Magazineoutlet.com: Selection is a Plus, Prices are Not
Dec 10, 2002
Magazineoutlet.com is an on- line web service that specializes in the sale of magazine subscriptions. This web- based retailer is located in Stamford, Connecticut and its a division of Synapse Connect, a cyberspace company.
What Does This Site Have to Offer?:
This site is a resource for the purchase of magazines. On the home page, Magazineoutlet.com displays a Top 10 list, showing the magazines that are currently the best- selling in the site. There is also a display of six featured magazines, showing the title, magazine cover, and price. You need to click the title, or cover picture, to see more information.
To look for a magazine, you can either select a category, on the main page, or conduct a search by title. The categories include areas such as Entertainment, Fashion & Style, Sports, Teens, News & Politics, Parenting, etc. When you select a category, the next page will display a few of the featured magazines, along with a few other things to help you make a selection. There is a Top 10 list, showing the best- sellers in your chosen category, and a drop- down menu that lists magazines that sell for less than $20 for a subscription.
If you know your magazines title, you can search for it by entering the title or a keyword in the search box. The search results will return with any magazine that includes your keyword somewhere in the title, along with a list of other suggested magazines, which may or may not have your key word in the title. These are magazines that cover topics of similar interest to the one you are searching.
Another option that Magazineoutlet.com offers is the ability to bypass the search box and category selection and just view all of the selections, in alphabetical order. This is a good option if you are insure of the spelling of the title, or if you just want to browse through other magazine titles with similar names.
Magazineoutlet.com has one unique feature that may or may not be to your liking: Your subscription that you make, through this site, will continue indefinitely. When your subscription is near its end, you dont need to worry about renewing. It will be done automatically, by Magazineoutlet.com. There will be no interruption in delivery. You will get a bill in the mail and if you decide that you dont want the magazine anymore, you just write cancel on the billing notice and mail it back. You can call the toll- free line and cancel, too.
Magazineoutlet.com also offers the usual affiliate programs that you expect in a retail web site, and it protects your credit card with $50 in fraud liability protection. But as far as retail sales go, magazines are all you will find in this site. There is nothing else offered.
This site offers a larger selection of magazines than many other on- line retailers, and thats a nice feature to have. We all hate logging into a web site only to find out that it doesnt offer what we are looking for. However, the prices in Magazineoutlet.com are a little bit higher than other sites. Yesterday, I wrote a review of one of this sites competitors, Valuemags.com. Heres a comparison of the subscription prices that are offered by the two sites on some popular magazines:
..$32 here, $31 in Valuemags.com
$15 here, $14.97 in Valuemags.com
.$ 40 here, $29.98 in Valuemags.com
U.S News & World Report
.$30 here, $25.97 in Valuemags.com
As you can see, Magazineoutlet.com doesnt fare too well, when stacked up against the competition. At best, the prices are equal to or a few pennies more than the competition. At worst, the prices are up to 33% higher, like in the case of Forbes Magazine.
Magazine web sites have caught my attention recently. I have been scrambling to find Christmas presents, and magazines are one of the possible items that I have added to my list. If you know what topics interest people, then magazines can make an easy addition to your gift list. Its almost like buying someone a gift certificate- simple, and not necessarily very thoughtful, but almost always acceptable to the recipient.
Magazineoutlet.com is a little bit better than some of the other sites I have checked out, in terms of web site design and features. But it still has some flaws, most notably in the product information area. If you click on a magazine, to get more information, all you will see is a picture of the cover, and a brief, one or two sentence description of the contents. You cannot look inside, or read any excerpts. Magazineoutlet.com assumes that you already know what the magazine contains and that you are just looking for a place to make a purchase.
The search engine in this site is a little better than the others. It will display matches that include any key word that you type, and it lists other magazines that might be of interest to you. This is good for sales, since it increases the likelihood that you might add more magazines to your shopping cart.
Making a purchase requires that you enter your e-mail address and create a password. Your order must be accompanied by a credit card, and they accept only four cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Each purchase includes a six- month money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied after 6 months, you can call the toll- free customer service line and receive a refund on the full price of your subscription.
Overall, though, I have to give Magazineoutlet.com a thumbs- down rating because of its prices. Having an attractive site, top- ten lists, and a handy search engine is nice, but the bottom line for most shoppers is MONEY. If another site will sell me the same magazine for less cash, then you can bet that I will turn to that site instead. And I think that most other shoppers will do the same thing.
Magazineoutlet.com offers a wide selection of magazines and the site is fairly simple and easy to navigate, but its prices are higher than average. And that, alone, is reason to avoid this site.