How Many Cover Prices Can One Magazine Issue Have? In the Case of Family Circle: at least Five

January 31, 2011

No one said that you have to have a Ph.D. in economic to be able to count the many different cover prices one magazine can have within a small radius of space. The Feb. issue of Family Circle magazine arrived earlier this month on the newsstand with a host of cover prices. From a mere $1.99 with a $.25 coupon from the cover price (at Wal-Mart), and the mere $1.99 with no coupon, to the only $1.99 with a star bust (at Books-A-Million), and the only $2.79 with a star bust (at Kroger), and the $3.29 as a two-magazines package (also at Wal-Mart, with Ladies’ Home Journal) and last but not least the $4.49 with yet another two-magazines package (also with Ladies’ Home Journal, at SAM’S Club). Look for yourself and judge! And while we are talking covers of one issue of one magazine, take a look at the subscribers’ cover and compare it with those of the newsstands. For some folks who say there is a science for the pricing of magazines on the newsstands, please help!


  1. On speculation: The “science” is perhaps the “newsstand cost” which varies at each store. Instead of building that into the cost of the entire run and possibly marking up the cost of the traditional 1.99 issue, it looks like they decided to just print a different cover for each location to accommodate a new price. Which certainly leaves readers scratching their heads. Bizzaro. Did they think no one would notice? I guess Wal-mart shoppers don’t venture to those fancier Kroger stores…

  2. I would assume this was a test of cover prices, not an ongoing practice. Am I wrong? Do they do multiple cover pricing every issue? Even so, they’ve got some odd prices; I don’t think I’ve seen any/many magazines with prices ending in 29 cents.

    The covers do make me hungry for stew, though.

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