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Value of rare book in poor condition - Post Office HB (1 Viewer)

BSP didn't issue any hardcover trade editions of Bukowski's titles until Burning in Water... and I would guess that the market for Bukowski at the time didn't warrant the expense of putting out a lot of hardcovers. When Bukowski did a booksigning in '86, the store ordered most of his available titles in hardcover to sell. BSP sent first printings of many of the titles, some of which had been issued 3-5 years earlier. I guess that hardcovers weren't big sellers for them at the time.

The paperback was $4.00, signed & numbered was $15.00 and the copies with paintings were $25.00.

... and in full disclosure, "Burning in Water" was not really a "Trade" edition, but a "library" edition. These were made and marketed to libraries and not sold to stores. This explains why the library edition is harder to find than the signed edition. It was not until "Factotum" that they published a full on trade HB edition.

Even though it was labeled a "Library Edition," weren't (roughly) half of those library copies (glued) and the rest (sewn) for sale as trade editions? That's what I understood but I may be mixed-up about that.
On the 'library edition' AK says:

221 copies were published 21 June 1974.

Note: 120 copies of this issue were sewn and 101 were glued. The price label on the acetate dust wrapper calls this a "Library Edition." This issue is not noted in the colophon.

Confusingly my own copy is an ex-library signed edition, sewn with the blue cloth.
I guess I gotta fix that info over at cb.com (I need to update the site anyway). I have the colophon stating that there were 300 hc trade copies. I must have mixed up my information somehow.
I actually think that was a pretty decent price for it in that condition. It is signed, and it is a semi-rare edition of that book. A good way to get a copy of a $400+ book for under $100, if you're not picky.
I wrote to the guy trying to sell the beat up signed Post Office asking what he really thought it was worth as I didn't think it was worth much.

This is his reply:

Thank you for your email. I appreciate your interest in the book. However, I do not agree with your assessment on the value of the book. I have over 20 years experience as a bookseller (you can check out my site, www.franklinbooks.com, and this particular edition of Post Office is particularly rare and normally sells in the $1800 plus range. I have already received a few offers in the $1100 range for the book. If I dont get an offer a little more than that, I'm probably going to accept one of those offers. If you want to do more research on this particular edition, please let me know and I'll get you information on past sales, etc

Yeah, it sells in the $1800 range if it is near fine. What a crock - offers for $1100. He would have taken that offer in a heart beat!!
I guess that you did not fall for his story. This sounds like the used car salesman trying to sell a junker by saying that two other people want it, but he "likes" you.

If he can get $1100 for this book then he is one of the greatest salesmen of all time. It is worth maybe $400 in TS condition (Truly Shitty).

I love how he tried to shame you and make you feel like you were uneducated in values of rare books by Bukowski because you thought that it was overpriced. In fact, it is the seller who is ignorant.

I was going to fire off a response but refrained. I don't think the book is worth much over $200. I know it is rare but it really is TS condition. And it doesn't come with an acetetae dj!!!!!!!!
Why would you need a dj for that? What would you be protecting, the books next to it?

I clicked the "make offer" button and put in $295 and was instantly "declined." So he's got a minimum set on the offer. Maybe $1100. ;)

I think we'll be seeing the book around for a long time. I have to call bullshit on the "few offers in the $1100 range" line. He would have sold it for that.
I offered $400 and was also immediately declined.

I agree. Having an acetate DJ on this will do wonders in making sure that the TS condition does not rub off on adjacent books.

Good call...


Forget the acetate DJ.

This is when one of your clamshells is worth its weight in gold - it hides the crappy condition but you still get the respect for having a copy of the book!
Actually, that's one of the traditional uses of a clamshell -- to protect (and dress up) a shabby copy of a rare book. Here it is, a book that in nice condition is worth thousands, and your copy is in crappy shape but it's still rare and so it's worth hundreds, but it looks like hell sitting there next to all the other rare books in their fine bindings, so you have a clamshell made that it sits in like a halloween costume, passing for a book in fine condition when it is really a falling apart wreck of a book. This would be happening in your walnut paneled private library where you sip sherry, surrounded by your big game hunting trophies.
Maybe the sucker, er, I mean "buyer" that is willing to pay $1100 for this will want to buy a clamshell from me? If so, maybe I can ask $500 for it since this "buyer" seems to have lost all touch with reality.

I make an "offer" every day, but each time they are a little less. I'm down to $249 now. They are automatically rejected, but I know he sees them. ;)
This is the fourth time at that price, I believe. He will not take friendly advice. If he finds a buyer at that price then he has found someone with too many dollars and not enough sense.

I continue to make "offers" that decrease steadily every time I see it. I'm sure he's really thrilled with that, but if he doesn't get the point soon, then he's just too far gone.
Maybe he is hoping to find someone that thinks that this is a good deal? It is a strange way to do business; Price a book 5 times more than it is worth in hopes of finding someone who is uneducated enough about values to buy it.

He will never sell it at that price. I would assume that anyone spending the money on that book knows what it is and what it's worth. It's like trying to sell a beat up old car full of dents and rust for $10,000 because, hey, a brand new one is $25,000! Same car! Buy now!

Where's Gerard, he could sell that fucker...
That is not a dent, No. That's where the environment has made a lasting impression on this car. It adds character. It is a more experienced car than the one for $25,000.
What was it P.T. Barnum said? ;)

Okay, I know he didn't really say, "there's a sucker born every minute," but we all think he did, so there.
Someone spent $900 on a $400 book...

Oh well. Maybe they have a way to repair and clean it up. If so, we may see this back on the market in a while/

That is a lot of jack for a jacked copy. Don't think I'd call it Very Good Plus. Very Good at best. Simple Good wouldn't be out of line either.
Yes, it should be categorized as "Good". If it had it been a comic book, that would have been the case, because it's a very flawed copy.
It's funny that book collectors only operates with three categories, when comic book collectors operates with many more categories...
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He must have thought he was very clever paying $900 for that when he planned to sell it for 160% of that. Too bad for him, I suppose.

Or...serves his ass right. I have about as much sympathy for him as I do the house "flippers" in Los Angeles who all went broke in the past year. Fuck 'em.
He must have thought he was very clever paying $900 for that when he planned to sell it for 160% of that. Too bad for him, I suppose.

He bought it a couple weeks ago (for 50% too much) and jacked it up 244%.

By my calculation, that means that the book is being offered for about 500% of the real value.

Is it actually the same person? It's definitely the same book, but the winner of the last auction has 1443 feedbacks listed and this seller has 4154.

a) the same person has two eBay accounts
b) eBay randomly generates those feedback numbers for security purposes
or, my favorite
c) the buyer actually was a genius, sold the book to someone else, made a profit, and now the new person is trying to sell it on eBay.
Nope, this genius bought it for $900 and then immediatly listed it for $2200. What they fail to realize is that they paid twice what it is worth and then marked it another 240% over that. They are looking for a fool with far too much money and too little sense.

They overpaid for it and somehow though that that got a wicked good steal on this.

There's not even a description of the condition. I wonder why. ;)
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They should describe it as:

Graded "Very Good" by ABA Bookseller standards, but it looks like someone wiped their ass with it.... It is worth $500, but can be had NOW for the low, low price of $2200!

Don't pass up this GREAT offer!

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