Oh Amazon, Ye Marketplace of Scoundrels

So I got into a conversation over on Facebook about how to know if a book is collectible (which I won't go into for this post—but maybe after I get back from my weekend Vacay)... Anyway, Graceling, by Kristen Cashore was brought up in the conversation. So I figured I would go check out prices (you know, like you do).

My first stop was Abebooks (naturally), where the listings were about what I expected: on average $70 for unsigned up to $175 (signed) for first printings. Then I hopped over to Amazon to see what was being offered over there. I didn't get very far because I ran into this (we'll call it, too-good-to-be-true) listing:

Whoa. $5.49 for a "Pristine First Edition... Signed by author..." — usually the price point would be such that I'd go for it immediately with the expectation that it's probably NOT what it says it is... Then I notice the seller, "buymeimcheap."

For those who've been reading along for awhile, back in January, I procured a copy of H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald—this was the listing:

What I got was a 17th printing—not a full number line—albeit it was pristine.

When I contacted the seller to enquire about it she said it'd been a long day of copying and pasting book listings and she'd neglected to correct the listing to match the edition. She offered to refund my money if I wanted to send the book back to her (which I did not do, opting to keep and read it).

At that time, one of my readers suggested that I'd been duped and, after seeing the Graceling listing, I am inclined to believe that she was right. But just for giggles, I went ahead and purchased the above "signed" copy of Graceling for $9.48 (including shipping). In 2 weeks, we'll see what I actually purchased.

Stay tuned...

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