Thursday, June 26, 2003

Magazine Me XXXVI

Magazine Price Search is a new Web service that "tracks the lowest price for 1,683 magazines from 15 online magazine merchants" to help people find the absolute lowest price. Checking out how bargain basement they go for Fast Company, I'm floored. $3.28 for 15 issues. $3.28!

How can they do it? Sponsorship. The vendor offering that rate, Best Deal Magazines, has brought in a sponsor -- the Vintage Superstore -- to cover most of the subscription fee. (Which actually appears as $3.95 on their site.) What's the catch? You agree to let the sponsor send you promotional emails, about one a month, for an undisclosed period of time. You won't learn this unless you see the asterisk, click on the sponsor description link, and read the pop-up window really, really fast. It closed itself before I could read all of the text, so I had to click on the link again. That seems shady.

Not all of Magazine Price Search's recommended vendors follow this practice, I'm sure. But it's an intriguing service -- equal parts shopping bot for magazine subs and deeply discounted rates. $4/year for Fast Company. Yowzers. If you read a lot of magazines -- and I do -- this could be a reader's paradise.

Thanks to I Want Media.

No comments: