INFLATED PRICE BOOKS

Your doorway to those rare collectibles that everyone is searching for: books, props, posters, cards, and paper ephemera are all here for you to buy and sell.

Postby Guest » 05/14/06 04:33 PM

Hi,
i know that in some manner this point has been discussed, but ultimately some magic books auctions from ebay, gave me an opportunity to raise again this question, in order to make it cleare.
I've just seen that some Juan Tamariz books are being sold on Ebay for a very high price.
I know that somebody thinks(which in some way it is correct) that every objects sells for the price which another person wills to pay it..
but..
i think that maybe in this forum (which is a forum of magic lovers and collectors for years, but it is also a forum of new magic lovers or collectors), it would be nice to give some advices about a reasonable price of some books.
I know that there are a lot of magic books, but a lot of times i see the same one, like the Tamariz books, or the Ricky Jay books..which are sold for a lot, but are not so rare, as i understand.
Maybe some expert collector can give some advice, or trace a table of the rarity of the greatest magic books, or the books which are being searched a lot, like the Tamariz book.
I know that everyone has the right to sell a book for the price that he wants..but it would be easier to know when a price is too much.
I know that a complete table of "reasonable prices" is impossible..
but maybe a table of the RARITY of some cornerstone books or much sought after books,is possible.
Why a THE FIVE POINT IN MAGIC, for example, every month is being sold from 80$ to 300$?
Hoping that someone wants to discuss this subject..
best regards,
Red Flag Crim.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/14/06 05:10 PM

So what?

If someone is too ignorant to search the book and see what some other place is charging for it, then who is being harmed? If a book is too expensive, it won't sell. That's part of the idea of an auction. A book goes up. If the opening bid is too high, nobody bids. If it is within reason, someone will buy it.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/14/06 05:25 PM

More often than not, the prices you see on eBay are the result of the buyers and not the sellers. The Tamariz books could start out with 1 cent starting bids and would still reach the final prices you are seeing. Sometimes you can't get what you want unless you are willing to pay for it. That's life.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/14/06 09:11 PM

There's a trend on eBay that is costing the sellers money in some cases. They will figure out the market value of something and use that as the starting bid. Nobody bids.

I know that reserve bids cost money, but they make money, as well. If you start at 1/4 or so of your reserve, you can start a feeding frenzy that will often lead to a higher price than you anticipated.

It doesn't always work, but it works about 75% of the time.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 06:02 AM

Crim:

To state the obvious: there are only two things that affect price, assuming knowledgeable buyers and sellers: supply and demand. As you suggest, Ricky Jays Cards as Weapons is not rare by any means, yet it still commands a fairly high price. The reason? Demand. But note that the price of Jays book is now gently floating downward. Why? Because the people who would buy it at $300 all have their copies. And after the people who are willing to pay $200/copy get theirs, then the price will fall again. Ultimately, I think the price of this book will level off at $35-$50 in the next few years or less. There are just too many copies out there for the high prices to be sustained in the long run, assuming no other group of collectors starts to collect Jays book.

The same goes for the Tamariz books, although I believe the print runs on those books were far less than Jays book.

Lets revisit a key assumption: knowledgeable buyers and sellers. Not all buyers and sellers are knowledgeable, meaning that not all of them have good knowledge of rarity and/or where other copies may be purchased (aka, the market), a point Bill made about buyers (although it applies to sellers as well, I think). Ignorance isnt automatically a bad thing, as were all ignorant when we begin collecting, performing, etc. Thats one of the reasons why its important for a beginner to associate himself with more experienced folks, so he can get advice, etc. But not all people pay high prices because they are ignorant. Some pay high prices for convenience. They simply dont want to be bothered with hunting down a title that they seek. Thats why dealers make money. Dealers do the hard work of finding the books, and we have to pay for those services. And before you criticize a dealer for charging outrageous prices, ask him how many books he has in stock that havent sold in several years. Most well established dealers have many hundreds, usually thousands, of books that dont sell all that well. Just ask em, and I think theyll tell you that for every book they can sell easily, they have 10 books that they cant sell so easily.

As to sellers (including some who consider themselves dealers), many often confuse high price with rarity. The two have nothing to do with one another in the abstract, although practically speaking, most rare books do sell for higher prices. And old doesnt mean valuable either. One can find books printed in the 1600s for a couple hundred dollars each, even though perhaps less than a few dozen copies exist of such titles in the world. Why? Because nobody wants to collect those books. When I was 11 years old, I wrote my first book. I produced ten copies of it and gave it to friends and family. So copies of this little monograph are extremely rare. But Id be surprised if many people really want to know the thoughts of an 11 year old on alchemy and Christianity, and so if someone offered a copy on eBay, even though very rare, Id be surprised if it sold for more than a few bucks. So rarity and price dont go hand in hand. If demand is not there for a rare book, then it doesnt matter if its rare or not: it wont sell at a high price.

