $60 each, and the dust jackets are valued at around $120 to $400 each. The bare books tend to sell within the quoted range, although they sometimes sell for less. The dust jackets sometimes sell for more than the Farah's Guide value, but I have seen many of the 1930s jackets sell for far less than Farah's values and for less than the modern Applewood books with jackets, which is kind of bizarre. This is especially ironic considering that the Applewood editions were supposed to be cheap alternatives to the 1930s editions; instead, the Applewood editions are pricier than many of the old books.

This same trend is true for most books with jackets from the 1940s and 1950s, especially for the tweed books with jackets. The tweed books from the 1950s with dust jackets are valued at around $30 to $50 each. The prices have collapsed to where it is very difficult to sell a tweed book with a dust jacket for more than $10 to $15.

I find it easier to get $5 to $8 for a tweed book without dust jacket than to get $10 to $15 for a tweed book with dust jacket. It hardly makes sense, but it is true. For some inexplicable reason, I find that the dust jacket no longer adds that much value to a tweed book in the current buying market. In fact, the buyers seem to value the picture cover editions far more than the editions with dust jackets and are often willing to pay steep prices for the picture cover editions.

This is a disturbing trend for those of us who have been collecting for a while, since we had to pay steep prices for the dust-jacketed editions that now command such low prices. It is downright depressing to have extra books to sell that now have little perceived value.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Latest eBay Grievances

I just need to vent. I've had a bad month on eBay. This is all from the last month!
  1. I bought a book to read, and it smells musty! I carefully read the seller's description just now, and the seller mentions absolutely everything except for the musty odor. This is a top-rated seller! The TRS badge means nothing when they don't describe the items properly! I am not going to ask to return the book, since I need it, but I'm going to have to try to find another one that does not smell. I am so annoyed!

    I just microwaved it briefly, and I now have it propped up in an open window. It probably won't help.

  2. I had a seller recently who couldn't get the books into one invoice, so I had to make two payments. Of course, the seller packaged the books together and made a profit on the postage paid.

  3. I bought some books, and I could tell that they had a bit of wear in the photos, but they were quite a bit worse than what the photos showed. They aren't worth what I paid!

  4. I bought some books with Buy It Now Immediate Payment Required. I bought several lots from the same seller. I had no choice but to pay the full postage amount for each transaction since eBay is stupid and does not have a shopping cart. Of course, the seller put them all in one box and made out like a bandit on the postage I paid.

    I realize that I agreed to the postage amounts on each transaction, but a good seller would refund the extra postage.

  5. A seller mailed me someone else's book in a package separate from the books I purchased. I had to look up the seller's completed auctions to verify that this was someone else's book. What followed infuriates me. Half of my messages were read by the husband and half by the wife, and they did not communicate with each other. Is that how to run an eBay business?

    After my first message, the wife suggested that I mail the book to the buyer in Australia. This was a very heavy book, and I was not about to mess with $25 or more postage. I suggested returning the book to the seller, and I suggested that it would be best for me to use priority mail, since the buyer bought the book two weeks before!

    The wife said to send the book back the next day and that my PayPal account would be credited. She did not tell me that priority was not acceptable. As a seller, I give buyers very specific directions for returns. Why would this seller give me no directions?

    I generated a postage label and had PayPal send an email to the seller. I also sent a message stating that the book had been returned and what I had paid for postage. I also stated that I had PayPal print the postage on the label so the seller could see the amount.

    I then received a $4.00 refund from the husband for the postage for returning the book. He asked if I had returned the book yet. I then received a message from the wife asking if I had returned the book.


    Um, did neither of them see either message confirming the return? At this point, I was annoyed, and I stated that I would not have sent the book priority if I had known that I would only be refunded media. The husband replied that media would have been fine (how about talking to your wife?) and that he would refund the extra. I HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE EXTRA REFUND AND HAVE NOT HEARD BACK. Idiots. I should have kept the book and not mentioned it to them. But then, they would think the poor buyer in Australia was lying about not receiving the book. If this had not involved another buyer, I might have kept the book without saying anything. That sounds bad, but the old art book was worthless to me.

    The buyer and seller are just lucky that the book was in a separate package, which set off a warning bell in my head that I needed to figure out what the deal was with the book. I have had sellers send me extra books in packages, and I have always assumed that they were free books. What if the sellers made a mistake?

    This is why some buyers refuse to cooperate when they are accidentally shipped the wrong book. Years ago, I also took a loss when a seller had me mail a book to the correct buyer and then did not refund me. After a while, buyers get tired of having to pay for other people's mistakes.

Before some narrow-minded person thinks that all of my eBay transactions are bad and decides to flame me, these complaints represent around 30% of my transactions for the last month. That is quite high and probably the highest I dissatisfaction rate I have ever had in a single month, but 70% of my transactions were fine! Usually, 90% to 100% of my transactions are fine!

These are not situations that I could have avoided, except of course, if I had not purchased the books. These sellers all have good feedback. Anyone else need to vent? It helps every once in a while to air our complaints, and then we can move on.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trixie Belden Mystery of Emeralds Artwork

The artwork for the 1960s edition of Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Emeralds sold for $2,050.00.

Trixie Belden Black Jacket Artwork

The auction for all of the artwork for the 1960s edition of Trixie Belden and the Black Jacket Mystery closed at $2,050.00. The seller gave this information concerning the dimensions:
Front/Back Cover Art 22"x 30" (piece is folded in two)
(Back cover art is a separate piece measuring 10"x13")
Interior Page Art 15"x20" 15 pages

Trixie Belden and Ginny Gordon Artwork

For a number of months, an eBay seller has offered items from the archives of the Golden Press/Western Publishing Company. The offerings include uncirculated file copies of books and all other items sold by the company over the decades, plus the original artwork for many of the items.

The artwork for the 1970s edition of Trixie Belden and the Red Trailer Mystery sold for $247.28.

The artwork for the 1970s edition of Trixie Belden and the Mystery in Arizona sold for $409.06.

The artwork for Ginny Gordon and the Missing Heirloom sold for $260.00.

One lot contained all of the artwork for the 1960s deluxe edition of Trixie Belden and the Gatehouse Mystery. The auction closed at $1,128.78.

To be clear, I did not purchase any of these lots. I copied the pictures from the seller's auctions so that we can all enjoy the images.