What’s a copy of the Sunday Times Magazine worth?

The Sunday Times Magazine cover of Davie Bowie from 1975 has been popular on eBay - with prices ranging from £5 to £35

The Sunday Times Magazine cover of Davie Bowie from 1975 has been popular on eBay – with prices ranging from £5 to £35

An email landed this morning from Danielle that got me thinking:

I came across your site from Google. I have over 100 Sunday Times magazines as well as a few other titles from the late 60s and early seventies. In fairly good and good condition (in my opinion). Some of them I have seen for sale on someone’s website for £30+ per edition, but I’ve no idea if they’re actually selling at that price. I’d rather sell them together than have to list them separately but don’t want to be ripped off. Someone offered me £40 for the lot but that seemed ridiculously low. Are you able to advise at all?

There are always copies of the Sunday Times Magazine – originally the Sunday Times Colour Section when it was launched in 1962 – on eBay but the value of a copy mainly depends on what’s in it.

This is demonstrated by two recent auctions on eBay. In one, a complete 1962 bound set sold for £102 plus £11.50 postage and there were 2 bidders. Yet, a single issue from 1964 sold for the same amount – £102 + £5.89 postage – and attracted 4 bids. Why? Because it contained the article ‘Mods Changing Faces’ which covered 8 pages in the August 2 issue. So, Mods rule, OK!

The first Sunday Times colour section from 4 February 1962 (though the cover is not dated)

First Sunday Times colour section from 4 February 1962 (cover was not dated)

But these two sales are exceptional: in the past 6 months only 9 listings have fetched more than £20 (including postage). Postage rates varied from £1.60 to £4.50.

A first issue from 1962 sold for just £8.49 + £2 postage. The fact that there were just 2 bids suggests not many people were aware it was for sale – but then the listing did not give the issue date or describe it as the first issue. The better the description, the more likely people are to find it.

An analysis on eBay this morning shows 213 lots sold in the past six months, but if you tick the ‘Completed listings’ box, you’ll see 1,789 finished listings. So only about 1 in 8 have sold. There are pages of unsold issues, whether priced at £30 or £3. Table 1 shows what’s sold and notes some of the sales.

Table 1. Sunday Times supplements sold on eBay (Dec 2015 to 19 May 2016)
Price range No. sold Comment
£100+ 2 Complete 1962 set – bound. £102 + £11.50 post. 2 bids
‘Mods Changing Faces’, 8-page article Aug 2 1964. £102 + £5.89 postage. 4 bids
£30-£99.99 2 30 Dec 1962 Marilyn Monroe Rudolf Nureyev. £39.99 + £4.50 postage (same issue also sold for £3.99 + £1.45)
David Bowie cover (20 July 1975), Copies sold for £30, £25, £16, £11, £6, £5
£20-£29.99 5
£10-£19.99 41 1962 first issue fetched £8.49 + £2. 2 bids
9 copies 1960s-1970s. £11.50 + £5.80. 2 bids
£5-£9.99 94 12 issues from 1971. £1.99 + £3.80. 2 bids
9 issues from 1975. £1.99 + £3.80. 1 bid
Under £5 82

Table 2 gives an overview of number of copies sold as a percentage of total listed by price.

Table 2. Number of copies sold as a percentage of total listed by price
Listing/sale price No. listed No. sold % sold
£70+ 5 2 40%
£60-£69.99 5 0 0
£50-£59.99 12 0 0
£40-£49.99 35 0 0
£30-£39.99 83 2 2%
£20-£29.99 104 5 5%
£10-£19.99 214 41 13%
£5-£9.99 243 94 39%
0-£4.99 1088 82 8%
Total 1789 226 13%

Danielle raises some other specific issues.

Some of them I have seen for sale at £30 a copy

Specific listings hold messages for both buyers and sellers. For example, one person listed the 30 Dec 1962 Sunday Times Colour Section and sold it for more than £30. But someone else only earned £3.99 + £1.45. A big factor in this was that the former mentioned the main contents – Marilyn Monroe and Rudolf Nureyev. Magazine with features on Monroe, Madonna and cult TV series such as The Avengers tend to sell well.

Sites like Crazy About Magazines and Elegantly Papered are professional sellers and put the mags up at high prices and sit in wait of a serious buyer. They trade on their reputation for selling magazines that are rare and in very good condition. Also, they have expertise and so know what they are selling and can usually judge how rare a magazine is. You can approach such sites or regular eBay sellers and see what offers you can get from them. Crazy About Magazines has an email form to fill in to get a quote. Many such traders are listed on my Collecting Magazines page.

Someone offered me £40 for the lot…

You will not get the best price by selling them in bulk, but then can you be bothered listing them separately on eBay and then doing all the posting and packaging? One strategy is to keep an eye on eBay for a few weeks, see what goes well and pick out the best issues to sell. Then, sell off the remainder as a job lot. Note that 9 copies from the 1960s and 1970s sold for £11.50 + £5.80 postage. That’s just over £1 an issue. Another 12 issues from 1971 went for just  £1.99 + £3.80 postage. That’s 16p an issue. With that sort of success rate, £40 for 100 issues might not look so bad!

Another option might be an impecunious relative/friend/teenager with the time to do the listings and you could split the proceeds.

In fairly good and good condition (in my opinion)…

Be very careful about descriptions. The average person’s ‘good condition’ will not be the same as an expert collector’s. So stick to facts rather than opinions: no missing pages; no writing on the issue; describe bad creasing; rips. Photos can be really useful here. Again, there’s more advice on the Magforum.com Collecting page.

I’ve no idea if they’re actually selling at that price..

The thing to do is to build and save searches on eBay to get a feel for the market. You’ll find tips on doing this at the ‘Useful ebay searches‘ section on my Magforumcollecting page.

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “What’s a copy of the Sunday Times Magazine worth?”

  1. On this day in magazines: Sunday Times supplement 1962 | Magforum blog Says:

    […] What’s a copy of the Sunday Times Magazine worth? […]

  2. Amadoras Brasileiras Says:

    http://torgpredstavitel.ru/component/kide/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: