Hyman is frequently asked if vintage National Geographic publications are worth anything. "The early difficulties absolutely do," he says succinctly. Dealers in National Geographic will pay at least $200 for issues released before 1905. Later issues are worth less.
As with other old magazines, it's best to check their value before you sell them. The magazine publisher changes names so often that even if you can find the name of the company that published a particular issue, there's no way to know what business they're in today. If you want to learn more about how valuable your old magazines are, see my article on how to tell if a magazine is still in print.
Pricing and Collecting Information: The early issues of National Geographic are the most valuable, notably the first volume, which only had four issues. While the initial issue will often cost north of $4000, the typical range is $7-9,000, with very few transactions exceeding $10,000. Later issues tend to be more affordable, with some volumes selling for as little as $300.
As with any old book or magazine, information about what you can sell it for will vary depending on how much work you want to put into it. With National Geographic, you can expect to get at least half of what it costs if you buy it in good condition, since it is one of the less expensive magazines available. If it has been exposed to sunlight, it is time to toss it because UV rays can fade colors and cause other damage that will affect its value.
Not all issues are equal. Some years have more interesting articles than others, so check out National Geographic's website for news about upcoming issues before you part with your cash. Also keep in mind that certain issues are more valuable than others based on content; for example, an Arctic issue is likely to be more lucrative than a South American one since there's more chance of finding buyers who are interested in this subject.
Finally, don't forget about gift certificates.
The edition of 1904 is one of the rarest National Geographic magazines, even in "excellent" condition, because it was the first year photos were included into the magazine, as we previously mentioned. Basically, the further back in time you go, the greater the price becomes. The next rarity level would be the 1922-1936 issue which is also in excellent condition.
The 1936-1944 issue is more common than the 1904-1922 issue because these years feature photos from all over the world. The 1944-1964 issue is less common but still valuable because this is when National Geographic started including full-color photographs. The last rarity level is the 1964-1984 issue which is very rare because this is when the magazine stopped using color photographs altogether and went with black-and-white photography only. This issue is worth much more too because there are fewer of them made.
In total, there have been about 30 different issues of National Geographic magazine published since its creation in 1888. But only a few of those are really rare and valuable. It's best if you get yourself an expert opinion before you part with hard-earned money for such a thing.
The National Geographic Magazine
|You Save:||$31.94 (76%)|
Among the most expensive periodicals in the world are
|Popular Science August 1931||Sold for $750|
|The New Yorker V1 #1 1925||Sold for $450|
|Famous Monsters of Filmland #1||Sold for $375|
|National Geographic April 1913 (Machu Picchu)||Sold for $300|
Yes, these vintage mags are valuable. If they are in good shape, you may expect to collect between $5 and $9 for each one. If you want to sell, I would consider listing each magazine separately on eBay. This is more profitable than selling them as a group or collection.
The first thing you should know about old magazine prices is that they vary significantly depending on condition. If you find one in good condition with no tears or stains, it might be worth several hundred dollars. But if it's in poor condition, covered in dust with parts missing, then it's worth less than $10.
Here are some other points to remember when considering how much old magazines are worth:
If possible, try to buy whole issues of specific years. This is because more recent issues tend to be more expensive because so many older ones exist. So if you can find an issue from before 2000, it will be more valuable.
Magazines decay over time and become less attractive. So if you see one that is very worn out, take a picture first before you decide what price to offer. Otherwise, you might get cheated.
Finally, don't pay too much for old magazines. There are many others in good condition that could be sold instead. If you want to make money off of them, offer them for sale at a reasonable price.