Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stampington And Company Special Issue Pricing

I love magazines. It’s practically an illness. I’m sure there are many of you out there that have the same exact infirmity. Why I buy more magazines or subscribe to more when I tend not to read the ones I already own is part of the illness. I have a magazine stack sitting at the side of my bed (and that's just crafting magazines, I have another stack of fashion, news, cooking mags in the living room). It haunts me when I wake up, torments me when I go to sleep and whispers cruel things to me when I’m lying down for a mid-afternoon nap. Here it is mocking me:

But despite the stack, I went to the bookstore today looking for the latest issue of Studio (never mind I hadn’t read the last one) when I remembered it doesn’t come out until June. So I looked at the other crafting, beading, quilting, etc magazines and found myself overwhelmed by all the Stampington & Company publications. They practically took up three rows of the crafting section!

I subscribed to Somerset Studios for years but cancelled due to cost and my failure to read. At the bottom of the above pictured stack is a May/June 2006 issue that I still haven’t opened!

I was aware that Stampington had other publications and saw their growing special publications line: Artful Blogging, Altered Couture, Somerset Life, Take Ten, Somerset Sew, to name just five. But today at the bookstore I saw something that blew my mind – Marie. A magazine devoted to artwork about Marie Antoinette! Now I love MA as much as the next Francophile. In fact, I’ve loved her since a child when I read every juvenile edition of a Marie Antoinette biography I could get my hands on at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, but a one-off magazine devoted to Marie Antoinette art?! Really?! At $14.99 a pop?! Seriously?! Editors, you don’t think that’s insane! I might have been interested in buying it at 8 dollars but $14.99!

I have a big problem with the Stampington special issue pricing. They’re all $14.99 and that is a crazy crazy price in my opinion. I will admit I purchased the premiere issues of Somerset Sew and Somerset Home (yes, indeed, they are somewhere in the above pictured stack) even though I was quite taken aback by their price. But I have not bought another one of their specialty issues and not because I'm not interested but because they just cost too darn much.

Now, they’re quality publications, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing shabby or third rate about them but I really see no significant difference between their regular magazine Somerset Studios, which I think still sells for $7.99, and these issues. So why oh why the outrageous price tag? I wonder if in these belt tightening, I’m-going-to-try-to-not-be-a-financial-idiot times if they’re selling as many magazines. I know I won’t be buying any. Rethink your pricing Stampington & Company or repackage them with a hardcover binding and sell them for three dollars more. Anyone out there feel the same way?

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