5 Secrets of Successfully Selling Used Magazines Online

5 Secrets for selling used magazines online

5 Secrets

What is the difference between an online used magazine seller who struggles to make a profit and one who sells hundreds of magazines for $10 to $30 each every month? The difference is in the details, the everyday business decisions that can make or break any business. Here are a few secrets about selling old magazines online that can boost your profits or kickstart your new online magazine business.

1. Sell the right magazines.

Not all old magazines are popular with collectors or nostalgia buffs. Mention “collectible magazines” to the average person, and they immediately think “National Geographic.” Sure, everybody saves their back issues of National Geographic, but that has created such a surplus there’s no demand from buyers. Back issues have flooded the market, so you’re wasting your time ever trying to sell them online. Only very old issues or leather bound volumes of National Geographic sell well.

There are dozens of magazines that do enjoy steady demand from collectors, such as Time, Life, Fortune, even Better Homes & Gardens or Good Housekeeping. Many collectors prefer to buy “runs” of several issues, for example, all issues from one year. Other buyers are looking for magazines about a particular topic, like monsters, motorcycles or woodworking.

2. Famous people.

Another “hot” area for selling to collectors is famous people. Whether they are dead or alive, celebrities like the Beatles, John Denver or the Lone Ranger, sports stars like Michael Jordan, Roberto Clemente, or Vince Lombardi, or VIPs like Albert Einstein, Harry Truman or John F. Kennedy, you can be sure lots of collectors are willing to pay big bucks for old magazines that feature their personal heros. It’s best if the hero is on the cover of a magazine, but even articles clipped from old magazines sell well on eBay. Several successful sellers bundle several articles about rock stars from the past, like the Grateful Dead or Janis Joplin, and sell them for over $100 per bundle on eBay.

3. Buy right.

Garage and estate sales can be a gold mine. The seller’s goal is simply to get rid of surplus stuff and make a few bucks, which can work to your advantage. Try making an offer to take all the old magazines off their hands in return for a reduced price. Chances are good they will accept it. You can often find magazines that can be marked up 500% to 2,000% when sold as single issues to collectors on eBay.

4. Smart pricing.

Do your homework to find the prices the same issues or similar issues have sold for online. Check the “closed listings” section of eBay to find actual sales prices when the bidding closed. You’ll also learn how many buyers bid on that issue. Several bids are a good sign, as it means several people are actively looking for an specific issue date for that magazine.

5. Don’t sell damaged issues.

Instead, go through each issue and cut out any full page ads. Amazing as it may seem, there are collectors for old magazine ads as well as whole issues. Popular products from the past almost always bring higher prices, like Aunt Jemimah flour, Planter’s Peanuts or Coca Cola. New magazine sellers are always surprised to learn just how profitable these ads can be. Just one old magazine can have 12-20 full page salable ads that can bring $10 or more each on eBay.

By learning the secrets of buying and selling old magazines, you can turn a few hundred dollars worth of garage & estate sale magazines into a very profitable part time business. It’s just a matter of buying the right old magazines, pricing them fairly and listing them on eBay so the collectors can find them easily. To learn more secrets about this fascinating business, read Old Magazines Into Gold.