General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Does it hurt the value of a collectible magazine if you black out the address label?

Asked by Jeruba (48706points) May 26th, 2011

Collectors and dealers: advice please.

I’m looking to unload a quantity of Omni magazines (details here ) that came into our house as a subscription. We haven’t moved since then, so they still have our name and address on them.

If I take a Sharpie and obliterate the address label, does that affect the value of the item? Is that a point that I would have to disclose to a prospective buyer?

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9 Answers

mrrich724's avatar

I am no expert, but I’d guess that even having the address box on them depreciates the value at least a little. . .

But IMO, a big black blotch would make it that much more unsightly, so my guess would be yes…

FutureMemory's avatar

Anything that is made of paper and is collectible would be considered “damaged” to a certain degree if it has unnecessary ink marks on it.

DrewJ's avatar

I’m no expert either but I am pretty sure, for any “collectible,” altering it in any way can only have a negative impact on the value of the item – never a neutral effect.

XOIIO's avatar

You can steam the mailing adress stickers off

Jeruba's avatar

@XOIIO, any idea if that would still work after 30 years?

XOIIO's avatar

@Jeruba I’m not sure

Blueroses's avatar

From what I’ve seen, the value increases for collectors if you can remove the label entirely. I found some really neat old LIFE magazines at a thrift store that I want to frame, so I was looking this up myself.

I tried with two magazines, putting them in the freezer for about an hour and the old adhesive cracked right off without marking the paper on one, but did nothing for the other.

I read about a product called Undo that is supposed to work like GooGone on paper (don’t try GooGone, you’ll get grease stains) but I can’t find it in any stores.

Steaming might damage the entire cover, but I also thought about wiping the label with a damp paper towel, lightly and pressing the tip of a clothes iron on it to melt the adhesive.

Plucky's avatar

Address labels make a huge difference in value. This is very important to disclose to prospective buyers. Blacking out a mailing label sticker/adhesive can decrease the value (only to collectors who are picky). Whereas, blacking out a print inset mailing label (where the publisher leaves a blank area for the mailing address to be printed/stamped in by a machine/stamp instead of a sticker – this is a newer way of labelling) is seen as damage to the cover and decreases the value of the magazine.

I have some magazines that are over 30 years old. The way I removed the labels was with a hot air hair dryer. Be patient. Blow the hot air onto the label for at least 2 minutes, very closely but carefully. Then, as the dryer is still blowing on it, try to peel one corner of the label very slowly. If the corner is ripping or hard to lift ..try a different corner. If the label is not lifting, stop. Put more heat on it. And repeat. Much of the time there will be glue residue left over but you can remove that with a nylon (like ladies nylons) very carefully. You stick your finger into a piece of the nylon and rub while holding down the paper cover very tightly to ensure the paper won’t stick (if the cover is thin, I’d advise against this). If the cover is more glossy (without any cracks/rips where the label was), you can use Goo Gone cleaner to remove the residue.

It really depends on the type of magazine cover it papery or more glossy? If it’s more glossy, the above procedure will work really well. If it’s more papery, you need to take much more care and patience (do NOT use Goo Gone on papery magazine covers, it will ruin it).

I’ve heard of Un-du Adhesive Remover, the product @Blueroses mentioned can try that too. I haven’t had any new old magazines in the past few years to have reason to try it out. If possible, try it on another old magazine that you don’t care about first.

As for steaming, like @XOIIO mentioned, ..this is hard to do properly (one can easily damage a magazine, especially when they are not familiar with the process) and not usually recommended for old magazines that are collectables. If you want to try it, place a piece of fabric over the cover. Then, with a clothes iron (on low-steam) go over the label several times. Keep checking the magazine and label. Try to remove the label very slowly. Continue ironing if the label isn’t coming off easily. Patience is important. I have rarely used this method.

The way I do it is not without flaws. But it has worked quite well for me and I’m one of the “picky” collectors :)

rebbel's avatar

How about not decrease the value by simply add a label, exactly over the old one, with an imaginary or even better, a famous adress?

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