Collectible Children's Books on eBay
> We started a thread on the eBay Bookseller's Forum to identify higher value children's books sold on eBay, with $300 being the 'bottom' threshold. The thread can be found here: Valuable Children's Books Sold on eBay. The thread covers a broad range of children's books, from a $12,000 Hardy Boys first edition book to a $400 pop-up book.
Prices realized on eBay auctions tend to be closer to wholesale than retail, so perhaps 30%-50% below a 'book store' price. Often first edition books sell at eBay auctions which do not surface regularly in the regular book market (ABE , Alibris, Amazon, Bookfinder, live auctions, etc...), therefore it's difficult to make an analogy from an 'eBay price' to 'market value'.
Many booksellers and book collectors do not seriously consider eBay a venue for collectible books. On the other hand, many do. We know of several ABAA booksellers who source some of their inventory from eBay auctions, including some of the premier childrens booksellers in the country.
We have been active book buyers on eBay for over a decade, and have purchased 100's of first edition childrens books, often at very good prices relative to the market. In addition, the knowledge we have gained is invaluable through the thousands of collective hours searching and investigating possible first edition books. We do have a fair idea of the frequency with which certain first edition books surface on eBay, providing a barometer for the book's scarcity.
The Booksellers Forum on eBay is one of the better learning centers for experienced and new booksellers, and contains valuable information for book collectors. The non-moderated forum does have its share of political and various ranting threads, but the concentrated book related information is unmatched on the internet. Some helpful threads:
If you do not want to take the time to page through the thread on the eBay Booksellers Forum, you can download a PDF of the thread from our website.
Completed eBay Childrens Book Auctions
The following is a list of some completed eBay auctions for first edition children's picturebooks. From our experience, the eBay auctions tends toward wholesale prices rather than retail prices. Tends toward; every auction is different with a different group of bidders, so this is not a hard and fast rule.
This list is dominated by Dr. Seuss books. Notice the recent activity in Little Golden Books, complete with punch outs.
We will update this list monthly with completed auctions we think you might find of interest.
© Stan Zielinski
© Stan Zielinski. Author of the Children's Picturebook Price Guide
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