Tell most people you make your living on eBay and they’ll almost certainly think you sell consumer goods, or collectibles, or any of thousands of other very different items. What they won’t expect to hear is that you make money by tearing the pages out of old books and magazines and selling those separate pages for big profits to hundreds of people all over the world.
It sounds like a strange business, but in fact it’s a simple business, and you’re actually selling vintage collectibles not as ‘pages’ but as advertising posters, and prints, maps and other highly prized paper items.
That’s because most early books were more lavishly illustrated and often contained many more pages than today’s publications, and were also usually printed on better quality paper than we encounter today. Publications from Victorian times, those I personally tear my pages from, were retained and read many times often over several months and many were kept indefinitely, meaning paper used to print them had to be stronger than those used for today’s throwaway papers.
So selling a page from a Victorian publication is quite unlike selling one from a recent newspaper or magazine, or book, and in themselves those very early pages have high perceived value and can fetch high prices on eBay and elsewhere.
Pictures and maps from early publications, also advertisements and cartoons, are purchased for research purposes or as decorative pieces to grace modern day households in a way that can never be accomplished by recently created posters and prints. As such just one publication, one hundreds years old or more, can be a source of literally hundreds of pages people will bid on and generate very high profits for you.
So, while you’re out at boot sales and flea markets, used book shops, or even surfing on eBay, keep an eye open for the following items in books and magazines which you can tear out and resell on eBay:
* Full page advertisements, especially for health and beauty products, alcohol and tobacco.
* Full page maps, the older the better, especially with place names that are now much changed from their current day names and spellings.
* Artist drawn illustrations and cartoons, notably from artists who remain collectable today, such as George Studdy (creator of Bonzo Dog), Mabel Lucie Attwell (a favourite on vintage postcards), Landseer (who painted mainly animals and whose dog portraits are immensely collectable today).
* Knitting and other craftwork patterns which can be framed and used for decorative purposes or can be sold for today’s craftworkers to recreate yesterday’s more intricate designs.
* Photographs of early music hall and theatre artists who still have a big following today.
* Calendars from New Year publications which often featured beneath immensely attractive artwork and again are highly sought after as posters and prints.
Avril Harper is an eBay PowerSeller and author of ‘Make Money Tearing Up Old Books and Magazines and Selling Them on eBay. Learn more about tearing up old books and magazines and: SELLING THEM ON EBAY.
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