Unbelievably cheap magazine subscriptions

Ramit Sethi

A little holiday secret: The cheapest place to get magazines is on eBay. It’s almost shockingly cheap–you can get 3 years of a magazine for less than $5.

For yourself, for gifts, whatever…subscriptions are cool because they keep on giving, especially to people who don’t get anything in the mail.

How are these subscriptions so cheap and who are the sellers? Some are resellers, some are bulk distributors, some I don’t know. Just check their rating and bid with reputable people. I have had great experiences in the past. And these deals are incredible–here are just a few you can get right now:

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  1. Adam

    Another good option is to buy a subscription with airline miles:

    For instance, The Week (a fab magazine, IMHO)… priced at $14.60 on ebay, but available for 700 miles on the miles site (worth $7-10 or so).

  2. Jon

    You can also get free magazine subscription offers from

  3. Cap

    is also another good place to look.

    I think there’s a lot of ebay magazine distributors that also offer Maxim for free with any other subscriptions. Maxim is practically for free I believe, in fact, they PAY the distributors money to get subscribers.

    *shrug* increase subscriber coverage = increase ad revenue.

  4. Big Cajun Man

    But unavailable to CANADA!!! GRRRRRR!!!!!


  5. Mike

    Make sure you check the feedback on the sellers of these magazines. I bought a subscription from and I never got it. They said it would take up to 12 weeks, well its been closer to 52 and I have never seen it. Fortunetly it was only 3 or 4 dollars so it’s not too much of a loss.

  6. magazine seller

    The truth is that the prices you pay that are so low are not authorized by publishers. They tell sellers the cheapest they can sell for.

    Most publishers ban people from selling their subscriptions once they are caught on ebay selling magazines. It is beyond me why ebay won’t just cancel all magazine sales but they don’t.

    when publishers find out that a particular order was placed on ebay the cancel that sellers account and usually REFUSE to honor those subscriptions.

    If it sounds too good to be true it probably ends. Until the publishing world finds a way to stop what they call rogue sellers consumers will win I guess.

  7. L

    Magazine Seller *or whoever wants to answer* although a clearinghouse says they do not want their agents selling subscriptions on eBay, they really can’t stop you from doing it, and it isn’t technically illegal is it?


  8. Jonathan

    Or you could go on a bargain website (, etc…) and get subscriptions for free. I have gotten 2 years of Maxim, 2 years of FHM, a year of Giant, and a few others i can’t remember for free. The magazines get so much money from advertisements that they may offer some free subscriptions just to boost their sales numbers in order to look more attractive to potential advertisers.

  9. Tiffany

    I ran across this on a google search. I have been desperatley trying to fisgure out how to sell magazine subscriptions on ebay. I have e-mailed a few Clearing houses and they have told me ABSOLUTELY NOT. They do now allow sales for ebay??? yet it is not in their contract. I could use some help here! Thanks in advance, Tiffany

  10. Anthony A

    Yeah I got screwed too. I read this post and went on eBay in May, paid my three bucks or whatever and had the mag sent home, cause I was in a different city. I’ve been home for a month or so and just thought to check on it- apparently the user (discountmagazinedirect0) is gone and the last 100 comments or so are people pissed off for not getting their subscriptions. At least I wasn’t trying to buy a car or something. Lesson learned.

  11. jasdub32

    Just make sure you get them off reputable sellers. I’ve got maxim, fhm, and razor for the past 2 years now on a 4 year subscription

  12. Meghan

    I got Ring Magazine on Ebay for around $16 from the seller Subscriptions4less. It took around 10 weeks to arrive but was well worth it! HUGE SAVINGS for boxing fans.

  13. Tina

    I have also bought from, subscriptions4less, off of ebay. I have never had any problems getting my magazines from them. If you want great prices on magazines, they are very trustworthy.

  14. Magazine Guy

    Magazines sold on eBay are not allowed by most publishers and their prices are always below authorized prices. The publishers have gotten strict about this so be careful. If the eBay seller gets caught, he will get delisted by their clearing house.

  15. kat

    I bought five magazines from A seller on E-Bay and he was removed by E-Bay and I have yet to see my subscriptions. Seller said to allow up to 13 weeks for delivery. By the time I waited it was too late to get a refund through pay pal. Buyers beware of some sellers. I still wait in hopes. Has been 4 mo.

  16. Diane

    Don’t use They’re a total scam and you won’t get your magazines. Caveat Emptor!!!

  17. TJ Grant

    The seller ratings and feedback on eBay for these magazine sellers should NOT be used. Often these stores set up multiple eBay ids and buy from themselves in order to give the impression that they are legitimate. This is a well known loophole with eBay. I would suggest buying from a seller who advertises a reasonable price, not one that is too good to believe.

  18. J-

    I check often, and got Time magazine for 6.99/year

    Prices change and can fluctuate fairly quickly

  19. mark

    is there anywhere else on the internet to sell magazine subscriptions besides ebay ?

  20. Destiny Reader

    Many Ebay magazine Seller will sell magazine and honor them for first set of people to build up a high positive feedback score. Once they receive a reasonable amount, they will scam the rest. It a pyramid scheme.

