Guide to selling Programmes.

This section is aimed at assisting people who have programmes to sell. The information is set out as impartially as possible with a view to assisting you in choosing the right option for cashing in your items. Whilst every collection is different there are some general rules of thumb so please bear in mind this a general guide to selling football programmes.


Condition is paramount. As with a used car the variations in price are vast in relation to its condition. Collectors will almost always look to buy the best condition copy they can. Many will also attempt to replace those in their collection that are faulty. A programme with a slight fold is obviously worse a little less than one that is pristine. Not drastically however. One with a heavy fold and writing may be worth 50% less. Whilst one with a page missing or a lengthy tear will be approaching a state of being virtually worthless. So condition is key although one would not expect a 1930s programme to have survived as well as a 1960s. So it is subjective whilst at the same time there is the basic requirement in terms of acceptable and not acceptable. This as highlighted will impact significantly on the valuation.


Prices 1965s to date

Dealers and indeed most collectors are generally looking for the rarer issues as oppossed to more common a garden programme. Consequently 'modern' programmes have  a neglible value. Modern programmes would be classed as those from around the last 50 years. So from mid to late 1960s onwards there is a limited market for run of the mill programmes. Of course there are many exceptions and from this era there are a large number of programmes that have a significant value. It would be wholly unfair to suggest all programmes from this era have a neglible value. However most of the general league and cup games from this era will be readily avaliable from dealers,ebay and other sources. The rarer items will tend to be those that were produced in far smaller numbers such as friendlies and matches in foreign countries. As a price guide you find large boxes of programmes from this era selling on ebay for 5-10p a copy if they

Prices 1955 to date

Dealers and programme collecting really came to the for in the mid/late 1950s. Programmes from this era are almost in a void. They tend not be rare nor always common. So the value does jump up a little but not significantly so as it does before this date. Again dealers may not be falling over themselves to buy a collection thats say 1955-1980.

Prices early 1945-1955

If you have a collection that is pre 1955 and especially made up of 1940s programmes then values rise significantly. As will the interest from any programme dealer. The 1940s is were the catalogue value reaches double figures on most items. If you have pre war items then it rises very dramatically again with three figures becoming more of a norm.


You may have worked out that valuing programmes is a minefield. If you look on the internet you will certainly find vast variations in the prices sought. Some of the prices certain dealers are looking for for rare items are bordering on being scandalous in my opinion. I can point to programmes that are on this site that are offered for sale on other websites at at least double what I am selling them at. Such are the vagaries of programme collecting.!

Ebay is a good guide to the prices programmes fetch. Look at what programmes actually sell for as oppossed to what people are asking for them.Again with FA Cup Finals you will find a range of prices on any one programme. If you look at the auctions for those items they will tell you what the market is currently paying for them. That is a true value not an aspirational one.

Of course a dealer may have a programme listed on his website at £100. The common question is if you are selling it at £100 what will you pay for it. Again sadly there is no simple formula. Dealers will turn over maybe 1% of their stock in a year. The other 99% will set there gathering dust. That £100 programme may sit there for years before it sells. It may indeed not sell. So if you revert back to the question 'what will you pay for it' the truth is the answer would vary. If you took for example an FA Cup Final from 1948. Price circa £100. At one time I had around 5 or 6 in stock. At that time I would therefore not have been willing to pay strong money for another copy.

FA Cup Finals are a very good example in that they are mass produced. Consequently most dealers will have good stocks certainly of the 1950s and beyond and as highlighted in some cases of the 1940s. Given that they would tend not to be the top of most dealers wants lists. A number of 1940s league programmes would be of far more interest than a 1940s Cup Final on a pound for pound basis.

The question of what a dealer will pay you has still though not been answered.

Modern Day issues 60s on....expect a number of dealers to have no interest at all in these items unless there are a few gems in amongst them.

1950s early 60s ...expect a level of interest but a nominal sum per programme again unless there a gem or two installed.

Pre 1950s is were you have a captive market. Expect dealers to offer you anything from 30% to on a very good day 65% of the value of the programmes subject to them being in good condition.

Other Options

Auction houses may be interested in selling your collection for you. Most auction houses will charge commision of around 20% on the total sale price.

Ebay will allow you to sell your own items via there site. They charge 10% of the sale price plus a listing fee. There are also fees incurred by using there payment system of paypal.


Whatever method you chose you will find someone will take their percentage out of the total value. It is after all the way of the world. The dealer will at least offer you a guaranteed price and often pay in cash. Sometimes the whole process can be done within a matter of hours from the first contact. Those are the benefits. Auction houses and ebay will take much longer and more effort of course. They may however realise you a higher price but equally may realise you the same price or even lower. There simply is no science you can apply in the open market place.

I hope you have found this excerpt helpful. I am happy to offer further advice or information to anyone who requires such. You are welcome to contact me on 0786 1730954.






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