In the midst of getting bills and junk mail, finding a box full of surprise goodies in your mailbox feels like you won the lottery. Monthly subscription services are becoming more popular, with new services cropping up monthly to meet every need under the sun.
Things to Look For
With so many options, how can you know you are truly getting a service that is worth your investment? Here are five tips to help you find the best subscription box service for you.
Focus on what you want
There are a wide variety of options, which makes it easy to find one that works for your needs. Think about what makes the most sense for your lifestyle. If you want to try new personal care products, a box like Birchbox, which sends you sample sizes of various products, may be a good fit. Focusing on contents and the related price will help you find the best option.
Check the size of box contents
All subscription services are not designed the same. There are some that will charge you a pretty penny for sample-sized goodies. Make sure you review past boxes on their website to get an idea of what they offer.
Check reviews to see what consumers think
Many bloggers and web writers have posted reviews of various subscription services. Before signing up, search the web and see what others thought of the products. It will give you a good idea if it is a fit for you. At the same time, many current customers will offer referral links and coupon codes for you to sign up at discounted rates.
Try before you buy big
Many of the subscription services will offer special deals if you commit to a year’s worth of boxes. While it may seem like a good deal, it’s a waste of money if you don’t like the product that they send you. With this in mind, try one month before you commit to spending enough for a year’s worth of boxes.
Read the fine print
Just like differences in content, the subscription services have different terms. Some allow you to skip months if you notify them within so many days. Others require that you purchase on a monthly basis unless you put your account on hold.
With all of that in mind, here are our suggestions for the top monthly subscription services based on web reviews.
All products sold by Preserve are made of recycled plastic and are recyclable themselves. The company offers subscription services for its toothpicks, razors, and toothbrushes. Prices vary based on your subscription length. A two-pack of flavored toothpicks is $5, with Preserve offering 15 percent off for each additional month you purchase.
For nail polish lovers, Julep offers a unique subscription service. After filling out a style quiz, it categorizes you into a style. Based on this, the service provides monthly recommendations for nail polish colors. For $20, you receive two nail polishes plus a personal care product, or three nail polishes. It gives you the option to skip months at any time.
BeautyBox 5 includes five samples of beauty items — including beauty accessories, makeup, nail care, skin and hair care, and fragrances — for $12 per month. The company focuses on delivering luxury, niche, and eco-conscious brands such as Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Everyday Minerals, and NuMe.
Starting at $9 per month, members of Postcard Workouts can receive a workout designed by certified fitness professionals. Workouts like “Bikini Body” and “Total Body Toning” require equipment, while the “Home Workout” option can be done without.
RunnerBox features a number of goodies for runners and triathletes in its RunBox and TriBox. For $20 per month, the company promises to provide a balance of old favorites with new-to-the market goodies. It primarily focuses on food and energy items like gels, chews, and nutrition bars, but also includes accessories and skincare products.
Featuring athletic clothing designed by Kate Hudson, Fabletics is a monthly subscription service for women that gives them access to a new workout outfit. Starting at $49.95 each month, members can get a workout based on their style preferences. The service allows people to skip and buy single items.
Designed for Foodies
Starting at just $10/month, Plum Deluxe has it’s own subscription box, a an organic tea of the month club. Choose the amount of loose leaf tea you’d like (1 oz or 2 oz per month), as well as caffeine or caffeine–free, and you’re set. Club members get to mingle in a private Facebook group where Plum Deluxe staffers share tips, recipes, and other tea-loving goodness. Tea blends are exclusive, limited-edition blends generally not available elsewhere, adding extra incentive for joining in.
For just $6 (including shipping), Graze sends you a box featuring healthy snacks. Options include seeds, nuts, dried fruits, snack mixes, and granola bars. Graze also features a “LightBox,” which offers low-calorie snacks. The service requires that you have an invitation code in order to join, which may require you joining a wait list for a period of time.
Five full-size snack packages are included in a monthly subscription to NatureBox, which runs $19.95 per month. The company focuses on providing wholesome snacks that do not include high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, or artificial flavors.
Find the latest in health and nutrition products with Bulu Box. For $10 per month, members receive a box with four to five samples of different products to try. Members who complete surveys about their boxes can earn reward points, which allow them to purchase full-size products of the samples they received.
Happiness by the Jar
After signing up for a three, six, or 12 month Happiness Subscription, members can look forward to receiving two jars to their doorstep each month. One jar features an edible treat, while another a personal care item. The idea is to feel happy — inside and out.
Moss of the Month
For the moss lover in your life, a crafter on Etsy is offering the perfect solution: a Moss of the Month club. For $50, you can purchase a six-month subscription that delivers a collection of moss and lichens to your mailbox. The products can be used to decorate birdhouses or accent your terrarium.
New York City’s premier craft store M&J Trimmings sends out monthly subscription boxes with a featured craft each month. The subscription service starts at $30 and becomes more affordable with the more months you purchase upfront. Projects include earrings, necklaces, and keychains.
Photo credits: slgckgc, Preserve, Julep, BeautyBox 5, Fabletics, RunnerBox, Postcard Workouts, Graze, NatureBox, Bulu Box, Project DIY, Moss of the Month, and Happiness by the Jar.