Make Money Tearing Up Old Books and Magazines and Selling Them on eBay
Vintage books and magazines were packed with prints and advertisements and other paper
items which are not only interesting, but very collectable, and profitable, too. So many things
derived from these old publications are hot sellers on eBay including: prints, advertisements,
knitting and other craftwork patterns, recipes, how to articles, historical articles, music
scores, stories and other out of copyright material ... etc., etc, etc.
Let me introduce you to just a few of these easy to find items.
Old prints are valuable collectors pieces and there's a good income to be made simply
from packaging prints neatly and categorizing them according to theme, eBay's best sellers
being: animals, sports (especially golf and horse racing), royalty, music hall artists, topographical
(named locations) and children.
Advertisements were often hugely ornate, colored or black and white, photographic or
artist-drawn. Whatever shape they take, framed and unframed, mounted and unmounted advertisements
are very popular on eBay where only recently an advertisement placed by a slave trader in The
Memphis Daily Avalanche in 1859 fetched $200.
"Clippings", sometimes called "Cuttings" as both names suggest, are simply items cut
from books and other printed publications. They can be large or small, or even comprise entire
sections of a book linked to a specific theme. They can fetch high prices on eBay as did a
1909 article about the magician Houdini that went for $200 in May 2005 and clippings of Rudolph
Valentino fetched $305 at around the same time.
Gifts and Advertising Novelties from Early Publications
Early publications often contained useful free gifts for readers, some of which are profitable
collectors' items today. The most common free gifts were advertising inserts and sometimes
advertising blotters, rulers, children's painting books and maps. Maps are particularly prolific
in older books and are amongst eBay's highest priced items, such as the 1873 Beers Atlas of
Maps of Long Island New York which recently fetch over $2,000 and a Mitchell's Map of Missouri
and Arkansas found folded inside a tatty old book from 1937 that reached $1702.
Some early publications, larger ones, had double center page spreads that make great
posters and prints. They can fetch bids of $20 and more. As for all publications, learn to
specialize, and look for special interest magazines, targeting a specific audience, say dog
lovers, train enthusiasts, classic cars, and so on. This way you gain experience about specific
subjects and the person to buy from on eBay.
Another very easy project where all you have to do is look for copyright-free patterns
and designs which you can combine into books or sell individually. They are all great sellers
on eBay especially for traditional fancy dress anniversaries such as Halloween.
The secret here is to look for copyright-free cartoons which you can copy and mount or
frame as they are or revamp to suit today's market. As for other copyright-free material, although
there is no law against lifting and using cartoons, it is arguably immoral and unethical to
claim the work as your own.