RIP-OFF ALERT: If you're a heavy magazine subscriber, you need to be aware of expensive come-ons for advance renewals from a variety of marketing companies.

The Los Angeles Times  reports you may pay up to 4 times the going rate for a magazine renewal subscription through these third party marketers. In addition, you might renew a magazine that already has a long time left on your existing subscription.

If you are a voracious reader, you are more susceptible to this rip-off obviously. So look at those renewal notices when they come in. My wife loves magazine and subscribes to about 25 magazines in traditional paper form. We're seeing all these third party come-ons in our mailbox.

There's something else to be aware of too: Even the magazines themselves are sending renewal notices way before your subscription is up. The publishers are desperate for revenue. In some cases, they've deleted the renewal date from the paperwork they send you in the mail.

I signed in to my wife's account for one particular magazine that contacted us and found she was signed up for 2 more years. But a funny thing happened when I signed in. I saw a great deal on renewal that was different from the one in the mail and I went and got her 2 additional years right then and there. So now she has 4 more years for practically no money at all. That just turned out to be a lucky break!

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. View More Articles

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