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seaforths

That beats my postage only being twice the price of the book and no doubt, should you enquire, they would probably tell you the same as they told me - books are heavy objects. However in my case, £70 heavy? Nah, don't think so. I have even pulled out and cancelled on the grounds that a seller tried to shove another £10 onto the price of postage. They contacted me and said the book is heavier than they thought and would need to charge more for the postage. Hullo? You must have known and calculated the postage before putting it up for sale and advertising the book price and postage price. Is that another catch? Makes you wonder.

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David Filsell

Keith,

Thanks for your response. Appreciated.

David

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Moonraker

When I visited the "Soldiers at Stonehenge" exhibition today I noticed on display a copy of Henry Williamson's The Patriot's Progress open at pages describing conditions on Salisbury Plain. I hadn't been aware of this content before, though years ago I read all of the books in Williamson's A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight. After I'd got home, I checked to see if there was a digitised copy available on the Web, but no luck, and my local council's libraries didn't have the title either (though they still had the Chronicle books).

Then I spotted that a hard copy was available from a Web bookseller for 16p plus 2.80 p & p. Seems a real bargain, especially compared with the hassle of sourcing a copy and ordering photocopies of the relevant pages.

Moonraker

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Ken S.

Posts #4 and #10 are correct.

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Ken S.

Just came across this one - highest I've ever seen.

post-5255-0-80998800-1416125573_thumb.jp

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Dust Jacket Collector

Just came across this one - highest I've ever seen.

I'm glad it only has 'minimal wear' otherwise it would be a tad too dear. Which book was it by the way? I may have a copy which I could let you have for only $20,000!

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paulgranger

And they still want to charge for shipping!

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Moonraker

Ah, but BetterWorld Books "collects books and sells them online to raise money for libraries and leading literacy charities". It was this company that supplied me with the 16p copy of The Patriot's Progress, mentioned above.

Moonraker

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Ken S.

It's for "Great War Commands" which, I've since learned, is for some reason, available as a free pdf download...

http://regimentalrogue.com/library/great_war_commands_godefroy.htm

I'm glad it only has 'minimal wear' otherwise it would be a tad too dear. Which book was it by the way? I may have a copy which I could let you have for only $20,000!

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seaforths

Just came across this one - highest I've ever seen.

That would be tough to beat. I think someone must have surely been using their elbows to type in the figures for that one! But hey! It says they have over a million happy customers. I'm sure there is a saying something along the lines of; a fool and their money are often parted.

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hazelclark

Book pricing is very weird. Some time ago, I tried to buy Messenger's book, "Call to Arms" but it was $117.00, so decided to wait. A couple of days ago I was looking in the "Long Long Trail" and saw it for some ridiculous price like 8 pounds or something. At the same time, I noticed a Lynn Macdonald book for about 99 pence. However, when I tried to purchase the book it reverted to the "normal" price. I checked the Macdonald book and the same was true. Weird.

Hazel C

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seaforths

Madness or, robbery without violence (as my father used to say). In 2011, after helpful tip-offs from the forum, I managed to get a copy of 'Campaign Reminiscences'. It was listed for £85 on Abe. I went through the transaction and the seller contacted me because someone else was also trying to buy it from outside the UK. The book seller who does have a large shop, was keen for it to remain in the UK and in the hands of someone connected with the 6th Seaforth. I got the book and as it was purchased in a private agreement (ie outside of Abe), there was a drop in price which made it around £60 - £65 plus postage. I thought it was a lot to pay for a book at the time even though (as I was told at the time) it was a rare book. I was and still am delighted to have it. I am indebted to forum members for alerting me to it being up for sale and don't regret buying it but I do think some elements of the booksale world have gone completely bonkers.

I've now seen a copy for sale (Turner Donovan books) for £265. Is the centenary affecting book prices - judging by that increase - absolutely. These books, scarce as they are, are being pushed beyond the boundaries of what many people can afford and into the hands of rare book collectors. What a shame.

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John(txic)

I was discussing this very topic with a dealer at a local book fair last week: he advised that the computer price-matching software used was quite swift to react to competitive pricing. He said if he listed a book on ABE at £40 when all other titles were available were £100+, within the hour several of them would reduce to £39.95!

He suggests that you write to the dealer and make an offer if you think it's listed at a silly price.

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Black Maria

It's really just a case of supply and demand, if it's a very rare book you just either have to bite the bullet and buy it or wait and either hope you stumble across another cheap

copy or it's eventually reprinted. I have been watching ( on e-bay) a copy of a rare military booklet which was given away free in a magazine in the seventies and it's reached

£142 with another two days left, because it's rare and people are prepared to fork out the money .But if it were reprinted you would be hard pushed to get £20 for it, I would guess.