Im sorry for not answering your key question by providing prices, but if you see 5 copies of the same book sell for similar prices on eBay within a reasonably short period of time (say, 6 months), then thats probably a good indication of the where the market is at, and you have your answer. The Tamariz and Jay books are good examples of the point. Ebay has its aberrations in price, but not, I think, when multiple sales are involved within a short period of time.

Hope this helps a bit, even if not encouraging.

Clay
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 06:29 AM

Hi..
First of all, i have to thank Mr.Shevlin, because he is the only one who tired to understand my question, which was a simple one.
I don't understand why Mr.Palmer has to bring in the term "ignorance".
My question, obviously regarded, the beginners in magic and especially in collecting magic books.
So i think that it is obvious that everyone which starts to do something, is ignorant.
And it is not their fault to be ignorant, but a necessary matter of fact, as little by little ignorance is replaced by knowledge thanks to EXPERIENCE.
But..returning to my point, i simply asked if the people which are more expert than others(like me) would like to help the new and little experienced members who love collecting magic books.
I know that it is impossible to state a reasonable price(as you say, everything costs the price that someone is willing to pay)..but i still think that it is possible to state the rarity of some items.
So maybe you can help us with some tiems which are not so rare and are sold for a lot of money,and maybe to highlight things which are rare, and maybe get less rumour than less rarer things.
It would be nice to write a list of the 50 rarest magic books!
But i have not the knowledge to do this.
Hoping that now my question is clearer..
i thanks you again.
Crim
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 07:43 AM

Just a quick note regarding pricing on the Tamariz books. I understand that revised editions of these will be forthcoming from Hermetic Press. As Stephen Minch improves everything he touches, I would expect the Hermetic Edition to be superior to the originals in every respect, and reasonably priced as well. This will certainly have a negative impact on the pricing of the originals, as it should. So my advice is not to pay too much for Tamariz books, if you can be patient, as the material should be available at a reasonable price in superior editions in the near future...
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/15/06 08:04 AM

Hatch, you say the "near future," but do you really know when they're coming out? One year? Two years?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20383
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 08:10 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Hatch, you say the "near future," but do you really know when they're coming out? One year? Two years?
"Near future" is now measured in "Bensons"...
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 08:37 AM

Well Mr.Hatch,
i thank you very much for this useful tip about the Tamariz books.
This was exactly what i intended in the post.
Little tips and suggestions from experts and magic dealers and collectors.
Crim.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 09:33 AM

Originally posted by Richard Hatch:
Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
[b] Hatch, you say the "near future," but do you really know when they're coming out? One year? Two years?
"Near future" is now measured in "Bensons"... [/b]
That's it! Now I've got to go and invest in a coffee-proof monitor!

Jeremy
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/15/06 10:03 AM

Unless you get information directly from the publisher, Stephen Minch, none of us have any idea when the new reprint will appear. In the intervening years, many might enjoy reading the originals and might also enjoy owning the first editions.
So, in the future, Mr. Hatch might try to be more precise in his facts (as he likes others to be) before making sweeping statements that may or may not have any factual basis.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20383
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/15/06 10:16 AM

This was posted by Peo Olsson over on the Cafe about a week and a half ago:

Everybody should know by now how much I endorse Stephen Minch's Hermetic Press.
I almost buy every single book that is produced from this exellent company without any hesitation.
After a brief e-mailing back and forth, Stephen told me the following:

"The next book we plan to release is an english edition of Magic Christian's Hofzinser biography. Christian and I have been going over the translation for more than four months now."

On my question about reprinting Juan Tamariz early books, he sid:

"Yes, we do plan to reprint Juan's three books (Five Points in Magic, The Magic Way, Sonata) over the next few years."

He hope to have The Five Points in Magic out this year, but circumstances may not work out for that timing, as he don't have the photos yet.

Lets cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Peo
So it sounds like we can expect the first of the reprints either late this year or somtime next year.

