Are Subscription Boxes Worth It?

Subscription boxes are a convenient service.

They arrive right at your door, are usually budget-friendly, and contain multiple products for the consumer to try. As time passes, subscription boxes grow with popularity, meaning more and more companies are creating their own version of the subscription service- Target and Walmart have their own individual Beauty Boxes that sample products found in stores. 

(Target's "Beauty Box" retails at an affordable $7. Image Credit: Target)

The primary companies who sell subscription boxes are not stores like Target and Walmart. They are individual companies who know they can cater to a specific niche, such as those interested in makeup or hygiene, those who are interested in fitness, or those who want to learn to cook.

Some of the most popular subscription box services include the following: Dollar Shave Club, HelloFresh, FabFitFun, Birchbox, Boxycharm, and Fabletics.

(HelloFresh, a food subscription box. Image Credit: ZDNet)

There are many advantages and disadvantages to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to subscribe to a specific service. As previously mentioned, subscription boxes are simply convenient. They provide sample (or sometimes full-sized) products right to the doorstep of the customer. You can potentially save a decent amount of money (boxes will sometimes include the price you pay versus the worth of the box) if you get the product through the box instead of purchasing separately. With the rise of online shopping, subscription boxes seem great. 

(Image Credit: Boxycharm)

A drawback to subscription boxes is still the price. Boxes can be sold for an affordable price, but the question becomes whether the price is a reflection of the products in the box. A $25 a month box is simply not worth it for sample size products worth $10. Another disadvantage about the subscription box service is the cancellation. Very similar to a gym membership or a streaming service, subscription boxes might become just another thing in the mail. Forgetting to cancel the service means the cost adds up.

Alexandria Ryan is a YouTuber whose channel focuses on subscription box services. She is subscribed to a plethora of boxes and reviews each box as she receives them. Ryan reads through the items on the box and estimates their value; in the end, she is able to determine whether or not the consumer is receiving a good deal in the box or if they are getting ripped-off. 

(Ryan's review of the Tribe Beauty Box. Image Credit: Alexandria Ryan)

Personally, I think before committing to a subscription box, it is vital to do some research. Search online reviews for the service and their boxes, the types of items that are often in the box, if the boxes are a good deal or not in terms of worth, and when it gets delivered. It is important to note- not every box is delivered monthly! Some are once every two months, twice a year, etc. Make sure to look on the company’s website for expected delivery dates.