Vintage Catalogs for Resale

Catalogs are the name of the game! Yard sailing is the perfect place to be looking for these gems. Do you remember our first yard sailing training point? Always ask! Here’s a great question to drop at all your buying places, “Do you have more books, catalogs, ….. inside or somewhere else that you may be interested in selling where I can take a quick peek?”

1962 sears catalogHere’s where you have a two fold buying market. I love the double headers since you can easily advertise to each niche appealing to their particular interest. The first reason, of course, that you would be aware of, is the memory lane type or nostalgic buyer. She remembers perusing the catalogs each year and enjoyed doing it so much that she’d like the catalog as a memento of that year. She may want to buy the catalog for her sister or brother who has a special memory of that particular Christmas. Mom or dad may have lost their spouse that year so it’s a very special last Christmas together and they have fond memories of using the catalog as a guide to their last buying year together. I think you get the idea.

The second buying group is the avid collector. They are looking for pictures and descriptions of the early widgets they happen to be collecting. It may be old tractor parts, antique jugs, etc. This is where the very old beginning of the 1900 catalogs come in to the realm of great money.


These books are very basic and have lots and lots of thorough descriptions of their collections. The collector of say, John Deere pre-1950 tractor parts is not only a widgets collector but he is interested in information. Believe it or not, not all the information is uploaded to the web, Yet.

You will particularly want to look for the Sears Wish Books. Completed listings.  They easily will sell for you between $30-$100 depending on condition and demand at that time. Basic catalogs that carry large collections and thorough descriptions are more valuable. Priced at around $170. The picture to the right is a rare 1902 Sears catalog hardcover. This sold for $300.


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About Julie Schultz

My name is Julie Anna Schultz. I live in rural upstate NY. I have eleven children, one husband, three chickens, a bunny and a dog. Not acquired in that order. :) Since 2002, I’ve been teaching people how to buy and sell children’s collectible books online. Learn More

One Response to “Vintage Catalogs for Resale”

  1. John at

    Great tip to remember when out yard selling
    hate to think of all the catalogs I have passed up that could have been bought for a dollar or so that may have valuable. Information is power.

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