Complete set of Dragon magazine
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:56 am 
 

How much do you think a set of every issue of dragon magazine would go for, if they were all in relatively good shape?

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:40 am 
 

Unknown. Prices have been crazy.

#1 has been selling (asking price) north of $300; issues below #30 are over the $100 mark; #100 and below are in the $30 range; #101 - #200 are going for $5; #201 & up are so common (and relatively new) that you might have a hard time giving them away, unless someone is missing an issue.

That said, There are always collectors looking to buy complete runs. And someone ALWAYS needs single issues (myself included - just can't afford the early ones now).
Noble Knight Games Is always looking for stuff - Just don't let them beat you down on what they are worth.

And don't accept what I say as "the word of God." There are much more knowledgeable people on these boards.

Oh. And welcome to the boards, by the way.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:55 am 
 

jkason wrote in Complete set of Dragon magazine: issues below #30 are over the $100 mark; #100 and below are in the $30 range;


Condition is a significant factor making an estimate without pictures as impossible.  Even pictures can't reveal smells, some water damage, staple rust, interior writing or highlighting, etc...  Plus, one person's good is another person's excellent, etc...

I would say, overall, issues between 10 and 30 are closer to $40 on average than $100.  Likewise, issues between #30 and #100 are closer to $10 each than $30, probably less.   

If you are thinking a selling, the smaller the lots, the greater your overall return.  I would sell issues #1 through #50 individually, at least.  8)


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:30 pm 
 

benjoshua wrote in Complete set of Dragon magazine: I would say, overall, issues between 10 and 30 are closer to $40 on average than $100.



I have seen only asking prices. I have no time (or inclination, really) to sift through sales for final prices. I'm sure there's some idiot out there that thinks he has gold, when all he really has is a handful of crap. And there's some (way too little, IMHO) that actually have gold, and don't know what it's worth.

Ebay is all over the place on prices. The Facebook Acaeum Group usually has fairer prices.


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:47 pm 
 

Thank you all! Thank you for the welcome.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:00 pm 
 

jkason wrote in Complete set of Dragon magazine:Unknown. Prices have been crazy.
#1 has been selling (asking price) north of $300; issues below #30 are over the $100 mark; #100 and below are in the $30 range; #101 - #200 are going for $5; #201 & up are so common (and relatively new) that you might have a hard time giving them away, unless someone is missing an issue.


Not to dog-pile here, but I also don't think these ranges are accurate. Over the last four years or so I have completed a collection from issue #2 through to #165 (I personally do not have much interest in collecting higher issues than that.)  I did this piecemeal - the biggest lots would have been maybe 4-5 issues. Along the way I compiled a spreadsheet of what I paid for each issue and developed a pretty good understanding of what these actually sell for. Here's a chart from that spreadsheet:

Chart of Dragon Magazine prices

Note that:
  • if you mouseover the chart you can see data for each issue.
  • the jagged red line is what i paid for that issue
  • the smoother blue line is a rolling average of the previous (lower numbered) ten issues. In the case of the first ten issues, i use however many issue are available.
  • the condition of my purchases did vary, generally G+, VG, VG+, or Mint.  I would accept minor dings, minor staple rust, minor creasing and overall wear, but not tears, stains, missing pages, heavy staple rust, or writing.
  • shipping costs were amortized across lots (meaning if I paid $5 to ship 5 magazines, i added $1 to the sale price of each). more on shipping below
  • I still don't have Vol1 No 1, which would heavily influence the rolling average (smooth blue) line (more on #1 below)
  • buying at these prices is only possible if you have the patience to wait for the best price.  if you need to acquire a full collection in less than 5 years, you will pay much more.

Regarding issue #1, of the asking prices I've seen in the last year, #1 has been about $1000, not $300. When these do end up sold, they disappear from eBay without any indication of what price was actually accepted. I've contacted a few sellers to ask if they would share the actual sale price (something they are under no obligation to do) and have yet to ever receive a reply.

After #1, there is a sharp drop off in sale prices (I'd say down to an average $70), though I think I did get lucky on a few of my #2-#10 issues.

After #10, the next 40 issues or so are about $30 each.

After #50, I'd say $5-$10 each.

After #100, paying more than $5 is a mistake and you better be buying them in lots or you will get murdered on shipping.

On that point, by far the biggest contribution to the total investment is shipping, so being able to pick up issues is lots will save you a lot of money. So would picking up purchases in person, though I have never had the opportunity to do that.

When it comes to selling/buying a whole collection, I think you could save a tremendous amount of money on shipping, but at the same time, the seller also enjoys a huge boon in terms of convenience (vs selling single issues or small lots), so I do not think it is realistic to simply add up the individual prices to determine a lot price.  I think my total spend on all these was about $2000, but again, a huge amount of work and patience went into waiting for good prices.  I would guess it would cost twice as much to do it in half the time.

Anyway I hope this helps.  I'm open to sharing raw data here if anyone would find that helpful.


Last edited by Mordenkainen on Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:00 pm, edited 6 times in total.
  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:02 pm 
 

jkason wrote in Complete set of Dragon magazine:Ebay is all over the place on prices. The Facebook Acaeum Group usually has fairer prices.


This bums me out as I do not use Facebook.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:07 pm 
 

That graph is very cool Mordenkainen!

I guess I expected the spike for issue 20, that was a Halloween issue wasn’t it?

But what’s up at 39 or 40?


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:47 pm 
 

I think issue #39 was popular for a couple reasons: it introduced the anti-paladin player character and the name changed from "The Dragon" to just "Dragon".  It could also be that I didn't always take my own advice and was impatient to fill in the holes in the collection as it came closer to completion.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:50 pm 
 

If anyone is wondering, the smattering of $15 issues were new old stock issues from Paizo that I picked up very early in this process.  I'd say I overpaid except that they were in immaculate condition.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:04 pm 
 

You make a key point Mordenkainen: condition. There are people that want reading copies, people that want something that's okay by their standards (VG+ say) and people that want NM condition copies. There will be a wide variant in the prices if one wants copies that are actually NM, but many Dragon collectors will value price over condition. Like all of the D&D collecting hobby though eventually there will be a sharper curve for nicer condition items, but we are many years away from the comic curve because too many people that want these items still view them for their actual utility mixed in with their collectability as opposed to just their collectability. Which is there right of course. But I believe we will eventually move closer to the comics model. But for now we have Noble Knight selling a VG+ copy for 175 and NM for 200 because there are obviously people willing to pay the 175.


Shrink is not a condition

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:03 am 
 

And for the complete collector, you need to get the Dragon Magazines with the mailing covers!!!   :)


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:25 pm 
 

It's been so long, I don't remember if any of mine came wit covers.

When did they switch to plastic mailing bags?


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:35 pm 
 

I think Andy is referring to issues 11 through 26, that had wraparound mailing covers, as opposed to the brown paper bags that I think you are referring to.


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Post Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:57 pm 
 

stratochamp wrote in Complete set of Dragon magazine:I think Andy is referring to issues 11 through 26, that had wraparound mailing covers, as opposed to the brown paper bags that I think you are referring to.


Ah. Never had the pleasure of seeing those - started my subscription with issue 68. Had a full run until the end. :(


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Post Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:43 pm 
 

I'm not interested in the later editions much, but this lot seems reasonable to me for a buyer trying to kickstart a collection. Works out to a couple bucks per issue with savings on bulk shipping.


** expired eBay auction **

  
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