Amazon Prices

Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 13:12

I have been looking on Amazon for the cheapest current prices of the later books:

Looks Back £135
Blue Moon £5
Scores A Bull £225
Terai £2.70
Gunrunners £4.89
Sorts It Out £5
Dark Intruder £3.98
Penitent Thief £12.41
Deep Blue Sea £350
Underworld £17.50
Little Green God £7.29
Noble Lord £9.99
Sees Too Much £8.99

This is a very wide variety much more than I was expecting.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby kylie_koyote » 19 Jun 2014, 13:24

Are the cheap ones paperbacks?

I ordered some graphic novels from 2 different amazon vendors who both replied (after like a month's wait) that it was out of stock. I was annoyed. Why list it for sale when you don't have it?
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 19 Jun 2014, 13:25

Those cheaper ones would have to be paperbacks I am thinking? [i.e. Terai, Sorts it Out, Green God, Sees to Much etc]

Edit: Oops! Just saw your post KK after mine, lol.

P.S. Yes, one of my pet 'hates' is when a book is listed but not available. :twisted: [Especially if they have already taken my credit card payment!]
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 13:27

Yes most of the cheap ones are paperbacks. I really cannot understand these price differences. In normal book sales hardbacks are dearer than paperbacks by a few pounds not hundreds. I know some were only printed once but there cannot be thousands of Biggles books collectors out there and a print run would have to be comparatively big to make it worthwhile selling the books at all. I have ignored the Norman Wright editions of course because they were printed to be collectors items.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby J9982 » 19 Jun 2014, 13:43

Childrens/Young Adults books from the sixties and earlier always carry a premium as they are greatly sought-after by those looking to recapture some of the enjoyment of the written matter they had in their youth.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 13:45

That is a very good point but it does not explain the great variation. It would be more understandable if all the later books were very expensive. I suppose other authors from that era might have the same discrepancy. You sometimes see a batch of Enid Blyton books or Billy Bunter but I do not know how much they go for.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Fairblue » 19 Jun 2014, 14:03

kylie_koyote wrote:Are the cheap ones paperbacks?

I ordered some graphic novels from 2 different amazon vendors who both replied (after like a months wait) that it was out of stock. I was annoyed. Why list it for sale when you don't have it?

Some Amazon vendors are one-man bands who don't run a computerized stock control system. I have a friend who sells
her books through Amazon. She only checks her stock once a month and has several times had to refund customers because she can't be bothered to update her records when she's had a sale. It's not until she can't physically find a certain book that she realises she doesn't have one in stock by which time several people could have ordered something.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 14:05

Yes the sellers do seem to vary a lot on Amazon. We have mentioned before about the ratings 98%, 100% and so on which are quite a good guide.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Marcel » 19 Jun 2014, 14:20

I believe the later books had much smaller print runs too.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby SaintedAunt » 19 Jun 2014, 15:37

Jenny wrote:... I really cannot understand these price differences. In normal book sales hardbacks are dearer than paperbacks by a few pounds not hundreds. I know some were only printed once but there cannot be thousands of Biggles books collectors out there and a print run would have to be comparatively big to make it worthwhile selling the books at all.

Amazon is a funny sort of marketplace really. Not to be relied upon for values. Some people charge silly prices - either way, up or down! So just because you see something at a certain price on Amazon, it doesn't follow that it reflects the value or is a sensible price. Scores a Bull is usually expensive because it doesn't come up so often.

Probably ebay is a much better guide to prices, at least in the UK. Where there are rare editions, the hardbacks often are much much more expensive than the paperbacks. Look at the masses of cheap paperback editions of the early Hamilton and Oxford books. First (hardback) editions of those go way more expensively than the paperbacks. Then there are the hardback reprints of the Oxford books, dozens of those, including the Pyramid editions and they go cheaply enough. It just depends on what you are comparing.

