On Wednesday, Vogue announced Jennifer Lawrence as the cover star of its 125th anniversary issue. Even if you're not a fan of the actress, face of Dior, and advocate of equal pay, you may want to grab a copy — and not just because it’s the magazine’s infamous September issue. Give it a few years, and the glossy might be able to command a cute coin on eBay.
Per Fashionista, Matt Oren has made quite the living by tapping into fashion's love and longing for nostalgia, and selling old issues of Vogue on the Internet. “[My friend] told me that the fashion world — every 20 or 30 so years — they recycle a lot of the looks, and the main way they were able to do this is going back to a Vogue from the '90s, and what was hot then,” he told the site. “It's funny, right around that time, I lived by the Jersey Shore, and I started seeing all these girls wearing cut-off jean shorts, which might have been popular when I was young, and looking at some of my '80s and '90s magazines, that was a popular thing. So it is kind of funny how the trends go.”
He starting selling magazines after leaving a job at the New York Stock Exchange, when a friend sold Oren and his father 30,000 copies of Life. Now, he sells to old set designers tasked with creating a scene in a period piece, museums, and even a celebrity or two; according to Fashionista, “he suspects Uma Thurman created an eBay account to buy nine back issues of magazines she covered.”
“I went on eBay, and see just a random Life magazine that we're selling for a dollar — or 50 cents even — and it's going for 20, 30 bucks,” Oran adds. “I had no idea about this before he got me into it; like every other person, I had magazine subscriptions, but never thought that this could be a business until I realized we have 30,000 of something that might be worth 20, 30 dollars each. And based on what he paid for it, it's actually a tremendous mark-up.”
Not a bad hustle, right? According to Oran, magazines with celebrities on the covers are worth more, as are March and September issues. Oh, and it might be time ask your parents if they have any Delia*s catalogs laying around. Like everything else from the ‘90s and early-2000s, those are a hot commodity, too.