As a rare book collector I just have to accept that sometimes I'm paying more for a book from a dealer than I sometimes would from other sources, like e-bay, but I'm also grateful

to them for the chance of buying the book in the first place, because I may never see another copy for sale otherwise.

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Dust Jacket Collector

I've now seen a copy for sale (Turner Donovan books) for £265. Is the centenary affecting book prices - judging by that increase - absolutely. These books, scarce as they are, are being pushed beyond the boundaries of what many people can afford and into the hands of rare book collectors. What a shame.

As another 'Rare Book Collector' I rather resent the implication that we are in some way a breed apart. The Seaforth Highlanders volume is very scarce & if the market will bear it then that's the right price. If Tom had put it on at £20 it wouldn't have been available for long enough for you to have seen it in the first place.

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seaforths

Black Maria, I agree with many of your points. I'm not sure that reprints necessarily devalue the originals. Perhaps to some extent, the reprints stabilise the book price of the originals as some demand is satisfied by the purchase of reprints. I did learn an early lesson regarding reprints. They are over priced and massively inferior. That isn't intended as a snobbish remark but on the reprints, they cut corners. Large maps from the originals are massively reduced from their orignal size and reproduced on small pages and of such a poor quality, they are useless. Sometimes, produced across two pages with part of the map lying in the creases between the pages (again, useless). Other images too are of a similar poor quality. Some of these reprints with a lot of imagery cost around £35 and you would thing for that price, they would reproduce them properly - which is why I consider they are over priced too.

Two reprints I have - one does the job for me because I can use it in my research, it has few maps and they are small and clear. The other will be getting recycled shortly. I had thought the photographs in it were of poor quality because perhaps the originals were of poor quality. I've since seen and bought an original because it wasn't the case. The orginal images are good and clear (you could barely make anything out in the reprint).

Unlike yourself, I wouldn't consider myself a collector of rare books. I do like to get original books because: I might find them specifically interesting in terms of their previous owner (which might be worthy of a research project in itself), it might be of high sentimental value in terms of its subject matter and origins or, because they will help me with my research (somtimes both. If I consider it to be over-priced and deliberately inflated, I will walk away.

I think that your information and knowledge, as a collector or rare books, is vastly superior to mine and as you suggest, I have struck it lucky on a few occasions with originals or early reprints, at least, judging by the prices some of these books are now attracting even though some of them are reproduced on sites like archives.org. As I don't consider myself a collector, I probably don't make the same decisions as someone like yourself. For example, I have bought original books or, I should say, the content is original and all there but it has been rebound by a previous owner and so the price has been much lower than the originally bound books. I also look for later revised editions of books that might have been printed a few years later than the first edition but I am more interested in the content that might have been revised and in some cases, whole extra chapters added.

I know there are folks who have connections with regard to their relatives to the 6th Seaforth, who were not as fortunate as myself and have been looking and waiting a long time for a copy of this particular book. Putting a price tag like that on it, it may well end up in the hands of someone who doesn't give a tinker's cuss about the men of that Bn., only the fact that it is a 'rare' book to go with their other rare books - sorry - I'm having a little rant. Supply, demand, rarity, scruples and motives probably don't all enter into the mix of a lot of sellers vocabulary when they are running a business and it's pound signs that matter.

The price inflation may also be down to the difference between a bookseller with a shop that also sells some of their stock online and a specialist seller who only deals in books regarding history and military. Although one would think that the former might be informed by the latter. I have also spoken to two booksellers in their shops and made enquries on particular books and was told; we wouldn't put books like that on our shelves, we only sell those sort of books on-line, so you will have to search for it on-line. One of these establishments does have computers for public use and you can check their stock but it seems a strange stance to take when selliing books - unless of course, they don't physically have the book in the first place.

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seaforths

As another 'Rare Book Collector' I rather resent the implication that we are in some way a breed apart. The Seaforth Highlanders volume is very scarce & if the market will bear it then that's the right price. If Tom had put it on at £20 it wouldn't have been available for long enough for you to have seen it in the first place.

You can resent all you like, my opinion is different to yours - so what? I don't have a particular beef with book collectors but you seem to think I have. The point regarding book collectors is that they will have the means to pay the inflated price that some of these books cost because they are affluent enough to do so or will re-adjust their collection to make it so, if the book is more desirable to others they may have. In paying those high prices, it keeps the prices higher.

