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Re: [BKARTS] honesty in the marketplace ... was Re: [BKARTS] Etsy?

-----Original Message-----
From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Dave
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 10:19 AM
For years antique book dealers bought estate books for pennies a pound
and proceeded to resell the best of them for thousands of dollars not
even considering that they were cheating the widows and children of the
original owners(read yokels).

**Wow - must be book dealers in another part of the world than where I'm
from. To be sure, if someone holds a sale and prices books cheaply to get
rid of them, paying the asking price is fair. But I, and most of the
booksellers I know, try to pay a very reasonable and fair amount when called
upon to make an offer, taking into consideration our costs and need for a
margin of profit. The ONLY way I get good books, since I no longer have an
open shop, is by referrals from people who sold to me previously. I have
been known to send an additional check if something in a large purchase
turned out to have more value than I'd estimated. (After 40 years I'm pretty
good at estimating - although these days I'm more likely to overpay, given
the descent of "values" in the marketplace.)

 BUT let those same owners try to sell the
same items for a bit more (but less than the antiquities dealers) on
ebay and suddenly they are not being fair.

**This is taking the argument far from my original statement. (Although I
have to say that people tend to over value their books these days, or they
unrealistically expect a dealer to pay the highest prices that they found
"looking it up on the Internet.")

**I was talking about people who sell books for 25 cents or $1, trying to
make a little money on the postage, selling book club editions as "first
editions," offering books in "very good condition" that are trashed, and all
the other horror stories I hear from customers. And I never said that
competition was unfair - only that it makes life a lot tougher for those of
us who consider ourselves professionals, and who have invested decades into
learning about the trade we are engaged in. "Instant experts" hurt us all
when their expertise is lacking. I was only agreeing that "underpricing"
(which is, after subjective) CAN undermine pricing for everyone else. There
is no way to control that except to rely on people's common sense and desire
for quality.

Cheers, Lee
Proud bookseller

Lee Kirk
Cats are composed of Matter, Anti-Matter, and It Doesn't Matter

The Prints & The Paper
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