Can I sell a near-complete set of film magazines?
February 13, 2007 4:43 PM   Subscribe

I got my hands on a near-complete series of film magazines (1970s-1990s) while doing an internship in college. They're great to have, but I need some extra cash right now. I looked on EBay, and I see a few people selling single issues of this magazine with some success. Is there a market for selling the lot and if so, how much can I expect to make?

The magazines are in great shape. The earlier issues are in black and white, and then they go to color with nice pictures. I came into possession of them when the issues were being indexed. The magazines contain lengthy essays on cinema with a leftist bent.
posted by sswiller to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
When you say you looked on EBay, do you mean just among the items currently for sale? For your question, the part you'd also want to check is the Completed Items. More items will show up that way, maybe including lots, and you can see what they've sold for in the past. To find that option, use the Advanced Search, or do a simple search and then click the Completed Items checkbox that's in the search options on the left-hand side of the page.
posted by daisyace at 5:34 PM on February 13, 2007

What's the magazine? Some sell back issues for too much for me to buy them. Those would be titles worth selling, for sure. Give me the title and I can give you some idea from my travels and travails in film academy.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:11 PM on February 13, 2007

I don't understand why you didn't tell us what magazine it is. Are you worried telling us might hurt the value somehow? I'm having trouble imagining how that would happen. The question is almost impossible to answer until you share the title of the magazine.
posted by mediareport at 6:27 PM on February 13, 2007

The magazine is called Cineaste
posted by sswiller at 6:42 PM on February 13, 2007

I didn't give the title because I'm not trying to solicit buyers through the site.
posted by sswiller at 6:43 PM on February 13, 2007

Cineaste is on hand in most libraries, not that hard to find.

I would set your sights at a price somewhat less than the total cover price of the volumes. If that's a helpful ballpark... How much less, I can't say, probably less than 50%. I'm just making an educated guess based on my use of film journals, and their individual prestige and appeal. Cineaste is saddle stitched, lightweight cover, right? More of a magazine than a journal... The same years from Cahiers would be more valuable, I would guess. Then again, the 70's is a big decade for cinema. If you had straight through from 1970 to 1980, it would be better than '76 on. As a potential collector...

It does seem logical that there would be a market for something like this. You should contact the librarian at a college near you and ask some questions, like who sells collections like yours to them and who buys hard copies of back issues anymore. Then call Cineaste!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:12 PM on February 13, 2007

Scroll down to the purple text on this page to see what Cineaste itself is asking for its "Rare Birds" back issues. Some are going for $7 to $30 each, which I'd take into consideration when pricing a large lot that contained more than one of them.

I didn't give the title because I'm not trying to solicit buyers through the site.

I think most folks recognize it's kind of necessary for questions like this.
posted by mediareport at 7:52 PM on February 13, 2007

I'd just like to state, having been down that road, that selling lots of magazines on eBay can be a lot harder than you'd think. Stacks/boxes of magazines can add up to be big, heavy, and expensive pretty quickly, so keep the shipping costs in mind before you'd post an auction. A couple days into my auction, I suddenly found out that $20 worth of items was going to need $80 shipping, and that can turn off a lot of potential buyers. USPS can be tricky with magazines, too - literature has discounted shipping if shipped as "media mail," but USPS doesn't like to classify items as media mail if it contains advertising (which might be irrelevant given the magazines' age).
posted by stleric at 8:41 PM on February 14, 2007

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