~ Can You Help? ~

I'd be grateful if anyone could help me with the following.  Please note that this is a page about the UK releases of the Babysitters Club, and I don't need any information about the American releases:

- I'm still unsure exactly how many BSC books were published in the UK.   Can anyone tell me if there were any books published past Mystery 30, Little Sister 30(ish), Special 12, Mystery Special 2 or California Diary 10?
- Does anybody know if any other BSC merchandise was released in the UK besides that which is mentioned on this site?  If you have any more information about the merchandise included with the book club packages, please let me know
- Were the TV series tapes released in the UK?
- Was the BSC Movie Soundtrack released in the UK?
- If you have or know anything about the BSC keyring that was one of the special 50th book goodies, please let me know.

Credit will be given for any information provided.

~ Building Your Collection ~

I'm not an avid collector of the BSC books anymore (I spend too much on books as it is...), but I have bought a couple on Ebay.  That said, I do have some tips to pass on, for those who like that sort of thing.

Buying
First of all, the chances of finding BSC books at chain bookshops in the UK are virtually nil.  The books are out of print, thus the shop will not be able to order any copies in for you.  I used to work in a bookshop and when I searched the order system only about seven of the books were still even listed (and this was a warehouse that still had listings for books published in the 60s).  Many US collectors recommend looking in secondhand bookshops - when I visit secondhand bookshops I normally have a quick peek in the Children's section, but I've rarely seen any Babysitters Club books.  I did a BSC search in the catalogue for my city's libraries and quite a few results came up, although I don't know if they were shelved or in the library's reserve sections.

Ebay is probably the best resource for BSC books.  I tend not to use US Ebay, but it's really the best/only way to get the later books not published in the UK.  UK Ebay doesn't disappoint, though - there's usually a good mixture of lots and single books.  Original series books are by far the most common, although you will find some Mysteries and Specials scattered in (usually as part of a mixed lots, but single Mystery book auctions are becoming common).  The first twenty or so books are most common, followed by the 50s-70s.  The 90s are less common and 100-105 even less so, but once in a while they do appear, so keep your eyes peeled.  The first five California Diaries pop up now and then, but I've only ever seen diaries 9 and 10 twice.  Note: search specifically for 'California Diaries' in the auction search field, as there is no indication on the books themselves that they are a BSC spinoff and a lot of sellers either don't know or don't realize the connection.

Ebay buying tips:
1. Make sure you know exactly what you're buying - some sellers are notorious for making mistakes when listing BSC books, mostly with series titles/book numbers etc.  Pay attention to the picture - if there is one - and if in doubt email the seller and ask for the exact title(s).
2. When buying lots you may end up with extra copies of books you already have, but this can work in your favour - some BSC trading communities exist where you can swap your doubles for books you don't have.  Hardcore collectors from other countries may be interested in obtaining UK editions, so flog that for all it's worth.
3. If there are books you want in a lot but don't want the rest, contact the seller.  I've found that most are willing to sell the books separately if you make a good offer, although obviously they will decline if there is already a bid for the full set.  Check listings regularly and get your offer in early.
4. Basic Ebay tip - if it's an auction, get your bid in as close to the end as possible.  Bidding early only encourages others to push the price up, in my experience.  If you can't be at a computer when the auction ends then leave setting your maximum bid (where Ebay automatically bids on your behalf) as late as possible.
I've never tried buying from Amazon, but I think just about every book is available from their Marketplace sellers.  Beware, though - I believe shipping is charged by the book, so I'd imagine it could get quite pricey.  Probably best for buying single odd books to complete your collection.
I'm afraid I can't really offer much advice in the way of pricing, but personally I wouldn't pay much more than about 1.50-2 for an original series book including p&p - they're short paperbacks that aren't particularly rare

Selling
First and foremost, be very specific about which items you are selling.  I see so many auctions listed simply as 'BABYSITTERS CLUB' that I skip over most of them now, which is obviously not something you want as a seller.  There are hundreds of Babysitters Club books plus a film, dolls and heaven knows what else.  Don't include more than you have to in the item title - you have a whole page to describe that.  A picture is also useful, but obviously not essential if you write a good item description.  If there are books in the picture that you aren't offering for sale, either state that very clearly in the item description or don't use that picture.
Good listing:
Babysitters Club - original series 1-15, 72, 84/ mysteries 1 & 2
- item description page includes details about the condition of the books, picture of the books, ISBNs etc.
Bad listing:
BABYSITTERS CLUB SUPER RARE FAB CONDITION L@@K!!!!111!!!!
- item description lists the first three books (the most common of the series), picture is of Karen's Witch and a Saddle Club book.

 

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