-Jim
Jim Maloney_dup1
 
Posts: 1709
Joined: 07/23/01 12:00 PM
Location: Northern New Jersey

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 10:19 AM

As Stephen Minch improves everything he touches, I would expect the Hermetic Edition to be superior to the originals in every respect, and reasonably priced as well. This will certainly have a negative impact on the pricing of the originals, as it should.
As much as Mr. Minch would improve on the writings, is there really a significant impact on the people who have already owned the originals?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 11:55 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Unless you get information directly from the publisher, Stephen Minch, none of us have any idea when the new reprint will appear. So, in the future, Mr. Hatch might try to be more precise in his facts (as he likes others to be) before making sweeping statements that may or may not have any factual basis.
Richard, I've never known Dick Hatch to be irresponsible with his comments, and about all I've ever seen of his comments on GF have been aimed at helping folks out, especially the newbies. I certainly agree with your "none of us have any idea" comment, but do think your comment to Senior Hatch was a bit harsh. I think all of us who participate actively here - including you - have speculated on things in the past, and I don't see where Hatch's guesswork was out of line.

Clay
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/15/06 11:57 AM

Hatch loves to pick at the minor factual errors in others' works--I think he should be held to the same standard to which he holds others.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20383
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 12:08 PM

Crimsonking: Here are a couple thoughts.

--Go to the Conjuring Arts Research Center (www.conjuringarts.org). I am confident that they would be able to answer any questions you could have about magic books, and (or) help you find out where to find out what you want to know; such as your interesting idea of compiling a "50 Rarest List".

--Don't become obsessed with A book or just one person's work to the point where you are blind to all the other incredible stuff out there. (Not that you are--just watch out...)

Certainly, collectors have their ultimate prizes they search for; but there are so many books, with so much material that, as a beginner, you shouldn't feel defeated THIS soon out of the gate! There are thousands of books out there. Live it up.

In his first (and very rare) lecture notes, Michael Weber said, "Read everything you can get your hands on". Everything. I believe that is the best advice a "beginner" can get.

Mark Twain said, "The man who doesn't read good books is no better off than the man who can't read them". Get going: it's good for you.
Guest
 

Postby NCMarsh » 05/15/06 04:14 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Hatch loves to pick at the minor factual errors in others' works--I think he should be held to the same standard to which he holds others.
What, exactly, is Mr. Hatch's factual error here?

That Minch is going to reprint the trilogy is common knowledge. "Near future" is so vague and relative, that it is extremely difficult for it to be in error (and, if it is, we will not know that it is until the book actually appears).

Richard Hatch is an honorable and careful scholar (I'm not certain if he is responsible for it, but the critical apparatus (notes and bibliography) in his edition of The Magic of Paul Potassy is simply extraordinary).

Best,

N.
OrlandoCorporateMagician.com Orlando Magician
User avatar
NCMarsh
 
Posts: 1139
Joined: 02/16/08 01:00 PM
Location: Orlando, FL

Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/15/06 04:19 PM

"Near future" means, to most people (I think), within the next six months.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20383
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby NCMarsh » 05/15/06 04:23 PM

Richard,

The Hatch comments aside, are you saying that you know the books won't be out within six months? I ask as someone who eagerly looks forward to the Minch editions.

best,

N.
OrlandoCorporateMagician.com Orlando Magician
User avatar
NCMarsh
 
Posts: 1139
Joined: 02/16/08 01:00 PM
Location: Orlando, FL

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 04:27 PM

crimsonking:

If you think the word "ignorant" was harsh, think again. You were able to find Genii forum, right? How did you do that? Did you use Google? Did you just enter words at random? I suspect that either you used Google or you had a copy of Genii and you got the information from it.

If you are familiar with Google, you should also know that you can find booksellers by either entering the name of the book or by entering the terms "bookseller," "book dealer," "used book" or a host of other terms.

You can also look magic books up on Amazon.com. A surprising number of books will turn up on such a search.

You only need to try it to see how it works.

I didn't say that you were ignorant. I posited that if a buyer is too ignorant to look up the data, that it's not the seller's fault if he gets the price he is asking for.

Ignorance is curable. Stupidity isn't. And I'm not saying you are stupid, either.
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/15/06 06:18 PM

I spoke with Stephen Minch recently and didn't hear anything that led me to believe that the Tamariz reprints are coming out in the near future.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20383
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby NCMarsh » 05/15/06 07:10 PM

Richard,

Thanks for the reply.

Best,

N.
OrlandoCorporateMagician.com Orlando Magician
User avatar
NCMarsh
 
Posts: 1139
Joined: 02/16/08 01:00 PM
Location: Orlando, FL

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 07:43 PM

Originally posted by Nathan Coe Marsh:
(I'm not certain if he is responsible for it, but the critical apparatus (notes and bibliography) in his edition of The Magic of Paul Potassy is simply extraordinary).
Thanks Nathan, wish I could take credit for that, but it is largely (aside from a few minor additions to the notes and bibliography) the work of the original authors, Uwe Schenk and Michael Sondermeyer, who deserve the credit.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 10:46 PM

Personally, I've adopted the "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude about the reprint of the Tamariz books.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/15/06 11:03 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
"Near future" means, to most people (I think), within the next six months.
Hey Richard,
So let me get this straight; you're hacking on Mr. Hatch because he didn't conform to your arbitrary (and unknown at the time) definition of that subjective statement?

