Man auctions entire subscription collection on eBay

A picture of collector Sam Tallman's subscription number 12.

Levittown, NY – Sam Tallman has been collecting subscriptions since the local New York newspaper offered access to online content for a low price of $5 a week back in October 2009. As much as it pains the online-newspaper-subscription enthusiast, he believes three months is long enough to collect limited-edition subscriptions and has announced he will be auctioning all fifteen pieces of his online subscription collection on eBay.

The 56-year-old collectors’ set is considered to be the largest  subscription collection in the world; some analysts believe Tallman may own anywhere from 40% to 50% of all online subscriptions.

“The market is right to sell all fifteen pieces of my unlimited access to stories and features,” declared Tallman.

For months, he has proudly displayed his online subscriptions throughout his home. His first-edition subscription hangs  above the entrance of his two-bedroom condo in Levittown, NY.

“I waited in line next to my computer all day when subscriptions first came out. Who knew that one credit card transaction would lead to all of this?” said Tallman pointing to his prized subscriptions, all still in the original packaging. “The irony is that this first-edition subscription is by far my most valuable piece but was probably the easiest one to obtain. It took me weeks of negotiating to get the 14th and 15th subscription.”

Tallman purchased almost all of his subscriptions from other online subscription collectors. Kathy Stewart of San Mateo, CA sold her subscription to Tallman in December. “My son Steven is a junior at NYU. Last semester he interned at Newsday and I thought the online subscription would allow me to read all his stories and pass them along to other family members. I think most of his stories only appear on the print edition or something because I didn’t see many on the site. A few weeks after the internship ended, Sam happened to contact me and gave me a reasonable offer for my one-year subscription. Steven interns at Viacom this semester, so it made sense to move on.”

Kathy’s story is one of the many online subscription stories Tallman has heard during the collection process. “I purchased almost all of them from friends and family of Newsday employees, each with a reason why they would spend $260 a year for Newsday. Those personal connections will not be auctioned on eBay. Those memories will always belong to me. You can’t put a price tag on the personal stories of over 10 people.”

The bidding for Tallman’s first one-year subscription ends this Friday. Currently, the high bid is $1454 from eBay user Rollin-in-Dolan.


1 comment for “Man auctions entire subscription collection on eBay

  1. Daniel Sills
    January 28, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Posted 1/28/10

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