Magazine Valuations

Please note we do not give valuations. Our best advice is usually to 'watch' a similar magazine in an active Ebay auction to gauge interest & selling price. Sorry, I don't buy private collections and don't have the time to reply to individual questions.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
These questions, along with my replies, were gathered during the time we ran our free messageboard. Many are quite generic and will therefore answer a question you may have yourself.

Question from Elle: 'Hi. I have a load of Classic Motorsport magazines. How and where would I be able to get them valued?'
You won't get them valued, Elle (at least, not in any meaningful way). You will need to simply 'watch' auctions for copies of the title (or similar) on the online auction websites and see what they sell for (not what they are advertised at). Most magazine collections have nowhere near the potential value to interest any of the standard auction houses in spending their time valuing them.
True vintage magazines (pre-1970), first editions and certain genres (men's titles, some fashion titles, comics and some others) hold more value; there are many collections of car magazines in lofts across the land, so their values are generally low. With motorsport magazines, some issues may have extra value to a collector - for example, where a driver has sadly been killed during a race and the magazine pays tribute to him. Famous races, celebrating a driver's championship win, and so on. Not many will take a whole collection; no one has the space to store hundreds and hundreds of mags, and most issues will be of no real interest and it all comes down to the few 'specials'.
I have been in the same position of taking an entire motorsport collection (I simply picked them up from someone who was moving house) - I sorted through them (it took ages!), saving only the ones I felt would be of interest; the big majority went in the recycling. It was a shame but no choice, and I suggest you also sort through them and just keep those with interesting stories. I have to admit it was time consuming (I've still not got around to listing them), and so you may not want to bother, in which case, offer them for free collection.

Question from Lindsay: 'I have a complete set of World of Wonders Magazine published between October 1910 and November 1911. They are published by Hutchinson and Co., London. Does anybody know if these would be of interest to a collector please?'
Yes, the vintage of these, assuming they are in good condition for their age, will probably make them of interest to a collector. I believe these are a part-work rather than traditional weekly/monthly magazine, so may appeal to a slightly different type of collector, but their perspective on the world will make them fascinating to read now, I'm sure. There are very few auction houses that will offer magazine collections, as most have a minimum lot value, but you could try Chris Albury at Dominic Winter Book Auctions (www.dominicwinter.co.uk). They do offer magazine collections at auction (as at May 2013) if they feel they have an auctionable value above £150 or thereabouts. The obvious alternative is an online auction such as eBay, which for most magazines is the only practical way to go, but I'd suggest contacting Chris, simply on the basis that these have a true vintage. They will, however, need to be in very good condition to make it to auction. And to others reading this I would say unless your collection is very special indeed, no auction house will have any interest, so don't waste their time and yours by asking for a valuation. They will not thank you or me for wasting their time.

Question from Steve: 'I have 40 vintage 1950 pocket glamour mags, all in very good condition, most of which are very early issues such as issue number one of Playgirl, number one issue of Piccadilly. What should I do with them?
Sell them in an online auction Steve. These are collectable. First editions should be advertised separately on Ebay etc. Others you may want to group into 3 or 4 issues.

Question from Michelle: 'Hi. I have a collection of Family Circle magazines dating from 1964-1992, most years all 12 editions. Could you advise me if they would be of any value please?
Many will probably be of little value at this stage, Michelle, but certain issues may have greater value because of their cover photos/lead story/celebrity story/age etc. Apart from searching Ebay to see what might be selling on there (selling, not just advertised - you need to 'follow' the auctions till they conclude to see what actually sells, and don't read too much into But It Now prices), the thing you can do (if you need to dispose of them for space reasons) is look through them and pick out issues that you feel may interest collectors. At least that way you can keep a few and bin the majority. The older ones, if in good condition, will probably be worth hanging on to anyway as they provide a super 'flashback' to a different time, generation, and way of life.

Question from Edward: 'I have about 25 WW1 Magazines. The Penny War Weekly, The War Illustrated, various dates from 1913-1918. In fair condition, rusty staples, hardly opened. Do they have any value at all? I am unable to trace any collectors. It seems a shame to just 'bin' them.
It certainly would be a shame, though these are not as rare as you might imagine - seems lots of people kept hold of them and so they turn up as lofts get 'turned out'. In my view they are collectable and will simply become more collectable as time goes on. Finding a buyer leads you to Ebay or similar online auction websites, as these are the only real route to selling them.

