Tag Archives: subscription box Saturday

Can Subscription Boxes Thrive?

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Subscription Box Saturday

Last week’s $1 Box post got me thinking… How do subscription boxes really work? With Cravebox {which was my favorite one that I tried} going out of business and the Pawalla company deciding to discontinue their subscription box service, I’m really wondering.

Do subscription boxes get samples from companies as a way to advertise their businesses?

Beauty Army samples are truly samples. They are usually tiny packages meant for one-use only. I can’t believe I pay $12 for that box. The good news is that I can skip any month I’d like. I’ve skipped the last few months because I couldn’t find six worthwhile samples to choose.

Or do they buy the items {especially if they are full-sized} in bulk and get a deal on them?

How do they determine how many of each sample or product they need each month when people are joining and canceling at different rates each month?

This would be especially difficult for those trying to put together a fun theme.

Then there’s the shipping.

A lot of times shipping is included in the box price or is rather inexpensive. But I do know that most boxes that I receive would cost me $10 to $15 to ship myself. Sure, businesses can get a deal and ship at a bulk rate, but the rates aren’t that good to absorb all of those costs.

A case of wine costs anywhere from $35 to $50 to ship due to its weight and adult signature restrictions. But I’d still get flack from guests at tasting events when they are charged a $9.95 flat fee on their order, regardless of size, to ship to the host. It’s a good deal, people, especially when you are already getting a good deal on high quality wine. The shipping is not built into the price of the bottle. By comparison, consider the fact that a winery in California wanted me to charge me $60 to ship a case of their wine I loved.

But back to the boxes…

Sometimes when I think about what a deal a box is, I wonder if the subscription box companies make any money.ย  There are a lot of subscription boxes out there. And I’ve found that most of them are a lot more expensive than the ones I receive. There are some I’d love to try, but shelling out $30 or $50 per month just isn’t an option when I don’t know what it’s going to be like.

My August Food Boxes…

I have noticed that the very inexpensive Goodies Box I receive {just $7} has scaled back, too. Or at least they had in August.

  • The size of their boxes has been getting smaller, but I feel that they are packed much more nicely.
  • They no longer include a card describing the products. Instead, the recipient is instructed to go online. I think this would save time and money if a product doesn’t work out or when they put different products in different boxes.
  • But this month, the items I received were smaller sample sizes and they looked skimpier in the box.
August Goodies Box

August Goodies Box {clockwise from top left}: Natural Intentions Veggie Chips, Alo Light Orange & Passion Fruit Drink, Pronto! Caol Cafe Blues Liquid Brewstick, Hidden Valley Ranch Sunflower Seeds, Tangy Zangy Twisties Sour Wild Berry Snacks, Poplets

I can’t complain. This is the least expensive box I get! But the fact that they are scaling back might have something to do with the economics of subscription boxes. What do you think?

Fave item in the box? The Brewstick! It was a great one-serving cup of coffee for me when my husband was out of town one weekend. And it is liquid, so it doesn’t leave behind any gross leftover granuals that some instant coffee packets do.

The Poplets reminded me of the Pop’d Kerns that we have in Minnesota, but the flavor and texture of Pop’d Kerns flavor are sooooo much better!

~

On the other hand, Love with Food always seems to come through for me! Maybe it just seems like a lot that they pack into that small box of theirs, but I like it. I also love their themes each month. Most of their products are all-natural or organic or GMO-free. The bonus is that I usually haven’t had most of them before, so I’m discovering something new all of the time. And how they are donating a meal to a hungry child for every box shipped, I don’t know. The box is only $10 per month + $2 shipping.

August Love with Food Box

August Love with Food Box {clockwise from top left}: Sahaleย  Fruit & Almond Crunchers, Dizzy Pig BBQ Spice Rub, Harvest Crisps Baked Snapea Crisps, Aunty Sally’s Creamy Original Pralines, Good Boy Organics BOPS Sea Salt Potato Crisps, Project 7 Sugar-Free Fresh Mint Tubes, Rip van Wafels Caramel Amsterdam Waffle Cookie, El Pinto Salsa

Fave item in this box? The Rip van Wafel Caramel Waffle Cookie! I received this in a Goodies Box earlier this year. So I got a second chance not to let it melt and fall into my mug o’ coffee like I did last time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In my subscription boxes, I often get great coupons, too! I’m talking $1 and $2 off coupons, none of these “save 35 cents when you buy 4” ones you get with the Sunday newspaper. Sometimes I’ve received coupons for BOGOs as well as FREE items. I like it when they do that because it means they want you to try the product, but it really isn’t shippable.

And look below, I dropped the ball and missed getting you this discount code for Love with Food by Aug 31st. But they are still offering the additional points, so it’s possible they may still be accepting the code. It’s worth a try, right?! Click here to enroll.

LWF2

If you are wondering which other subscriptions boxes I’d like to try, here are a few on my wish list. Anybody want to go shopping for me? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • HelloFresh – They send you all of the ingredients to make three meals, down to the spices. I received a $25 gift card toward the service in another subscription box, but it still seemed a little pricey and too good to be true. Then I read some incredible reviews about this service. I was all set to join when I discovered that they do not ship to Minnesota. I will have to do a giveaway for that gift card! I don’t want it to go to waste.
  • Taste Trunk (either the Gourmet or Healthy Box) – Specializing in higher end gourmet food products.
  • Hungry Globetrotter – Food inspired by a different region of the world.
  • Stitch Fix – Personal Clothing Shopper. Would love to try this when I’m down to size. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Escape Monthly – A vacation in a box!
  • Ellie – Fitness Clothing Box (Again, one to try when I reach my goal. Could be a great reward!)

I’ve also always wanted to belong to a fruit-of-the-month or cheese-of-the-month club. The above more expensive boxes are probably worth it, but you don’t know until you try them. I would like to try them for a deal, but then is it fair to them if we cancel after that?

How do you think most subscription box services work?

If there is one box you could try, what would it be?

Cheers~
Carrie