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‘Harry Potter’ Book Bought For A Penny Could Be Worth Thousands

‘Harry Potter’ Book Bought For A Penny Could Be Worth Thousands

A Harry Potter fan has stumbled into a pretty magical scenario of his own, as a book he bought online for only a penny is set to sell for thousands at auction.

Mark Cavoto, 51, from Buxton, Derbyshire, started collecting Harry Potter books a decade ago because of his daughter Holly, 25, and has now collected and sold as many as 3,000 in total.

But he couldn't believe his luck when he purchased a rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for a penny, including postage, online, only to realise it could be worth as much as £2,500.

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When Mark ordered the book, he didn't even realise it contained J.K. Rowling's signature, making it even more valuable and rare.

He said: "When Holly was a child, she loved Harry Potter books and started her own collection. About 10 years ago, we decided to sell some of her older books and three of them were snapped up within 20 minutes on eBay for £9.99 each.

The Harry Potter book was signed by J.K. Rowling (Credit: Caters)
The Harry Potter book was signed by J.K. Rowling (Credit: Caters)

"I'm a businessman with a shop in Buxton and I knew this was a business opportunity. I checked the ISBN numbers and sourced the same three books second-hand on Amazon, bought them for a penny each plus postage and sold them in minutes for £9.99 each on eBay.

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"It turned into a business. I started buying Harry Potter books for next to nothing at charity shops and online. I turned them into sets relating to the different editions and sold them on eBay.

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"I was buying around 10 Harry Potter books a day and Holly liked to open all the Jiffy bags. One day she glanced at a book she'd just opened and said, 'This is no good, it's got ink on it'.

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"She carried on opening the others then went back to it. She stared at me and said, 'Oh my God, it's been signed by J K Rowling - and it's a first impression'.

"I thought she was messing with me but it was true. It was signed 'To Alexandra (again!) J. K. Rowling' and was a 1998 hardback first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second novel in the series."

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Mark collects Harry Potter books (Credit: Caters)
Mark collects Harry Potter books (Credit: Caters)

What a stroke of luck!

Evaluating the findings, Jim Spencer, books expert at Hansons, said: "J K Rowling rarely signs so the book featuring her signature deserves to do really well. If your name is Alexandra and you love Harry Potter, we may have found you the perfect Christmas present.

"It's not the only signed copy we have for sale, though. Another client is parting with a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows signed by J K Rowling. It comes complete with its goody bag from the signing event - even a deflated balloon. The Harry Potter magic lives on."

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The book is set to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in Bishton Hall, Staffordshire, on Thursday with an estimate of £1,800-£2,500.

We bet the seller is kicking themselves.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

Topics: Harry Potter, Books, Real, Life

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Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]