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Giving Subscriptions as Gifts

For some odd reason, my brain is programmed to think that when you’re giving a gift, you’re usually giving something finite. Whether it’s straight cash (think Chinese New Year red envelopes), a stupid gift card [3], or some sort of product or service, I generally think of a gift as something that happens “once” and then never again. When I rack my brain for gift ideas, I often think of these finite type things when you can give something that lasts a whole lot longer – a subscription. Whether it’s a magazine subscription (the more common one) or a service subscription (membership to some organization they really love), giving a gift that actually keeps on giving is something that I only recently though of and it’s a phenomenal idea.

I’ll use magazines as the example run with it…

Magazine subscriptions are dirt cheap. You can find basically any magazine off eBay [4] for a fraction of what they cost directly and for a microscopic fraction of the newsstand price. Most of the eBay sellers are reputable but if you don’t trust them, you can always turn to reliable powerhouse Amazon.com or some of the other smaller magazine shops online like NetMagazines or Magazines.com.

Magazines come every month and every month your recipient gets reminded how you got them such an awesome gift. Sure, if you got a product as a gift you get reminded every time you use it (I remember getting a knife two years ago, I still use that knife today – thanks Mattybo!), but a subscription is recurring, regular, and lasts for at least a year.

Dollar for dollar, a magazine provides the most time per dollar… if you pick the right subscription. When I read a magazine, it usually takes a few days before I actually make it all the way through. In fact, some magazines will take weeks as I will often set it down, forget about it, and then pick it up later. Magazines are nice because the articles are so bite-sized, unlike an entire book, so you can really enjoy it in manageable chunks… for a long long time.

So, next time you’re thinking about getting a gift, consider a subscription!