Bizarre.

Tyler Wilson
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 12:39 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
"Near future" means, to most people (I think), within the next six months.
As someone who expects (hopes!) to live for at least another 30-40 years, "near future" could be anything in the next 5 years as far as I'm concerned.

Wot's up Richard - get out the wrong side of bed this week? ;)
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 02:41 AM

First of all,
i want to thank Mr. Castawaydave for his precious suggestions and tips.
I'm subscribed to the Charlier level of the Conjuring Art Centre and it is a pity that i live in Italy..otherwise i would have surely gone to pay some vistis and do some research there.
Regarding Mr. Bill Palmer reply..
well, thank you for not thinking that i'm stupid.
I think that what you say is not so easy..
Well, let me explain better, if i can:
you say that in order to get an idea about the price of the books we search, we simply have to search in google for dealers, and amazon and ebay..
in some way, you're very right!
Because a research of this kind, can give us an idea of some prices of the magic books we're searching for.
But..this research not always gives us the real informations about the rarity and the real value(let's say more or less..)of the book we are searching.
For example..for some period i was searching for the Paul Curry book, "World's Beyond" and searching in google and the other sources you told me, i really didn't find so much.
And the book didn't turn up so easily.
So how could i know the real value of that book, i mean more or less?
The tips i was suggesting you expert could give us, are the tips that we can't find on Amazon!
In the end i was able to get 2 copies of the Paul Curry book, but it took me months.
And why was it so difficult to find it, if i learned that a lot of copies were made plus a reprint?
Is "the notes to Houdini!!!" more rare than Ricky Jay's books?
And if yes, why it sells for less?
Well, these are the questions that it is interesting to explore(at least for me).
Waiting for other useful suggestions like Mr.Shevlin and Mr. Castawaydave..
regards!
Red Flag Crim
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 03:07 AM

I hope that in the "near future", Mr. Kaufman will have the two remaining Jennings books published ;-)
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 07:30 AM

Originally posted by Bill Palmer:
crimsonking:

... You can also look magic books up on Amazon.com....
Crim, you'll have to excuse Bill. Deep down he's truly a most amiable gent and in my experience has always generously shared his knowledge. I suspect that his cups and balls went untouched all weekend. (Bill, that Amazon bit was borderline cruel advice). :D

Maybe this thread will be helpful:
http://geniimagazine.com/forum/cgi-bin/ ... 578#000000

Really getting to know relative rarity takes a lot of time and study. There are no easy shortcuts. But dont be afraid to ask people specific questions. To one degree or another, weve all benefited from our predecessors advice and mentoring.

Clay
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 09:16 AM

Thank You very much Mr.Shevlin!
I hope i'll know Mr.Palmer better in order to appreciate him..
By the way i think he is a great expert about the PUNX books, that in a near future i'll begine to chase..
By the way Mr.Shevlin,
two thursdays ago i attended Mr.Roxy lecture in Milano about water sprouters.
In the middle of the conference Mr.Roxy showed us a document, which i don't remember very well..and he said that Mr.Shevlin gave it to him.
So Mr.Shevlin now you're known also in Milan!
Hoping that this post will grow with a lot of great suggestions..
regards!
Red Flag Crim.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 09:33 AM

Crimsonking, if you read French, Tamariz's 5 Points, Magic Way, and Sonata are all available in nice editions from Georges Proust for 35 to 40 Euros each new. I only have the 5 Points edition in French, but it is very nicely produced (paperback) with great illustrations by James Hodges. I lent my copy to Hermetic for use in preparing their new edition (Stephen was having problems obtaining the original photos at that time), but my understanding is that Stephen will be using the photos now instead. You can find the French copies at the following link by clicking on the red "Catalogue" in the upper left and doing a search on "Tamariz":
Academie de Magie
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/16/06 04:00 PM

Thank You very much Mr.hatch for your valuable suggestions!
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/17/06 11:27 AM

Hi..
one question:
why is "notes to houdini!!!" less valuable in money than any Ricky Jay book?
I think that "Notes to Houdini!!!" is in print in 250 copies..
but its price is not high as the Ricky Jay books.
Can someone explain it to me?
Guest
 

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 05/17/06 11:35 AM

Originally posted by crimsonking:
Hi..
one question:
why is "notes to houdini!!!" less valuable in money than any Ricky Jay book?
I think that "Notes to Houdini!!!" is in print in 250 copies..
but its price is not high as the Ricky Jay books.
Can someone explain it to me?
I would assume that this is the case because there isn't as much demand for "Notes to Houdini!!!" as there is for, say, "Cards as Weapons".

