Valuing Reprints

Keeping down the cost of reprints and books in lesser condition?

It doesn't matter if you collect books, toys, cars, dolls or  anything else the first of any item is always going to be the most  valuable.

Most of you have seen people trying to sell a five-digit Disney  title like Dumbo for $10.00. As collectors, you know how to tell the  different editions. I would very much doubt that any of you would buy  it. Why? Because for one thing you can figure on finding a 42 page  reprint for $10 - $15.  So why buy a 24 page one for $10.00.. Now you  knew that, but someone who remembers that story of Dumbo would probably not. All they know is "I have to have that book", so they pay the  price. Now the sellers thinks" If someone is going to pay me $10.00 for that Little Golden Book what can I get for these others that are only a little worn." *Sellers definition of Little Worn: a book that has been teethed on two comers, back cover held on by 1" of paper, Little  Johnny colored the faces but it is done neatly) and are you sure this  page wasn't supposed be tom in half. I've exaggerated but I'm sure you  get the picture.

Now  you see this 1st edition of the little worn book and it has a  price of $8.00, can you imagine what they would ask for the book in  mint condition. $40.00? Do you buy it at this price? If you said yes I  either hope the  book is very rare and/or it's the only book you need  to finish your collection because you just made it harder for anyone to get a fair price from this seller in the future. As with any  collectible it is only worth what  you feel it is worth. If you feel  its worth only $2.00 as a filler until you can find a better copy then  buy it. But always keep in mind when buying a lesser quality book,  you're probably going to spend more to upgrade it. When you bought that poor book for $ 8.0 0 you just told the seller to charge you more next time for a nicer one.

If you're finding them at garage or flea markets you may get a  chance to find a deal. But if you're flea markets are like mine out  here everybody's an antique dealer. There are quite a few respectable  dealers but we're seeing more and more people selling many different  items and experience in none.

If you were to ask fifty dealers where they got their prices that  their selling Little Golden Books for, you'd get almost 50 different  answers.

They might say, "I got the prices out of the price guide." Did they  now. Did they read the price guide to find out about different editions or when the book was really printed. You all have seen books that  seller has written 1956 printing on the tag and yet the book shows a  picture  of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street on the back cover. I have politely said, "This is not correct".  "What do you mean it's not  correct the copyright says 1956, see." "But it shows Bert, right here  on the back cover , and he didn't become famous until many years  later." At his point most dealers say, "Thanks for pointing that out I  didn't know". I have also had a few get upset with me for  poking my  nose in their business. The later being a minority.

Some other methods sellers use to price books are, "Oh, this is an  old book.", "Anything that has to do with Christmas people pay more   for.", "I just thought it up.", "Well, this book is doll related." and  "I think it's cute''. We have all heard remarks like these and many  more when out on our quest for Little Golden  Books. Because of the  different types of people that sell Little Golden Books we are going to see many different prices and hear many different reasons for their  prices. I have met people that tell me they got their prices out of my  guide. Yet the book is destroyed and they are asking the mint price.  Why? Because most dealers do not read guides, they just use the values  without any idea of what the mean. I'm not saying that when  you see a  price in my book that you will buy it for that amount. The prices shown are a guide, they are meant to show which book or type of book will be worth more then another and to give an idea of the approximate  value. I had a dealer come up to me the other day with a 7th printing of The  Three Little Kittens. She wanted to know if the price she had on the  book was a good price. The book was in less than Good condition. The   price a mere $45.00. She was really sincere about the question. She  said, "This is the first Little Golden Book." "Yes, it is the first  story but it's a reprint", I told her. Even if it had been a 1st  edition the book in the condition it was in was hardly worth $10.00 let alone $45.00.

So is there away to keep the price of reprints down? Probably not.  If you think a book is over priced because it's a reprint, or the  condition is bad for the price let the seller know. The seller may not  have known that the book was a reprint or had a blemish. Quite a few  times I've found that the seller will lower the price. If the price is  still not what you feel it's worth don't buy it. Now that doesn't mean  it's not going to be sold later to someone else, it just means it's  worth more to someone else. Little Golden books are somewhat like a  runaway  train right now and I have no idea when it's going to stop.