Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nancy Drew 1st Printing Auctions Part 5

Some insightful comments were made about the auctions in this unrelated post in this blog. One person commented that it would be hard for most collectors to come up with thousands of dollars in one week, so it might have been better for the seller to have staggered the auctions. Another person made the point that it was unfortunate that Hidden Staircase closed first, because someone might not be willing to bid the full amount on it in hopes of having a chance to get Old Clock. I want to add my thoughts.

I had the money in my savings account, and this is the first time that I have had a large enough amount of money on hand in order to be able to have a chance at this level of purchase. I was pleased that two sellers offered the books and close together. This could have worked in my favor.

As far as ending times, I prefer it when a seller uses a software program such as Turbo Lister to list auctions, because what happens is that the auctions end simultaneously. When multiple auctions end at the same time, then no one can be tipped off about my level of interest. Unfortunately, that was not the case with these auctions.

What happens when the end times are a few minutes apart is that I have to throw everything at the first book and hope for the best. I know that in most cases I won't have a chance at the second book because the other bidder will raise the final bid amount for the second book in reaction to my bid on the first book.

In the case of the first set of auctions, I was lucky that the book I wanted was the last one to close. I was not willing to pay much for Shadow Ranch, so my final bid did not register. No one knew that the book I really wanted was Bungalow Mystery or how much I intended to bid. I strongly suspect that my high bid took the runner-up, a reseller, aback greatly, and if he would have known about my bid ahead of time, I would not have won the auction. I have been in communication with him, and he has asked me if I have an extra of the Bungalow Mystery dust jacket. Therefore, it is apparent that he regrets not winning the auction.

In the second set of auctions, a Nancy Drew collector was able to win both auctions for Old Clock and Hidden Staircase. I have a limit as to what I will bid, so I had to let those auctions go. I also knew both books were available in the third set of auctions. Since I knew I had another chance, I was not willing to go all-out.

The third-highest bidder for Old Clock in the second set of auctions bid $6,788.00. That person is the same person who bought the $11,700 copy of Old Clock a couple of years ago and is presumably buying these books to resell. He was the runner-up bidder for the Bungalow Mystery book that I bought. I am assuming that he did not realize that the bidding would go higher on Old Clock than what he bid. I think he would have bid higher if he had known.

In the third set of auctions, I wanted both Old Clock and Hidden Staircase. I was only able to successfully win the first one to close, Hidden Staircase. Once again, I took the same bidder, the reseller, by surprise. I am sure if he had known of my great interest beforehand, I would not have won Hidden Staircase. I also believe that my bid for Hidden Staircase caused his bid for Old Clock to be higher than what it otherwise would have been. So if the auctions had closed simultaneously, I would have had a better chance at Old Clock.

I also was thrilled that the books were in such bad shape, since I knew many people would refuse to bid on them for that reason. I do not understand that reasoning, since the books can be found with a little searching, and the dust jackets are about impossible to find. People who have large sums of money on hand would certainly not bid on damaged books, but people like me try to piece together the first printings however we can. We are willing to buy the damaged books and trade them with other books.

If some of you have never understood why some of us snipe auctions, perhaps now you might understand. We do it to have a better chance of winning the auctions. We do it in order to have a chance against the people with deep pockets. It is the only way to go with high-profile auctions.


stratomiker said...

I used to sell boys sports books to sports agencies who resold them to athletes, and similar situations, so I understand that some resellers can bid just about anything to get the books, and that the average Joe or Jane has little hopes of competeing against them.

I used to drop-ship for these buyers, that is I'd send the book directly to their buyer with their sales info, so I'd see the absurd prices they were charging. I would charge them $500 for HUNGRY HURLER, a Chip Hilton book, but they would sell it for up to several thousand.

I was aware of such goings-on as Whoopi buying black fiction, Bette and Jane buying Nancy Drew, and other celebs buying Hardys and many other series and the amazing amounts of money they were able to spend.

It's probably still going on and one has to be very clever to win a book away from someone who can easily sell it for $20,000 or more.


Jennifer White said...

I have noticed that these first printing dust jackets that get bought by certain people tend not to show back up for sale. How many first printing Old Clock dust jackets does one need? I guess quite a few if one has wealthy clients.

It is pretty apparent that the books are being sold directly to various individuals and that we will never know the amounts and to whom the books are sold.

Kudos to those of us who manage to get the books for ourselves. :)

stratomiker said...

There was a set of average tweed Drews in one of Jane's movies - I think it was THE MORNING AFTER, and she referred to them in the script. This, I was told, started her on a mad romp to get the good ones.

Recently, as seen in Architectural Digest, she spent a couple zillion $$$$ furnishing Ted's Montana ranch with priceless antiques (they are still friends and buddies). The ranch is almost as big as Chicago and has several houses on it. One can only imagine the amount of money spent. The photos were incredible.

So figure what people like this can spend on Drews. And we know they do.