Collectors and dealers are always seeking out magazine collections for sale. Especially if you are just getting started in the business/hobby, use this short list to get you going.
Where to Find Cheap Antique Magazines
Ebay is a great place to start but dont marry yourself to buying from there. Check the site to identify good prices and then comparison shop around at other sources. If you are interested in selling magazines on eBay, check out this article.
Estate auctions are probably the best place to find magazine collections for sale. They are inconvenient for most, but if you have the time to get to one, I suggest giving it a shot. Be sure to check out the inventory beforehand (most auctioneers offer info online) so you are sure there are magazine collections for sale.
It surprises many beginning collectors to discover how many online antique auction sites there are. These sites do not always offer magazine collections for sale but they draw collectors and dealers with good inventory and (typically) a more honest approach when compared to more general sales sites.
Which Magazines are the Most Valuable?
If you are trying to build inventory to sell magazines, seek out LIFE magazine. It is no longer in publication but is still quite popular. The antique issues can fetch hundreds, especially if they are in good condition. Most places with magazine collections for sale will feature some LIFE issues.
Only older versions of Time and those with striking covers hold good value. I would recommend against buying newer issues (post 70s) since they arent sought out by serious collectors. However, if you run across large Time magazine collections for sale it could be worth purchasing for an inventory base.
This has always been (and will always continue to be) the most iconic music magazine on the planet. Collectors and music lovers regularly buy older issues. It is also common for people to purchase popular issues to frame them as decoration. Old Rolling Stone issues are a good investment and money can be made from them.
Antiquated Travel and Professional Journals
These are a lesser known category of magazine and they are not collected by as many people. Still, they can be a nice addition to any old magazine collection. These can include anything from travel brochures to old Farmers Almanacs and science journals. It is not as easy to price these since they are not bought and sold as often as other magazines. You wont find them as often in magazine collections for sale.
Antique Magazine Values
The most practical place to find antique magazine values is by viewing online sale prices and auction prices. Antique buying guides can give you good information about general sales numbers but those change and are dependent on a number of different factors.
Use these published official prices as a base but remember to check the actual sale prices to determine true collector interest and value.
Buying Old Magazines in the Best Condition
Since the most valuable magazines are typically the oldest, condition is the determining factor in value. It is a good idea to keep an inventory with magazines in varying condition because some collectors only have enough money to buy lower value issues.
Conversely, old magazines in pristine (or at least near mint) condition will fetch the best prices and hold value more than others.
The three main things to check when buying old magazines are corners, edges, and page count. Make sure all the pages are in the magazine and ensure that corners and edges are crisp and havent lost too much color.
You can find magazine collections for sale pretty easily but you will be hard pressed to continually find magazines in mint condition.
Use this list as reference when searching for magazine collections for sale.