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What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?
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Author:  RIC [ Wed Dec 24, 2008 7:50 pm ]
Post subject:  What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

I just received my Limited Edition UK Hodder & Stoughton “Just After Sunset”. It is still shrink-wrap from Hatchard. I would like to open it and see the King letter, number plate, etc. Is it more valuable in original shrink-wrap? What do everyone else do concerning keeping the books original??

Author:  crimsonking [ Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

I don't know about everyone else but I leave mine in the shrinkwrap. It's hard not to open them but I don't.

Author:  e_taylor [ Thu Dec 25, 2008 6:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

I used to leave everything in the shrink-wrap, the thought being to "preserve" its value long term. But it was pointed out to me that shrink wrap isn't acid neutral, and long term can actually damage a book, jacket or slipcase.

I now take everything out the shrink wrap, just to be safe. I recently grabbed a 1st of the Waste Lands, and the shrink wrap was attached to the jacket. I was able to remove it, but it left a slimy film on the jacket, which I was also able to clean up without any damage to the jacket - but still, I think that proves the point.

Author:  nafks [ Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

I do the best of both worlds - I bought a shrink wrap machine (around $40) and 100 shrink wrap bags ($20). Now I can open to verify signature and number then reshrinkwrap. Works perfectly!!!!!

Author:  Royalecheese [ Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

e_taylor wrote:
I used to leave everything in the shrink-wrap, the thought being to "preserve" its value long term. But it was pointed out to me that shrink wrap isn't acid neutral, and long term can actually damage a book, jacket or slipcase.


This^^^^^^^^^

The wrap may adhere to the jacket or any other surface over time, and jacket condition is one of the main factors for value if you are inclined to sell it later. Get a Brodart book cover. They work great and they are cheap.

http://www.shopbrodart.com/site_pages/bjc/
or ask your local book dealer.

One thing that has not been mentioned yet is: If you leave the plastic on, you will never know if there is some issue with the book. Is it what you ordered? Is there a real signature inside if you ordered from someone online? And even if you order from the publisher, what if there is damage to the book you are not aware of until you try to sell it down the road?

Short answer: Get rid of the wrap.

Author:  Bounce0320 [ Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

Royalecheese wrote:
e_taylor wrote:
I used to leave everything in the shrink-wrap, the thought being to "preserve" its value long term. But it was pointed out to me that shrink wrap isn't acid neutral, and long term can actually damage a book, jacket or slipcase.


This^^^^^^^^^

The wrap may adhere to the jacket or any other surface over time, and jacket condition is one of the main factors for value if you are inclined to sell it later. Get a Brodart book cover. They work great and they are cheap.

http://www.shopbrodart.com/site_pages/bjc/
or ask your local book dealer.

One thing that has not been mentioned yet is: If you leave the plastic on, you will never know if there is some issue with the book. Is it what you ordered? Is there a real signature inside if you ordered from someone online? And even if you order from the publisher, what if there is damage to the book you are not aware of until you try to sell it down the road?

Short answer: Get rid of the wrap.


Very good point and I agree with you. I would have never known about the damage in my AE LSOE had I not taken it out of the wrap (there was a crinkled, ripped page!).

Author:  TheCollector [ Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

Here's a question...besides the one incident I've heard of regarding a copy of The Waste Lands has anyone actually had shrinkwrap damage their book?

Author:  fleggett [ Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

TheCollector wrote:
Here's a question...besides the one incident I've heard of regarding a copy of The Waste Lands has anyone actually had shrinkwrap damage their book?

Yes, but not in a way that directly indicts the use of shrinkwrap. One book I received had the dustjacket slightly offset from the boards. Because of this, the tight wrap effectively destroyed that part of the DJ. It was a long-forgotten trade, so I didn't really care, but that did highlight the importance of adequate prep before shrinkwrapping dustjacketed books.

As a counterpoint, I've seen shrinkwrap save areas of a book. To explain, I bought an unopened, limited, slipcased edition of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six at a local used book store for $20. The slipcase suffered what looks like water damage in three spots where the shrinkwrap had left those areas of the slipcase exposed to the elements. If the shrinkwrap had been properly applied for 100% coverage, I'm certain the slipcase would still be in VF condition. I was pretty bummed when I saw the damage, but bought it anyway. I'm assuming the damage is permanent and has tanked whatever collector value the book would otherwise have had (if any).

Author:  fleggett [ Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

nafks wrote:
I do the best of both worlds - I bought a shrink wrap machine (around $40) and 100 shrink wrap bags ($20). Now I can open to verify signature and number then reshrinkwrap. Works perfectly!!!!!

Which machine and supplies did you purchase? $60 is cheap enough to invest in such a system if it works well enough to completely enclose the book while looking halfway professional. I take it your gear doesn't require a heat gun?

Author:  fleggett [ Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What's the real deal with shrink-wrap?

RIC wrote:
I just received my Limited Edition UK Hodder & Stoughton “Just After Sunset”. It is still shrink-wrap from Hatchard. I would like to open it and see the King letter, number plate, etc. Is it more valuable in original shrink-wrap? What do everyone else do concerning keeping the books original??

I'm fairly conflicted myself. There are some books I've left in the shrinkwrap and some I've opened to Brodart and then marvel at. Two in particular I don't think I'll ever open - Phantasia Press' numbered editions of Startide Rising and The Uplift War, solely because Brin's uplift universe is absolutely marvelous and Startide Rising is practically a classic. To that end, my teeth hurt at the thought of breaking the shrinkwrap seal.

I've occasionally checked those two books to ensure the shrinkwrap isn't causing some sort of damage to their respective slipcases. So far, so good.

I think I'm going to just open everything from here on. The only reason I haven't extracted the S&S edition of UtD is because I wouldn't then know what to do with the card pack, so I'm waiting for Tomas' slip/traycase.

To address your specific question - unfortunately, I firmly believe a collectible still in its original shrinkwrap can oftentimes fetch a higher price on the secondary market than an opened edition. I don't have any scientific data to back up my belief, but I have seen eBay auctions follow this trend at times. And it makes sense - if you're in the market for a Grant edition of Eluria and Person A is selling his for $300 and person B is doing the same at the same price point, but B's copy is still in Grant's shrinkwrap, he'll typically get the business (all other things being equal, like feedback rating, shipping, adequate packing, etc.). I'd personally prefer B's copy, myself.

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