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Hello. I'm new. My name is Stephanie. I joined basically to ask this one question:

I have a bunch of Life magazines. They range from 1940-1971. Some are falling apart, but others are in fairly well (but used) condition. Would it be worth more if I sold the whole magazine or just the advertisements? What should I sell each magazine or ad for? Who should I sell them to? Thanks in advance.

Tags: 1940, 1971, Life, magzine

Views: 14528

Replies to This Discussion


Thanks for replying! It was much appreciated. The covers I have include: Disney World Opens, Football flowers, Red Cross Girl, German U Boat and Ernest Hemingway. The Disney one is from 1971 and is better condition then the rest. The German U Boat one is falling apart quite severely. Most of the covers are in tact and so are the ads. Would any of the articles be of some worth? I believe I saw an article about Nazi's and a whole bunch of other quite historic articles. Also, if I were to sell the way you are, how would I sell them? Where would I sell them? Thanks for your time!
Hello, I guess I'll include some input. Sounds like you have quite a find there. When I go to garage sales I see picture frames for sale for very low prices. You might pick up a dozen or two and mount some old car ads in them. No wrinkles, creases or folds; then post them on ebay or wherever. Ads of brand-new anything from 60 years ago are fun, money-making ways to sell them. As Dianne said there isn't much call for magazines and there are millions of them. But if you have an ad for a 1940 Ford, a 1952 Cadillac, or 58 Chevy Impala...(or whatever) watch out because all those guys who have one will want your ad.
Thanks, Tom. I'll have to see if I have any advertisements that don't have wrinkles or tears of any sort. Would ads for 7 Up, Coca Cola have a good market as well? I have a ton of cigarette ads (that's the 40's for ya) too.

I just flipped through one of my 1940 Life magazines. I found a 1 page colored ad for Ford. It's advertising a 1941 Ford automobile. I also found 2 page coloed ads for Plymouth and Pontiac. There's a few other ads for Chevrolet,Dodge and Mercury as well. What do you think?

In my Disney World Opens 1961 Life Magazine, I found a yellowed with age mail order card. Could that be worth anything? It's completely intact.
In addition, in the 1939 magazine, there's 2 pages dedicated to the new 1940 automobiles. I believe it's an article. I have a 1940 Cadillac ad and plenty more ads. Sadly, no 1940 Ford. Oldsmobile full colored 2 page ad, Desoto ad...a whole bunch, actually. More then I think it necessary to have in a magazine. Ha ha.I'll keep looking and keep updating.

In the 1945 Look magazine that I forgot to mention, I have this incredibly nice 7 Up ad. I also have an ad in my 1952 Life magazine for the Golden Anniversary Cadillac. What's your opinion?
You're not going to get rich doing it. I looked on ebay and $4.95-10.00 is the price range for a picture of an old car. Ads for 7-up, cigarettes, motorboats, light aircraft, inventions, art deco items, new appliances, styles of clothing, anything goes. Just remember your bottom line; what is your time worth?
I had 3 Life mags (somebody stole them), Last week in Dec 1941, first week in Dec 1941 and 2nd week of Dec 1941. Life photo crew was doing stories on Hawaii prior to Pearl Harbor. Both "before" issues covered Hawaii just before the attack on Dec 7th, and the "week after" covered Hawaii just after the attack. You might locate those 3 issues and sell them as a group. Might be worth a few bucks to a war collector.
Correction: that should read last week of Nov 1941, first week and second week of Dec 41.
So do you recommend I save the magazines or take out the ads and frame them? If you recommend framing, how should I go about doing so?
Hi Stephanie,

If they're falling apart you'd probably be best off pulling the ads. For example, on eBay I regularly fetch $12-$18 for solid World War II era issues of Life, but by the same token I ran about 3 dozen auctions recently with 1950s issues which weren't even falling apart, but on the whole were pretty ugly. The minimum bid was 99 cents per issue, the auctions failed garnering only about a half dozen sales.

Personally, I don't have the time to pull ads, as I always have a backup of full magazine issues to list, so I'll probably end up putting the worse issues together for sale in a big lot. But if you have the time, sure, it can be fun sorting through those old issues and you can make a few dollars as well.

By the way, I just put together a new web page on matting and framing over the weekend, it can be found here:

Thanks, Cliff
If I do frame the ads, how do you recommend I should keep them in good condition? Should I just frame there or is there any type of procedure to do?
Stephanie, if you're going to matte and frame them that guide I posted shows exactly how I'm doing it. All those materials are archival as well, so they will keep over time. If you frame them without matting, the pages may sag and wrinkle inside the frame, as the paper stock is quite thin.

Hi Stephanie. First when you say BUNCH [HOW many do you have ??? ], you should also consider possibly selling the entire group. depending on the size. I my self am just considering framing SOME of the many magazine pages/ ads which i have in the collections i RESELL..
some folks buy the magazines for their collection - some are interested in just the ads

but those that buy magazines are looking for those that are intact - and in fairly good shape, so I would separate the magazines into two piles: those that are in good shape, and those that aren't

for the intact magazines, list them as whole - you can always split up the magazine later, if it doesn't sell - just don't remove the address labels - let the seller know that they are there, of course, but suggest the seller remove them.
also - puhlease - don't put price labels directly on the magazines (or anything of paper, books included) - original address labels are one thing - sticky price tags are another - ugh!

for the not-so-intact magazines : ) - I'd suggest to sell the ads AND articles AND covers (if the covers are in good shape - even if the address label is on them) - just make sure you have a way to track their provenance - most avid sellers want to know where the ad/article/cover came from for their records - you can either place each ad / article in it's own acid-free archival sleeve, then note the magazine/date/issue on the side margin of the sleeve (don't write the info on the sleeve over the ad/article -- the pressure from the pen will transfer to the paper)
- or -
you can keep the magazine together in an acid-free sleeve and sell the items as you go - that way, you can more easily track what issue you got the ad/article from and not have to buy a mazillion sleeves for each and every ad/article


While you're waiting for the buyer to come along - for storing them:

- acid-free boxes are the preferred storage container - but if you don't have those at the ready (or if $ is tight) you can put them in regular boxes, but line them first with acid free paper (just remember to budget those acid-free boxes as soon as you can and transfer the magazines as soon as possible)
- plastic boxes are a good container, but keep in mind - they do give off gases (albeit, very slowly) - and they can be pricey, especially when you need the larger sizes - and watch the temp/humidity level - plastic, if it goes from cold to hot to cold can "sweat" and ruin the paper
- metal shelves can be used - just place the magazines on them, but then you have the dust etc getting to the magazines - and metal shelves are prone to rust
- optimum container for paper, IMO is glass - the only thing that doesn't affect paper. However, I've yet to see a glass container / box - lol

- keep any paper items in a fairly cool place - the attic is NOT a good place (but you knew that : ) - ideally 50 degrees is best, but not many of us have that option - just make sure the storage room doesn't get overly hot or overly cold.
- keep paper items away from smoke and food odors - paper picks up the odors
- don't eat / drink in the storage area - not only will it attract vermin and bug critters, the potential for mishaps is high - best to be safe
- archival experts also suggest wearing cotton gloves when working with paper items - oils from the hands can transfer to the paper - however - I would guess that most of us just don't bother ... : ) - just keep the hands clean - no eating a pizza at the same time you're archiving the magazines ... : )
I'm a magazine collector - currently have about 1/2 of all the Life issues - have to get my inventory updated, so that I know what I need from your stash ...

~ Gail


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