Make The Most Of Subscription Services

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(Memphis) Lipsticks, coffee, craft beer, baby products!

Those are just a few of the things consumers can get boxed up and sent to their home in a monthly subscription.

Subscription services hit the scene a few years ago with companies like Birchbox.

Since then, the market has exploded with products geared toward not only women, but also men, children, even dogs!

Maybe you received a subscription for Christmas, or are considering one as a gift for Valentine's Day.

Even if it only costs $10 a month, that can add up if you're not getting your money's worth.

"I've gotten everything from nail polishes to those paper face masks that are all the rage right now," Ashley Crockett, a member of the WREG web team, says about her subscription to Ipsy.

She enjoys having the one of a kind products, delivered directly to her doorstep. Crockett says it's actually like getting a little Christmas present year round.

"Lipsticks, cheek stain, mascaras. I have way more mascara than I could ever use probably by now," adds Crockett.

Her first subscription, though, was actually for her dog Indi.

Crockett says, "My dog knows that it's her box!"

"New toys and a new treat, and stuff to try out so that was really why I did it, to experiment and see what products are out there," she added.

It's also convenient.

"I don't have to go browse through the stores, I can just kind of see what we get, that's the fun of it."

Liz Cadman is the founder of My Subscription Addiction, which provides reviews of subscription services.

She says recent trends include local boxes and those featuring celebrity favorites.

Prices can range from $10 a month to more than $300 a quarter.

However, with so much out there, how do you know you're getting the good stuff, versus garbage?

Cadman says the key isn't just focusing on the monthly cost, but rather the value of what's inside the box.

For example she says, "If you're getting a very small amount, even if the value's high, if it's not enough for you to fully test out, the product over two weeks and see a difference, then it probably actually isn't very valuable to you."

Cadman says some of her favorites include Bespoke Post, POPSUGAR Must Have and Birchbox, which she refers to as her "gateway" into sample services.

Cadman says she looks for boxes that offer exclusive products.

Her rule of thumb is to give a box about two months to decide if it's really worth it.

Here are a few other suggestions from Cadman:

  • Determine if the company allows you to preview, or skip the month
  • Check return and cancellation policies
  • Read reviews before subscribing

1 Comment

  • rootbizzle

    I think Liz provides great advice. One challenge from the business end of the subscription box model is showing customers the value – offering discounts, free first months, giveaways, etc have proven to work – but its really important to show initial value and then ongoing value thereafter. In our tie business ( we offer 50% off the first month and a customer can cancel anytime.

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