The 6 Rules to Follow When Valuing Adult Magazines

What Are the Most Common Mistakes When Valuing Your Porn Collection?

It seems as if every day someone stops by our New York City bookstore asking the same question: Where can they find an Adult Magazine Price Guide? Unfortunately no such thing exists. As I have explained in earlier blog posts because of the nature of porn magazines and there publishing history, such Price Guides are impossible to catalog. (For further information see our article How To Identify Adult Porn Magazines)

However there are a few simple rules you can follow to have a better idea of what you have. None of these rules are set in stone as exceptions do exist. But these exceptions are rare. The following rules below are the most common mistake people make when valuing adult magazines and books.

1. Eye-Appeal – Believe it or not eye appeal is the most important factor when valuing an adult magazine. Given the “passionate” nature of pornographic magazines the biggest factor in readers minds when determining if a magazine is worth the price is how appealing the models are. However it should be remembered that everyone has wildly different tastes when it comes to sexual eye appeal. Some men find tall blondes appealing. Others prefer petite Asian women. But someone who finds black women appealing may be turned off by blondes and Asian women. In short, eye appeal is very subjective when it comes to the porn and is very hard to predict.

2. Condition – Most modern day readers of porn magazines are not obsessive about condition and do not place high valuations on exceptionally clean books. This is probably because most porn magazine collections are discovered in well preserved condition. Since porn magazines were taboo 40 years ago most owners stored them away somewhere safe. Due to this ample supply of well preserved magazines, the opposite is true of magazines that exhibit excessive wear. Magazines with frayed pages, cover creases, tears or have a foul odor are not worth much… if anything. Who wants to own a magazine that smells like mold?

3. The Nastier & More Disgusting Subjects Are Not More Valuable – This is a very common mistake people make. Just because the contents of a magazine are particularly shocking to someone unfamiliar with the topic does not make it very valuable. Indeed, the opposite is true. Magazines that appeal to a very small segment of the overall population are generally not worth as much as those that have broader appeal.

4. Online Rarity Does Not Mean The Magazine Is Rare – Just because you cannot find a particular magazine title online does not make its contents rare. Many titles were published in small numbers with limited distribution and reprinted with different titles over and over again. It was not uncommon for porn publishers to reprint magazines with different titles but still have the same interior content of past issues. The only thing that would change would be the cover, title or rearrangement of the photos displayed in the body of the book. Publishers could get away with this because most porn magazines at the time were sold in sealed plastic bags or stapled shut.

5. Playboy Magazines – This is probably the single biggest mistake people make in valuing there porn collection. Yes Playboy magazines published between 1953-1955 have some value with the first issue being in exceptionally high demand. However issues published after about 1958 have low value and those published after 1960 have little to no value. This includes it’s special issues and square bound issues. The reason for this is simple: Playboy magazine is notorious for having tons of advertisements and little original content. What content it did have was always very tame and less salacious than its competitors.

6. Penthouse Magazine – Among modern day readers of porn magazine Penthouse Magazine is considered to be no different than Playboy. Basically it’s looked upon as an advertisement magazine with a few nude photos thrown in. Aside from the first few issues Penthouse magazines have little if any value.