Subscription Boxes: The New Trendy Way to Buy Everything

Making purchases using a monthly subscription is the hot new twist to online shopping.

New subscription services are popping up almost daily. There are subscriptions available for everything—and I do mean everything, you can imagine.

From the most niche ideas—brides, winos, gamming nerds, romance novel addicts and even vegans– to your everyday items—shoes, clothes, and snacks–a subscription most likely exists.

Why so Popular?

 Part of the popularity of these boxes is due, in part, to the fact that it caters to the “treat yourself” mentality that is currently also trending.

For those wanting to provide themselves or a friend with a bit of luxury or pampering just because– this is right up their alley.

It’s akin to receiving a surprise gift in the mail every month. And with most subscriptions you don’t even have to select all the items that come in your box.

You simply fill out a questionnaire regarding your likes, dislikes and personal preferences and voila! The items are selected and delivered directly to your door.

Think of it as receiving a care package at camp, but instead of broken cookies and smelly sunscreen, the box might be filled with high-end cosmetics or the ingredients to make a gourmet meal.

And then there’s the grand experience of unwrapping the box. The presentation of some of these boxes is truly amazing and are being captured frequently and has become the new social media phenomenon, with “unboxing”  YouTube videos and Instagram snapshots shared with friends.

Subscription boxes are also a great gift giving idea. It’s the perfect gift for the person who has everything and you have an idea of what they may like but aren’t exactly sure what you should give them.

You can purchase a monthly subscription for them or give them a gift card and they can purchase their own subscription. So its gift giving that is easy, practical and hassle free but yet still thoughtful.

Are subscription services a good value?

The answer to this question definitely depends on the subscription.

Food boxes are the least likely to provide true economic value. You should definitely understand that you are not going to get your money’s worth with these type of subscriptions.

For a lot of companies the subscription boxes are part of a company’s marketing strategy. The boxes are aimed at giving consumers a sample of something, be it a new cosmetic product or a snack food, so they can decide whether to buy the full-size product.

“It’s more about discovering new brands and trying out food samples before you get the full size,” says Liz Cadman founder of My subscription Addiction. “There’s a value to not buying something unless you know you really want it.”

Using a Subscription Service

There are so many subscription services available that it may be a bit overwhelming deciding where you want to spend your money or which ones are the best to give as gifts. is a great place to start.  This website provides real user reviews of the best subscription boxes. It gives consumer advice and information from actual consumers on:

Top rated boxes
Number of items that come in the box
Shipping speed
Frequency that box comes (weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually etc.)
Price of the box
Customer service
Product quality

With well over 1,500 subscription boxes and services from which to choose, this is definitely a trend that is not going away any time soon.

Consumer Expert Denise Hill

Denise is currently a writer and editor for a federal agency in Washington, DC. She is an open-minded free spirit always ready for new adventures. She enjoys traveling and relishes being exposed to alternate points of view. Faith, family and finances are the core of her value system. She follows her own path and marches to her own beat. She is a dream chaser and with her husband and best friend by her side, she plans to take over the world.