Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fitzroy: Melbourne’s First Suburb.

Fitzroy: Melbourne’s First Suburb by Cutten History Committee of the Fitzroy History Society.

Fitzroy, for anyone who doesn’t live in or doesn’t know Melbourne very well, is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Victoria.  It has history and by Australian standards quite a lot of it and this book is 354 pages of it.  Local histories overall seem to do quite well on line (…this means they sell).  I know that I personally have searched, found and bought a book on line, about a suburb of Melbourne that I lived in for many years.  At the time of wanting a history (any history) of this area i figured that if I went looking for something so specific in bookshops, new or secondhand, I would have buckleys of finding anything and sure enough after searching on line, a bookseller close by had a title for me (strangely it was in Fitzroy… Pamela Bakes).  Country town histories smaller and larger (towns and histories) often get quite a bit of interest on ebay (…this means they sell)  … from my experience it seems that larger cities get slightly less interest.  This book is a good example.  The current Abe price on this title is between $230 and $290 Australian… so I ask myself why didn’t my copy sell for the $79.50 I had it listed for on ebay.  This was the second time I had it listed, the first time was for $99.50.  I have consulted with some other book dealers and indeed the book is rare and worth $ and often sells for $$$, so the price is good.  I am willing to admit the copy I have does have some wear, which is why I had it listed at these low, low prices.  At the same time as not selling this book, I also didn’t sell a history of Sydney Road, also in Melbourne (there were some other books I didn’t sell… too many to mention here right now).  Both of these non sales have me puzzled.  Maybe my own experience is overshadowing the real sellability of these books or…..?.


  1. What a frightening front cover! Were things really that bad in Melbourne Australia? Still, if it is a rare book then the price seems good for the illustrations alone!

  2. Hi Frank,
    Well i dont think it was that bad, but i do know that Fitzroy was traditionally a working class suburb, therefore people had a lower socio economic existence. I think thats what the cover illustration is trying to demonstrate.

  3. Do you still have this book available to buy? There's no way I would pay $300 for it - book sellers are a little like movie poster dealers: they confuse rarity with value. Just because something is rare it doesn't mean there are thousands, or even one person, lining up to buy it. I would be willing to pay $79.50 if the book is still available. I live in Victoria. Regards, Phoenix

    1. Hi Phoenix, I agree with your comment. But...Any second hand item is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it and no more and no less. If someone is willing to pay $300 for this book then it is worth $300. If they are willing to pay $79.50 then it is worth $79.50. This copy was worth $79.50 in 2010 which is how much someone paid for it when it sold.
      All the best and thanks for the comment