Oh Magazines, Why Do Your Gifts With Purchase Have To Be So Damn Good?

Marie Claire Megan Hess Gift With Purchase

It’s no secret on the blog that I’m a magazine junkie. The habit started when I was in primary school, increased when I discovered my first teen magazine, and escalated to epic proportions in uni when I finally had access to all of the international magazines I’ve always wanted to read but could never afford. Back in the day, Malaysian magazines were sold as magazines only. But when I finally was able to buy UK versions of InStyle, Glamour, Marie Claire, etc, what attracted me more to the magazines were all of the amazing gifts with purchase (GWP) they came with.

“You mean they actually gave out free stuff with magazines? GET OUT OF TOWN!”

As I usually purchased women’s magazines, the GWPs that came almost monthly with those magazines were mostly beauty products. Sometimes they were deluxe-sized samples and when I’m lucky, the mags would come with full-sized makeup or even skincare. I bought a lot of magazines that came with full-sized beauty products because they were worth more than the magazine itself (and the mag would just be a bonus!).

You can see why the habit became worse. 😛

Magazines Gift With Purchase

After years of spending a shit-tonne money on magazines, thankfully, the habit has gone down significantly. Instead of buying magazines off the shelf, I subscribe to a few of them annually. Currently I’m subscribed to Marie Claire and Runner’s World. They’re cheaper than buying individual magazines in store. Unfortunately, this also means that with magazine subscriptions, I no longer get the GWPs that come with the magazines unless I purchase them off the shelf.

Publishing companies sure are sneaky lil’ buggers, enticing potential customers with their GWPs, dangling the proverbial carrot in front of them with awesome gifts and then hopefully reaching their ultimate goal of converting those one-off magazine readers into long-term subscribers. Oh yeah, I’m onto them! And yes, that’s how I got sucked in too. 😛

It stinks that magazine subscribers don’t get the goodies as well. Sometimes when I’m at the newsagent or supermarket, I’d come across the magazine aisle and there would be an awesome GWP that came with a magazine that I was already subscribed to, yet I can’t get the item unless I purchased the magazine. I would, very sheepishly, admit that there were times when the GWP was so enticing that I would buy a duplicate copy just to get the item. I know, I’m hopeless. Please don’t judge me too much. 😛

Magazines Gift With Purchase

Magazines with great GWPs usually sell out quickly. If the GWPs aren’t stuck hard to the magazine, they’re sometimes also stolen. The August 2016 edition of ELLE Australia had a deluxe sample of the newly-repackaged Benefit Gimme Brow. This was a very hot item; many of the newsagents I went to sold out of the magazine. Unfortunately, my local Coles and Woolworths supermarkets had all of the Gimme Brows torn off the magazine and stolen. It was easy for the thieves to tear them off the magazine and walk out of the supermarkets because they weren’t scanned into the system. This wasn’t the first time GWPs were stolen from magazines. Sadly, it’s a common occurrence.

Still, magazines with good GWPs will always be a weakness of mine. I wonder what these mags will come with next. 😉

What about you? Are you more inclined to buy a magazine if the GWP is good? Even if you’re not terribly interested in the mag itself?

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10 comments… add one
  1. Kathryn

    Oh dear, I am on a self-imposed magazine ban at the moment. But I keep looking at all the GWP’s. I love the notebooks! I saw Elle in my local Woolies last week, all the samples had been stolen. I nearly bought Better Homes and Gardens this morning because they have a wooden serving board GWP, but I hate that magazine!

    1. Tine

      HAHAHAHAHA! Oh I know what you mean! I saw the wooden serving board and it looked really good! There were several good GWPs with Dolly a few months ago but I’m not a fan of that magazine (also because I feel ancient reading that all that “young” language on things being on fleek and whatevs). In the end, I decided not to buy the mags. But man, those GWPs were good.

  2. sigita

    Currently I’m subscribed to Marie Claire (coming every month without GWP)and I am not happy, because sometimes I even want to buy one more yes THE SAME magazine but with GWP! also as you said I bought a lot of magazines that came with full-sized beauty products because they were worth more than the magazine itself…and now I have full storage boxes, drawers & baskets of cosmetics:) actually I have no time even to read:) so just looking at all my magazines and waiting for a better time:) but thanks god addiction of subscription gone naturally ( only one subscription left!) but I have another illness ( yes we all have one;) its the same as yours;) why so we are coming to beautyholicsanonymous:)

    1. Tine

      Right?? Just for that Megan Hess notebook and notecards (I’m a big fan of her work and her sister’s), I actually bought another copy of Marie Claire, which I already have *roll eyes*. Sigh. My subscription is coming to an end too and I won’t be renewing my subscription, not when the GWPs the magazine’s been having the past few months were pretty good. Ahem. 😛

  3. MonicaP

    I LOVE magazines, but I rarely see gift with purchase here in the US. I don’t buy magazines too often (unless I’m traveling). I use to take all my magazines to work so they could have a second life .. now that I’m not working, I feel guilty reading and recycling so I mostly read magazine sites online.

    MonicaP recently posted..5 Non Electronic Ways to Keep Yourself Entertained on a Long FlightMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh they don’t do gifts with purchases with mags in the US? Man, mags here and especially in the UK are rife with them! Often I’d get the mag just for the cool GWPs that are worth more than the mag itself 😛 Marie Claire once had a full-sized Estee Lauder mascara with the mag. Vogue was giving out free REN products with one of their issues. And not to mention all the notebooks, T-shirts, bags, etc. 😛

  4. Paris B

    I’ve only bought a mag with a GWP once, in singapore where they were offering an eyeshadow palette that I’d never heard of LOL! So random right? I didn’t even want the mag! That said, I only read mags at the hairdressers so I guess my hairdresser gets all the good stuff hehe…
    Paris B recently posted..Your say : What beauty products have you rediscovered recently? My Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha I wonder if your hairdresser subscribes to the mags instead of buying them off the shelf, ‘cos they’d be cheaper. In that case, there’ll be no GWPs for them 😛 Do you remember all those awesome GWPs magazines in the UK would come with? They’re even better these days (Fee from Makeup Savvy blog will show cool GWPs on magazines from time to time. Fuyoh!).

  5. Sydney Shop Girl

    I used to be such a GWP junkie… The Harpers free T shirts always came in handy on holiday. Thanks for the memories!

    SSG xxx

    1. Tine

      Oh yeah I remember those T-shirts. I’m not so into those T-shirts (mostly because they’re usually too small for me) but I’ll be happy to get the ones that come with free bags 😛

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