Woman's Day From 1970's worth selling?
July 7, 2014 10:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm going through my father's garage, and have come across two waist high piles of magazines from the 1970's, most likely waiting room material left over from when he owned a small business. They seem to mostly be "Woman's Day" and "Woman" magazines from 1970-1974. Should I separate the decent ones from the yellowing and crumbled ones, and try to sell them?

I'm not sure where I could do that, but ebay seems to have a few magazines of the same vintage on sale for $12-$14 each. Just binning the lot of them really bothers me, since they've survived four decades in the garage.
posted by Kevin Street to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And there's Chatelaine from the same era as well.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:25 AM on July 7, 2014

That ebay price seems high to me - I'd be surprised if anyone is really getting that. But it's worth a shot, I guess, maybe you could make some cash! But really, I'd just separate them into small lots and sell them on ebay for $5 to $10 bucks a lot. I agree it does seem a shame to trash them. People do like to use the ads and pictures in craft projects, to show their kids, just keep for fun, etc.
posted by backwards compatible at 10:32 AM on July 7, 2014

The thing about eBay is that people can ASK for anything -- you need to look at what actually gets bought to see if your item is worth selling. When I check completed listings for Chatelaine, I see a lot of magazines that didn't sell (red price = unsold, green = sold), and it looks like it's the same story for Woman's Day. There might be individual issues that could sell for various reasons, but it doesn't look like the bulk of the issues would be worth much.

You could give them to a thrift store, if it bothers you less than the trash or recycling? My local thrift stores sell old magazines for $0.10-$0.29, which is a more cromulent price for a casual read, laughing over old fashions, craft project use, etc.
posted by pie ninja at 10:33 AM on July 7, 2014

Focus group of one: I collect old ladies' magazines (ladies' magazines that are old, not magazines for old ladies) and probably wouldn't pay more than $1-2 for one from the '70s, even in good condition.

One thing I've seen and pondered myself: If you can cleanly break the spine, you could try to sell individual pages (interesting ads, fashions, etc.) poly-sleeved for @$1 each.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 10:42 AM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Selling the ads is the way to go. Here are recently sold magazine ads on Ebay. You could also put them on Etsy, to keep from having to relist every 7 days.

With women's magazines, it'll be interesting to see what people buy. I regularly see camera, car, and liquor ads sell. One thing is certain: You'll be surprised at what some people collect.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:27 AM on July 7, 2014

Along with the issue of having to check the completed listings on eBay for any reasonable idea of what sells and how much it sells for -- it looks like you're in Canada? We can't compete with the States on shipping costs and paper is heavy.

You don't have to re-list an item every 7 days on eBay. You can keep it up as long as you please/as long as you're cool with eBay billing you for the listing.

And they do like to bill over at 'feeBay.' Selling the ads would work out to a wretched per-hour wage. I would throw the entire lot up on Kijiji and offer them all, damaged ones too, for a reasonable per-issue price, hoping for a collector like Sweetie Darling above to happily cart them all out of my garage and read them again and take care of them. I love old magazines myself, but there's not a lot of value in them, and that goes double if you're not in the US with a "media mail" shipping rate. The other issue here is that you may find that moving them out of the garage means they're all crumbly -- I've taken a fair whack of paper ephemera out of sub-par storage conditions to find that while it was used to the basement it is dust after a short stint in the house.
posted by kmennie at 11:35 AM on July 7, 2014

Craigslist the whole lot at a buck or two apiece and call it a day. Ebay isn't going to get you any serious money, and the hassle will outweigh whatever you do make.
posted by Slinga at 11:51 AM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Unless you're truly desperate for a very small amount of money, save yourself the heartache and wasted time and toss them in the recycling. I've been selling used books and other paper ephemera both on and offline for years, and can tell you that the types of magazine you describe are virtually unsellable.
You could probably sell a few, either as whole magazines or as ad pages, but it isn't worth the time and effort required.
posted by crazylegs at 1:47 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

Please give them to a thrift store that has a magazine section! It is better for the environment to see them re-used than to send them to the landfill. I would totally buy them from a thrift store. Or discover Freecycle.
posted by cda at 6:10 AM on July 8, 2014

Sell them!

Personally, I love old magazines. I have a weird obsession with having magazines from the 60s and 70s. especially the women's ones. The old articles and ads are hilarious. That said, I am 99.9% sure I am going to end up like little edie by my 30th birthday. so maybe don't listen to me.
posted by twoforty5am at 8:14 AM on July 8, 2014

As someone who makes a good part of his living selling vintage magazines on ebay, let me tell you that what you have is essentially worthless. Absolutely not worth the time it would take to list on etsy or ebay individually.

Best case scenario, separate the ones in good shape, sell them together as a lot, and be happy if you get $10 - $20 (depending on how many).
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:02 AM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

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