I normally don't venture too far out of the Target thread, but sometimes I feel a little adventurous and look around. I a good deal, but I enjoy money in my wallet more!
And I'm pretty close to the "Loo...I can walk out of work and go right into the river if I'm not careful! (Well, I'd have to go around the seawall and dodge the occasional washed up bodies, but you get the point!)
Haha, yeah, there's probably a lot of washed up bodies from city shootings.
I live in St. Louis County (West County). I've actually snuck across the border and wiped out some Target clearance electronics in Belleville and Edwardsville before. Sorry
If you don't want to read a lot, then skip this post.
Before I forget, if anyone knows of a low-cost Time subscription, I'm running out of issues.
"Low-cost" (in my lingo) means Free -> no more than $5/year
For some reason, it's an arbitrary figure and I've never deviated from it. It's cost me some easy deals for $6-$10/title/year. My original goal was to make it an annual subscription for less than the price of a single issue. I can usually find stuff (eventually) before the current subscription ends. I didn't stack up Newsweek in time (I knew it was going, going to online only) and soon to be gone, and that runs out in April/May. I'd prefer to not find myself running out of Time. (intentional paranomasia)
One of the tough things about a limit is [that] it's a bit more difficult to find than just seeking the word "free".
I haven't read all of this thread, so forgive any duplication (or what appears to be wrong).
First, BD/MM (Blue Dolphin / Mercury Magazine) are the same company, in fact, M2 is aka M1ercury M2agazine, if you will.
I had a subscription for "US Weekly" and it started arriving. I decided to do what I now to as a matter of procedure: "stack" the subscriptions (append one more to the current one(s)) so if the deal disappeared, the price changes, or I didn't have to monitor that subscription as closely as I normally would.
I'd extended US Weekly through late Fall '14 and my wife suddenly saw a charge for something like $64-$74 on our credit card, and when I checked my subscription status, they'd added a year to my late 2014 expiration date. That's when I contacted US Weekly and they said I'd have to go through BD/MM as the publisher was serving as a fulfillment agent (only) in this type of circumstance. But they gave me the toll-free number I should call.
That's when I discovered how tough it was to reach BD/MM. The toll-free number led me through something I can use to identify other, long-term techies: "You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike". I resorted to email, but no response.
One last email -- I pointed out I had a subscription through the end of 2013, and they were auto-renewing a subscription which was active for another year and that I'd rather not get into making things ugly because they'd taken care of my other subscriptions so well.
When the next CC bill came around, they'd backed off the charges and the year they'd added, for which I have had no complaints. I just checked US Weekly's Customer Service: it runs out 01/19/2015. So they refunded the CC charge and left the year they were billing me for, intact.
How to deal with them (and anyone else who is questionable): as a rule, you can extend your subscription by adding another subscription. Instead of sending two copies, the publisher will simply add another year after it. Generally, you should wait 4-5 business days before filing for another one. I know of some people  who will grab ten years every chance they get. I've got a number of BD/MM-sponsored subscriptions which run into late 2018 or early 2019. Until you find your subscription safe & sound on the publisher's customer account, you have to keep an eye on what the sponsors are doing. Once it's on the publisher's site, you're golden.
This is the only time I've had any problems with BD/MM and I'll continue going through them until they prove they're not going to deal the cards face-up.
Now, for those still reading, I'll tell you about a white hat: Tanga. They're a company of 11 (yes, eleven); no, wait: I just noticed they have 15 people. They sell more than magazines, and in fact, magazines aren't what you necessarily see for sale. At Christmas, they had a bonanza of deals. One of them was a set of three lenses to fit over an iPhone's picture port which was normally $125 and were selling them for $9. But I have stacked up my subscriptions for what I call the "Trifecta of Entrepreneurial Magazines": inc., Fast Company, and Entrepreneur, all of them through 2019.
Every so often, they'll have a "running" sale, running across 10-15 days with two or three titles each day. And you can almost always subscribe to more than one year (it's frequently a range of 2-4 years) at the same price/year. Those subscriptions don't always pass the "Sub $5" test. They do *not* autorenew and they currently have another contest running for a 42" RCA HD TV.
Here's where you can find them: https://www.tanga.com/users/new. I would like to say that I check both boxes so I know what's on the table without checking their site every day.
Oh, for the trivia buffs, there is a patent for "autorenewals".
Speaking of Tanga, I just found this in my inbox:
Because you purchased Discover Magazine...
We Think You'll Love...Popular Science Magazine
Popular Science Magazine
Only $4.99 per year.
Saving you 89% off the news stand price.
Use code TECHNEWS
Note: You can order up to 3 years at this price per year.
My Popular Science subscription runs until December 2017, so I'm not sure if I want to extend it even more.
Am I worried that subscribing so far ahead that I'll end up paying for time if a magazine goes belly-up? Considering how many of my subscriptions are free, $1+$1, and $2, I have little at risk. And I don't think a lot of publications will die on the vine - they'll likely keep an online presence which will require a subscription
The thing I'm starting to do is migrate my subscriptions to an iPad I received for Christmas. My mom taught me to read out of the newspaper when I was two. As a result, hardcopy has always been a preferred method of reading. So after 33 years of a techie and almost 25 years on the 'net, I'm sliding over to the tablet world, little-by-little, step-by-step.
Almost all of my magazines have a free digital subscription. Exceptions: Barron's and Wall Street Journal. They're free, so I won't complain too much...but I'd love to have them electronically as part of the acclimation process.
Just how many magazines do I receive? I have a lot of inbox issues, messages which provide notice when an e-magazine is available, then I receive hardcopy..114, and I read every stinking one of them. There are a few others I get off of the store shelves because I don't want to lock into the publishers' subscriptions when I might find some excellent deals to launch long-term subscriptions. There's Scientific American, New Scientist, National Geographic (I filed a free subscription notice somewhere online and received a bill instead of a magazine, Smithsonian, Psychology Today, etc. which I will buy until I find a good $0 <=x<=$5 price.
3 weeks ago, I received forty-five issues of magazines during the span of a week. Last Saturday, I received twenty-eight (as in one day). Granted, the heaviest days are when monthlies hit at roughly the same time. Or when Sports Illustrated (which shows up every Thursday) and ESPN (every other week) hit the same day.
When I asked my USPS folks what they thought about all of this and they said they knew some people would probably gripe, but they didn't have to carry the mail on-foot and it's "job security".
 I hope those who are part of another SlickDeals forum don't take this wrong if/when they read this, but there are what I call "hobbyists" when it comes to magazines: they'll only subscribe when it's free and if it's free, they'll go after it, no matter their desire to read (not just thumb through the pages) or not. I only subscribe to those things I'd read if I had to buy them all retail at the grocery store or newsstand. This doesn't mean I don't end up with what I call "volunteers" (if you're from farmland, you know what that means) - basically, I didn't ask for them, but they show up, sometimes with email saying, "We're pleased to know you're enjoying our magazines <x>, <y>, <z> so we're sending you a free subscription to <q>." In this category: Opera News, Practical Horseman, Surf, Surfer, Surfing, blah-blah-blah. The first year of Maxim I received was also a volunteer. I'm receiving an online magazine called "Depth" (Scuba) which is the result of receiving the 3 surf magazines.
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