Vintage Magazines -Buying & Selling, a Collectors Guide

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Everything old is new again, and vintage magazines are no exception. If you are interested in a rewarding pastime, then collecting vintage magazines may just be the right thing for you.

‘Vintage’ describes any collectable that is between 20 to 100 years old. To be classified as‘antique’, a collectable must be at least 100 years old.

Where to find them?

First stop will be your parents, grandparents, or older relative’s stock-pile of goodies. Make sure they are happy to part with them! Next, are garage sales – and then of course – deceased estates. But good luck there as you probably won’t be the first person in. Then of course, there is always eBay – and this is usually where you find all the gems – and lots too!


The value of vintage magazines is determined by 3 things: the age (obviously the older the better), the content, and - of course - buyers’ demand. For example, a 1950s magazine that contains an article about Marilyn Monroe will probably start a bidding war.

If you are collecting with a view to increasing the value of your collection, then you should focus on the content of the magazine as well as the age. World events and celebrities of that time are all important criteria – and also, if you are advertising them to sell – critical selling points.

Browsing the internet is also a great idea, to locate official sites that sell collectable magazines, for example Vintage Vogue magazines, to obtain a reliable market value.

And of course, time and practice will be your best guide. Experience is a wonderful thing.

Buying & Selling

Set up an eBay ‘saved search’ to alert you to any new listings, however it is also a good idea to regularly browse other categories too. For example, I have a ‘saved search’ criteria for ‘Vintage Magazines”, but I have also found great buys at a lessor cost hidden away in the overall ‘books and magazines’ listings. Of course, it takes longer to search the larger category, but if you have the time it is often worth it. I have found wonderful gems at only 99c with no other bidders.

If you are selling vintage magazines, don’t forget to highlight the articles, especially is there are any special or world events, or celebrity photos. Also, remember to add the term ‘Vintage’ to your item description –otherwise it may get lost in the crowd and you won’t attract the greater number of bidders. After that, your standard eBay practices apply.

Good luck - and good collecting !!




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