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Dealers, Margins and the Madness of it all (1 Viewer)

If you go to that second link three years from now, the book will still be for sale.

If it's not, all it means is someone offered the seller a grand and they took it. Those are just asking prices. Abe has never been a reliable barometer of real world value.
True. Most of the high prices for rare books on ABE are wishful thinking, and those books sit there for years. I've found that a book will actually sell for about half the high ABE price, sometimes only a third.
The thing I don't understand is how book dealers have enough spare cash to sink $800 into a single book that might sit on their shelves for 3 years. Most of the book dealers I have ever met came into their most unique items through buying entire collections, not through cherry-picking unique books off of eBay.
Some dealers buy up lower cost copies of a rare book to bolster the high prices on copies they already own -- essentially buying out the competition. I wonder if sometimes they don't get burned holding too much expensive stuff, if prices fall.
This stuff sold at auction for $156 with vig on 6/13.


Currently on abe for $350. They didn't even take their own photograph of the lot.


Some items go to abebooks to die, in my opinion. I picked up a lot of 8 lettered greetings at the same auction for $420 with vig. You get some of these dealers who will say "I've got $50,000-$100,000 worth of books..." Uhh, no you don't, unless you have a buyer lined up, or a good insurance policy and an arsonist on the payroll.
I think Abe is a fantasyland. I've purchased things from shops in NYC that list on Abe and usually get at least 30% off with
no hassle. Only one place has refused to deal and I find that funny as hell. They must own the building. Also that last PBA
was a bargain fest.
I'd love to hear how you pull this off. I tried something similar about five years ago and the whole scene culminated with me and a dealer telling each other to f--- off via cyberspace. Ahhh, good times... The stuff I was trying to procure was non-literary and it is still for sale today. I blame myself for the whole ordeal, in retrospect. Probably should have handled it a bit more delicately. But it is what it is.

Some stuff on ABE I think is fairly priced, especially when I look at auction history, and the prices of varying levels of BSP editions (numbered v. lettered). Overall, I think 15% and above off an ABE price is a sweet spot that would result in a lot more movement of goods and exchange of $$$.
Some items go to abebooks to die, in my opinion.

It's a pretty common practice among booksellers buy cheap and then double or triple the price. I always hated it when booksellers won one of my auctions since I knew the fate that awaited them (the books).

Every now and then you can actually find a bargain on abe (at least you could when I was buying). I picked up a very good copy of Poems and Drawings from a dealer in New Orleans for $200. Of course, that's a while back, but it was a good deal then too. You just need to scan abe often to find deals, since the really good ones have a way of going really fast.

Oh, and I also picked up a nice copy of The Naked Ear #8 for fifty bucks.

Both of those ended up in Nick Lawrence's collection.
For many businesses, at least in my area, discounting is standard on a retail level when their is a proprieter or the shop is a stand-alone. In my business which sells relatively expensive items in a ridiculously high-rent part of town, bargaining is constant. On a keystone item there is very little margin to move but on some merch. you can get 25% instantlly just asking. On line buying is to me another world. Cash in hand and a readiness to spend it can still yield substantial results. Not always but often.
On line buying is to me another world. Cash in hand and a readiness to spend it can still yield substantial results. Not always but often.

I think you nailed it right there.

I've seen the term "dealer discount" thrown around along with the numbers 30-40% off sticker. I wonder what I've have to do (bare minimum) to qualify?

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