I, Robot, fair game on eBay…

A few days ago, a copy of Asimov’s I, Robot was available on eBay.  This was interesting because the start price was set very low, though it did have a reserve set.  You can see the completed auction here, at least while it’s still available.  Below are a couple of the images that I swiped from the auction.

As we know, this is the absolute pinnacle of Gnome Press collecting. One of the pinnacles of all of SF collecting for all that. I was extremely interested in the outcome of this. Books are often posted with ‘Buy Now’ prices, but this practice gives no real indication of what a book is really worth. The online dealers don’t help much either as from what I’ve observed over the past couple of years tells me that the typical dealer prices a book something like from 50% to 75% or even more over what a no reserve auction will fetch on eBay. So, as I mentioned, the outcome of this particular auction would be a real eye-opener.  It was.  Reaching a final price of $380, and not reaching reserve meant that it didn’t sell of course. I was surprised.  I expected it to fetch at least $500 or even more.  This particular copy isn’t in great condition, sure, but it isn’t all that bad either considering the status of the title.  Reflecting upon this, I suspect that having a reserve hurt the ultimate value of the auction.

Anyway, thought it was worth chalking this one up for posterity and future reference.

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