It’s Official

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Dustin Stinett
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It’s Official

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 17th, 2010, 4:52 pm

If anyone needed any further proof that the magic collectables market is in the tank, this has got to seal the deal:

On eBay, a lot of Ricky Jay books that included a signed hard bound edition of Cards as Weapons (signed pre-calligraphy period as well), a paperback edition of the same book, and (and this is the mind-bender) a copy of the limited Magic Magic Book (which originally retailed for $1,800) sold for just under $300. ( http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0364026441 )

In my estimation, the value of this lot is (well, make that was) at least $2,500. Someone got a deal of a lifetime, if this economic climate ever turns around.

Q: So Dustin, why didnt YOU buy it if it was worth so much?

A: I bid as much as I could afford at the moment andfranklypart of me was counting on me being outbid.

Ian Kendall
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Ian Kendall » January 17th, 2010, 5:43 pm

More tellingly, it was sniped with three seconds to go.

I would wager that if the lot had a floating end time it would have gone for much more.

Take care, Ian

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Re: It’s Official

Postby mai-ling » January 17th, 2010, 6:10 pm

oy.
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista


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Richard Kaufman
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 17th, 2010, 8:22 pm

This may have little to do with magic collectibles.

The Ricky Jay items appeal to mainstream collectors, not necessarily magic collectors.

More importantly, it reflects the decline of eBay rather than the decline in the value of the items.

And when someone puts something on eBay with a starting bid that's too low, this sometimes happens.

There are a number of external circumstances that could have led to this auction ending at this price that have nothing to do with the value of magic collectibles.

Then there's the fact that Ricky Jay stuff just might not be as collectible as it used to be.
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David Alexander
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Re: It’s Official

Postby David Alexander » January 17th, 2010, 8:58 pm

And the right people may not have been watching.

EBay is a funny place. I knew a guy who had a book store. He put a book on eBay that he would sell in his store for $400. It sold for $600.

A couple of months later he put up another copy of equal quality and it sold for $200. So, what's the value of that book via auction?

We saw the same thing with the "Color Series" that Phil wrote. I sold my set for $330 which I thought was great as I'd only paid $15. A couple of them still had the $3 price tag.

I saw a couple of other sets go for really insane amounts, hundreds more that what I got but I wasn't unhappy.

It all depends on how badly someone wants the item on a given day and if they're paying attention to eBay at the time. It can be a real crap shoot.

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Re: It’s Official

Postby Roberto » January 18th, 2010, 2:06 am

Yup, ebay surely is very unpredictable. I just recently won an auction on ebay for two collectable magazines with an ending bid of $150. There were something like 15 bids and I was the highest bidder. A couple days later, the seller re-listed the same two magazines (not the set I won) which sold for about $70 with only 6 or 7 bids. Go figure!


Roberto

Bob Farmer
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Bob Farmer » January 18th, 2010, 7:33 am

My little booklet, "Beat'Em, Cheat'em, Leave'em Bleedin," sells for $3 and is available. I've seen it on EBay for $30 to $50.

P.S. It will be included as a bonus section in the forthcoming, "Bammo Flim-Flam CONglomeration."

Conman saying: A fool and his money were lucky to get together in the first place.

David Alexander
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Re: It’s Official

Postby David Alexander » January 18th, 2010, 12:21 pm

Some time back I watched as Phil's "Para-Sight" went for several hundred dollars in spirited bidding. I think it went for $440. I immediately wrote to the second place bidder who'd stopped at $400 and told him I'd sell him my copy for the $400 he bid. (That was when you could do that on eBay.)

He wrote back and said he wouldn't pay more than $250, this said perhaps ten minutes after the auction closed.

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Re: It’s Official

Postby Ted M » January 18th, 2010, 12:41 pm

In addition to timing and the state of the economy, Item Category can make a huge difference on eBay. If you list an item where people are looking, you'll find more bidders. If you list this lot of Ricky Jay books in

Art > Direct from the Artist > Drawings

as this was, then it's effectively hidden from most of its potential customer base. I'm guessing Dustin has a standing Search Alert for "Ricky Jay," and found it that way?

Recently a Grimoire of Masklyn ye Mage and a Negromicon were offered on eBay. While listed in a Magic category, neither was listed in the category where the lion's share of the magic books are listed:

Collectibles > Fantasy, Mythical & Magic > Magic > Books, Lecture Notes

Consqeuently each book ended with only 1 bid. I even contacted the seller each time, suggesting the correct category, to no avail.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 18th, 2010, 1:15 pm

As Richard pointed out, Ricky has a large "mainstream" following, so I would think that I'm not the only guy who has a general search on his stuff (not to mention some of the more obscure searches I have that I will keep to myself...Bwah-ha-ha-ha!).

In speaking with another collector, and having time to reflect on his comments (and whats been said here), I think this is a "perfect storm" of recession, a "correction" in the value of RJ items, and the idiosyncratic nature of eBay.

