Featured Advice sought for inherited 1950s Coca Cola magazine ads

Discussion in 'Ephemera and Photographs' started by Sedona, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. Sedona

    Sedona Well-Known Member

    Dear Antiquers,

    I wasn’t sure whether to post this here or in “Books,” but it involves advertising.

    Unfortunately my mother passed away a few weeks ago. My sister and I have spent days sorting her things into trash, donate, or keep. I will likely be posting about some of the things elsewhere here. There is a ton of stuff that I’m keeping (many, many photos, and ceramics), and an equally large amount of stuff that we’re donating.

    My mom had several very well kept National Geographic magazines from the mid 1950s-early 1960s (I think many people did as well). They actually belonged to her parents (I remember them from going through her parents’ house over 20 years ago). I know there are a ton of National Geographics out there, but many of mine from the 1950s have the Coca Cola ads on the back. The photos below are just a small sample, as many would not upload due to size (I have the Coke in Hawaii ad from April 1957, etc.). I have looked up the issues on eBay, as well as the individual ads. My intact magazines are not valuable, but many of the Coke ads, especially the Santa Claus ones, seem to do well. The issues also contain other ads that I’ve seen online for sale, whether cars, insurance, Special K cereal, etc.

    There seem to be many professionals out there who cut apart magazines and sell the ads for a living; they have huge inventories and have figured out how to market and sell these. Some even mat and frame these. While I have maybe 40 or so of these magazines, it’s still such a relatively small amount that I don’t think it’s worth it to start a garage business, of buying a cutting tool, cutting these apart (hoping I don’t damage them in the process), investing in the packaging and mailing supplies, and listing them. Plus, one of my goals is to get rid of them, and I don’t think these are things that will fly off the shelf and be sold in a couple of weeks. Also, frankly, I’m also not too keen on actually cutting them up myself. Obviously I can’t just go to my local antique store and sell them right now. Many of our local charities are not taking donations, either, as their donation centers are closed, and there is no one to pick up donated items.

    As this a good, dedicated, and knowledgeable group, I’d sincerely appreciate your suggestions on what to do with these, e.g. hang onto them, sell them intact, cut them up and sell them, or donate them. I’m happy to even list them here on the “for sale” forum, as I’d like them to go where they’d be appreciated. If I do that, I’d provide thorough descriptions of each, the ads that are inside, etc.

    Here’s a sample.





    Thanks, everyone.
  2. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    Hmmmm - I'm sure you'll get lots of different answers.
    I am an ephemera person. I love paper - all kinds. I really hate when people cut up old magazines for the ads. I've refused to sell old magazines to people if they told me they were going to cut them up.
    That being said, I know very well that selling one ad out of an old magazine can sometimes get you many times what you'd get for the whloe magazine.
    AND, if someone else has already cut pages out, and I find them, in a cleanout, for example, I'm not above selling them.
    SO - I guess if I were you, I'd try to sell the magazines as is - someone will buy them for a buck a piece if you just want to get rid of them. If you really need the money, go ahead and cut the backs off and sell them. National Geographics from the 50 and 60s aren't worth much.
  3. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    Oh, and Coke ads do sell well, even in this size.
    I'm not so sure about other print ads - people seem to like the Life magazine size.
    patd8643 and Christmasjoy like this.
  4. flipper

    flipper Striving to face adversity with tact and humor

  5. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    Ah - that link makes me sick.
  6. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    sorry for your loss !!!
    lloyd249 and Darkwing Manor like this.
  7. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    HA!!! WHICH ONE.....there were a bunch listed!!!!
  8. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Is What It IS! But NEVER BORED!

    @Sedona, I'm so sorry for the loss of your Mom.....it's hard to have to go through her belongings so soon after her passing. But I think you will find considerable help here once you start posting things you need information on...
    Darkwing Manor likes this.
  9. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    I think these framed Coca Cola ads used to sell well, but too many people got into cutting/framing vintage ads for resale. Wasn't sure how they sell nowadays, so just did a search, the average asking price (framed) on Ebay for various vintage Coca Cola ads seems to be around $8-10, with the bulk unsold.

    No question those ads are great, and the magazines seem to be in very nice condition which is a plus. Just my opinion, but if you are trying to get rid of things, I'd sell these as a lot, maybe a local sale if possible.

    I'd show some of the better backs with the Coca Cola ads and not let people pick through the group, more of an all or nothing sale.

    Also, condolences.
    Figtree3 and Sandra like this.
  10. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    I'm sorry to hear of your mother's passing, @Sedona . :(
  11. Sedona

    Sedona Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your kind thoughts and helpful suggestions. I hope everyone stays healthy!
    Figtree3 and Lucille.b like this.
  12. Joe2007

    Joe2007 Collector

    Seems to be a market that could be easily inundated with supply. About 10 to 15 years ago those national geographic magazines from the 1960s were everywhere at the auctions, estate sales, and yard sales I attended. Perhaps the supply of old magazines has greatly changed during that time. I remember liking the old advertisements but thinking they wouldn't ever be worth much since they were still so plentiful. My parents still have lots of old "Life" and "Time" magazines from the 1960's we got at auction for a few bucks.
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