How to Sell Vintage Print Ads on eBay
- Selling Old Collectible Vintage Art Print Ads on eBa...
A retired baker, looking to expand his eBay business, engages in a new niche--selling vintage magazine ads on eBay. He shares his initial steps of progress as well as positive results.
- Cruising Down the Boulevard--on eBay
A writer and eBay seller takes time to ponder man's innate love for automotive power and speed. Like a spark plug igniting high octane fuel, the tsunami wave of nostalgia propels the vintage car print ads niche to higher performance levels.
- Sold in 11 Minutes and 15 Seconds--on ebay!
Personal records may not mean much to the rest of the world. Where they truly count is in challenging an individual to constantly improve his or her efforts. Here's a case in point...
- Raising the Bar...on eBay
Social responsibility in promoting vintage and contemporary print ads on eBay is just as important as social responsibility in the drinking of alcohol beverages. This hubber/eBayer considers it a privilege to convey this public service message.
Are you retired and looking for a way to supplement your fixed income?
Are you in college, hoping to chip away at your mounting student debt?
Are you a young mom wanting to establish an online small business venture?
Are you an ex-felon, your skin toughened by one too many doors slammed in your face?
Are you a teenage entrepreneur, the next aspiring Donald Trump (without the iconic hairdo)?
Are you an established brick and mortar businessman looking for another viable stream of income?
Are you a homeless person, sick and tired of being sick and tired with the looks people give you as you sit on the corner outside the Safeway store, your pride and self-respect even more tattered and foul-smelling than the rags on your back?
Are you a HubPages writer in search of a niche business and the golden possibility of linking both passions to each other?
If you answered YES to one or more of the above, this article may be of some help to you. I don't promise anything magical. What I will provide you is a reason to leave your couch of self-pity, anxiety, boredom, or despair and give you impetus on your road to success.
Again, just so we understand each other, I want to make one thing very clear: This is NOT a get rich quick scheme! I'll provide you with the map of the route I took, but you, my friend, will have to do the walking! If you follow my advice, tweaking the process, of course, to fit your unique personality, style, and circumstances, you'll find this to be a profitable endeavor. If you slack on commitment and work ethic, you'll absolutely fail. I guarantee either side of this scenario. The proverbial adage holds true: You reap what you sow. So let's sow good seed on fertile ground, my friend.
And what am I getting out of this, you ask?
Alright, it's a fair enough question. And here's my fair enough answer.
This is the part where I talk to you about my mission statement in life. In the weeks and months ahead, you'll find me repeating, in the future articles yet to be conceived and created, this core element of what makes me tick.
My mission statement in life can be capsulized in a short and simple prayer--
May I be a positive difference in someone else's life today.
From that root intention stems all kinds of possibilities and opportunities on a daily basis, and my responsibility is to be mindful of when those openings occur.
That's what I get out of this.
And now...a moment of clarification...
Before we go any further, the purists among you will be fidgeting because you'll have this unspoken statement on the tips of your perfectionistic tongues: Yeah, but how in the world does he expect the homeless person to access a computer?
Let me tell you about homeless people, my friends. The emphasis is on the second word, not the first. They're people, and I respect them very, very much. But for the grace of God, I am one step removed from being homeless at any given second, and I never forget that for one moment. Should that misfortune ever happen to me, I will still be a human being with dignity and self-respect.
People who happen to be homeless are the most resourceful people I have ever been blessed to know. Given the misplaced priorities of our municipal, county, state, and national governments, they HAVE to be. I have no doubt in my mind that where there's a will, there's a way.
Okay, 'nuff said! Let's proceed!
The Modus Operandi
- Find Vintage Magazines There are a variety of places where you can find old magazines. Yard sales, estate sales, church rummage sales, thrift stores, consignment stores, and homes of friends and relatives are great places to look for old magazines. You can do a search on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Craigslist, and other online sites. While ads can be gleaned from all kinds of magazines, I've had a good amount of sales with ads from Life, National Geographic, Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, Esquire, Fortune, Boy's Life, Photography, and Scientific American.
- Prep Work Carefully remove the three or four staples from the spine of the magazine with a staple remover. You may also need a pair of pliers to remove the old and sometimes rusty staples. Stack the pages with ads that you want to post, and toss out the other pages.
NOTE: At this point, my waste not, want not eBay chum, Heather (aka mommymay on HubPages) would want me to tell you to toss those superfluous pages into a cardboard box to be used as filler packing material when shipping fragile objects.
- Invest in a Good Rotary Trimmer Sure, you could trim the raggedy edges of your ads with a pair of scissors, but why torture yourself? Besides, with a good rotary trimmer, you'll save yourself hours of labor. Trust me--I learned this the hard way! The process is very simple. I place an unassembled cardboard box on a bed and slice all of my pages in five to ten minutes. You don't have to precisely measure each edge and mark it with pen or pencil for guidelines. Simply eyeball the entire edge for the amount you want to trim. As you do this, you can simultaneously do your quality control work, throwing away pages that are excessively oxidized, overly wrinkled, or have large holes. If you come across a tiny chip or two, you don't necessarily have to throw the ad away, but be sure to make mention of it in your description when you list your ad. Because a lot of customers matte and frame these ads, any blemishes on the outer edges are moot issues.
- What about ads that are less than a full page size? I make snap decisions about the smaller ads. If my gut tells me that something looks unusual, quirky, campy, politically incorrect by today's standards, aesthetically appealing, iconic, or unique in any other way, I cut them out, too. Some sellers charge less for ads that are smaller. I don't do that. Taking into account that the smaller ads ironically take more work to prepare (including cutting them out by hand), I charge the same amount straight across the board. Respecting oneself is key, in my opinion, to respecting the buyer, the transaction, and the entire gamut of the eBay experience.
- What about half-page ads? With half-page ads, I sometimes cut them to size. My recent research, however, has determined that many sellers leave the half-page ad intact on the full page sheet. If and when I follow suit, I'll mention in my listing the specific size of the ad as well as the dimensions of the full page. I also state that by leaving the ad intact, the buyer has the discretion of determining how wide he wants the specific uncut margin to be prior to matting and framing. Presenting options as win-win situations contributes to the overall goodwill and success of an eBay transaction.
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The Bottom Line
I have been selling vintage print ads gleaned from old magazines for approximately eighteen months. In that period of time, I've sold over 360 ads. That breaks down to an average of twenty ads per month. The prices have ranged from $2.95 to when I was first starting out to my current $12.48 per ad. I pay the shipping, so after expenses and fees, I'm netting roughly $8.19 per ad. Currently, I have 884 vintage ads and 188 contemporary ads listed. In addition, I have scores of articles and prints, also removed from the same magazines, that I am selling at $12 or more a pop.
There are sellers of these vintage ads that have been doing this for decades. Their inventory numbers are in the tens of thousands. On a daily basis, a lot of their items are unsold, but it doesn't matter because they're selling double-digit items every single day! It will take me years to match their inventory. I'm not sure that I want to because it takes too much time away from what I truly want to do--my writing. However, a point can be made that amassing vintage print ads over time will enable one to make a comfortable one-niche career on eBay.
I share all of this with you to underscore what I said earlier--If you follow my advice...you'll find this to be a profitable endeavor. By no means is it a get rich quick scheme. As promised, it is a gift of impetus to get you motivated and moving!