At first glance, it doesn’t make sense that selling separate pages from old magazines could bring much higher prices than selling a complete issue of that same magazine on eBay. Here’s how it works.
When you buy used magazines at local estate and garage sales, it’s common to find damaged copies that are not acceptable to most collectors because of wear and tear, water stains or missing pages or covers,
In most businesses, there is only one place for damaged goods – the trash can. Not so when you’re selling old magazines. Many old magazines contain hidden treasure that can bring solid profits – one page at a time. That treasure is in the full-page ads or articles.
Because many of the older ads are collectible, especially those done by well-known artists and illustrators, there is a solid collector base for them. Ads for John Deere tractors, Planter’s Peanuts, Aunt Jemimah flour, Hathaway shirts and hundreds of others. Ads by a well known illustrator like Norman Rockwell or Jesse Willcox Smith are even more sought after, and can bring big prices, in some cases as much as a magazine cover by the same artist.
In addition to ads, articles in old magazines can bring hefty profits from collectors, especially those whose fascination with celebrities (usually deceased, like Elvis or Marilyn Monroe) drives them to buy almost any article in print about their favorite celebrity for their collection.
Why are people willing to pay high prices for a single ad or article, when they could buy the complete magazine? It’s simple really. Few people know how or where to find what they are looking for. For example, there is no way to know in advance if a magazine issue will have an ad for Studebaker cars, for example, or a Kellogg cereal ad created by Norman Rockwell. So it’s actually cheaper for them to pay an eBay seller for the specific item they are seeking.
Most full-page ads from older magazines sell for $10 and up. When you consider a single issue can contain ten or more full-page ads, that’s over $100 for just one issue, which you should be able to pick up at garage and estate sales for $1-$3 each. That amazing markup is one of the reasons why cutting out and selling old magazine ads can be so rewarding. To learn more about this fascinating “niche” eBay business, read Old Magazines Into Gold.