A first issue of Tyler Brûlé’s Monocle has recently sold on eBay for £11.58 after 8 bids. That’s pretty good by magazine standards for a first issue that’s just 3 years old. It also beats the £10.63 (4 bids) that a first issue of Wallpaper – the magazine that made Tyler Brûlé’s name in 1996 – fetched this month.
Other recent first issue sales on eBay:
- Men Only (1971) £5 (1 bid)
- Club Interrnational (1972) £13 (9 bids)
- Plastique £12.99 (buy it now)
- Man About Town £14.99 (most recent use of the name) (buy it now)
- Fast Lane £7.99 and £11.99 (buy it now)
- Lost £12 (20 bids)
- Over 21 £20 (buy it now)
- Marquis £9.99 and 99p – someone must be spitting! (buy it now)
- Blah Blah Blah £4.99 (1 bid)
- Musik £1.65 (1 bid)
- Men’s Health £2.20 (5 bids)
Academics and economists must love eBay. It’s a fascinating way of assessing the value of objects – and people and celebrities. For example, when Word magazine did several different covers a couple of years ago, people went out and bought several copies and sold them on eBay for more than the issue cost in the shops – even though it was still on sale. If I remember rightly, there was the most interest in Kylie and Bono and least in Dido.
For the magazine industry, the way cover variations sell on eBay can be used as another way of testing cover designs in terms of the use of faces, different design styles and even colours.
As for Monocle, it appears to have established a brand value up there with the likes of Vogue, in that the issue sold for more than a Vogue from that time sells on eBay; certainly way above a first issue of Nuts (you’ll be lucky to get 99p); and the first issue of the much older Loaded (1 bid at £4.99). (While Brûlé is either a style guru or the world’s most annoying man, according to Christopher Fowler.)
I look forward to the first index of celebrity values based on eBay – perhaps one for Tyler’s fellow FT columnist, the Undercover Economist.