Paying Less for Magazine Subscriptions

If you’ve read this blog before you may know that I have a small obsession with magazines. As a younger, and less frugal girl, I ignorantly paid the cover price for magazines at the checkout counter. As I became more price conscious I began purchasing magazine subscriptions, which often offer 20 – 50% off the cover. But a few years ago I discovered how to save even more money.

I should mention that I discovered this trick entirely by accident. I used to buy Woman’s Day and Good Housekeeping. The magazines are relatively cheap and have very relevant articles, but one day a friend dropped off a Real Simple magazine, and I was immediately hooked. The problem… Real Simple is much more expensive than the other magazines. So I wrote a letter to Real Simple, explaining that I absolutely loved their magazine but that I only paid $10 a year for Woman’s Day. I asked if they could discount the rate of their subscription. Two weeks later I received a response. They were willing to send me a year’s subscription for only $12.

So why was Real Simple willing to sell me a subscription at such a low rate? Well it turns out that the majority of magazines make much more money from advertising than from customer subscriptions. At the same time advertisers want to pay for ad space in a magazine that will be viewed by as many people as possible. So when asked, a magazine will often allow a consumer to pay a discounted rate, fully knowing that as subscriptions increase, so will their advertising revenues.

If you are interested in trying to purchase a magazine subscription for a lower rate simply call the magazine and ask them. I recently told my father-in-law about this technique and he has been buying magazine subscriptions for roughly one dollar an issue.

4 thoughts on “Paying Less for Magazine Subscriptions”

  1. I was going to say go to Ebay as well, but the sellers there are at $21 for a year. You win!! Nice!

    I receive the weekly emails from Real Simple, but haven’t read their magazine.

    Good idea!

  2. Wow! That’s a new trick — thanks for sharing it. I too have a mildly obsessional relationship with magazines and this tip will save me a lot o’ money. Thank you.

  3. Some feedback from a brand new reader. šŸ™‚ I tried calling Taunton to possibly get a discount on their “Threads” magazine. They said no. šŸ™ However, I may still write a short, sweet note like you did and see if that works. šŸ™‚

  4. Oxanna — Sorry to hear that calling Threads didn’t work. I have only tried calling major magazines like Woman’s Day and Money. I was able to get a better deal with Real Simple by sending them a letter. My father-in-law has had luck with Kiplinger’s and Better Homes & Gardens. If a phone call didn’t work definitely try sending them a letter. When you hear back please leave me a comment to let me know how it goes.


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