The eBay of Adventure

I am sure that at one time or another we have all been on eBay, bidding away on something we want so desperately. That in the last few hours of the auction running time we have checked in repeatedly to see where the bidding was at, and wondered when to place the perfect bid to secure the object we’re drooling over on screen.

Well, it has just happened to me. And before you all ask – no I was not bidding on Julian Kirrin!

In fact I was bidding on a set of five early editions of the Adventure Series.

The spines of five of the Adventure Series set. Picture taken from E-Bay listing.

The spines of five of the Adventure Series set. Picture taken from eBay listing.

I haven’t got a complete set of the Adventure Series, and the editions that I do have are quite rotten. I have the odd paperback that I’m quite fond of, but my main set of the Adventure Series – of which I’m missing about four – are really bad 90s hard backs that I rescued from my school library when we were sorting books out. This was a good seven years ago now.

The reason that I’ve finally got myself into gear about buying this series is largely because I want to read them more than I want to read the Five Find-Outers ( I have a serious LOATHING of Fatty, as some of you might remember from my Fatty vs Julian article). Also from what I have read of the Adventure Series, I have enjoyed them.

Another reason quite central to my reason for this massive eBay induced heart -attack I almost gave myself, was because a friend of mine suggested that it would be quite nice if I could write some fanfiction about Bill Cunningham and Mrs Mannering – the grown-ups of the series. Intrigued by this idea, and another idea of combining Julian Kirrin and Bill Cunningham together in an adventure story (which I am co-writing with Corinna) really means I need a decent, honest, near enough original set of Adventure Series books to add to my collection.

This is why I actually put myself out there in an online auction on eBay.

Set of five books from the Adventure series. Taken from the E-Bay listing.

Set of five books from the Adventure Series. Taken from the eBay listing.

The problem was that this particular auction was too good to pass up. As I have already mentioned, there were five smashing looking copies of The Adventure Series which included:

  • The Valley of Adventure
  • The Sea of Adventure
  • The Mountain of Adventure
  • The Circus of Adventure
  • The River of Adventure

How perfect to have a bundle of five books all there and ready for the picking. Unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky with the bidding. Keen and eager when I first saw these books, and especially when the starting price was 99p, I jumped in there with a bid of a grand £2.76. I was hoping and praying that these precious books would not attract too much attention.

How wrong I was.

The next day I received the email saying that I had been outbid. The price was over £5 now. Still, not to panic. £5 isn’t too bad a price for five decent copies (not forgetting the £4 postal charge!) however… I would not be paying a simple fiver for these books.

Oh no. By the afternoon, when I really needed to know how the bidding was going, the price of these had risen to £16! I had set myself a limit of £25 because I couldn’t afford to go crazy on these books and I knew that for approximately £5 a book, I was still getting a deal and a half.

Alas it was almost not meant to be. I held off to the last ten minutes, when I started to test the waters as to where other people’s limits were, aware that I may not be the only person watching these books. Slowly I crept the price up from £17 to £21.87.

As the time ran out, in the last two minutes I entered my last bid, a price I hadn’t given myself enough time to think about. £29.89. Finally I was the highest bidder, the last bid being £26.87.

The Castle of Adventure. Picture taken from EBay listing.

“The Castle of Adventure”. Picture taken from eBay listing.

For that last minute and a half I stared at the screen waiting to see if anyone else would bid, swooping in and sniping them from under my nose. I had done the same thing the day before when I bid on a copy of The Castle of Adventure but with no where near the trepidation that I did for these five books.

Finally the timer reached its end and the page refreshed. I must say that I didn’t breathe until I had seen the green banner on the top of the page telling me that I had still won!

Gosh I almost jumped for joy!

My heart felt like it could take no more strain, having anxiously watched two eBay auctions end two days in a row.

Unfortunately, for the copies I was after, this was my only option. I got a fantastic deal on these books, mostly because on their own they can go for £10 on the “Buy-it-Now” option.

As I already have a first edition Island of Adventure, I can now add these beauties to my set. Unfortunately I had one more auction to get through. One for The Ship of Adventure.

A few days later…

I bid on the Ship of Adventure book and was then outbid. However, instead of this being a straightforward auction where I sat in front of the computer and took hold of the reins as I tried to win this first edition, there was a dirty great big snag. At the time the auction ended, I would be at work. Oh bother.

The Ship of Adventure I bid on. Picture taken from eBay listing.

The copy of “The Ship of Adventure” I bid on. Picture taken from eBay listing.

Originally I assumed I’d have to put a bid in on my lunch break and then cross my fingers and pray!

But, blessings of blessings a wonderful friend of mine, who I know through the Enid Blyton forums, Zoe, offered to make the bids for me while I was at work. Naturally I was thrilled!

So, with much planning, setting up things so Zoe could (very naughtily) access my eBay account, and agreeing prices and such, I went to sleep the might before with a slightly easier mind.

I set my limit to £20 thinking that there was no way that that first edition without dustjacket would go much beyond £15. Its a good thing that my upper limit was somewhat flexible because on the morning of the auction’s end, the book was already at £7!

Sporadically over the day, when I had a quiet moment at work, I checked the auction, watching the price stay at £7. I hoped that even with a sudden surge it wouldn’t get beyond £20, in fact I still wasn’t convinced that it would get over £15. However, as the last hour of the auction approached, and with Zoe’s updates via text message (I know, very bad at work and I hate doing it. You’ll be happy to know that I have not done it since), I waited to find out what the bidding was like.

In the last hour the price had shot up significantly  to £15. As I had given Zoe permission to go up to £20 I knew I had a chance left. I must admit to not experiencing so much panic as I had previously during the eBay auctions for the five books. I think it was because I had other things to occupy my mind and that I wasn’t actually sat in front of the computer trying to judge when to put a bid in to stop the price being driven up too high.

My penultimate text from Zoe before the auction end was probably about five minutes before it ended, asking for permission to go a little over the agreed £20 limit to £21.51. I agreed and waited nervously for the outcome…

A moment later I got a text from Zoe saying “Tis Yours 🙂 🙂 :)”.

I know you’re not allowed to be loud in a library, but I almost jumped for joy!

In less than a week, my Adventure Series was complete!

I must admit that I paid a little more than I bargained for for the “Ship of Adventure” but I think it was worth it. As a work colleague of mine said: “You don’t drink much, you don’t smoke, you can afford to spend a little more on books.” I think I agree.

And that, all assembled, is my eBay of Adventure.

My brand new (to me) set of Adventure Series hardbacks.

My brand new (to me) set of Adventure Series hardbacks.

P.S. A week or two after my expensive copy of  Ship arrived, a gorgeous family friend presented me with another copy – a first – for my birthday. Needless to say I was so grateful that my eBay copy should soon be on its way to a new home!

But I love my set. They look so good together, and I’m sort of glad that I had no dustjacketed ones as that would have made the set look untidy. My room may leave much to be desired, but I like my books to be neat and tidy!

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2 Responses to The eBay of Adventure

  1. Aly says:

    I have the same editions!


  2. Francis says:

    Stef – I am so pleased you were the winner in these auctions. I know how horrible it is to be outbid – it just happened to me about 20 minutes ago! It is always worth going for a bulk lot because you always get better value – people are less likely to bid the true value. Enjoy the books and the wonderful illustrations – you will never regret buying them!


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