Why does this used cook book sell for $250?

I recently came into possession of a hardbound copy of **The Elephant Walk Cookbook ** by de Montero and Neustadt. It was published in 1998 by Houghton Mifflin and sold for $35. Out of curiosity I checked the internet to see what used copies were selling for and was astounded to find dozens of copies for sale at prices starting arouind $125 for “good” copies up to $300 for “like-new” copes. Most prices were in the $200 -$250 range. Does anyone know why this nine year old cookbook commands such a price?

Rarity and obscurity, perhaps?

I’m interested to know the precise reason too. The recipes from the book here are inspiring me. Nice find!

$250? Feh!


By the way, I collect Dominican Cookbooks and think I have pretty much all of that have ever been in print. That book is not worth $650. $125 at most, I guess they are looking for somebody stupid enough to believe it is worth that much just because it’s being sold at that price.

It’s not a Tcho-Tcho cook book is it?


I read it mentioned in a Salon or Slate or something article lately, maybe that’s why? There aren’t many actual Cambodian cookbooks around.

When I used to read the Amazon Marketplace sellers forum - there used to be and I bet still are, a number of notorious secondhand warehouse type booksellers who would advertise books that they didn’t have for an outrageous price - waiting for someone to bite - then if anyone was desparate to buy at that price they would try to source the book elsewhere - some people then describe getting copies of the book in very different condtion to originally described - if they then complained and were refunded it would represent a small percentage of overall user ratings -

Not saying the seller in question is definitely doing that but it did go on from what I understood.

How much would “To Serve Man” be worth?

Remember, just because it’s called a Farmers Market doesn’t mean you can buy farmers there!

Sometimes things seem one way, and a short time later, they are different.

If I’m not misreading the offering of that cookbook today, http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&tn=elephant+walk+cookbook&x=0&y=0

You can now buy it for $125. I think the sellers at abebooks are pretty savvy people, and monitor when things change. When one seller breaks the price on something this pricy, maybe others break ranks. Hell, I would if I had a cookbook that I bought used for $5. I’d try to be the first to sell mine a bit lower than the next guy, expecially if it was advertised as a used book for over $200.

Sometimes the market on something is a matter of trial and error. You just happened to find it listed before the big price break. Expect others to break the price lower until it finds the true price.