Attract 12 or more buyers for every book you buy to resell on eBay
One hundred pounds a day, pure profit: surely that’s enough to keep most of us happy. But what many people don’t realise is that £100 a day pure profit is within virtually anyone’s reach.
If you subscribe to our monthly newsletter eBay Confidential, you’ll know we’re covering £100-per-day-profit ideas over 12 issues, each month digging deep into a specific idea.
So in our January issue, we talked about buying very early stamp collections at auction and splitting the albums into pages with stamps relating to an individual country and listing countries separately on eBay.
That’s because most stamp collectors have specific interests, such as all GB stamps, all stamps issued in the United States during the 19th century, or all stamps featuring space travel: that sort of thing.
If you read that issue, you’ll know buying a stamp album inexpensively at auction and splitting the pages this way can take several days to process and list on eBay, but should always generate £100 pure profit per day; sometimes a good deal more.
Now I’m not going to reveal ideas set aside for subscribers to our main newsletter, but I do want to highlight an idea that always makes me £100 per day each time I apply this technique.
Before we do that, non-subscribers might like to sign up for a risk free trial to my main newsletter, where you can read my most profitable £100-per-day ideas covered in depth. You’ll find the sign-up page here.
Attract at least 12 buyers per book you sell on eBay…
The idea we’ll look at now is one of attracting 12 buyers – sometimes more – to every book you buy to resell and turn into a £100+ profit-maker.
The idea is to look for newspapers and magazines from pre-1900 (as far back as the 1700s, prior to which the printed English language was very different to what we know today and is unrecognisable to most of us).
You are looking for publications issued monthly (so 12 issues per year) and sometimes published weekly (meaning 52 buyers for every book you buy). In particular, you are looking for a full or half year’s issue bound into one volume.
The Victorians in particular read their newspapers and magazines many times over, sometimes years after publication, and the best way to preserve publications for future use was to have them bound in attractive, hard-wearing volumes.
You’re looking for illustrated magazines, preferably focusing on major events of the year in which they were published. The end result is six (half a year of monthly publications) to 52 publications (one year of weekly issues) packed with articles and illustrations with potential to sell individually.
You could list your acquisition at auction as 12 (or appropriate number of) separate issue listings, beginning, say, at £4.99 an issue plus delivery costs.
In my experience, some of those items will fetch just £4.99 each, but some will fetch much more. Overall, if you make £10 pure profit per sale from just ten of your daily listings, then you’ll make your £100 per day with very little effort.
I have made more than that on occasion – much more for certain publications, especially where specific subjects covered in any issue appeal to a passionate collecting audience (more about this later).
As an example, my hard-backed bound volume of the Illustrated London News, published in the first six months of 1862, contains 26 issues jam-packed with images and text featuring events of the American Civil War.
That six-month bound volume is currently for sale on eBay at £150, but mine cost just £20 at a local flea market.
Here are just a few other ways to turn such a publication into several-hundred pounds pure profit…
– Remove full-page illustrations to sell individually. I’ve just searched recent sales of single-page illustrations from a copy similar to my own and found some pages fetching £10 or more. (Sellers working this idea include: devonian35; prints-4-all; searching01. Go study those sellers to see how it’s done.)
– Bundle illustrations and articles relating to the same major event and you can easily charge £30 for ten pages or so. Here’s a listing for several pages from the same six-month bound volume that I will soon be dismantling: Hartley Pit Calamity – Antique Prints and Information – 1862 Mining Disaster – £29.99. The seller was ‘ulnes1’.
Searching through my own volume, I find at least 20 subjects to bundle this way, mainly relating to the American Civil War, and which I expect to fetch £29.99 per bundle; maybe more.
– Separate the issues and describe and list them individually – but, unlike the idea mentioned earlier, in this case we will be emphasising the main subjects covered in each issue. For your title, mention subjects with the highest appeal and likely to interest several types of collector, such as those interested in the American Civil War and others interested in a major exhibition from that same year.
Include as many collectable subjects in your title as you have room for and your listing should attract bidders from several different collecting areas, generating a bidding war and a high finishing price for you.
– Now for an idea that can be very time-consuming, but possibly the most profitable of all: simply remove illustrations, part-page and full, and trim them to include a tiny border. Then you list and sell those images individually.
Because prints from most early publications were printed doubled-sided, you’ll have to decide which side of the page is likely to yield the most profitable images.
An advanced search for recent sales of similar items should provide the answers. These images frequently sell at £5–£10 each. (Sellers doing this include: archmiles and barrelorgan.)
– Front pages bearing a publisher’s distinctive masthead and an attractive print are very popular, especially hand-coloured, ready-to-frame or already framed. Some covers were designed by renowned artists of the day; some of them still very collectable today.
When you have an attractive cover, you can list it as is, or with the magazine intact, emphasising the artist and event or location depicted. Very high prices are possible if you can hand-colour the front-page image yourself or have someone else do it for you.
– My particular favourite: you cut out illustrations, have them hand-coloured, then photograph them mounted and framed. I have seen some of these items fetch hundreds of pounds – firstly because they look so good and secondly because they have high perceived value and come ready to display.
Important: Everything you’ve just read applies to thousands of different publications, even those without illustrations – as long as the publication or contents are collectable.
The following are magazines and contents I personally find most profitable:
i) Illustrated London News up to 1901 – the end of the Victorian era – especially dealing with important events of the day, such as female suffrage, the Boer War, important exhibitions, American Civil War, and famous or controversial politicians.
ii) Punch magazine, preferably middle-1800s, is a treasure trove of satirical prints and cartoons to remove and sell individually. Some prints have plain backs; others have material printed on the reverse. The former are usually most valuable and sell fast at £4.99–£10 a go.
iii) Any dog-breed magazine where images can be sold separately and the magazine can be broken down into multiple page articles about specific breeds. My own best sellers are prints which I personally hand-colour and mount.
iv) Most publications focusing on shipping, topographical locations, railways, politicians, and important social and political events from the middle-1800s or earlier.
v) Specific artists who are collectable in their own right, such as Louis Wain, Kate Greenaway, Florence Upton and many more.
vi) Lots more – as you will discover in a free report planned for you a few weeks from now.
I truly love this money-making idea and I positively know I could profit from it for life. And you can do the same.
To prove it, tomorrow I’m going to begin work on an illustrated report showing how it’s all done, including my own ideas, listings and finishing prices. I’ll be selling the report on Amazon Kindle but you will get it for free as soon as it’s finished.
This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here