Prices or A Fool and His (Her) Money
It is hard to know what a book is worth. A seller says the book for
sale is the only one like it on the internet and therefore it should
bring a premium price. Another seller says that it is listed elsewhere
on the internet for $200 and thus a price of $100 is a steal.
The average buyer can have trouble sorting out the wheat from the
chaff. What is the reality? What really is rare? And of course, when is
a rare book a valuable book? My daughter's scribbled in and autographed
calculus book is the only one like it in the universe, but it has a
value approaching zero.
I am not the final word on the value of Altemus books but I certainly
have more of them than anyone else and I keep track of their pricing
more than most. What I hope to do in this section is to review certain
series/books and discuss their scarcity and value. Examples from real
sales and real ads will be given as examples.
The prices are determined by a number of parameters. Collectors of
certain authors can be trying to complete collections and may be
willing to pay a premium. Some Kipling , Poe and Lewis Carroll as well
as other authored books can fit this description. The same may be true
with some artists. Altemus books include the work of Dore, Wain, Mucha,
Beardsley and John R. Neill to name a few.
Certain titles or characters are sometimes in demand. Peter Rabbit,
Little Black Sambo and Robinson Crusoe books are some of the
possibilities. The first American pirated edition The Tale of Peter
Rabbit is always an important book.
Juvenile Series book collectors are frequently trying to finish out a
series of book with jackets. These books therefore will occasionally be
sold at high prices. This is especially true with some of the
Stratemeyer Series books and the Conquest of the U.S. Series.
What is most annoying to me personally is to find an advertisement
incorrectly describing an Altemus book as something it is not and then
to have a novice collector spend way more than the book is worth.
Perhaps I can save a few well intentioned collectors a few dollars.
Your comments are always appreciated.