Have you been considering using a subscription box? Make sure to read my subscription box review before you commit to anything!
*This post may contain affiliates
Subscription boxes can be a great way to save money on gear, as long as you know what to expect. I've been getting lots of subscription box questions regarding how useful and valuable they are. Initially, having a monthly subscription box seems fun. It's like a day of Christmas every time you receive your surprise box in the mail. But just how good of a deal are they? More importantly, are they right for you?
It's important to understand the subscription boxes and what to expect before you purchase the box, to help eliminate frustrations and disappointments when signing up for one.
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At their core, subscription box services are basically distributors connecting brands with potential customers. They tend to get products at wholesale/discount prices and can reap enough of a deal from distributors and manufacturers to make the collection of gear available at a pretty solid price.
However, many people become frustrated after the first month of trying these boxes. This is usually because they keep their expectations far too high - which is unfair, considering the nature of the box and its purpose isn't meant to give you what you think you want. (If that makes sense?) Rather, it's meant to help you find new gear and new brands.
Therefore, I have put together a guide to help you determine if subscription boxes are something you will want to spend your hard earned money on. In addition, I also added video that highlights the unboxing of 2 subscription boxes I currently subscribe to, in case they are something that you are interested in as well.
Understanding Monthly Subscription Boxes and Their Purpose
To know if a subscription box is something you should invest in, first know what you should and shouldn't expect from a subscription box.
Subscription boxes are a way to try a bunch of new products at one set price. They normally don't let you choose the exact products you want, but ultimately give you a chance to try an assortment of products out of a particular category or subject. The "benefits" are usually considered to be the following:
- A way for you to discover new gear
- They help both you and businesses connect
- They serve as a monthly surprise (or treat for yourself)
- They give you access to gear that may be difficult to find elsewhere
- They can help you build your inventory without paying a large amount of money up front
- They can provide more value than their cost
What they are NOT:
- The best source for your favorite gear
- The best deal you can find for one specific product
- A guaranteed good investment
Once you move on from thinking that you are always going to get the best product for the best price, you can start truly enjoying subscription boxes and the monthly surprises that they bring.
What to look for when determining if a subscription box is right for you:
- Your budget
- The product aligns with your interests
- Knowing how often they are billed: monthly, quarterly, etc..
- Watching unboxing's and reviews (from sources like Youtube) to know what to expect
- Past boxes
Budget should always be the number one thing to think about before buying a monthly subscription. Like anything, make sure it's in your budget. Even a $25 a month subscription box ends up being a $300 investment for the year, which is a lot of money. If money is a concern and you still want to try to out a box, I recommend NOT signing up for a long term deal, no longer how good the annual plan may look. Even if money isn't an issue, I still advise giving it at least one month before signing onto an extended deal, because you might not be as satisfied as you originally thought.
Here are some subscription boxes from the outdoor and fitness industries worth trying:
Conclusion: Are they worth it?
If you know what to expect? Yes. I love subscription boxes, they are fun and help me gather gear that I would have never even tried before for an extremely reasonable price. I can handle $10 - $25, however, I probably wouldn't spend more than $50 a month on it.
If you approach it as a way for you and gear providers to find each other - you will probably end up liking the concept and the product. If you are hoping you get a steal on your favorite product every month, then it's not going to be for you.
Let me know, what do you think of monthly/quarterly subscription boxes? Which is your favorite? Which don't you like?