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Scam or be scammed: The Columbia House Chronicles

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smasher_Sloan, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Get 11 CDs for just a penny!

    Here's how the record companies did it, along with case histories of how people tried to beat the system:

  2. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    RCA/BMG was always better - I used BMG when I converted to CDs..even after the initial offer, six free to buy 1? They regularly had buy 1 get one free deals - usually the deal ended up where you get end up spending about five or six bucks a CD including the postage.
  3. Brad Guire

    Brad Guire Member

    I signed up for the VHS clubs in the late 90s, but I don't remember getting cassettes or CDs. Same deal though.
  4. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    When I was in college, our dorm had a common P.O. drawer where everyone in the building received their mail (there was one guy who was designated to check the box and deliver the mail by sliding it under your door). This led to numerous Columbia House accounts in the building, with people like Michael Stipe, Robert Plant and Gene Simmons receiving (almost) free CDs and tapes.
  5. baskethead

    baskethead Member

    I used to get sucked into these. My now-wife put a stop to that.
  6. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    I did Columbia House as a teen-ager with pretty good results. The deal, I think, was that you had to buy three albums over the next year after getting the 13 off the top. You just had to be vigilant to send back the mailing, and then to cancel as soon as the year was over. To me, a pretty small price to pay for 13 free cassettes.
  7. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the key was making sure you sent back the envelope in time. I was with BMG and they always had a "featured selection." One month it was two CDs and I didn't send the thing back before the deadline. Ended up getting stuck with not only two mediocre CDs, but a $35 bill for them at full price.
    I did like BMG's sales though. Very, very rarely did you have to pay full price without getting at least some sort of break on another CD. And if you didn't take advantage of a buy one get one free sale -- say you bought one but didn't pick another -- they'd give you a coupon for a freebie the next time you did order one.
  8. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    8-Tracks, boy am I old.
  9. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    Hey, I was the first kid on my block to have a cassette deck in his Camaro ... it was like getting a 3-D video player in your car today!
  10. Killick

    Killick Well-Known Member

    As an 12yo (maybe it was 13), I signed up and got Eddie Murphy's first comedy offering as one of my 13. Dad overheard it playing on Day Two. Never saw that tape again.
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    In college, our social chairman had thousands of CDs. He would pull out the IFC directory and just list the names of guys from houses that we didn't like and he'd sign them up for any and all of the deals.
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