The price of a piece of history went from $1.25 to as high as $199.99 as collectors scrambled for copies of the post-election editions of The New York Times and other newspapers.
At a time when the newspaper industry is struggling, Barack Obama’s historic election spurred a run on old-fashioned newsprint in New York and beyond. On eBay, Craigslist and other Internet sites, papers were being hawked for big bucks.
Newspaper publishers from New York to Chicago, meanwhile, scrambled to print extra copies as readers lined up to buy them.
Worth the Times
“This is worth at least about three hours,” Carol Delgado, who was among the throng queued in front of The Times’ W. 40th St. headquarters. “I’ve been voting since 1972 and I’ve never been so happy.”
Jeff Wortham, who also joined the line, remembered the paper being sold out after 9/11 and after the Giants won the Super Bowl. “This is significant,” Wortham said.
Copies of the major New York papers largely were sold out early in the morning rush. The Daily News responded by issuing a second run of the Nov. 5 edition.
“[Tuesday night’s] historic election results have led to a tremendous demand for the Daily News at newsstands in the metropolitan area,” Daily News spokeswoman Jennifer Mauer wrote in an email.
The Times sent the bulk of it fresh papers to major transportation hubs in the city – limiting customers to one copy.
Some collectors, though, apparently bought a lot more than one edition in the morning – and took to the Internet to sell the papers. One seller on eBay was asking $199.99 for a copy of the Nov. 5 Times.
An ad on Craigslist touting a collection of The Times, Daily News and Post for a relative bargain $41, read, “It’s already a collectors item. Make me an offer and I’ll sell you one of my copies.”