And of course condition. It is easy to find a hardback edition of In Australia, sometimes with a tatty jacket, cheaply enough. But I am still looking for a first edition with a good jacket! it was noticeable on ebay recently that some relatively scarce later books, in good condition, were on ebay at a low starting price, but they quickly escalated to a three-figure sum - because they don't come up very often and when they do several people go for them.

Marcel wrote:I believe the later books had much smaller print runs too.

Yes M - we posted this information only yesterday but it was on one of those gone-off-topic threads so probably you didn't see it.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby von Zoyton » 19 Jun 2014, 15:42

I have seen cheap stuff on Amazon. £8 for Takes Charge for instance.
Though I usually buy the 1p paperbacks.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 15:42

It really is a minefield with regard to pricing. It would be very easy to pay over the odds. I was very lucky with my collection. I only paid over £20 for one book and I have a mixture of Red Fox new editions, which are excellent, and second hand books in a variety of editions and some hardback and some paperback but all readable.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 15:43

I was only comparing the books from Looks Back onwards today as they vary so much. It is possible to pay more for postage than you pay for the book.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby kylie_koyote » 19 Jun 2014, 16:04

Jenny wrote: It is possible to pay more for postage than you pay for the book.


Especially for those of us not in the UK. I bought some secondhand Red Fox paperbacks to give to my friend, and the cost of the books themselves, total was under $1. But the cost of shipping them all to America was $14. :sigh2: Still, I thought $15 for three paperbacks was reasonable.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 16:13

Yes a good bargain.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby SopwithCamel » 19 Jun 2014, 16:25

What I find hard to understand with the later books was why the print runs were so small? I presume that Biggles was fairly popular at that time or wej wouldn't have been writing them at all, and if they were popular it follows that the print runs would have been larger in order to accomodate the rise in demand.

It just seems strange to me that earlier books (Flies East or Swastika) can be bought so cheaply and in so many different editions while some of the later books only had one print run and thus their current prices are through the roof.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Marcel » 19 Jun 2014, 16:59

I read that it was because Biggles wasn't as popular in the 60's as he was earlier.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 17:04

Yes they fell out of favour in the 1960s but it is so strange that some of the books are rare and some are not when they were published within a couple of years of each other and as you say the much earlier ones are readily available.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Marcel » 19 Jun 2014, 17:21

I think the publishers just pulled each name out of a hat to decide which one's got reprints in both hardback and paperback.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Fairblue » 19 Jun 2014, 17:27

Marcel wrote:I think the publishers just pulled each name out of a hat to decide which one's got reprints in both hardback and paperback.

It certainly seems that way, Marcel. But you might be on to something when you said Biggles wasn't as popular in the 60's. It was a revolutionary time in it's way with the advent of the Beatles et al, with no room for fuddy-duddy values.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby J9982 » 19 Jun 2014, 17:42

Jenny wrote:That is a very good point but it does not explain the great variation. It would be more understandable if all the later books were very expensive. I suppose other authors from that era might have the same discrepancy. You sometimes see a batch of Enid Blyton books or Billy Bunter but I do not know how much they go for.


I just bought 7 "Boys Own Paper" magazines from 1898-1899, in sequence, for £2.49 including delivery, Eagle Annual No.4 containing a Biggles short story "Biggles and the Adventure of the luminous clay" for £12.50 including delivery, and "Biggles and the rescue flight" Red Fox 2004 for £1.99 including delivery. Those were all on ebay. I've had similar purchases in the past, again on ebay, for Blyton, Jennings, Biggles and various other books from my childhood, some paperbacks but most hardback, and they all were priced betwwn 99p and £15. The most expensive books I have bought recently were a complete set of the Edgar Wallace "Sanders of the river" books (12 books in all), all in hardback and dated around the mid-twenties and they cost me £78 including delivery, which is pretty reasonable for such pieces of literary history.

All from Ebay, I find Amazon prices to be a bit steep as they obviously take their cut from the likes of Abe books etc.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Kismet » 19 Jun 2014, 17:55

J9982 wrote:
Jenny wrote:That is a very good point but it does not explain the great variation. It would be more understandable if all the later books were very expensive. I suppose other authors from that era might have the same discrepancy. You sometimes see a batch of Enid Blyton books or Billy Bunter but I do not know how much they go for.


