Signed Harry Potter book bought for 1p 'could fetch thousands'

image copyrightEmma Errington/Hansons Auctioneers
image captionThe book - signed for "Alexandra" by JK Rowling - was bought for 1p plus postage

A collector with more than 1,000 Harry Potter books is hoping to fetch thousands of pounds by auctioning off some of his rarest items.

Mark Cavoto began trading books from the series after noticing how well they sold on online auction site eBay.

Among the books being sold by Mr Cavoto is a first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets signed by author JK Rowling, bought for 1p plus postage.

The auction takes place at Bishton Hall in Staffordshire on Thursday.

The signed book is expected to fetch from £1,800 to £2,500, with other first editions expected to collect hundreds of pounds each.

Mr Cavoto, 51, from Buxton in Derbyshire, said he saw a "business opportunity" when he sold some of his daughter's old Harry Potter books on eBay.

"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," he said.

image copyrightEmma Errington/Hansons Auctioneers
image captionMark Cavoto has 1,100 Harry Potter books in a warehouse and another 400 at home

Mr Cavoto began buying books from the series "for next to nothing at charity shops and online", which led him to discovering signed copies and first editions.

He said he has "around 1,100" in a warehouse, with another 400 books kept at his home, and believes he has bought and sold about 3,000 books over the last 10 years.

Mr Cavoto has already had one notable success - a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone from the opening title's second print run was sold to an Australian dealer for £4,600, after only being bought for a penny.

image copyrightEmma Errington/Hansons Auctioneers
image captionHansons Auctioneers' books expert Jim Spencer said the company has had "phenomenal success" selling Harry Potter books

Jim Spencer, books expert at Hansons Auctioneers, said: "I'm still getting about 50 emails a day from people who think their copy may be valuable.

"JK Rowling rarely signs so the book featuring her signature deserves to do really well."

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