I may be partially responsible for running up the eBay sale on that copy that sold for $400. I was going out of town, so I placed a hefty maximum bid figuring NO ONE would outdo it. Well, that ran the price up quickly, but folks kept going and going (leaving my supposedly high bid in the dust)! Auction fever. I had private e-mails after that offering to sell me one copy for $300, and another for $250. I declined.
The next seller to put a copy up for sale on eBay got excited, and put a high "reserve" on the book. The bidding stalled at $155 and the copy was never sold.
The NEXT copy that came up on eBay just sold for $134. To me! Good things come to those who wait.
I keep a list of books I am looking for, and bookmarks in my web browser to an eBay search for that item, and to a search at the Advanced Book Exchange (www.abebooks.com
). The Advanced Book Exchange is my preferred place for buying old books (less uncertainty than eBay), and it can also be a good place to get an idea of prices (so you know when to stop bidding on eBay!). Anyway, every day when I first sit down at the computer, I do a quick check of these links to see if anything on my "wish list" has come available. Over time, I have been quite successful with this strategy.
Your mileage may vary!