Monday, March 27, 2023

Thoughts on the Value of Nancy Drew #56 The Thirteenth Pearl

I have long suspected that most people seeking to purchase a matte edition of Nancy Drew #56 The Thirteenth Pearl do not care which printing they get.  A growing number of collectors are fine with the double oval editions.  Most of you still scorn them, but some people do appreciate them.  I am now part of that group, but only when the double oval editions are in nice shape and have good quality paper.

The double oval books tend to surface in bad condition.  They were made from cheaper materials than the previous matte printings.  Those books, just like the book club edition picture covers from the 1960s, look worse when in rough shape than the other matte editions do. 

Click on this photo from a current eBay listing.  Look at the double oval editions (the ones with no ink on the top edge).  There is something about how the double ovals look when worn that I find yucky.  That was my sole reason for not liking them in the past.

Once I found a bunch of double oval editions in nice shape, I discovered that I really enjoy them.  Look at these beauties.

Last night, I checked on recent sold listings of Nancy Drew #55 and #56.  I needed to know if the value has changed since in the fall.  I was surprised to see the highest sold copy of Thirteenth Pearl was a copy with double oval endpapers.  It sold for $49.99 plus $10.65 shipping. 

My mind was blown.  This changes everything.   

To me, Thirteenth Pearl in the matte PC shouldn't be as scarce as people think.  At least five printings exist: the first, second, and third printings plus at least two printings in the double oval edition.  However, the price continues to rise, so collectors place great value on the matte edition of Thirteenth Pearl.

A double oval copy selling for $49.99 meant that I needed to raise my prices.  My first thought was to go with $74.99 for the first printing, $64.99 for the second printing, and $49.99 for the double oval edition.  I went with $74.99 for the first printing and $49.99 for the other two books.  The second printing copy has some flaws, so I feel that I should price it the same as the double oval edition.

I want to see if anyone is willing to pay $74.99 for Thirteenth Pearl.  It could go either way.  Typically, I never have to relist Thirteenth Pearl.  The books I place up for sale always sell during the first listing cycle.  This likely means that I've been pricing them too low.  This experiment will help me see whether that is the case.

If the book priced at $74.99 doesn't sell, then my conclusion will be that all matte copies of Thirteenth Pearl, regardless of printing, are worth about $50 if in at least very good condition.

You see, I don't think there is much value difference between the first and second printings and the double oval printings.  Last year, I priced the double ovals at $29.99, the second printing at $34.99, and the first printing at $39.99.  I feel that the double ovals should be lower than the earlier printings, but not by much.

I have charged nearly as much for the double oval edition as for the first printing, and the double oval edition always sells.  It often sells first, probably because the price is lower.  That's why I don't think the buyers care which matte version they get.  

If a double oval edition can sell for $49.99 on eBay, then a similar price range should be true for the three printings.  The first and second printings should be priced no more than $10 to $25 higher than the value of the double oval edition.  At least that's what I think should be the case, but I'm no longer sure.  It will be interesting to see what happens.

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