Question from Lucy: 'I have around 50 copies of the classic Thundercat Comics - going back to I think 1989-ish. They are all in plastic covers and very good condition. I haven't got a clue about them and wanted to look into selling them before I just recycle them - do you have any ideas?'
I don't specialise in comics and so I'm not the expert on these but I'm quite sure they are collectable, especially as they have obviously been well kept as collectors items. Being collectable doesn't automatically mean they are worth a great deal at this time of course, but you certainly shouldn't just recycle them! There are some specialist traders who deal in comics that might be interested. The other option is to advertise them yourself as a bulk lot, or singly (or perhaps batches of 4 or 5) on eBay. If you're patient, I think they would sell for sure. You're going to ask me how much, aren't you? As I say, I'm not the expert on comics. I think you'd need to do some research. There are some listings under Thundercats on eBay, so perhaps start by doing a search on there to get an idea of how much others are selling for. One seller is selling for £1.95 each plus £1.30 postage (June 2011). Another is showing a batch of 5 on 'Buy It Now' for £4.99 plus £3 p&p (June 2011). That might give you an idea.

Question from Peter: 'I have a full set of 'Unexplained' magazines. I was wondering if you could tell me if they are worth any money or would it be better just to throw them out?'
Although this was a partwork - and partworks tend to be less popular with magazine collectors as they are somewhat removed from the usual style of monthly magazine - 'Unexplained' was, by all accounts, very popular while it lasted (it was published by Orbis in the early 1980s and ran to over 150 issues), and this kind of 'scifi/paranormal' publication has a large audience around the world. So yes, I think these could be collectable and worth something to the right buyer. How much they might be worth is a complete unknown until you test the water. As with all these things, the trick is to find that 'right buyer', and have patience. Ebay is going to be the most practical place to try to sell them and I would be inclined to offer them as the full set, rather than listing them individually. Shipping cost will be a burden however; collection only perhaps.

Question from Kristian: 'My father has discovered in the loft 40 (full series?) mint condition of the Radio One 'Story of Pop' series. Can you tell me if they are worth anything?'
It's always difficult to say whether or not magazines are worth a particular amount of money because it usually comes down to being able to connect with the right buyer at the right time. Certain genres of magazine sell better than others (Playboy for example, and others like it, are more 'collected' than general interest magazines), and first issues in general tend to be more collectable (which is where I tend to concentrate). When it comes to part-works (and coincidentally I collected that pop series myself way back!) they don't appeal to me as a magazine collector, as they are closer in genre to books than magazines, being reference works. Of course that's not to say someone wouldn't be interested in it as a reference work. A second-hand book shop might be interested but probably not, as it would take up too much space on their shelves. Frankly, I doubt they have much worth, unfortunately, and would be unlikely to become worth anything much in the future as I can't see it becoming a 'collectable' item. But that is very much me gazing into a crystal ball... and you never know.

Question from Kate: 'I have a large range of Queen magazines dated from 1960-69. I wondered if these magazines were worth anything to anybody? They are in great condition.'
Magazines on royalty (always assuming in good condition) are collectable, as is most royal memorabilia, and the vintage and claimed condition of these should help them appeal to those collectors. Always very difficult to place a value on these things though - best is to monitor the prices similar magazines are being sold for (not advertised for - you need to 'watch' sales on eBay and see if they actually sell and what they fetch). Certainly worth holding on to in my opinion.

Question from Steven: 'I have a full collection of Marshall Cavendish Handbook Weekly Parts 'On the Road' from 1980 period, complete 121 issues in very good, mostly unread condition. They are currently listed on ebay. Not sure if this is the sort of magazines you would know much information about?'
The handbook set you have, being a part-work, is effectively a book in many parts, rather than a magazine collection in the conventional sense. While it might appeal to someone looking for information or nostalgia on the subject, I doubt it would appeal to a magazine collector as such. Also, given the age of the information concerned, it would have to appeal to someone with an interest of motor cars of that era. And for the most part, I would expect such people to want detailed information on a particular car or brand (old Haynes manuals for example), rather than what I take to be a more general 'how to'. But I don't know the collection you have in any detail, so it may have appeal I'm unaware of. The age and condition of the collection is a positive, but sorry, I feel your £175 starting bid (plus shipping) (July 2011) is wildly optimistic. A realistic starting bid would probably be nearer £30.

Question from Simon: 'I have a pristine edition of the coronation issue of Punch, 1953 - do you happen to know if this is worth anything?'
I'm sure such a magazine will be worth something to the right buyer, though it's always difficult to 'price' such magazines. The only way to find out is to place it on an auction site such as eBay or eBid, with a starting bid dependent on how eager you are to sell it. If you place a low starting bid it may get snapped up for a lot less than it could get if you give it time to attract the 'right buyer'. That said, in the current climate (Feb/Mar 2011) you're probably looking at getting no more than perhaps £5-£6 in a private auction. I feel it should be worth a fair bit more than that in time. With that in mind you might be better advised to keep it well stored and look to sell it in a few years time. It is what I would rate as a good collectable magazine.

