Price List for March.

More Los Angeles  glut.  A 1969 atlas slipped by at just under $8 shipping included.

3/3 : 1964 Los Angeles – $61

3/4: 1977 Contra-Costa – $14.99

3/7: 1957 Los Angeles – $29

3/7: 1989 King-Pierce-Snohomish – $15

3/11: 1946 Los Angeles Property Zone Edition – $190

3/13: 1972 Los Angeles – $22.10

3/16: 1951 Los Angeles – $62.30

3/28: 1960 Renie Los Angeles-Orange – $32.13

4/1: 1955 Renie Los Angeles – $31

4/3: 1969 Los Angeles – $2.24 plus $4.98 shipping.

 

 

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Sellers: Los Angeles is the least collectible atlas.

Across this country, people are “scouting” used items for sale on the Internet.  There is even a TV show about “thrifting” – something I have been doing for years.  Buying low, selling high.

I’m going to give a little tip to eBay sellers who may happen upon this blog while researching prices for Thomas Brothers atlases: Los Angeles atlases are not as collectible as other areas.  There is simply too much supply and not enough demand, as I figure those Thomas enthusiasts are pretty much all set on their collections for Los Angeles.

1975 Los Angeles-Orange County (fair) – $10 UNSOLD

1977 Los Angeles Zip Code (good) – $24.00 UNSOLD, relisted for same price

1978 Los Angeles (fair/good) – $14.99 auction UNSOLD, relisted for Buy It Now with Make Offer, $19.99

It is actually amusing to see the salesmanship of some of these auctions.  Los Angeles atlases, especially 1970 on, are NOT RARE as these auctions advertise.  Los Angeles was the first market introduced to bound atlases in the late 40s, so any collector with a nostalgic yen would have started collecting them as they came out in the 70s.

Eventually, Thomas emerged in other areas in the west.  Some first editions appeared in the 1970s, and those are rare for two reasons:

One, nobody was thinking about collecting what was essentially ephemera in that geographic area back then.

And two, the circulation, based on population, of areas like San Diego, San Francisco, Northern California, Washington, was far below Los Angeles-Orange.

San Diego kept growing in population and in the 1980s was the second highest in the state.  Since circulation kept up with the boom, I would also not call any of those map books in the 1980s as rare either.

***

So, for scouts picking up atlases to sell on eBay, I would avoid L.A. in the 70s on, San Diego in the 80s on and pretty much everything else after the 1994 (the year Thomas went digital).

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ON SALE on eBay – 1928 Folding Map of San Jose, California.

I’ve been following this auction.

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It is the third relisting of a 1928 Thomas Brothers foldup map of San Jose and San Jose County.  With a starting bid of $79.99.

So this was produced in the fifteenth year of Thomas’s existence during Herbert Hoover’s pre-depression presidency, eons before San Jose would become the eighth largest city in America and the center of its technology industry.

So why hasn’t it sold yet?

Firstly, it is a folding map.  Even though it may have been produced before the first atlas was bound for Los Angeles County in the 1940s, it is still pretty much one sheet as opposed to several sheets in a typical book format.

Secondly, the condition is fair at best.  The tears suggest that the 85-year old paper is pretty brittle and already has several chunks taken out of it.

This map might be rare, but it may not be $80 valuable.

I’m thinking $20-$30, but the seller seems insistent on his low-end bid.

What’s the definition of insanity again?

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Renie-mania in winter on eBay.

A lot of activity recently for Jack Renie Atlases, George Thomas’s competitor for a while a half-century ago.

Renie specialized is pocket-sized map books:

1957 Renie Riverside/San Bernardino – $57.99

Again, it’s not Los Angeles, so it commands a premium, even in fair-to-good condition:

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Hey look, it also includes Las Vegas!

I think the seller made a mistake not advertising that.  A 1957 map of the Las Vegas strip?  That would have been a good selling point to fans of Las Vegas, not just map collectors.  Missed opportunity, definitely.  Who knows how much it would have fetched if “Las Vegas” was even one of its keywords?  The buyer got a bargain because of that, I think.

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A couple of 1946 Los Angeles sold, one for $26 at auction, the other $39.99 as a Buy it Now:

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And a 1959 Los Angeles with Orange County, Fire Engine Red, for $28.94:

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The title page lists it as “16th edition” – so if we are doing math and assuming Renie issued their atlases annually, the first edition Los Angeles atlas was for the year 1944.

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All right, I’ve cleaned out a lot of my inbox today.  Time to go do something else.

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Watchlist: 1928 City of San Jose fold-up map.

vintage 1928 map of San Jose, California by Thomas Bros

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On eBay, a seller can automatically relist an unsold item twice more without incurring more fees.   A seller can also check a box which reduces the starting bid by a certain percentage each time.

The seller of this vintage fold-up map manufactured 13 years into the Thomases’ career has chosen to not reduce the starting bid in its second go-round and has kept it at $79.

While a specimen of the company’s early draftwork is certainly worth a purchase, I’m not sure the wear and tear and the limited geography will be attractive enough for even one bid.

I’m thinking a starting bid of $25-40 would yield a better result.

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1966-67 King-Pierce County (Good) – SOLD – $58 including shipping.

King Pierce Counties Thomas Bros Maps Atlas 1965 Washington State Wa

This might be a first edition of the King and Pierce County atlas from the Thomas company.  Without a screen shot of the copyright page, we have to go by the seller’s description to tell what the year is, and the information is contradictory.  If the copyright is 1966, the edition is 1967.  It could also say 1966 Edition on the title page.  The “1965″ in the auction title is clearly a mistake.

But this is still a neat artifact from the 1960s:

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I don’t get the high shipping ($16.04 for “standard mail”) so my appraisal opinion includes it.  I don’t like it when sellers inflate their shipping costs, but at least eBay takes commission on shipping now.

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1965 San Diego County – $31 SOLD

San Diego Thomas Brothers Map 1965

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Were you the winner of this auction?

And in the last moments the price went from that one bid of $19.99 to $31.00?

That was me.

I was going to make sure that, even though the cover is detached from the atlas, so the best it can be graded is “GOOD”…

it wasn’t going to be sold for lower than $30 to anybody but me.

In light of my current financial situation, in trying to have funds to build a resale business, $30 is all I can afford, and even then my wife would have been mad at me if I bought it.

So if you were the buyer, don’t be annoyed: you still got a good deal.

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