Subscription boxes are basically gifts that keep on giving, be it continuously to yourself or to someone else.
But how do you go about choosing one that is actually worth it? Let’s break it down.
1. Price paid versus value of surprise, sampling before purchasing and more
Let’s pretend Crunchy Family has a subscription box service costing $10/mo., with no shipping and handling fee.
With that $10, you should expect to receive a box full of items costing at least $10. Otherwise, you are losing however much more dollars needed to make $10 the actual value is.
…or are you?
Subscription boxes are full of surprises—products vary from box to box, so you never know for certain what you’ll receive until you receive it unless that subscription service provides for you a list of what is included in the box on, say, the page itself or in an email. How valuable to you is the art of surprise?
Does the company behind your box do something charity-wise? Make sure you take this into account in regards to the overall value of your box!
Before you shrug off a box because of the value doesn’t add up to what you paid, look at the long-term subscription plans. That might be why.
2. Determine how much is compatible with you.
Allergies? Picky eater? Struggle with ambiguity? A specialty box may be for you, but when you find yourself giving away the majority of that box’s contents, it’s time to unsubscribe—and maybe send the company behind that particular box some feedback explaining why you unsubscribed and how you’d like for them to improve?
(But hey, remember to be nice, because just sending angry letters to companies doesn’t necessarily result in progress toward anything valuable. Words can hurt, and many subscription box companies are small businesses. Furthermore, these boxes? They’re usually hand-packed. Humans are humans; you know what they do? Be human. Humans make mistakes. It happens. Just be gentle and kind, yo.)
3. Is cancelling automatic?
Not a requirement, but if cancelling is not automatic, you run the risk of your email not making it to the company in time for your box to be cancelled. Waiting and depending on customer service hours for the cancellation to be read/heard (if via phone is required) means you could wind up being charged for one to several more months until your box is actually cancelled.
Sucks, right? So… aim for automatic cancellations. Not only does autonomy save time and money, it makes for less awkward situations and confrontations as well!
4. Speaking of customer support, how is it? How does this company treat its customers?
The best way to check on this is by looking at social media. If the company is constantly pushing their product, they have yet to understand marketing. If they’re creative with their brand and rocking clever marketing methods, all the while interacting with their customers, they’re worth it.
Not sure? Follow them on social media for a few months to see for yourself. Keep an eye out for hashtags, giveaways/contests, and @mentions to people who mention/post about the company.
If the company merely adds hashtags to Instagram photos including their brand, I don’t trust them. (I’m not a fan of company spam on my account. Like, I didn’t include “#scentsy”, so why you spamming me?)
Love With Food and Bestowed are killing it on social media. Love With Food gets creative, whilst Bestowed takes you through the life of the awesome gal behind the box. Talk about getting up close and personal!
That’s about all I have… anyone else have any tips? What boxes are you guys subscribed to? Which would you like to try? Any you’d like us to check out? Drop us a line in the comments!
P.S. I blog about my boxes over on my freshly “rebranded” blog, That Jane Girl. I’m on the hunt for nut-free, rotation diet- and allergen-friendly products, so feel free to follow along!
When I’m not an editor at Crunchy Family, I’m either fictioning out or perpetuating my tree hugger agenda. Kids remember me by my cat stories. I don’t know anything about reality television or sports (except soccer), but nothing tickles my fancy like CW TV and Shondaland.