Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2017 Issue

On Rare Book Hub: a reconsidered approach to Books for Sale

Over the past 15 years listing books on line has moved beyond the future into something embedded, like wallpaper, in the unfolding everyday reality of old and rare books.  Superlatives were common in 2002 and today have been replaced by workman-like descriptions and best guesses about where the market is for each item.

 

Ten years ago we added Books for Sale as an alternative search for [then] AE and now Rare Book Hub visitors and members.  It was a soft success, really an experiment that turned out to be more difficult and less rewarding than pursuing upcoming auctions and increasingly older auction records.  Today we are three audiences; paid subscribers who use the database of more than seven million records every day; perhaps ten thousand that regularly use the upcoming auction search, and more than twenty-thousand who receive Rare Book Monthly and flood the site during the first five days of each month.  It’s a formula that works both for the serious and the neophyte and has turned AE/RBH into a viable business.

 

But the Books for Sale section has lagged, mainly from inattention.  And that is changing.  We have retained Biblio to handle our Books for Sale section and now pay them to handle member uploads, orders and purges that are the norm for listing sites.

 

What we have not changed are four crucial aspects of this service:

 

Material listed in Books for Sale continues to emphasize buyer-seller direct contact. We do not charge commissions so have no need or purpose to separate buyers from sellers.  We encourage contact. 

 

What we are now able to offer is Biblio’s superb [and reasonable] check-out services.  It’s a nice plus.  In our experience, more than seventy-percent of buyers prefer to pay by credit card.

 

All searches on RBH search all databases simultaneously.  Whether you are searching upcoming auctions, the transaction database, or Books for Sale, we run all searches simultaneously and show the number of results from each of these databases for each completed search.  This makes comparisons easy and tends to bring items in Books for Sale and Upcoming Auctions immediately into the mix with Transaction Database outcomes.  Our assumption is that all the information we have should come up in every search result.

 

What will change are the number of items posted to Books for Sale and in time it’s orientation to becoming a Collector’s Books for Sale.  Biblio is now contributing listings based on algorithms for value and rarity, that will broaden and improve search efficiency.  In time a larger percentage of the listings will be contributed by RBH members, in part because RBH members will have the buyer/seller direct link as well as access to the Biblio check-out while Biblio’s listings will have only the check-out links.  

 

RBH members who are Octavo or Folio members have, in addition to Books for Sale’s simplified access, other services that are widely used; shared RBH Transaction database access as well as the Matchmaker suite of services.

 

And we hope it will do something more, provide a highly efficient, venue for ephemera or ephemeron that is emerging as the material many in the next generation of collectors, will find appealing and significant.  That category is some thousand or more times larger than old and rare books and we would like to provide a home for it.  But as much ephemera is inexpensive, listing costs and credit card processing may either be a significant proportion of the price or simply drive the listed prices higher.  We hope to avoid both possibilities by permitting the direct link that listing sites generally avoid so that conversations can ensue.  In that way relationships can flourish and the “next big thing”, the emergence of an ephemera listing site find an inexpensive and efficient home on RBH.


Posted On: 2017-08-28 19:56
User Name: Fattrad1

Collectors should use great caution when contemplating peer to peer transactions, we have found several bibliographical and condition errors when making acquisitions.


Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Bonhams, July 15-25: THE AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION OF ISRAEL WITKOWER. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: GEORGE WASHINGTON SIGNED DISCHARGE. June 9, 1783. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: "Shhhhh!" A DAVID SHANNON ILLUSTRATION FROM DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE. $2,500 - $3,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: PICASSO, PABLO. Le Carmen des Carmen. Paris, 1964. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: RARE AUTOGRAPH OF AMERICAN NAVAL HERO CAPTAIN JAMES MUGFORD. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: KARA WALKER SILHOUETTES FOR TONI MORRISON'S FIVE POEMS. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FIRST APPEARANCE OF PINOCCHIO IN ENGLISH. COLLODI, CARLO.New York, 1892. $2,000 - $3,000
    Bonhams, July 15-25: BONAPARTE, JOSEPHINE. Autograph Note (unsigned) in French. $1,000 - $1,500
    Bonhams, July 15-25: FROST ON MATTHEW ARNOLD.Autograph Letter Signed to Adams, July 27, 1934. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: ELIAS BOUDINOT'S COPY OF BARLOW'S COLUMBIAN EPIC. $800 - $1,200
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A SIGNED HART CRANE BROOKLYN BRIDGE POSTCARD TO EDWARD DAHLBERG. $600 - $800
    Bonhams, July 15-25: A STOCK CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY THE "QUEEN OF WALL STREET," HETTY GREEN. $700 - $900
  • Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: U.S. / European Shipping Archive 1800-1814. The Widow Bermingham & Sons Collection. €7,000 to €10,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Constitution of Ireland. An important copy of the First Printing of De Valera’s new Constitution, approved in 1938. Signed by the Constitution Cabinet. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: A Rare Complete Run of the Cuala Press Broadsides. €7,000 to €9,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Grose (Francis). The Antiquities of Ireland, 2vols. folio London (for S. Hooper) 1791. Magnificent Hand-Coloured Copy - Only 25 Copies. €3,000 to €5,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Cantillon (Richard). Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General, Traduit de l'Anglois, Sm. 8vo London (Fletcher Gyles) 1756. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Gregory, (Lady Augusta). Spreading the News: The Rising of the Moon: The Poorhouse (with Douglas Hyde). Being Vol. IX of the Abbey Theatre Series. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Lavery (Lady Hazel). A moving series of three A.L.S. and a Telegram to Gen. Eoin O'Duffy, July-August 1927, expressing her grief at the death of Kevin O'Higgins. €3,000 to €4,000.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Dampier (Wm.) Nouveau Voyage Autour du Monde, ou l'on descrit en particulier l'Isthme de l'Amerique…, 2 vols. in one, Amsterdam, 1698. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Howell (James). Instructions for Forreine Travel Shewing by what Cours, and in what Compasse of Time…, London, 1642. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s
    Summer Rare Book
    & Collectors’ Sale
    July 30-31, 2024
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 8vo, L. (Bloomsbury) 1999, First Edn., First Printing of Deluxe Collectors Edn. Signed. €800 to €1,200.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: James (Wm.) A Full and Correct Account of the Military Occurrences of The Late War Between Great Britain and The United States of America. 2 vols. Lond. 1818. €650 to €900.
    Fonsie Mealy’s, July 30-31: The Laws of the United States, Published by Authority, 3 vols. Philadelphia (Richard Folwell) 1796. €600 to €800.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions