Magazine Subscription Rate Schemes

Los Angeles Magazine sent me a very special offer today. For a limited time I can order one year and receive a second year free. According to my special offer the cover price for these issues is $118.80. If I take advantage of this special limited time offer I’ll save $108.85. That leaves me with a discount of 92%, or a total of $9.95.

Now I don’t know about you but this sort of offer makes me scratch my head and ask how much should it really cost. I realize that they said that the cover price is almost $120 bucks, but somehow I can get it for $10. Maybe it is just me but this sounds like the sort of funny math that got the mortgage industry into trouble, or rather got a ton of homeowners into bigger trouble. Bigger because the banks foreclose on their homes and don’t care. They don’t care because we bailed them out and they have teams of accountants who find loopholes that let them write off their debt.

Or maybe I am not crazy. Maybe what is really going on is that Los Angeles Magazine has massaged the numbers so that they can come up with this ridiculous 92% discount. Granted they aren’t the only magazine that is doing this. I get similar letters all the time and every one of them offers me some sort of  amazing discount. for a limited time only of course.

Several thoughts occur to me:

1) You are an idiot to pay the cover price because it is not real anyhow.

2) I wonder what sort of rules/laws are attached to this. Can I say that the cover price of my blog is a million dollars but you get to read it for free.

3) What should it really cost?

One way or another they are paying for content. Even if they have a team of bloggers that work for free or next to it there are costs involved. They have printing and shipping costs. And of course there are an assortment of other costs that have to be factored in, office space, salaries, benefits, internet, electricity, telephone etc.

See what happens when I am given a few moments to think- it is dangerous.

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