-Jim
Jim Maloney_dup1
 
Posts: 1709
Joined: 07/23/01 12:00 PM
Location: Northern New Jersey

Postby Kevin Connolly » 05/17/06 12:22 PM

Because there are 249 Houdini collectors. :o
Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.
User avatar
Kevin Connolly
 
Posts: 2381
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: New Jersey

Postby Guest » 05/17/06 04:10 PM

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
Originally posted by crimsonking:
[b] Hi..
one question:
why is "notes to houdini!!!" less valuable in money than any Ricky Jay book?
I think that "Notes to Houdini!!!" is in print in 250 copies..
but its price is not high as the Ricky Jay books.
Can someone explain it to me?
I would assume that this is the case because there isn't as much demand for "Notes to Houdini!!!" as there is for, say, "Cards as Weapons".

-Jim [/b]
Crim: Why are you asking this? I think I already answered this question, the same answer that Jim M. gave.

But maybe you mean something else? Maybe you want to know why Jay's books are more in demand that Notes to Houdini? That's a question inviting lots of speculation and probably has many different answers depending on who you ask, that is, one person may prefer Jay's book for one reason, and another person for a different reason.

Thinking about pricing in terms of such questions isn't bad, but it can get you bogged down in a helluva lot of detail and speculation, and I'm not sure that it will usually be productive except in the context of some detailed literature survey or a paper on the behavior of magicians. Besides, it boils down to what you prefer and why. It doesn't matter what other people think if you are happy with your decision(s).

Clay
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/17/06 06:59 PM

Sometimes you have to take google, amazon.com and other searches to another level. For example, I recently did a search for Bob Read's book on the Cups and Balls in 19th Century Graphic Art. I was amazed at how difficult it was to find anything on it.

The only copy I could find was a photocopy that someone wanted over $600 for.

I doubt that I would pay that much money for such a book. Sometimes doing a book search requires a lot of patience. You may not find what you want in a week, a month or even a year. But be patient. That's one of the biggest secrets of collecting, whether it's books, shoes, cups or graphics.

By searching Amazon.com, I found several copies of Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women, as well as Cards as Weapons, but they were, IMHO, quite overpriced.

However, when you google these things, eventually, you find the bigger used book sources, and you may find a copy. Then again, you may not. But sometime, somewhere down the road, you will find a copy.

One of my favorite books is the original German version of Illustrated Magic. It took me a long time to find a good original copy. They aren't cheap. Now I have two.

Sometimes book prices are artifically inflated, because someone feels his time is worth more than dollars and cents. That drives the price of some books up.

These guys bid very high on ebay. That's how the Red Book got so expensive. But that's another story.

Let me tell you how to find the things you are seeking. First, do daily searches. This means Google, Amazon, eBay, Kenna Thompson, Martinka, Magicbookshop -- everywhere you are likely to find what you want.

Second, tell EVERYONE you know who might find a copy what you are looking for. If you do this right, you will have dozens of people helping you find the books, etc., that you need and want.

Most important, have patience. That's the hardest one.

In many cases, it's a seller's market. If you have a really desirable book, you ask what you want for it. It may or may not work. You have to get a feel for the market, and that takes a long time.

Also, get the book that Ron Cartlidge published of prices of things that sold on the internet. That will give you some guidelines.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/18/06 03:01 AM

Well..
thank you very much Mr.Shevlin and Mr.Palmer for the reply!
Mr.Palmer..for one thing i'm lucky..
because i have a lot of patience!
I must say that on amazon i don't find many magic books that i'm searching for.
I was luckier with ebay..but usually the prices get very high.
And i love very much the Martinka Auctions!
For example..i'm still mad because i didn't win the Chan Canasta book of oopses!
Mostly because i didn't know that it was so difficult to get(and i don't understand this thing, because i know that the print run was pretty high!).
What is the Ron Cartlidge book?
Guest
 

Postby Kevin Connolly » 05/18/06 04:02 AM

What is the Ron Cartlidge book?

It seems to be on Ebay every week. Glad you enjoy the Houdini book.
Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.
User avatar
Kevin Connolly
 
Posts: 2381
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: New Jersey

Next

Return to Collector's Marketplace