Are subscription boxes worth your money?

by - August 17, 2016

Subscription boxes are hot currently, catering to various interests and desires. You can find subscriptions for tampons/pads, food, beauty products, babies, wine and many other services launching weekly. You name it, I can bet you R100 that someone has boxed it. Even Adidas has launched their own subscription box.

Some subscription boxes, feature primarily sample-sized products, while other subscription boxes send out full-size products.

Before you subscribe to any of these services, what you need to do is consider the contents and their retail value. The price of the subscription box can vary by leaps and bounds. If you aren’t careful, these boxes can end up eating a huge chunk of your money.

Food Subscription Services

Take for instance The Daily Dish which is a weekly meal kit subscription box. The service does the grocery shopping for you and send they it to you with everything you need to cook your meals for 4 days. Their prices range from R660 – R1270 per box depending on the menu and amount of servings. It’s a subscription food box with ingredients and directions for recipe. Nothing more. Most people who buy a meal subscription box do not rely on it as their only source of groceries. They still go shopping which begs the question, are they worth it? If they break down the costs, what are they paying for and are they getting a good deal?

I have never used them and I don't know if I will try them. There is no appeal or convenience for me because I still need to cook the food, which is where my struggle is. But then, different strokes for different folks. This is clearly meant for people who still want to cook but don't want to go out and buy all the ingredients necessary. And this might be your thing. However, when you do subscribe just consider the questions that I have asked above and make sure the subscription box that you get is worth spending your money on.

Sample Beauty Products Subscription Services 

We also have a lot of make up subscription boxes which claim to increase your exposure to new products and brands. Companies source different beauty samples for FREE and then sell them to you for a price. Take Ruby Box, SA’s largest online beauty subscription services. They charge R119/month to deliver to your doorstep a box of 4-5 trial-size beauty sample products. When this first came out, I remember thinking, "what genius convinced people to pay for boxes of free samples? I should have thought of that. Dang it!"

People that I know have unsubscribed from this service because they said they didn't find value in it. Personally, I don't get why people pay for samples considering that many stores give them for free. And yes, this is definitely not my thing. But if you are OK with paying for beauty samples then, like the food box, you have to decide if this is worth your money. You must also consider the costs of the products, delivery charges and compare all those factors against how much you’d end up paying if you went out and compiled a similar box yourself.

If you can find a subscription service that saves both money and time, you would have hit the jackpot. I have never seen one.

If you  are using blogs for reviews of these subscription boxes to see which is one is the best option, just make sure that those bloggers are trustworthy. So many beauty and fashion bloggers are happy to write positive reviews about products if they are paid or getting free stuff. Beware!

And remember to read the fine print of the agreement . It's always advisable to learn more about the cancellation policy of the subscription box.  You can always try out a box for a month and cancel if you’re not interested. I hope the cancelling process is not a schlep.

Overall, I’m not against the idea of a subscription boxes. I just think they need to be things that I truly need at a fraction of the price; and currently the market is not meeting my needs. Maybe I should start my own?

What do you think? What’s your take on beauty subscription boxes? Have you tried any?

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