Here’s How You Could Sell Your Old Fashion Magazines to Make Money

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Thinking about finally cleaning out your stash of old fashion magazines? You might want to take a second look before heaving them all into the recycling bin.

Fashionista’s Tyler McCall ponders the value of old magazines in a recent piece about her quest to acquire several specific back issues of fashion magazines like Vogue.

She scored nine Vogues (from the ‘90s and turn of the century — so nostalgic!) for winning eBay bids ranging from $2.50 to $20.

If you think you might have a winner in your stack of magazines (probably labeled “Ditch these???”), don’t set up a secondhand fashion-mag shop just yet.

Making money selling your old magazines is more of an art than a science, McCall notes.

Why People Buy Old Fashion Magazines — And What You Should Know Before Trying to Sell Yours

Some retro magazine issues get purchased by collectors for the sake of collecting; others are bought by people searching for something they can’t easily find online.

For fashion magazines, McCall explains, it might be a designer looking for inspiration or a film crew working on a period piece. Still others get bought up by fans of a celebrity — or perhaps even the actual celebrity themselves.

Pro sellers tend to buy old magazines in bulk, allowing them to sell relatively low and still make some profit.

For the average fashion fan, scarcity is key. No one’s going to pay big money for your December 2016 issue of Elle, but someone might bid on a copy from the early days of the now defunct Jane.

Got a good-condition, mid-90s Delia*s catalog floating around your apartment? Yeah, someone might pay $20 or so for that, according to McCall’s research.

“Because there’s not a solid market for [back issues of magazines], it’s more of an art than it is a science,” she explains. “[I]f there’s a big celebrity or supermodel on the cover, it will command more.” And the older a magazine is, the more likely it is to earn bids.

If you’re ready to list some vintage Vogues — or maybe just the ads — you’ll want to follow our guide to eBay selling best practices.

If you don’t think the potential $5, $10 or $20 in your pocket is enough for you to make an effort, you can at least enjoy giving those magazines one last skim before they get the heave-ho.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder. She owns a full set of the retired Canadian magazine Worn Fashion Journal.