  21. Magazine Guy

    I’m in the magazine business and have been working to stamp out rogue sellers for years. Many that claim they can supply the information for you to get started are simply scams. Some will offer to “clear” the orders for you at cents on the magazine dollar. Unless you have agreements with each magazine publisher for whom you want to sell subscriptions–it’s a hit or miss proposition. I’ll explain…

    1. Some publisher’s will take subscriptions from unknown sellers simply because they don’t want to anger a potential customer that may have plunked down their hard earned money. Remember the complaints will go to the magazine publisher, not to the seller, so the publisher gets the bad rap. The rogue subscription agents know this.

    2. Many publishers simply won’t take the money/subscription and you, as the seller, are stuck.

    3. Publisher’s are getting angry and going after these rogue sellers—especially the ones that are attempting (illegally) to contact their subscribers. There are more than a few that are being investigated for mail fraud. Keep in mind, the subscriber list of a magazine is their lifeblood. It’s how they make their money. They will protect it. Everything hinges on the amount of quality readers they have. They set their advertising rates based on subscribers. If you try to steal their customers, it’s akin to stealing the tools one needs to perform their job. A carpenter will be pretty darn mad if you stole his tools and he couldn’t provide for his family.

    4. Scammers and get rich quick schemes will never go away but do remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  22. Jay

    Ebay has stopped magazine subscriptions from being sold on there website. What a shame I got some great deals.

  23. jack

    where are all the magazine dealers from ebay gone to?

  24. Scammed

    I bought a subscription from an Ebay seller called “Superior Subscriptions” and got scammed. I called the publisher after about 2 months and they had no record of the subscription, ebay closed the sellers account and they are no longer in business. Got screwed so beware purchasing subscriptions from a third-party!

  25. Bonnie Derby

    Just wondering if anyone has found another way to get the cheap magazine subscriptions that used to be availably off of ebay. I haven’t been able to find anyone even close to those prices. thanks!

  26. Where Did They Go

    Where did all of the ebay subscriptions go? I got all of my subscriptions from there and now it is time to renew on some of them and I can’t find anyone near that price. If anyone knows please post.

  27. Rene

    I notice that when I take a trial subscription, I keep on getting the magazines. I got a gift subscription when I donated to public radio and still get (1+ year later)
    – newsweek
    – wine spectator
    – bon apetit (this is still being sent to my ex gf who never subscribed to start with.. strange)
    – san francisco (same oddity, it’s the only welcome junk mail)
    I get renewal reminders, begging me to continue “because they will be forced to stop sending the magazine”
    Dont know if anyone else has a similar experience?

  28. Thom Fu

    This is another good one with a lot of good choices

  29. PJ

    What’s this BS about “below authorized prices”? They should be able to sell at whatever price allows them to make a profit–lowest price wins the sale. Anything else is price-fixing. How is that not illegal?

  30. JD

    I’ve had good luck with–they offer great deals on a variety of subscriptions and have been around for quite some time.

  31. JD

    Sorry, bad link above. Try this one:

  32. Jonathan

    This post is to PJ at first and general after. PJ, There is a thing out there in the retail world called “MAP”, the MAP (minimum advertised price) is set by the manufacturers. If a retailer sells for a lower price, they will be deleted from the wholesalers list and never able to buy products again. Unfortunate? Maybe but one thing you have to understand is not everyone can compete with the Walmarts of the world. Some wholesalers want to keep the playing field even across the board whether your walmart or mom and pop. Me personally, I will only deal with wholesalers that require a “MAP” simply for the fact of Ebay and other auction site where sellers are happy to make a quarter. My living comes from my business and I can’t sell products for a 25 cent profit.

    When it comes to magazines this MAP is called “subrate”. The subrate is set by the publishers and no seller is permitted to sell below that. Of course in the magazine world, the more volume of sales, the lower your subrate will be.

    These individuals selling on Ebay are selling magazines through 1 of 3-4 major clearinghouses or all of them. When they sign up with the clearinghouses, there contract states “NO AUCTION SALES PERMITTED”. In fact some publishers do not allow their titles to be sold door to door or on the internet in general.

    In Conclusion. Sellers on Ebay and throughout the internet are mindless individuals that will never ever make it in the business world. How long can you provide for yourself and your family selling for a quarter or fifty cent profit? Besides that point, they will eventually be found by the publishers and removed, hence every order that has not been cleared by the publisher will not be filled. All their customers will lose their money.

    You are right, Maxim magazine actually pays the agent $.25 every time the agent clears a subscription for them. They have a subrate (on average) for 12.00 per year. Does that mean someone should sell the title for a $1.00?? I don’t think so. This industry has been ruined by crooked door to door salesmen and rogue sellers on the net. Its sad for us that make a living doing the honest thing.

    Is $12.00 really a lot of money for a product that lasts a year?

    Unfortunately life is not always fair and you will always have crooks and scammers out there. Its sad but true.

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  35. Julian

    I purchased subscription through ebay and never got my magazine so I wouldn’t risk buying on ebay again.
    I buy all my subscriptions at
    Haven’t had any issues with delivery