The most eye-catching new issue among the voluminous rock music magazines I saw last week at my Barnes & Noble was Shindig! Annual Number Four, a slick 96-page hardcover import compilation of stories from the UK monthly’s out-of-print editions.

I was all set to buy a copy of the Shindig! Annual until I saw it’s $23.25, too much for me. The most I will pay for a rock music magazine is $11.99 for Mojo, also a UK import, but at least all the issues of Mojo include a thematic and eclectic covermount CD. The Shindig! Annual has no CD.

I went back home believing I would find a bargain-priced Shindig! Annual through Amazon third-party sellers and eBay sellers, but I saw copies going as high as $152 on Amazon and $154.95 on eBay, so after recovering from the sticker shock, I went back to my B&N two days later to get the issue at face value.

Shindig! digs deep into niche nostalgia for bands from the ’60s and ’70s and some things are so niche you probably have never heard of them, such as Kippington Lodge, which is profiled in Volume Four.

Who’s going to pay more than $150 to read about Kippington Lodge?

It’s time to bring out the Allen Iverson voice.

“It’s strange to me. We’re talking about Kippington Lodge, man. I’m not cool with that. It’s silly. Kippington Lodge.”

In general, Amazon and eBay sellers who list irrational prices rationalize their practice.

Common reasons on eBay community discussions include:

  • Demand.
  • Scarcity.
  • Placeholding, which is a delay tactic because the seller is out of stock, they want to maintain their listing and they inflate the price to discourage sales until they have stock.
  • Somebody’s going to buy or not buy.
  • Seller might reduce the price next month if the item remains unsold.
  • If no one buys the item, the seller can always keep it.
  • Sellers are allowed to price their items at any amount they want.

I became an eBay seller this year, so when I finish reading Volume Four, I may go all out and list it at $200 to $250.

That should be enough to get some or perhaps all the Kippington Lodge catalog.

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John E. Bialas
John, 67, is retired from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sun Herald newspaper in Gulfport, Miss., after a 45-year career there in which he was a sportswriter, weekend sports editor, book reviewer, rock music critic, copy editor, blogger, Facebook administrator and award-winning headline writer and page designer. He lives in Gulfport with his wife, Patricia, and writes the blog Pictures of Tilly which you can find at http://picturesoftilly.net/.