The pricing of books?

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Brad Jeffers
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The pricing of books?

Postby Brad Jeffers » June 15th, 2012, 3:18 am

I recently was looking to buy a copy of "Scarne on Dice". I went to abebooks and found 100 available. They ranged in price from $1 to $110. Guess which one I opted for?
The question is, why do some sellers list books at such outlandish prices. No one is ever going to pay $110 for a copy of "Scarne on Dice"!

It reminds me of an old joke ... A man was driving down the road and saw a farmer selling watermelons from the back of a truck. He had a sign that said, "watermelons $1,000,000 each". The man asked the farmer "How many watermelons do you think your going to sell at that price!?" The farmer replied "I only have to sell one."

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erdnasephile
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Re: The pricing of books?

Postby erdnasephile » June 15th, 2012, 9:55 am

Was the $110 book unique in some way? (i.e. rare edition, signed, inscribed, unusually good condition, etc.) If so, that may account for at least some of the price difference.

Then again, collectables are "worth" different amounts to different people--I've certainly seen some folks pay what I would consider to be outrageous amounts for some collectables on ebay.

Sometimes it's passion for the item. Sometimes it's suboptimal research/shopping skills. Sometimes it's a surfeit of cash. Perhaps it's a combination of all three.

However, I've also done the same in other fields of endeavor so I can't be too judgmental about the whole thing. :)

Ted M
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Re: The pricing of books?

Postby Ted M » June 15th, 2012, 10:10 am

Just from glancing at the listings:

First edition,

Military press,

"wonderful endpapers with the troops from all services rolling the dice with scarne. high grade paper stock"

"published by The Military Service Publishing Company, Harrisburg, 434 pages. John Scarne recognized as a leading Gambling consultant,and first class Magician, gained world wide fame during World War II, when he worked with the Armed Forces to stem the tide of crooked dice games, he exposed the crooks, hustlers, and con men, preying on our Armed Forces."

So: first edition, cool and unusual photographic endpapers, interest to military history collectors both for content and the specific publisher.

These will all crank up the price for a book as artifact.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: The pricing of books?

Postby Brad Jeffers » June 15th, 2012, 3:54 pm

Ted M wrote:So: first edition, cool and unusual photographic endpapers, interest to military history collectors both for content and the specific publisher.
These will all crank up the price for a book as artifact.

The copy that I bought for less than $2 was just the same as the one listed for $110 (good condition, first edition, photographic endpapers). I only purchased the book to read the six pages where Scarne goes off on Mickey MacDougall, therefore I would have been happy with a crappy, beat up, later edition paperback copy.
They had those also, but not for less than $2.

Ted M
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Re: The pricing of books?

Postby Ted M » June 15th, 2012, 4:12 pm

Maybe someone will offer to trade you a beat up paperback for it.

Frank Yuen
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Re: The pricing of books?

Postby Frank Yuen » June 16th, 2012, 8:37 am

The prices on Abebooks (at least for magic) always seem to be outrageously high.

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Rennie
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Re: The pricing of books?

Postby Rennie » June 16th, 2012, 11:27 am

I must agree with Brad. Book prices (not just magic) are all over the board. I have found doing a very careful comparison on many book dealers that the prices can vary as much as $1,000.00. Abe books are usually on the high side, I have found Amazon very competitive on most books.As Erdnasphile says, it may be a certain thing in that book you are looking for. A good example is "The Best of Slydini", being originally printed as "The Magic of Slydini." Supreme magic had that edition stopped and around 125 copies made it into circulation. So now "The Magic of",sells for well over $200.00 and "The Best of" I have seen go for around $40.00, and they both have the same contents, just a different title.
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve is not !!

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Joe Naud
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Re: The pricing of books?

Postby Joe Naud » June 16th, 2012, 4:02 pm

Try bookfinder.com. They pull together listings from all the book sites.
Peace, Joe


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