Chances are very good that those who did see this auction already have these items. Its fairly clear that the seller didnt know what he/she had (probably picked it up through the widow of the original owner, or, if a she, is the widow).

The bottom line is that someone got a great deal and it wasnt me; dammit!

Dustin

Silly Walter
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Silly Walter » January 18th, 2010, 7:12 pm

Cards as Weapons is one of those books that is collectible for no good reason. The book is crap.

I paid $10 for it years ago and felt ripped off but probably not as ripped off as the dude that paid me $350 for it on Ebay a few years ago.
Silly Walter The Polar Bear

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Dustin Stinett » January 18th, 2010, 7:29 pm

You can always tell when someone is not a collector: They believe reason should apply to the pursuit.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 18th, 2010, 7:52 pm

The collector is not someone propelled by logic, but compelled by a psychological force beyond their control.
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 18th, 2010, 8:01 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:The collector is not someone propelled by logic, but compelled by a psychological force beyond their control.


There are far worse O/C fixations - to be fair this one seems benign. At least this force permits some of our heritage and the accomplishments of our predecessors to remain in good condition.

David Alexander
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Re: It’s Official

Postby David Alexander » January 18th, 2010, 9:12 pm

For one of the classic O/C cases see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Phillipps

While a full-blown bibliomaniac we have Sir Thomas to thank for preserving a huge number of rare manuscripts.

Sometimes nuttiness works in favor of society.

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Re: It’s Official

Postby Bill Mullins » February 7th, 2010, 10:08 pm

Bonhams had an auction with a lot including The Magic Magic Book, a Toole-Stott bibliography, and the French Bibliotheque Dramatique De Monsieur De Soleinne last February. Closing bid? $519. [lot 3222]

Ten months later, a lot from the same auction house consisting of just the Ricky Jay book went for $1220. [lot 5142]

Go figure.

And for those who missed all of these copies, but have to have a copy of the book, THISauction closes tomorrow.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 7th, 2010, 11:29 pm

Starting bid of $1000.
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Re: It’s Official

Postby RobertAllen » February 22nd, 2010, 11:29 pm

I remember when piles of Cards as Weapons softcovers were selling in my local Barnes & Noble equivalent. They were stupid books then and they are stupid books now. The only reason they went up in price is because a new generation of fanboys caught on to Ricky Jay since he started appearing in some hip movies and a couple of TV shows.

The afore mentioned Negromicon went for a low amount of money probably because a) it had a tear inside repaired by masking tape (albeit by the author), and b) it had a really boring cover unlike the standard Negromicon which has a pentagram on the cover. I have been wanting a Negromicon to complete my collection, but I'm now somewhat cheap so I'm not going to pay the $1400 they were fetching during the bizarre magik fanboy hayday. I think I payed about $900 for the Scroll a few years ago and though that was on the cheaper side I'd think three times before paying that amount today.

Of course...I got my Grimoire for $40 back in the 90's from Hades in Seattle :)

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 22nd, 2010, 11:48 pm

Heres a collection of RJ items on eBaya couple pieces of which are quite scarce and one uniquethat even I think is overpriced:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0104424217

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Re: It’s Official

Postby Bill Mullins » February 23rd, 2010, 12:08 am

Bill Mullins wrote: And for those who missed all of these copies, but have to have a copy of the book, THISauction closes tomorrow.


Sold for $2700 HERE

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 23rd, 2010, 2:25 am

I guess the only thing that's "official" is that no one knows what's going to happen next.

Dustin

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Re: It’s Official

Postby AMCabral » February 23rd, 2010, 3:04 am

Dustin Stinett wrote:Heres a collection of RJ items on eBaya couple pieces of which are quite scarce and one uniquethat even I think is overpriced:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0104424217


That's the same dink who's selling off a copy of The Magic Castle Walls of Fame one page at a time.

-T

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Matthew Field
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Matthew Field » February 23rd, 2010, 7:12 am

Will Houstoun told me his friend bought a hardbacked Cards as Weapons at Blackpoool for 10 ($17). Another dealer was selling the Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic for 250 ($400).

Matt Field

Bill Mullins
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Bill Mullins » February 23rd, 2010, 2:56 pm

Matthew Field wrote:Will Houstoun told me his friend bought a hardbacked Cards as Weapons at Blackpoool for 10 ($17). Another dealer was selling the Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic for 250 ($400).

Matt Field


In terms of their actual usefulness to magicians, that ratio is about right. But _Cards as Weapons_ is a great book, regardless. Where else will you find topless pictures of Laraine Newman's (of Saturday Night Live fame) sister?

Lee Almond
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Re: It’s Official

Postby Lee Almond » February 23rd, 2010, 10:28 pm

I'll sell Impromptu Magic for 1K in about 10 years. The Vernon Chronicles Vol. 1 - 4 I have I will call my own price in another 10 years. Ya think? Peace all.
Lee,


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