Friday, March 18, 2016

eBay's Largest Collection

At the beginning of February, I purchased a couple of Hardy Boys Digest books locally to try them to see if I wanted to continue reading the Hardy Boys series past #58.  I decided that I did, so I had to figure out how to quickly build a complete set of Hardy Boys Digests so that I could continue reading.  I had very little time.

I had to do it quickly because if I decided to begin reading my complete set of Girls of Canby Hall, which was what I intended to read after I finished Hardy Boys #1-58, then I knew that I would never read the Hardy Boys Digests.  I know myself well enough to know that despite my best intentions, I will never get back to a series after I move on to another series.

I began looking around online for sets, of which there were none.  There had been a complete set of Hardy Boys Digests on eBay in January and at an excellent price, but that set had sold.  I didn't want the books in January.  If I had only known...

I saw some small lots.  However, there would be lots of duplicates, and some lots weren't that reasonable.  I could as a last resort use, where most likely all titles would be available at $3.59 each.  If I did that, the books would end up costing me over $400 total to complete the set.  Ouch.  But I could get the set done fast.

And then I saw it.

An eBay seller listed "Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Novels (ebay's largest collection)" on February 5 at a starting bid of $800 and a Buy It Now of $2,500.  This was the mother of all Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys lots.  It was huge.  The seller's description was as follows.
Nancy Drew Volumes 1-175

Nancy Drew Case Files Volumes 1-124

Nancy Drew on Campus Volumes 1-25

The Hardy Boys Volumes 1-190

The Hardy Boys Case Files 1-122

Nancy Drew and hardy Boys Volumes 1-76

Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Ghost Files  2 volumes

Hardy boys and Tom Swift 2 volumes
I detected an obvious typo in the 76 Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books, since there are just 36 volumes in the set.  I also noticed that the Casefiles last number didn't match the last number in that series, but otherwise, the numbers offered matched up with complete sets of everything.  All I cared about was the line that read "The Hardy Boys Volumes 1-190."  OMG.  Every single Digest in addition to the complete set of hardcover books.

The seller provided these pictures showing just some of the books offered.

But should I bid?  I wasn't concerned about anyone taking the Buy It Now, which was way too high.  Additionally, the opening bid of $800 would scare most people off.  I waited and watched, thinking about the lot every single day.  I kept checking and no bids.  I was also concerned about the risk, so I kept thinking about it the entire seven days.  Oh, I wanted the books, but what if I didn't get all of them?  What if I didn't get the Hardy Boys Digests?

$800 was not too high of a price for what was offered altogether, and I also knew that I would get my money back if the books were not received.  But most importantly, I wanted the books, and I didn't want this to be a failed transaction.  Should I bid?

I wanted to ask the seller to photograph more of the books to raise my confidence, but I took a calculated risk and did not ask.  If the seller would have added more photos, that would have given more confidence to other prospective bidders.  I was hoping for no competition.  That is, if I decided to bid.

Of course all along, I knew that I would bid.  I did, and I won the auction at the opening bid of $800.  I was still worried, because large lots are almost never packaged well.  This is just the reality of large lots, and this was by far the largest lot I had ever purchased. 

Four days after I won the auction, the seller put tracking numbers up.  I then got worried a few days later when one package showed as delivered in Oregon, which is where the seller is located.  I asked about the packages.  I learned that the seller had been called away and that someone else had shipped the books.  Something went wrong, and most of the packages had been returned.

I have not given the specific details, but I feel confident that what I was told was true, even though frustrating for me.  I am good at reading sellers and have always been correct about whether they were telling me the truth or telling me a lie.  I felt that the seller was being honest and would get the books delivered, even though I was gradually getting more and more stressed.  By the way, huge bulk lots are always stressful. Something always goes wrong. That's why I was indecisive about bidding.  I knew that I was setting myself up for a lot of worry.

It was apparent that two packages were coming and that the others had been returned to the seller.  I had run out of Hardy Boys Digest books, so I went around to several local stores to buy more Hardy Boys Digests so that I could keep reading.

—continued in "eBay's Largest Collection Part 2"


Anonymous said...

You are leaving me on the edge of my seat! What happened next? Did you receive your books? Oh I hope so. It would break my heart to think you were scammed. So trusting!

Jennifer White said...

The story has a happy ending. I will post the ending tomorrow. It was stressful waiting for the books, but it did work out fine.

Jennifer White said...

I think if it had been a disaster, I would have gone ahead and posted all the horrible details in one post. I'm glad it isn't one of those stories.

Lauren said...

"I had to do it quickly because if I decided to begin reading my complete set of Girls of Canby Hall, which was what I intended to read after I finished Hardy Boys #1-58, then I knew that I would never read the Hardy Boys Digests. I know myself well enough to know that despite my best intentions, I will never get back to a series after I move on to another series."

If you do move onto Canby Hall books, I'd love to read reviews of those. I collected/read the whole series about 10 years ago after having been obsessed with the measly 3 volumes I owned as a kid (was dying to go to boarding school based on those books!) and really enjoyed the first half of the series. Since it was the mid-2000s by the time I read them, the clothes and cultural references of the 80s were an enjoyable nostalgic element.

They pull a Saved by the Bell: The New Class style swap of main characters when the original girls graduate halfway through the series and the second set of girls are not as interesting or likable as the first but there are still some decent books in the latter half.

Sounds like you received your Hardy Boys books so the Canbys might be waiting awhile, but if you get to them, please post your thoughts! :)

Jennifer White said...

I do still plan to read and review the Canby Hall books. It's just going to be awhile before I get to them, but they will most likely be next right after the Hardy Boys.