How to Make 1,000% Profits Selling Old Magazines

Ronald Reagan Sells Chesterfields

Ronald Reagan Sells Chesterfields

Ask any successful online entrepreneur what markup they need to make money, and the answers will usually range from 50% to 300%, depending on how expensive the product is. But there is a unique online business that offers markups of 500% to 2,000% that is still uncrowded and open to newcomers. This lucrative business is buying and selling old magazines and individual magazine ad pages. Here’s how it works:

There are millions of old magazines tucked away in attics, garages and basements that people have saved. When they clean out that attic or garage, the magazines usually end up in the trash or in stacks at a garage or estate sale. Most people haven’t a clue what a magazine is worth to collectors, so they price the magazines at give-away prices – as low as 25 cents each.

For those in the know, those 25 cent issues can easily bring $10 to $30 from collectors. As more and more people began using the internet, collectible magazines became more accessible, and buyers with an interest in everything from Elvis to Norman Rockwell cover illustrations became collectors in a big way. Where else can you buy a slice of history or a slice of life from your childhood for ten bucks or so?

Savvy buyers can find old magazines easily if they know where to look. Garage and estate sales are prime hunting grounds, but there are many other lesser known sources that can yield an occasional bonanza of old magazines. Some buyers like to specialize – Life magazine, for example – while others come whatever is available.

Because magazine collecting has grown so much in recent years, even ordinary, mass-circulation magazines can bring good profits. Insiders claim the market for collectible old magazines doubles every three years.

Smart buyers are always on the lookout for “special” issues of common magazines that can bring two or three times as much as an ordinary issue. Special issues often feature the work of well-known authors, illustrators – like Norman Rockwell – or photographers. Others may have collectible ads or feature celebrities or sports stars like Michael Jackson or Michael Jordan.

Most old magazine sellers choose eBay to list their issues, as there are millions of eBay buyers searching the listings every day. Some sellers have done so well on eBay, they’ve been able to set up their own web store after building their inventory.

The most amazing markups come from the collectible single page ads that are cut out of an old magazine. Here’s how it works. When a batch of several dozen or more magazines is bought, there may not be time to check out the condition of each magazine. A few may be damaged – a rip in the cover, missing pages, or a water stain, for example – and can not be sold as a complete issue. Many of these old magazines have 10-20 full-page ads for products that are collectible by themselves.

My favorite is the Chesterfield cigarette ads, featuring Ronald Reagan, from his Hollywood days. These full page ads sell for $8 to $10 each on eBay, so a magazine with 15 ads can bring $150. Not bad for a $1 purchase at a garage sale!

Most eBay sellers who list old magazines are part-timers, who spend just a few hours a month on their business. With a flexible schedule, low startup costs (As little as $200 can buy enough old magazines to start), high profit margins and a growing demand, it’s a perfect internet business for anyone with a few hours a month to spare. To learn more, read Old Magazines Into Gold.