Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dana Girls Values

This is my attempt to place a value on the books from the Dana Girls series.  Keep in mind that prices are always changing based on supply and demand, and that even if my values are accurate as of today, they will not be accurate in the future. The values could go either up or down.  Furthermore, this is solely my opinion.

The early purple books with lavender and green dust jackets used to sell for $300 to $500 each.  The prices are now usually well below $100.  I checked recent listings, and I noticed that some sellers only try to get around $20 for the books with lavender and green dust jackets.  They succeed at only getting $20 since the auction receives only one bid.

I believe that the lavender and green jackets are still worth at least $100 each, when in excellent condition without fading, even though most sellers price them lower.  The lavender and green jackets have always been extremely hard to find, and they are still extremely hard to find in nice condition.

The purple books that are missing the dust jackets are worth around $20 to $25 each if the books have the four glossy internal illustrations.  The purple books that are missing the dust jackets and have only the glossy frontispiece illustration are worth around $10 to $15 each.

The Dana Girls breeder set dust jackets, described here, are the most desired of the lavender and green dust jackets.  These books with their dust jackets in excellent condition are each most likely worth $150 to $200 or more.  While a Dana Girls price guide has never been published, we do know the first printing points for the breeder set dust jackets.  This means that we can value them higher since we know that they are the first printings of the very first Dana Girls books ever published.  For other books, we do not know the first printing points, so placing a value on a first printing is about impossible.

The books with blue and red dust jackets vary depending upon whether the books are blue books with poor quality paper, purple books with poor quality paper, or purple books with good quality paper.  The most valuable blue and red jackets are the ones on purple books with good quality paper.  Those books and jackets are worth $50 to $75 each.  The blue and red dust jackets the other two types of books are worth $20 to $50 each.  Remember that these prices are for nice jackets without fading.  Most examples that surface are faded.

The tweed books with dust jackets do not tend to sell when they are priced at $40 and up.  The top range appears to be $20 to $30 with around $35 as a higher end price.  Sierra Gold in dust jacket used to sell for $100 and up, but the value has now dropped to around $50.

The tweed books without dust jackets sell for $6 to $10 each, depending upon condition.  Like with the Nancy Drew series, tweed Dana Girls books with poor condition dust jackets tend to sell for less than tweed Dana Girls books that are missing their jackets.  A buyer might be willing to pay $10 for a tweed Dana Girls book that is missing the dust jacket, but would not be willing to pay more than $5 for a tweed Dana Girls book with a poor condition dust jacket.

The Dana Girls beige spine picture cover editions are currently high in demand.  #1-16 and #18 went out of print when the series was reprinted later in the white spine edition, so those titles are particularly in demand.  Even though #17 was reprinted, it is in demand.  #19-26 are easy to find in the later white spine edition, and this has suppressed the value of the beige spine picture cover editions.

#27-30 were also reprinted in the white spine edition.  The later reprints may have suppressed the values of #27-29 slightly, but the value of #30 Phantom Surfer is not affected by the later reprint.  #30 consistently sells for high prices due to the extreme scarcity.

The middle beige spine picture covers are harder to find than the ones with higher and lower numbers, with the exception of #27-30.  I change my mind frequently on the exact range of titles that is hardest to find, but it is somewhere between #5 and #21, with the very hardest to find ones centered around #9-16.  Here is a list of all 30 beige spine picture covers with an attempt at pricing them.  The prices given are for books in excellent condition with very light wear.

#1 Study Lamp - $10
#2 Lone Tree Cottage -  $10
#3 Shadow of the Tower - $10
 #4 Three-Cornered Mystery - $10
 #5 Secret at the Hermitage - $12
 #6 Circle of Footprints - $15
#7 Mystery of the Locked Room - $20
#8 Clue in the Cobweb - $20
#9 Gatehouse Mystery - $20
 #10 Mysterious Fireplace - $20
#11 Clue of the Rusty Key - $20
 #12 Portrait in the Sand - $20
 #13 Old Well - $20
 #14 Clue in the Ivy - $20
#15 Jade Ring - $20
#16 Crossroads - $20
 #17 Gallery - $20
#18 Black Flower - $20
#19 Winking Ruby - $20
 #20 Swiss Chalet - $20
 #21 Haunted Lagoon - $20
#22 Bamboo Bird - $15
#23 Sierra Gold - $15
#24 Lost Lake - $15
#25 Stone Tiger - $15
#26 Frozen Fountain - $15
#27 Silver Dolphin - $20-$35
#28 Wax Queen - $40-$60
 #29 Minstrel's Guitar - $50-$75
#30 Phantom Surfer $100-$200

These prices reflect how I have priced my Dana Girls books in the last year or so.  I have experimented with pricing by gradually raising the prices.  I don't want to gouge, so I have raised prices gradually and tended not to go over $20 for most of the middle-range titles.  I suspect that some buyers would be willing to pay well above $20 for many of the middle-range titles, even though I have been hesitant to go that far.

First picture cover editions are worth more than later printing picture covers.  If a Dana Girls picture cover in excellent condition is worth $20, then the same book in a first printing picture cover is worth a higher amount, such as $30.

The first printing picture covers for #1 up to #23 list to #23 Sierra Gold on the back cover.  On the inside, the books list Nancy Drew to #39 Dancing Puppet and Dana Girls to #23 Sierra Gold.  I am not sure offhand about the points for #25 and 26.  #27, 28, and 29 list to #27 on the back cover, and #30 lists to #30. 

Here is a list of the 17 white spine picture cover books with approximate prices.

#1-13 around $5 to $10 each
#14 Curious Coronation $10-20
#15 Hundred-Year - $15-$25
#16 Mountain-Peak - $25-$45
#17 Witch's Omen $75-$100

Dana Girls pricing has tended to stay lower than Nancy Drew pricing due to the absence of a guide.  If a guide were published that placed a value such as $50 on the middle-range beige spine picture cover editions, sellers would price them that high and buyers would accept it.  We tend to be more cautious when an authority has not declared a value.  This also works in favor of buyers, who do not have to pay quite as high of prices.

I have not given examples of all formats here.  If you are someone who is trying to place a value on some Dana Girls books that you plan to sell, please visit my Dana Girls Formats Page to make sure you know exactly what you have.  Also keep in mind that well-worn books are generally worth only 10% to 25% as much as a copy in excellent condition.  If an excellent condition book is worth $20, then a well-worn book is worth $2 to $5.


rachel said...

I would consider buying these if I could find them. Whenever I look on ebay and bonanza there are none of those nice pink jacketed ones.

Unknown said...

I was cleaning out my mother's closet when I found 3 of my old Dana Girls books. I never knew she had saved them! Mine do not have any dustcovers and are dated in the 30's. I wonder if they are worth anything? If anyone can give me a clue I have #1, #8,and #16.

Jennifer White said...

It's going to depend on the condition. Most Dana Girls books without jackets are worth $5 to $10. If the books are quite worn, they will be worth less.