Question from Bernice: 'I have an original 1st edition of the 1911 Womans Weekly magazine, it is in good condition except for a 1-inch tear in the front cover. How could I find its worth?'
Very difficult to estimate its worth Bernice. Collectors will be interested if the condition is as you describe, but ultimately it's worth whatever someone is willing to pay and it's very difficult to even set a base price. The other difficulty is where/how to sell it to get the best price. Traditional auction houses tend not to be interested unless there is a catalogue or largish collection of true vintage magazines to auction. One issue alone, in most cases, won't interest them. But a locally run auction might accept it - but then it will attract a limited audience for such an item. If it were mine and I was willing to be patient, I would list it on Ebay with a relatively high reserve price to test the water. Now you will ask, how high? That depends on how eager you are to sell it, or if you are willing to give it time. Bear in mind that magazines are not yet a mainstream collectable (June 2017) and so you have to be realistic in your expectations. Start with a reserve set at the absolute minimum you would be prepared to let it go at. Not less than £20. If it doesn't sell, store it away for a while longer - in my opinion magazines of that vintage will only become more valuable, assuming of course that they are carefully stored.

Question from Jason: 'I have found an old International Science and Technology magazine from 1961. It says it is a prototype issue. Since publication started in 1962, I can't find any information online about this prototype issue's value or any evidence it existed other than this copy.'
This may appeal to a genuine collector due to its vintage and pre-publication date. This was very likely a mock-up issue made to discuss in-house, show to interested parties, distributors etc., and to get feedback on any changes considered beneficial to its future sales. It has certainly been common practice for publishers to put together pre-sale issues, and it can be of great interest to collectors when they come across a pre-sale or 'mock-up' issue of a magazine that subsequently never made it into publication. These are sometimes incomplete inside with partial content through the first section only, bulked out with empty pages. The cover is usually well considered and well presented as it is a main selling feature of just about any modern magazine (by modern I mean in the last century). I have one myself, of a magazine for which I was never quite the founding editor!

Question from Georgie: 'I have a 1998 Issue 1# of Disney Princess children's magazine. I cannot find anything about this magazine on Google (only very late editions of 400+) and there is nothing similar on ebay (March 2018). Whilst I appreciate that you cannot offer a valuation, have you any idea whether this is of any value? I am conscious that Disney merchandise often has a captive audience.'
I don't know if this title has a special following but yes, I think it will carry some value to a collector, because it's a first issue and Disney. Often it will be a case of biding your time, advertising it on Ebay with a reserve price or highish starting bid until a buyer comes along. If there are buyers being found for the more recent issues, that will indicate a following for it, so you should still 'watch' those sales to see what they sell for and how quickly, to gauge demand.

Question from Sue: 'My husband has at least 100 good condition Playboy magazines, most of them special celebrity editions, Raquel Welch and Marylin Monroe etc. I was wondering if they would be of any value?'
Yes Sue, as long as their condition is good and each is complete, there are collectors who will definitely be interested; it is currently the one particularly collectable genre of magazine (July 2018). Search for the title on Ebay and 'watch' the auction till it ends. Take time to find the level in terms of pricing, as some of these do sell for fairly high prices, depending on age, issue number, condition and content.

Question from Michelle: 'I have a huge collection of Simpson comics from 2008 onwards. Do you think these are worth keeping? Do you think they will be worth anything in the future?'
Actually I do think they could prove worth keeping. Although a relatively new title (note: this question was posted Aug 2018), the Simpsons may well go on to become something of a classic and gather a cult following amongst later generations. They may be worth something even now - comics have been more collectable than general magazines for a while already. Yes, if I owned these I would keep them safely boxed, away from damp etc. They may one day be worth a tidy sum... though it may be your kids who benefit!

Question from Nev: 'I have around 40 issues of 'Slam' basketball magazine mainly from 1995-2000. I seem to have all of the iconic Jordan, Kobe, Pippen, Kemp covers and I wondered if anyone can point me in the direction of a professional valuer? I ask as one of the magazines I have in my hand here is on ebay for 25k dollars.'
A 'professional valuer' would be an auction house specialising in books and magazines. Most tend not to be interested in magazines as their commission is often too small, but if you can convince an auctioneer of the likely value being worth their while, then they may do some research on it and offer the collection at auction. I don't have contact details for auction houses. I did some research a while back and only received a response from one who showed any interest in magazines, Dominic Winter Book Auctions (www.dominicwinter.co.uk). As for a listing at 25k on ebay, it's worth nothing until someone parts with the cash! Only actual selling prices are meaningful.

I will be adding more questions and answers from the many I've had to the site over the years