Subscription Box Fun – Surprise yourself (or someone you love)

January 25, 2018 10:48 am

I may have a subscription box addiction.  For those of you who haven’t heard of them, a subscription box is a home delivery service that curates and sends to you at regular intervals (monthly, quarterly, etc.) a package based on an interest you have identified. There are subscription boxes for cosmetics, accessories, clothing, books, home décor, cleaning products, gadgets, science, pets, kid’s interests, gardening, food, teas, coffees, special interest like steam punk, knitting, various hobbies – just about anything you can think of really.

Subscription boxes range in price from around ten dollars to hundreds of dollars.  In some of the boxes you keep everything you receive and in others (primarily clothing) you can choose to keep all, some or none of the items and are charged only for what you keep.

Why would someone sign up for something like this when there is a mall around every corner?  The reasons are vast and varied. A few of those reasons are:

  • They make great gifts for people who “have it all” or are difficult to buy for
  • It’s a fun surprise (for yourself and for others)
  • You often can try products you can’t easily or readily find locally (exotic snacks, fair trade handmade accessories and décor, unique clothing brands, smaller or sample sizes of cosmetics, fun toys for pets, etc.)
  • It’s nice to have a store come to you if you truly have little time to shop or are a difficult fit.

 

I had subscription boxes to Birchbox and Ipsy for just over a year (about $10 each per month).  I loved them and enjoyed getting new full-sized lipsticks and nail polish, make-up (such as eye shadow and eye liners), as well as sample sized hair products, moisturizers and so on to try.  I found a few new go-to products that are amazing.  It was nice to get a trial size or large sample of something instead of spending $30 on a single product only to find that I didn’t like it or it didn’t work as promised.  After the year I had a bit of a stockpile built up so have halted my subscriptions until I’ve used them up (yes, you can halt these subscriptions any time).

Our entire family enjoyed the LootCrate subscription (about $16 per month). For a year we received a monthly geeky box full of T-shirts, Pops, Pins, Books and other nerdy sci-fi, horror, game related and fantasy gear.  We took a break from it for a while to enjoy what we had already received.

I sent 3 to 6 month gift subscriptions for monthly books to a handful of relatives.   I was able to choose the genre or type of books, the quantity of books to send and the frequency.  There are subscriptions for romance books, sci-fi / horror books, best sellers (think Tom Clancy, James Patterson), kids, young adults and many more.

Currently I’m enjoying clothing subscriptions from Dia & Co., Stitch Fix and Nadine West.  Each of these is a service that sends me a box monthly (sometimes I request them more frequently) full of clothing chosen for me based on a style and size profile that I completed.  You can state that you don’t like floral, sleeveless styles or the color green.  You can tell them you have narrow hips, broad shoulders and long legs.  You get the point, you can be very specific. They read it and they pay attention.   Dia & Co.  and Stitch Fix are similar in that they send you 5 items (I have specified no accessories to be included so I get only clothing) and you can choose to keep none if they didn’t work for you, some, or all of the items. If all of the items worked for you, these two services will give you 25% off your purchase if you buy them all.  This is a great deal because it generally works out that at least one of the items is totally free. So if you only really loved 4 of the items, just go ahead and buy the entire box, it’s worth it!  Nadine West has lower price points than the other two boxes and sends fewer items.  I’m awaiting my first box currently and can’t wait to see what they have for me.

Father’s Day and my husband’s birthday are coming up and I’m currently deciding if a subscription box might be a fun gift for him.  They have men’s clothing boxes,  boxes specific to ties, socks, razors, men’s grooming products, travel, gadgets, and as mentioned before, tons of special interest selections.  I’m also eyeing a few science and craft related ones that are kid-specific to surprise my son with.

No matter your budget, you can find a box that will bring some fun to your door step. Life is busy and stressful at times.  On a day when a box or packet arrives in the mail, full of surprise and mystery, I get a little positive emotional charge, a little pick-me-up if you will. It makes me smile and helps me to feel special and pampered.

If you have any questions about subscription boxes, let me know and I’m happy to help or make a few suggestions.  I also have a few links that will waive certain fees on certain boxes that I’d be happy to share upon request.  Also, want some help investigating what is available? Here are a few great sites:

http://boxes.mysubscriptionaddiction.com/

https://www.cratejoy.com/category/novelty-subscription-boxes/

Subscription boxes are a great way to bring a little joy back into the day-to-day.  Grown-ups deserve surprises too!

 

By Kim Wunderlich-Cady

Kim@Aupairfoundation.org