Here’s a strange one: buying magazine subscriptions on eBay is surprisingly inexpensive, and it seems to really work. New subs or renewals, there’s a lot of money to be saved.


I had always used sites like for my subscriptions; they’re generally much cheaper than going directly through the magazine’s renewal service, and generally easier too, since you can go online, do four different renewals in one transaction, pay by credit card, and be totally done.

But my cousin heard about a better way: eBay.

We’ve been speculating as to why this occurs, but like many oddities on eBay, we couldn’t really explain it. His theory is that since magazines basically don’t make their money on subscriptions but on ads, they want to raise their paid subscriber counts, thus getting more in ad revenue. So this is another way to get new subscribers (that’s the older term for “eyeballs” apparently).

Here’s an example: at, The New Yorker is $47/year. On eBay, I can find that for about $24 (here’s a link, but it’s a live search, so you may find different prices when you try it). And here’s the worst par: on, the one year costs $39.95, which makes me feel like a real dolt for ever using

I took the plunge and set up a renewal. The company I selected had tens of thousands of good feedback – all from mag subscriptions, at least as far as I could tell. Saved some money . . .