Consumer Price Watch: Print Lives: Wired Mag $8.99

Congratulations to Wired magazine for breaking the Nine Barrier with its “Annual How To” issue. 

The issue gives its cover to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Brian Cox, who has clearly slimmed down and had work done to play a pixieish particle physicist with the Royal Society. 

There are also pieces on life extension, deal-making and “faster” living – which appears to conflict with life extension, but Wired is ecumenical. 

What caught my attention – and this proves that it wasn’t just a lookyloo; I really was open to buying – was the price tag, a steep “$8.99” written by hand on a sticker. 

Just to repeat that last part: This is the price being charged by a newsstand near Park La Brea in Los Angeles. Wired’s quoted newsstand price is $4.99 per issue. I can’t vouch for special issues

So apparently this is an item that has gained value (or at least asking price) in the secondary market.

I was under the impression that print is a dying medium, what with all the kids texting each other apps over the twitters. So congratulations to Wired on being able to command a princely nine-dollar value (more with tax) in these difficult times. I also recommend Noah Shachtman’s reporting for Wired and particularly Shachtman’s coverage of the fascinating drone-virus story. 

Print media are not foodstuffs or fossil fuels, items that are supposedly too volatile for inclusion in the “core” consumer price index. I don’t know whether print media get picked up under “education and communication” or “other goods and services” in the CPI basket, if they get picked up at all. But my local daily newspaper inflated its price by 50 percent during the depths of the recession in January 2009 and 33 percent subsequently. The L.A. Times now asks a greenback for a paper that runs an average of 65 pages weekdays. 

You can do this with oodles of items and have yourself a simply grand time. Ice cream underwent stealth inflation late in the Bush Administration, when the venerable half-gallon container was disappeared and replaced with 1.5-quart and 1.75-quart lookalikes. House sellers are still asking three times the discernible value of their houses. The 2010 gubernatorial elections alerted the whole nation that the rent is too damn high. Everywhere you look, everything costs too much for a thrifty person to tolerate. Yet there’s no inflation. It’s some kind of miracle. 

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  • *||

    Spot Bad Science: Brian Cox.

    What did I win?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I was under the impression that print is a dying medium, what with all the kids texting each other apps over the twitters.

    Its rarity makes it valuable.

  • Gov. William J. Le Petomane||

    Its rarity makes it valuable.

    +2 for not typing "It's"

  • ¢||

    Yet there’s no inflation.

    "No" is "Yes.99" now.

  • Joe M||

    If they removed all those ads inside, they could cut down on paper costs and charge less.

  • R||

    Except the ads pay for a large portion of the printing cost, and hence cutting them out would mean the magazine costs the consumer more. Of course, the proliferation of ads is driving away many consumers, so whether or not it works out in the long run remains to be seen.

  • Joe M||

  • OWS||

    ...the price tag, a steep “$8.99” written by hand on a sticker.

    Just to repeat that last part: This is the price being charged by a newsstand near Park La Brea in Los Angeles. Wired’s quoted newsstand price is $4.99 per issue.

    Wut?! We won't stand for these predatory pricing tactics! We're on the way now! Prepare to be occupied, newsstand millionaire gougers! WE ARE THE 99%!

  • ||

    House sellers are still asking three times the discernible value of their houses.

    A big win in Florida on this front:

    http://www.newgeography.com/co.....growth-law

    I particularly like the 2005 Wachovia analysis quoted in the article:

    The chief impediment to new construction has been a shortage of developable land. The shortage primarily results from a growing resistance to new development. The state is not running out of space. Nearly every community in Florida and the state itself are looking at some type of limitations on new residential development. While well intentioned, these initiatives are making it more time consuming and expensive to build homes in Florida.

    At least some areas are looking at the root cause of the housing bubble and fixing the fundamental problems that caused it.

  • Zuo||

    I just bought a magazine subscription today (my third ever, maybe), how funny.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Newspapers are dead, not all print media. People will always buy books and magazines for reference/handiness and collector value.

  • ALEE||

    Is it ummm...maybe the BRITISH IMPORT? Like all magazines with that additional larger sticker over the barcode(listing usually around 8.99 or 9.99.) its an import thus the higher price. Go to any larger bookstore and you will see two versions of Wired. One American and one British.

  • ||

    Yeah, that's the UK edition. Imported, somewhat different editorial content, thus the high price.

  • Sports Matches||

    Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing? I have a presentation incoming week, and I am on the lookout for such information.

  • Game NBA Live Stream||

    The beauty of these blogging engines and CMS platforms is the lack of limitations and ease of manipulation that allows developers to implement rich content and 'skin' the site in such a way that with very little effort one would never notice what it is making the site tick all without limiting content and effectiveness.

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