Recently I discovered e-bay. Not discovered, discovered, but it had never occurred to me before that I could find, and purchase, those hard to find titles and editions by using e-bay. I wish that someone had warned me just how addicting e-bay can be however (I am here to warn you that e-bay can be addicting. You're welcome!). I was suddenly thrown into a all you can eat book buffet, and the only thing stopping me was my willpower, which doesn't exist when it comes to books ...
Within three weeks time I had purchased eight books through e-bay. These are books that I have been unable to find otherwise, in certain editions and in some cases even titles. They were not impulse buys, but rather books that I have been searching for, for a long time now.
My first purchase was a Easton Press edition of "Little Woman" by Louisa May Alcott. Described as being new and still in original seal. Purchased for less then half of the original price tag on a new Easton Press edition of this title, and free shipping. The delivery of the book was extremely fast and it was packaged well ... but it was not a new book, as it was described in the listing. You could tell that the shrink wrap that it was in, was not it's original. Upon opening, the Easton Press bookplate was absent (all new editions include one), and what could only be described as a crumb was found within it's pages ... The book itself however was in excellent condition, I just didn't appreciate the misleading.
My next purchase was a Easton Press edition of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Described as being not new and having slight shelf wear. I was able to purchase it for less then half of the original price tag on a new Easton Press edition of this title. The Delivery of this book was extremely fast and it was packaged well, and the book itself was in amazing condition. Gorgeous book.
I then purchased a Easton Press edition of "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. Described as having some slight shelf wear. I was able to purchase it for less then half of the original price tag on a new Easton Press edition of this title. Delivery was very prompt and it was packaged well, the book was in good condition other then the top two outer corners, which the seller neglected to mention were cracked. Nor was in shown in the pictures in the listing.
Then I purchased a Folio Society edition of "The Last Man" by Mary Shelley. Described as not being new and being in good condition. I was able to purchase it for about half of the original price tag on a new Folio Society edition of this title. Delivery was very prompt and it was packaged well, and the book was absolutely gorgeous.
I then bought a Franklin Library edition of "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy. Described as not being new, and having some slight shelf wear. I was able to purchase this fairly cheap. Delivery was quick, packaging sucked. I do not know if the slight dings on the book happened during shipment or if they had already existed prior to this.
Then bought was a Folio Society edition of "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. Described as being new and in new condition. I was able to purchase this for about half of the original price tag on a new Folio Society edition of this title. Delivery was very prompt, packaging was excellent, and book was as described.
Then I purchased a Easton Press edition of "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell. Described as having been in original shrink wrap, but shrink wrap was torn so it was removed to be better shown. Listed as being in excellent condition. I paid about the price of a new Easton Press edition for this one. Delivery of book was very prompt, it was packaged very well, but book appeared to suffer from some very slight shelf wear which leads me to believe that I was misled on the listing. The book is in excellent condition, but some of the gold gilding on the front seems worn ...
My other purchase has not even been shipped at this time ...
As you can see, I have had a mixed experience in purchasing books through e-bay. You really don't know what you are getting until it arrives in the mail. I will not purchase books through e-bay again, unless it is a edition or a title that I can not otherwise find. I am not exactly displeased with my purchases, just not happy with the misleading listings. I prefer purchasing books through Half Price Books and other second hand book stores, as I know what I am buying at the time of purchase.