Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Used Paperback Prices

As older books get converted to eBooks, I occasionally replace one of my paperbacks with a Kindle version. I have limited shelf space in my office and too many things in my house, so I look at it as decluttering.

Sunday morning, an ad for Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone by Ian McDonald appeared in Bookbub. I clicked on the Amazon link to download a sample. Several formats appeared on the product page, and I was astonished by the price of the paperback (see screen capture from Sunday below):

 Here's the screen capture of the actual listing (notice there's no picture of the book):


 I admit my first thought was to put my own copy up for sale and use the proceeds to fund my publishing/marketing efforts. Here's what my copy (from 1994) looks like:



My name is written on the first page (I used to do that to all my paperbacks), and the book is a bit yellowed, but otherwise I'd say it's in Good condition. The spine is unbent, though you can't see it in this picture.

Before putting my book up for sale, though, I thought I should see what price it commands on other markets, like eBay. Unfortunately, there was a slight price discrepancy, as you can see in the screen capture below:






















So if a signed copy is listed at $7, I don't know how the Amazon 3rd party seller came up with a price of $520. I'm tempted to contact the seller and ask, but that might stir up more trouble than I want to get into.

Normally when I want to get rid of old books, I bring them to Half Price Books. I think I used to get a dollar a paperback in the 1990s, but they offer much less now. I'd probably make more money selling them on eBay, though I wouldn't be able to ship them promptly due to other demands on my time.

Do you buy or sell old books? What's the most you've spent for an old book? Is there a certain book you've been unable to find? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

5 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's someone hoping for a sucker.
We've donated a ton of books just to clear out space. Any book that might be of value we've hung onto, not to sell, just because.

Sandra Almazan said...

Well, the last I checked, that high-priced paperback is still available, so I guess no one's taken them up on their offer. I wonder how the seller gets such high ratings with prices like that. Maybe those are fake too.

Pat Dilloway said...

I've seen some of mine with prices close to $1000 and wonder if they dipped the book in gold or something. I doubt anyone has ever bought one of those.

Maria Zannini said...

I've always thought they were mistakes by the sellers. There's no way anyone can expect a sale.

I seem to remember a blogger complaining that one of her books were priced in the thousands. Someone made a mistake (either her publisher or Amazon) but no one was claiming responsibility.

Sandra Almazan said...

Pat, if they would only give the $1000 directly to the authors, right?

Maria, if it was a mistake, you'd think they'd fix it. There must be something else going on with such inflated prices.

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