Want to Make Money? Try Magic, or Magazines

by Lindy on February 24, 2013

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So, I know you’re sitting on the edge of your seat, waiting to find out the results of our first eBay auctions.  Well, wait no more.  Here’s the run down.


I attended a conservative Christian school throughout grade school and high school, where they taught us that playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering was tantamount to sitting down to tea with the Devil himself.

Little did I know at the time, that just a few miles away, my future husband was engaging in these very activities.  Although he assures me that the Devil was never present at their game tables. Phew!

After high school A-Rob sold all of his Magic cards, keeping only one of them as a memento.  And little did he know, that his future wife wouldn’t believe in keeping mementos (especially ones that involve the underworld :), and would convince him to sell it for cash.

Our net earnings on this card came out to $144 after fees and shipping.

Good thing the card he’d saved was a good one.  See that, private school, these games aren’t all bad.

In case you are wondering, it was the Timetwister card.

ITEMS 2 & 3

A-Rob went through a bit of a guitar magazine phase a few years ago.  Often when he and I were talking on the phone during his way home from work, he would suddenly “have to go.” I knew that meant he was running into Barnes & Noble to see if the latest issues had come out yet.

I, personally, chuck all magazines into the recycle bin after reading them.  A-Rob, on the other hand, holds on to every one.   Recently we were reorganizing the office and A-Rob decided that he would probably never refer back to these again, and we didn’t have much space to store them anyways.

He was prepared to march the whole stack directly out to the recycle bin. I suggested we sell them off in lots separated by year.

The first lot of 2007 magazines sold for $59 net.  The next lot from 2005 sold for $54 net.

It goes to show that it takes two in a marriage – one to hold onto things, and one to swoop in and sell them.  Am I noticing a pattern?


This is a Midi keyboard.  It was also the first item we listed on eBay.  If you don’t know what a midi keyboard is, well I’m not the person to tell you.  It has something to do with playing the keyboard through a computer.

This keyboard is wearing a frowny face because his first buyer lived in the UK and changed his mind when he learned of the international shipping rates.  So this transaction was canceled and we have relisted it for another lucky US or Canadian resident to snatch up.

Tallying the total from items 1 through 3, we come up with $257.

Our goal is to post three items to auction per week.  If we can keep this up, we’ll be finished in a little over a month.  Here’s to diligence!

Note: I apologize for the melodramatic frowny-faced keyboard.  I’m a terrible hack with Photoshop and could not for the life of me render a regular, half-circle frown.

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  • Who knew underworld cards were so valuable. That is an awesome haul.
    I like your frowny face and I think it conveyed accurately the feeling you get when someone changes their mind on Ebay.

    • Lindy

      It does convey the feeling of a canceled sale, doesn’t it. Yes, underworld cards can be a lucrative hobby, or an expensive one, depending on how you work it.

  • If they live overseas they should expect to pay an insane amount to ship something. They’d have to factor that into the cost of the item itself, whether it’s cheap or not.

    I mean really now. As a former Ebay seller I’d be really annoyed. :P :P

    I also am not surprised that those cards are worth so much. Honestly, I made money on a VIRTUAL game with online gold and rare items when I was in high school.

    You can make money on anything.. it’s just a question of time/labour.

    • Lindy

      Yeah, it was pretty annoying. Especially since he didn’t ask about the international rates until AFTER he had won the item. Then he complained about how “long and drawn out” the whole process was (because of the time difference we weren’t replying to his emails right away.) So we washed our hands of it, and now are hoping it will maybe go for more this time around!

      I am always amazed by profits from selling virtual items. I’ve considered becoming a famous interior designer in Second Life. But, I think my conscience wouldn’t allow it.

  • I prefer the dramatic mouth on the frowny face! It comes with an almost-audible wail… I’d be upset if no one wanted to pay international shipping on me, too.

    Nice work on the sales! I wouldn’t have thought to list the magazines.

    • Lindy

      A-Rob was mocking me for it. I’m glad it does the job though. An audible wail is pretty close to what I was going for anyways.

  • Nice story. This really serves as another example that there are people out there that will buy things that we no longer want. Just because something lost value to us, it doesn’t mean it has no value to others.

    I haven’t tried to sell things online, believe it or not. I’ve bought a few things off craigslist, but haven’t really utilized Ebay in any capacity other than to browse and check values of things I’d consider selling. But it’s been a while.

    Maybe I’ll list something wacky and representing total clutter, like a circa-1980’s version of Yahtzee buried in the back of my folks’ basement. If there’s a buyer for something like that, anything could be sold:)

    • Lindy

      You never know, right? Though, sometimes you think you know, but really what you have to sell is only worth beans.

  • wow, can’t get over you earning that on old magazines. well done!

    • Lindy

      I know! It was an experiment that thankfully worked. I have two more lots to sell. And I’m considering raiding my mom’s collection of old People Magazines. I think she even has some from the 80’s.

  • My DH gave hundreds of dollars worth of Magic cards away to his brother. :( The time period he was collecting (the mid 1990s) was really valuable for cards apparently.

    I had no idea you could get money for old magazines!

    • Lindy

      Bummer about those cards!

  • Great tips — I never thought about selling my hubbie’s magazines (VW and woodshop mags), but I’m sure they would bring in some moola :) What else of his can I sell….

  • Bonnie

    tip. Before listing magazines and books on eBay (or anything for that matter) do a search. BUT when you do that search, over on the left check the box for COMPLETED auctions only. It will show you the last 30 days auctions that have closed. I’m guessing People magazines are worthless. Think rarity. Also the reason the Guitar magazines did well? They are instructional/educational. When I was starting on eBay I sold all of my Art Books to get started because I knew there were people just like me out there with a passion for art Half of them were also instructional (not college books though). I sold them all. Just do some homework before putting things on there. The less of what your selling that’s on there for the last 30 days the better your odds unless it’s just something too common.

  • Bonnie

    p.s. I can’t remember which color is which but they show whether they ended as sold or unsold in green or red

  • I am so going through my son’s Magic card collection now that he has stopped playing with them. I love the comment about how your school and the Magic cards. I remember when Harry Potter was banned from some Christian schools. I’ve been selling a lot of my teenaged son’s old lego minifigures that he no longer plays with so he can upgrade the tv for his xbox. Here’s also some tips for ebay from a website that I’ve been writing for.

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