The other day I was reading through Twitter when I can across a tweet promoting a subscription box specializing in snacks and candy from Thailand. Instantly, I thought to myself, “There really is a subscription service for everything.” So, of course, that question led to this post. Are there too many subscription services? Well, it’s not actually that simple. The answer is sort of yes and no. One the real beauties of the Internet are the low-costs available to businesses. This and other low barriers to entry have given opportunities to many, many niche business which could not have existed in pre-Internet, brick-and-mortar days. If you think about it, even Amazon.com started as somewhat of a niche business (a bookstore).
The next step in the evolution of the niche industry is the subscription service. What business wouldn't love a steady flow of revenue regardless of whether or not you were planning on buying or using their product or service. You probably wouldn't buy and read a newspaper every day or a magazine every month if you didn't already have a subscription. This does not mean, in any way, that subscription services are selling junk. In fact it’s quite the opposite. What it means is that consumers find so much value in what these companies are offering that they are willing to pay up front prior to even knowing what they’re getting. That’s pretty powerful stuff. What this means is that you can find great subscription services highly suited to your tastes. So, that’s the “yes” part of the answer.
The “no” part of the answer comes in realizing that this means there are many subscription services out there that won’t suit you. That’s okay though, because they are probably highly suited to someone else’s tastes. However, this does create a little more work for you. You will have to sort through the abundance of subscription services out there to find the ones you want. With this in mind, I've put together a list of a few monthly subscriptions out there that I think my readers will appreciate.
No list of subscription services would be complete without mentioning this powerhouse. I believe Birchbox was the first subscription service, and if it wasn't, it’s certainly the most notable. Birchbox launched the men’s box in 2012. Since then they have packed their monthly boxes with several grooming product samples and one full-sized lifestyle product tailored specifically for men. You never know what you’re going to get, but you know it’s going to be good.
Bespoke Post will ship you their monthly “Box of Awesome” filled with grooming products, lifestyle gear and even cooking supplies for. One of the things I really love about Bespoke Post is that you have the ability to preview what’s coming each month and decide if you want to receive a box that month. While this does cut down the surprise element associated with most of these subscription services, I think it does add value by allowing you to pay only for things you think you would actually use or want to try, especially since the type of products Bespoke Post ships is pretty broad.
I have a problem. I can’t stop buying shaving products. Whether it’s shaving cream, shaving soap, aftershave or anything else. Wet Shave Club has solved my problem. Think of Wet Shave Club like Dollar Shave Club for safety razor and straight razor shavers, but better (although the products they ship can easily be used for cartridge razor shaving too!) You get new shaving creams, soaps, blades, brushes or aftershaves every month, but the thing I like most about Wet Shave Club is that your first box includes a safety razor. They really take all the guess work out of getting started and keep all the fun in trying new products.
Mornings mean one thing to me. Coffee. They didn't used to, but I didn't have kids then either. I also love trying new things (it’s not just shaving products). Some people know what coffee they drink and buy it, on repeat, every time at the grocery store. That’s just not me. I love new flavors, new roasters, new growing regions. Bean Box is a Seattle-based company that ships four different coffees every month roasted in a city known for coffee. If you are the kind of person that loves going beyond the “house roast”, then this is the subscription service for you.
Subscription services can be a great way to try new products, curb your compulsion to buy new things or just keep your pantry stocked. You just have to search through the multitudes and find the ones that appeal to you.
Oh, and if you’re curious about that subscription service for Thai snacks and and candy, it’s From Thai with Love.