The thread is about book prices, collectors have the right to buy the same as we all do. I think Black Maria has covered it pretty well and I still believe it is over-inflated. They would know they would never have any trouble shifting that book so now it comes down to hiking up the price as high as possible - because they hope someone will pay it - they are a business and that's what it boils down to. I sincerely hope they do reprint the book and then the demand might be satisfied for those who don't have pockets deep enough. And if they do reprint it, I hope they make a decent job of it. If a reprint does the job - that's great - happy days. Many of those I feel, are over priced for what they have produced. As far as my own beliefs are concerned, it has nothing to do with collectors/non-collectors, the prices in general, I feel, have taken an artificial hike recently. As I said in my previous post, I'm not sure re-prints do devalue the book because collectors will do what they like to do - collect rare, expensive, original books.

Instead of taking a pop at me, tell me your side, I would be interested to hear it, as I was blackmaria's thoughts. I think most collectors of anything are a 'breed apart', there's nothing wrong in that, you make it sound like a negative and that I might view it as such, I don't, but I do think as a 'breed apart', you are being manipulated by current circumstances regarding book prices and people that have other motives for ownership are set in competition - that's something I find very sad. Or, perhaps I have misread the situation, it's all about the market and whether it can bear it, that justifies the price tag which of course is much more calculated and overrides sentimentalists like myself that have a different opinion.

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MartH

I must remember to use this argument for cheaper books/discounts because I have antecedents in the 27th Jaeger Battalion and the Royal Military Foot Police, I wonder what Tom, or Haglunds. would say.

With proper second hand military booksellers they spend a lot of time and effort finding the stock, and they are in the business of selling them, try for example buying some of the expensive stuff 3 days after the catalogue as come out. I agree that the online sellers are impacting the market. But I don't believe that specialist dealers are pushing the price up, its purely increased interest driving demand.

I recently completed my GW set of British OH's due to a tip off from a forum member and paid a considerable sum for the last volume from a top military dealer, and I'd searched for it for 32 years. 3 months later I then got it again for £14.50 online, less than the reprint price. So did I pay too much first time, how do I feel? Well it was the first copy he had ever handled, and had several other buyers, it was still a great buy and worth every penny. Furthermore, me getting the copy has revealed some new information about the writing of the OH's. So still glad I got it at the price paid. I was very lucky to get the other copy so cheap. Or As my dear old dad a collector of travel guides used to say not luck, you work at it, you study it, you put money and a considerable amount of time looking into it so you do get bargains once in a while.

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MartH

but I do think as a 'breed apart', you are being manipulated by current circumstances regarding book prices and people that have other motives for ownership are set in competition - that's something I find very sad. Or, perhaps I have misread the situation, it's all about the market and whether it can bear it, that justifies the price tag which of course is much more calculated and overrides sentimentalists like myself that have a different opinion.

Sorry this is nonsense, Alan and I buy the books because we are interested in them and often see stuff in them others don't. Look at Alan's excellent website on Dust Wrappers, before him who put in any work in acknowledging that they are worth study and appreciation in their own right. I don't compete with anybody in the area I collect, I am really interested in it and research it, so please don't presume to tell me my motives. As for being manipulated by current circumstances, I have been buying since 1979 so have some appreciation of the prices and have never regretted any purchase I have ever made. Furthermore we often help others with getting books they want, or references, just look at the number of tip offs Alan gives online.

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seaforths

I was discussing this very topic with a dealer at a local book fair last week: he advised that the computer price-matching software used was quite swift to react to competitive pricing. He said if he listed a book on ABE at £40 when all other titles were available were £100+, within the hour several of them would reduce to £39.95!

He suggests that you write to the dealer and make an offer if you think it's listed at a silly price.

I think you have probably hit the nail on the head on why some books are priced very highly. I did once, a while ago, do something along the lines as you suggest. There had been a few copies of the book I was interested in that had been sold and I had missed the boat, except for one copy which was more than double the price of most of the others plus postage. On digging about, I found that a copy of the book had recently been sold at this high price, but it had been in the original dust jacket and the lower priced copies that had been sold were minus the jacket. I asked the seller why his book was priced so highly and gave links to the lower priced books that had recently been sold. I thought he would do one of two things, drop his price or point out that it was now the only copy available and the price would stand (in which case I wouldn't buy it). He sincerely apologised, and said he has based his price on the copy he had seen with the dust jacket. He dropped his price in line with the others and gave me free postage.

I had no idea about price matching software. I live and learn and thank you for that. I imagine that smaller private sellers just look around and guess at a price. Another thing that I once did, was to ask a seller to split a collection of volumes. It wasn't an outrageous request, two volumes were pre-war and I think published in around 1903 and two volumes covered the Great War. He thought it was a sensible idea and sold me the two volumes I wanted and halved the price. I think the worst that can happen is that someone will say no - it's not the end of the world. I was never going to buy the four of them because of the cost and because I didn't particularly want the earlier volumes. The deal put the ones I wanted at a more realistic price for my wants and needs (not that his price for four was unrealistic, it wasn't at all but it was well outside my budget). Again, there was/is some sentimental value for me in content of these two books or one of them in particular, so I was quite keen to get them...but at a sensible price. I had already seen them occasionally for sale but at £30 - £40 higher and had left them.

