Buy and Sell Used Magazines For Huge Profits on eBay

How to sell old magazines

How To Sell Old Magazines

How many garage sales were held in your town last weekend? If your town is anything like mine, there were a lot. That’s a good thing, because estate and garage sales are two of the best sources for collectible used magazines that can be bought for bargain prices from a dime to a dollar each. Many of these same magazines can bring prices of $6 to $20 each on eBay.

That may not seem like a lot of money, but remember that most garage and estate sales will yield dozens of old magazines, not just one or two. So for an easy hour of visiting local garage sales and a couple hours of listing the magazines on eBay, the profits can be quite large. It’s not at all uncommon for a fifty cent purchase at a garage sale to be worth $12 or more on eBay – a 2,400% profit!

You won’t have to find rare collectible magazines for those high markups either, as there are plenty of sought-after common magazines such as Life, Look, even Good Housekeeping that appeal to many buyers on eBay. They are looking for specific information about a person – Bobby Darrin, for example – or topic – antique refinishing or golf, for example, and are willing to pay well for any magazine issue that provides that information.

Another “niche” market that is growing fast is magazine issues purchased for personal gifts. For example, a copy of Life magazine on the date of a loved one’s birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day is a unique and treasured keepsake. One online seller charges a flat $29.95 for almost any issue date of Life magazine.

Although there is a collector base for almost any topic, it’s best to stick to the more popular topics to insure higher bids and multiple bids on your eBay listings. Here are a few of the hundreds of topics to get you started:


While dogs and cats are always popular, information about obscure pets such as snakes, rare livestock or butterflies will bring higher prices, as the information is harder to come by.


Collectors love magazine issues about aviation history, especially if it focuses on a specific airplane, such as the famous B29 bomber, kit planes or radio-controlled (RC) planes.


The older magazines are popular with history buffs, more so if an issue covers world wars or military history. Famous people that shaped history, like Ghandi, Winston Churchill or Joseph Stalin are also popular with collectors.

Movie & TV stars

There is a huge collector base who are happy to spend big bucks to get collectible issues about their favorite stars – from mega stars like Cary Grant or Madonna to lesser-known stars like Lawrence Harvey or the Monkees.


Name almost any sports star, from the greats of yesteryear, like Hank Aaron, to today’s greats, like skier Bode Miller, and you’ll find hundreds or thousands of collectors of hardcore fans who will pay for magazine issues that cover their personal heroes.

So the next time you hit the garage sale circuit in your town, look for hidden gold in those dusty stacks of used magazines. If you don’t see any magazines, ask the sellers, as the magazines are often not well-displayed. And don’t forget the estate sales, another prime hunting ground for collectible magazines. To learn more about this profitable business, read Old Magazines Into Gold.