Pottermania boosts secondhand book market

  July 18, 2003 at 12:31 PM ET
  James     HPANA (via Yahoo! Finance)

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Previously read copies of Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling are boosting sales for the secondhand book market and helping small, used book sellers profit from Pottermania, reports Abebooks.com, the world's largest online marketplace for used, rare and out-of-print books.

"Sales for used copies of Harry Potter books rose 300% in June," reports Marci Crossan, Abebooks spokesperson. "Our booksellers tell us people want the whole series and are scooping up used copies online. Even the new book -- 'The Order of the Phoenix' -- is available used at Abebooks.com, as are rare signed editions, versions in Latin, Spanish, large print, and audiobook."

This is positive news for collectors and people with signed Rowling books. Signed first editions are selling for between $200 and $1.2 million on Abebooks.com.

Many booksellers believe prices will rise. Doug Phillips, at Printers Row Fine & Rare Books in Chicago has advice for anyone with a signed copy: "Hang on tight! Prices will appreciate for books like 'The Philosopher's Stone' which only had 350 US hardback first editions printed. We call that 'a collection breaker.' Any Potter enthusiast wants the first book and there's only going to be 350 lucky people who get it."

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