I don't think book sellers are the Sons of Satan :D and I don't think that book collectors are the Grandsons of Satan either :D (prickly little things aren't they - like poking a nest with stick) even if I might be giving that impression in my posts but I think some sellers are pushing the boundaries of what they can get away with in terms of prices, perhaps before the bubble bursts.

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Glen

I was discussing this very topic with a dealer at a local book fair last week: he advised that the computer price-matching software used was quite swift to react to competitive pricing. He said if he listed a book on ABE at £40 when all other titles were available were £100+, within the hour several of them would reduce to £39.95!

He suggests that you write to the dealer and make an offer if you think it's listed at a silly price.

That's interesting,

If I register as a book seller, then I could list books that I want at ridiculously low prices and that would drop the price of others on the market that I could then snap up at a bargain!

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seaforths

Sorry this is nonsense, Alan and I buy the books because we are interested in them and often see stuff in them others don't. Look at Alan's excellent website on Dust Wrappers, before him who put in any work in acknowledging that they are worth study and appreciation in their own right. I don't compete with anybody in the area I collect, I am really interested in it and research it, so please don't presume to tell me my motives. As for being manipulated by current circumstances, I have been buying since 1979 so have some appreciation of the prices and have never regretted any purchase I have ever made. Furthermore we often help others with getting books they want, or references, just look at the number of tip offs Alan gives online.

My, my, I'm not telling or presuming to anyone to do anything. I have an opinion, as do you. I'm not a collector, I'm just making observations on what I see and what I believe. You are entitled to do the same and I respect that. Books are to be enjoyed and if they bring you joy then happy days for you. I suspect most people collect things because it brings them joy. I am happy to learn about how book sellers operate, it might even change my opinions and views. I buy books because I'm interested in them too (or didn't you read any of my other post(s). I think you'd be hard pushed to find a person who bought a book because they weren't interested in it in some way. Yes, you do see things others don't in a book - that's what makes them so personal. I am actually learning from your posts (when I remove the prickly bits) and look at what you are saying. It's good of you to point out the difference between military booksellers and others. I'm glad people are getting books from tip offs. I have actually passed on the information about the book I was originally talking about, it's down to the individual, whether they want/are able to pay or negotiate the price tag. You make your own judgement calls regarding purchases of any kind (not just books). The retail market is manipulative no room for sentimentalists (like myself). Many have voiced their pleasure/displeasure and opinions regarding the sale and increased prices of items relating to WW1 in general (post cards, medals, photographs) I don't think books have escaped that either.

Good grief, some of you are behaving as though no-one dare speak about the subject. If some of you really don't like to be seen or labelled as a 'breed apart' (as I said earlier, I don't see how that is negative), then stop behaving like one and rounding on someone who is an outsider (that, by the way is my perception and observation). You will do more to develop my understanding and views (and possibly that of others) by reasoned responses.

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John(txic)

Good grief, Glen - hadn't thought of that! Let me know how you get on...

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seaforths

That's interesting,

If I register as a book seller, then I could list books that I want at ridiculously low prices and that would drop the price of others on the market that I could then snap up at a bargain!

I have heard of price matching software for other areas of retail and you see notices in shops etc. 'We Price Match' - it didn't occur to me that there would be something simliar working with second hand books - Lord alone knows why I would think like that in today's day and age when we are often told 'There's an App for that'. You could team up with some other rascals and have a field day! I'm surprised there isn't something in the software that would see you as a rogue seller (not in terms of being a real rogue but a kind of one off, wild card). I thought I'd better explain in case you or anyone else takes that bit personally.

Of course there is the possiblility that before onset of the centenary, the amount of people buying military books regarding WW1 was fairly small and the heightened awareness has now created a much larger body of people who are curious, want to learn more about their ancestors or the war in general, demand has spiked, or is spiking on limited resources. Demand has increased, prices have increased because a bigger pool of people can potentially pay. Not just affecting books of course but other ephemera too. After all, there has been much said already about those wishing to publish to meet the perceived rush of folks buying WW1 books.

That there is a greater interest in the subject is brilliant but the downside, if there is one, is that it creates a scarcity where perhaps there wasn't before. I like that archives.org are putting up so many books and, if reprints fit the bill, great (although I still believe a lot of them are too expensive - unless they find their way into sales). Sadly, I also noticed Am Baile seem to have taken down 'Sword of the North' from their site which is a great shame.

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keithmroberts

There are some tensions breaking out here. Please all relax .

Keith Roberts

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