Author’s Note: There are no referral codes in this article, and I have not been paid for my review. It’s just a great frugal tool!
I’ve mentioned Magazines.com on this website before, but thought that it deserved its own post because I am just continually amazed at the amount of quality free and close-to-free items I receive from them (Magazines.com if you are reading this—please don’t stop the free gift cards and coupon codes!). And don’t just assume that I am only referring to magazines. This company has added to their repertoire over the last year to include books and a few other random items to choose from.
Why I Love Them
The biggest reason why I love Magazines.com is because once you are on their email list, they are quite generous with free $5 gift cards and coupon codes, as well as the occasional $10 gift card! In addition to this there are no shipping costs, even for the books that they now carry. While the book selection is small compared to traditional book sellers and Amazon, finding free shipping for books is difficult to do.
Whenever I receive an email with a gift card or coupon, I go to the website, select a category that I want to browse and then sort it priced from low to high. This way I can see if there is any low-hanging fruit for items I want anyway. If there is a book or magazine that I would buy no matter what the price, I will use the gift card/coupon code and free shipping to give me a discount on a new item.
Finally, they have great customer service. I’ve called a few times with questions and/or issues (see “cautions” below), and have been met with a cordial, knowledgeable rep each time.
My Purchasing History over the Last Year
To show you why I love this website I thought I would give you my purchasing history and the dollar amount that I paid out of pocket over the last year. Hint: I only go to Magazines.com when I receive a free coupon code or gift card, so you can tell how often they send them!
- December 13, 2011: Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom, $1.96
- December 13, 2011: Hungry Girl’s 300 under 300, $2.99
- November 28, 2011: Rich Dad Poor Dad* (see Caution below), $0.95
- June 29, 2011: Food and Wine Magazines (5 issues), $0.97
- May 2, 2011: State Quarters Collector Folder, $0
- March 24, 2011: Money Magazine, $0.97
- February 28, 2011: Newsweek Magazine (8 Issues), $0.97
- February 1, 2011: Field and Stream Magazines (6 Issues), $0.97
- December 27, 2010: National Park Quarters Collector Folder, $0
So for a total of $9.78 out of pocket, I received some great books and magazines for myself as well as a gift or two for others. The value for these items if I had paid full price would have been $70.73!
My Cautions to You
There have been only two negative incidents over the last year with Magazines.com that I would like to caution you about. First off, each magazine order is defaulted to be on “automatic renewal”. So when you order through the website, you need to go to your account, click on the “My Magazines” tab, and check to see if anything says “Automatic Renewal”. If a magazine says that, reply to your confirmation email or call the website to turn this off. If you miss turning it off, when it automatically renews you will receive another confirmation email (this is how I found out about this). You can call at that point and get a refund.
The other negative incident I experienced was when I ordered the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. It was priced at $5.95, I received $5 off via a free gift card, and so I paid $0.95. Instead of receiving the book, I was quite surprised to get a mini-edition! I looked back at the description and noted that it did not specify anywhere that it was the mini-edition of this book. I used their Live Chat to discuss my displeasure at the mis-advertisement and clarified with her that not all of their books are mini-editions. Hopefully the customer service representative will take my comment into consideration and specify “mini-edition” on any products that are not the full-sized version (she said they would be changing this in the description for Rich Dad, Poor Dad based on our conversation).
Do you have any experience with Magazines.com?
Part of the Yakezie Carnival at Prairie Eco Thrifter, the Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money, Totally Money at Family Money Values, the Carnival of Wealth at Control Your Cash, the Carnival of Financial Planning at Skilled Investor Blog, and the Carnival of Retirement at Retire By 40.