Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2005 Issue

Searching for Out-of-Prints from the Buyer's and Seller's Perspectives



On Amazon.com, the book was listed as the 14th link on the first page of search results, with a minimum price of $350, with links at the top of the page to John Kerry. Looking further at the book listing, 8 other copies were available, ranging up to $2,475 for a signed copy. Both the lowest and highest priced copies were being sold by new sellers with no feedback ratings. Two books were available by Abebooks sellers through Amazon.com.

A search on Barnesandnoble.com revealed no results for books until I clicked on the very bottom of the page on the obscure out-of-print linkage. The book appeared as the 16th link, with 6 copies available, ranging from $338 to $828.

From a search through the results found for active auctions, Ebay came up with a listing of 3 e-book copies by an enterprising seller starting at $7.95 each, complete with video of Kerry's controversial medal toss over the White House fence. One book was being sold, which started at $14 and was at $33.53 as I write this article. I'll let you know in a follow-up article if I won it... For completed auctions, a signed copy of the book had been bid up to $455 (reserve not met) which appeared to have been signed by Kerry. On the Half web site, there were no matching results for the search.

An Abebooks search displayed a link to the Senate Hearing testimony on the first page of results. It was only after modifying the results to display from the Highest Price that the book was located on the 4th linkage at $2,000. The search results are rather cumbersome, and do not display links to other booksellers selling the same book from within each listing. I had to scroll through 280 other listings which loosely matched the search query. When I narrowed the attributes to First Editions only, I was able to scroll through the resulting pages to find 5 copies available, ranging from $320 to $2,000.

A search on Alibris listed the book as the first result, with 7 copies available ranging from $319 to $1,999.

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