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Monks Hill Books Blog

On the pricing of secondhand books, Part 2

Having already dealt with books priced at £0.01, I shall now deal with books on The Website That Is Intent on World Domination and its subsidiary websites which are on sale for ridiculously high prices.  The booksellers who seek to charge these high prices are usually in the United States, and describe the books in very basic terms, such as ‘This is a pre-owned, second-hand book.  Condition : fair’, or in the case of a book priced at £7,015.01 (plus postage) ‘Used – good’.

I have thought long and hard about these high prices.  The answer might just lie in my previous field of expertise, pensions.

Imagine you were an American bank robber, and had pulled off the most amazing heist, all in used $50 notes.  You already had a villa in the Bahamas and a yacht.  What you now wanted to do was to provide for your children when you were gone.  You couldn’t invest the money in shares and bonds, or in a bank deposit, because the money could be traced back to you.  It had to be laundered some other way.

So what you do is very clever.  You buy books in very good condition at any price at all – the price doesn’t really matter – and put them for sale on That Website at enormously high prices.  As they say, the best place to hide is in plain sight.  Your children then sit and wait for thirty or forty years.  In that time the effect of compound inflation has meant that the books are now not expensive at all, but at the right price.  They start to sell.  By this time the bank heist trail has well and truly gone cold, all the cops on the case have retired, and the files are in the police archives.  Your children now have a steady income which cannot be traced back to you.

Better suggestions on a postcard, please.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 1st, 2017 at 3:25 pm and is filed under Fresh News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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