Field for Price Paid

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Field for Price Paid

elokuu 7, 2021, 10:48 am

I've started collecting antique books. It would be nice to have a price paid field next to Date acquired and From where.

elokuu 7, 2021, 11:55 am

There is currently a "price" field that is not editable, but there is some indication that it might be made editable in the future. See here:

In the meantime I suggest writing the price in the Private Comments field, since I assume you don't want that to be public information.

helmikuu 4, 2022, 9:11 pm

You could add a tag "PRxxx" to indicate price paid.

tammikuu 26, 12:43 am

I second the idea of Price Paid and Currency used fields, with the ability to make them Private. But please add two fields - one for List Price and one for Purchase Price. I have what I consider a fairly large personal library (10,000+) that I would like to include in my homeowner’s insurance. LibraryThing gives me a fantastic catalog of my holdings, but I have been using Private comments to input the cost I paid, and the standard marked price on the book itself in this format: "$5.98 ($27.99)". To provide the annual inventory to my insurance company, I must download the information from LibraryThing into Excel and then Convert Text to split the text into two columns and then globally remove the parentheses. It would be SO PHENOMENAL if LibraryThing had fields that would be able to be used to help value our libraries!

The beta “Price” field is a great start, but it has its limitations:
- It only displays on the “Your Books” List page, if you choose to add it to your display options.
- The field does not export to Excel or CSV, etc.
- It may display multiple currency types. If at some point it does export to Excel, I will have to delete the currency types I do NOT want to use.

Would it be possible to program two (or, if we're asking for the moon, THREE) monetary fields, where the user could choose what currency we want to use, and what "field name" we want to use for them?

In an ideal world, I would love to see a "Settings" or "Template" screen where I could choose what fields I want to have displayed on the “Edit Your Books” screen. This would be similar to what we currently can do now for the Styles on the “Your Books” display screen, where we can choose what fields we see and in what order.

This template page would show ALL the fields available in LibraryThing and I could put a checkmark next to the fields I want to have displayed when I click on the “Edit on Your Books" pages. I could have the option to choose up to three currency fields and choose the "Type of Currency" I use (US Dollar, Euro, etc.?) and what Field Label I want to use (List, Paid, Value, maybe a Custom option?). I could choose all the other fields I want to use, or perhaps even sections, and then Save the settings, and go on my merry way. For example, I could un-check the Languages and Identifiers sections and not have them displayed at all and cut down on my scrolling time. I wouldn't have to scroll past fields I never use - I would only see the fields I want to see.

Let's just reach for the stars here! : )

tammikuu 26, 1:15 pm

The whole business of assigning a value to a book is a whole lot more complicated than has been expressed. And this has been hashed out before and it seems unlikely that LT will be providing the fields necessary to do this so other means are necessary.

It is one thing to record the purchase price of an item. There is a specific price that was paid (plus perhaps tax and shipping), a date of purchase, and a place. So that is three fields just to say how much it cost.

But the whole business of what is a book worth now is very different. First of all, there is no single right price for a book. It depends on many factors, including condition, printing, who is selling, who is buying, where the sale takes place, and when. For a popular book, even if you remove variables like printing and condition (say all first printings in Fn/Fn condition) there will still be a range of asking prices that you might see online.

These asking prices are the prices where the book has not and perhaps will not sell because there isn't a person who is yet interested in paying that for what it is.

In real estate they'd look at the prices at which houses sold for in a given area with other similar features (size, beds, baths, garage, etc.) and timing to develop "comps" or "comparables" that might suggest what a house might sell for.

But with books it is hard to get information on the prices at which books have sold. The used book databases do know this but they don't share it, even with their bookseller members. With eBay you can search about 3 months of auction titles and see prices. If you look at the listings, you can determine if it is identical in all respects to the book at hand but this is not easily automated.

So let's say that we accept this limitation and want to set a price based on the asking prices online on any given date. Then you'd have to store some records of what is being offered (including printing, condition of the book and/or jacket, imprint, etc.), who is offering it, where it is offered, and at what price. But then how do you aggregate that to set a price for your copy?

And what does this price even mean? It might suggest the price you would have to pay to buy a similar copy from a bookseller if you wanted to get it at the time the data was collected. But as an individual who might have a different reputation and market reach than the bookseller listing on the used book database, you probably could not get the same price. Very likely you would get less. Likewise if you sold to a bookseller, sold on eBay, or sold at an auction house, the price listed online is probably higher than you'd get because of wholesale prices or the fees and other expenses in the process.

Perhaps you just want a place for an educated or wild guess to be stored. One would still need at least a price and a date for the estimate / self-appraisal.

Let's stipulate for the moment that LT won't provide the fields desired. What else can be done? Data could be stored in the Private Comments field. This can be exported with others. If the data was encoded in some way (say JSON) then it would still be fairly readable by humans but could also be processed by a script for tabulation after an export. If the only thing you used the field for was estimated price and it was filled in (manually) then you could sum it up after an export.

With so many variables and factors to consider, it is not possible to have a meaningful aggregation from online listings of unsold copies. It would require a human who knows how to read listings that are not in a uniform structure to pick out the ones that are most like the book in hand for all respects. This is where experience as an advanced collector or bookseller comes in. It is not likely to be automated. You have to know thins like certain sellers are always at the top of the market and they don't sell many of their books so how many of the top listings does one omit? What percentile of the bell curve is considered to be an outlier?

The data LT gives as a price now is merely the list price from a data source like Bowker (Books in Print). If you were only interested in replacing a book with a new copy, it is one piece of information. How meaningful it is depends on many factors.

It's fun to wish for ponies but this is wishing for a unicorn.


tammikuu 26, 1:17 pm

>3 Mapguy314: Since tags are seen by anyone, perhaps this is not information that many would wish to share.


tammikuu 26, 11:06 pm

>5 Keeline: The problem of using unsold copies for setting the value of a book is mainly that these copies have not sold and they may not ever sell for the price asked. A seller can ask any price they wish to ask, but that does not actually mean much. Even with major sellers, they will guess at times, especially with a rare book. In the end a book is only worth what you can sell it for. I was just looking at a fairly rare book today, listed by a major seller in his field. He was asking around $1200 for the book. the problem is that he was asking around three time that price a few years back. So apparently he guessed high, and has been lowering his price over time. So what is this book worth? I think I paid around $200 for a copy a few years back. Did I get a bargain, or is that what the book is worth?

helmikuu 13, 4:16 am

I can only second this. A private field for "Purchase Price" would be much appriciated, preferable where you can choose different currencies.

Today I write it in the Private Comment sektion. It would be even cooler, if Librarything would rally up how much you spend on books each month, year etc. Help me with and overview, so I dont have to keep a seperate file for that. Thanks!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 4:50 am

>8 SilleLarsen: This is only reasonable for people who only purchase books with one currency. With currency fluctuations, there is no way that any sort of total over time could really be meaningful. Often over months, certainly over years.

My books have been bought over several decades in a multitude of currencies, many of which no longer exist.

Any new field has to compete with other possibilities. I would love a date discarded field. Other people have other fields they would like.