I just bought 7 "Boys Own Paper" magazines from 1898-1899, in sequence, for £2.49 including delivery, Eagle Annual No.4 containing a Biggles short story "Biggles and the Adventure of the luminous clay" for £12.50 including delivery, and "Biggles and the rescue flight" Red Fox 2004 for £1.99 including delivery. Those were all on ebay. I've had similar purchases in the past, again on ebay, for Blyton, Jennings, Biggles and various other books from my childhood, some paperbacks but most hardback, and they all were priced betwwn 99p and £15. The most expensive books I have bought recently were a complete set of the Edgar Wallace "Sanders of the river" books (12 books in all), all in hardback and dated around the mid-twenties and they cost me £78 including delivery, which is pretty reasonable for such pieces of literary history.

All from Ebay, I find Amazon prices to be a bit steep as they obviously take their cut from the likes of Abe books etc.



Well done on the Sanders of the River collection. I've been downloading them from Open Library and Project Gutenberg for free but they're not all on!
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 19 Jun 2014, 18:17

Oh yes very well done. I am always a bit wary of ebay as I feel Amazon is more regulated but of course they do take their cut which makes the books dearer. I find I cannot trust my local second hand bookshop because he thinks every Biggles book is worth a fortune.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby J9982 » 19 Jun 2014, 18:48

How pleasant not to get flak from people when I mention "Samders" books... I think that books should be enjoyed as a part of the era they were written in, and we should not try to impose our own mores on what was judged acceptable in the past... we can, and should, be critical of those stereotypes at the same time as understanding why writers used them. And I know this is something which WEJ has been criticised for in the past, and unjustifiably so... he was no warmonger, he hated war, as anyone who is at all knowledgeable about him and his writing will understand.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby SaintedAunt » 19 Jun 2014, 21:58

Fairblue wrote:
Marcel wrote:I think the publishers just pulled each name out of a hat to decide which one's got reprints in both hardback and paperback.

It certainly seems that way, Marcel. But you might be on to something when you said Biggles wasn't as popular in the 60's. It was a revolutionary time in it's way with the advent of the Beatles et al, with no room for fuddy-duddy values.

As I said earlier (or maybe yesterday), Biggles became less popular during the 1960s (and 1970s) and there was some controversy about his books - WEJ was accused of racism, for example. Some libraries took WEJ's books off the shelves. All in all, you can see why fewer were published.

Remember also that In the Underworld, Little Green God, Noble Lord and Sees too Much were all published after WEJ's death. Publishers will only do a paperback version if they think it will sell. The books published after WEJ's death all had paperback editions and more than one reprint at that - it may be that his death had something to do with this - some sort of small revival as they would be known to be the last books.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Sizzling Sausages » 19 Jun 2014, 23:02

This thread needs to be combined with 'The Later Books' one as we're discussing the same thing in two different places. Between the two threads most points are covered. The key thing to note regarding your list, Jenny, is that the three expensive ones all never had a paperback reprint. So combine the smaller original hardback print run because Biggles was out of favour with the lack of paperback and you have high prices. All of the others on your list had paperbacks.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby tiffinata » 20 Jun 2014, 01:47

And things do go up in value after you're dead.
After Peter Brock the Australian racing car driver was killed signed memorabilia on places like ebay doubled or tripled.
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 20 Jun 2014, 07:56

Sorry my fault for splitting this up - I am starting too many threads now - you cannot win :?
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby von Zoyton » 20 Jun 2014, 08:17

Well this one was 'amazon prices' which is why I came back to look, but seems to be 'prices' now
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Re: Amazon Prices

Postby Inactive User 171 » 20 Jun 2014, 08:19

I do find these prices very strange whether at Amazon or elsewhere. I think the Amazon prices are a good guide.
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