Weird Items on EBAY: Old Magazine Ads?

I collect old watches, and I have made several purchase on EBAY.
In the main, most people I have dealt with have been honest, and I really cannot complain. But what I have noticed is people selling old magazine ads-for quite a bit of money.
What would anyone want these?
For example, I went looking once for an “Accutron” brand watch. The Accuton was an electronic watch made from 1960 till about 1979-several models are now rare collector’s items.
Along with the watches listed, there were several old magazine ads-one might assme these had been torn out of old magazines-possibly library holdings?
Anyway, why would you pay for old ads-you could just scan them and copy them.

Some people like to frame them. Old (1940s - 1950s) auto ads and the like look good in a frame. Probably not really worth any real $$ however.

I used to collect Pyrex (which I displayed in my kitchen) and bought several old ads to frame and hang on the walls. When I was a kid I used to buy old ads with the Marx Brothers advertising various things because I was a fan.

I’ve noticed a LOT of listings for old ads in various categories. Sometimes it’s hard to tell that you’re bidding on an ad, rather than the old pen or whatever that it’s advertising.

Hell there are sellers on eBay selling photocopies! They will have some paper item or document or any damn thing they can copy and offer you up a xerox for $10.

Lately there is someone selling reproductions of stamps. He is totally up front that they are reproduced. The amazing thing is that people are buying them, sad to say.

ps- Just a few clicks over and you will surely find complete magazines from all time frames from which you can clip your own ads.

Lots of people collect old ads for things. My grandmother had some she’d taken from a magazine that belonged to her mother. Seeing the framed ads on the walls had some good memories for her. My mother acquired some of them and now they give me good memories.

Besides, old ads are fun to look at. What other reason do you need?

If I wanted to decoupage something, I’d prefer to do it with reproductions. But I wouldn’t pay a lot of money for a reproduction.

Worse than this is in the 60s toys section there are often pictures of someones kids playing with toys for sale. Why in the name of all that’s holy would anyone want pictures of someone elses kids playing? It must be a secret way of passing spy info or something.

I used to collect retro video games (well, I still have my collection, but I don’t actively look for new items). I have a few ad clippings in my collection.

Among the more popular ephemera are arcade flyers (which have a really nice online archive) and home video game ads. A lot of arcade flyers are single sheets handed out at conventions, but for some machines, the only flyers appeared in arcade trade magazines. It’s pretty common for old bound editions from libraries to be cut apart for the flyers and sold off.

For home game systems, if the ad appears in a game magazine, collectors would prefer to have the full magazine… but if the ad appeared in general publications, it’s pretty common to have the ad separated from the magazine and sold. I have a nice painted double-page ad from Life Magazine (or some other tabloid-sized magazine) advertising Atari’s SwordQuest contest that a friend got for me one Christmas. In a magazine, it’d sit on a shelf somewhere; separated, it’s framed and hanging in my back bedroom/“arcade” where it can be seen easily.

Outside of that field… separating ads out of magazines that are otherwise uncollectible (missing covers and pages, subscription mailing damage, etc.) is a good way to salvage some value out of otherwise undesirable stuff. A 1970s magazine with the cover torn off, coupons and recipes clipped out, and with crayon all over half the pages is worthless… but if there are a couple of cool ads in it, they can be of interest to a niche collector, especially if carefully trimmed and framed already.