Saturday, January 22, 2011

Presentation Is Everything

Recently a seller listed two of the Adventurous Allens books in their original dust jackets on eBay.  The Adventurous Allens books are quite scarce, and the dust jackets are significantly more scarce than the bare books. Unfortunately, the seller's presentation left a lot to be desired.

These photos are the photos that were provided in the listings.


The jackets appear to be in rough shape.  Most importantly, the seller did not picture the spines nor mention anything about the condition of the spines.  Since the spines are what I see when the books are shelved, I am very concerned about the condition of the spines of the books in my collection.  Because of my past unfortunate experiences, I now assume that dust jackets are badly faded on the spine whenever the spines are not pictured. 

I have also asked sellers about fading.  I once had a seller tell me that the dust jacket was not faded at all, and when I received the book, I was unhappy to discover that the jacket's spine had lost around 25% of the color.  Many sellers do not understand the fading issue, so photos are important so that the buyer can decide. 

The seller priced one of the books at around $160, and the other one at around $80.  While I enjoyed the first three Adventurous Allens books, I did not like them enough to pay that much for the dust jackets.  I also thought the jackets were not in good enough condition to pay that much.  

I did not purchase the books, but I checked on them every couple of days to see if they were still listed.  I was, after all, interested but did not wish to pay that much.  After around a week, I noticed that the prices had been lowered to $59 each.  Additionally, the seller had added a picture of the spines to the listings.  I assume that someone had asked for more information.


The spines did not look too bad, and the prices were much better.  I thought about it for around ten minutes, as I was still not certain.  Finally, I purchased both books, deciding that the scarcity made the purchases worthwhile.

When I received the books, I was rather pleased with the condition of the dust jackets.

The spine of The Adventurous Allens has better color than what the seller's picture showed.  Both dust jackets look much better enclosed in mylar covers. 

This serves as a good example of how presentation can affect how easily a book sells and how much the seller is able to get for the book.

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