How to Navigate the World of Subscription Boxes…

Besides books, there is nothing that I prescribe or subscribe to more wholeheartedly to lifting one’s mood (in a small, material way of course. :P) than the receiving of subscription boxes.  It’s a special treat to give to friends, and I get them for my loved ones whenever I see one that might tickle their fancy.

Who doesn’t like receiving surprises in the mail?  The lovely thing about subscription boxes is that you know something is coming, so you have the joy of looking forward to it… and yet, you don’t know exactly what is going to be in it, and thus have the pleasure of being surprised.  Isn’t that just a glorious recipe for giddiness?!

Surprises

There are a few pitfalls that one must beware of, and so here are a few (admittedly common-sense… but who remembers these things in the excitement?) tips to keep in mind.

1.  Watch your numbers.  A few dollars here and there may not seem like much, but when you find that you are subscribed to over 12 different boxes, it adds up.  Also, the one who delivers your mail may resent having to juggle the dozens of parcels up to your doorstep.

2.  Curate your subscriptions.  There’s really no need to be subscribed to 3 or 4 different ‘beauty boxes’, so find one that consistently delivers items that you are crazy about, and ditch the rest.  If a box is not for you, don’t feel like you have to give it a ‘second  chance’.  Do not fall into the trap which is aptly titled “The Fear of Missing Out”.  There are thousands of things in this world that we will never be able to try; giving up a subscription box is not the end of the world!

3.  Choose wisely, and look before you leap.  I’m quite particular about finding a subscription service that offers the best in its field. Do research to find similar competitors for comparison, look up blog and Youtube reviews, and don’t ever settle just to be subscribed to something new.  If you have a nagging feeling that the products are probably sub-par, or that the customer service is lacking, skip it and don’t look back.  I’ve held off on subscribing only to find a year later that the company has gone under, and their subscribers are still waiting for boxes or refunds.

4.  Don’t stay up ’til quarter-to-two looking for new boxes to subscribe to.  Guilty as charged, and… we shall never speak of this again.

*** Now for the fun part –my favourite boxes, and those I’d like to try or find interesting!

♡ RECOMMENDED!

Panty by Post:  Who doesn’t like getting pretty underwear in the mail?  And it’s always fun to make the postman blush! 😉  This is the first subscription service I ever signed up for, and I still enjoy getting the little packet in the mail.  Quality service and selection –I highly recommend this one and have been subscribed for quite a few months now.  [Full review coming up soon!]

Tea Sparrow:  For $20 a month, Tea Sparrow –which is such an enchanting name, you’ll agree!– will send a mix of four current favourite premium loose leaf teas –that’s a total of 35-40 cups of tea!  The best part is that every tea box includes a selection of both herbal and caffeinated blends to enjoy, plus they always share the contact information for the companies whose tea you especially fancy and would like to stock up on.

* An alternative I’ve looked into is Amoda Teafor $12, you get 3 different teas that can make 5-7 cups each.  If I ever subscribe, I shall share my thoughts!

♡ MAYBES!

Flicker Box:  The company is inspired by a love and appreciation for handmade candles, as well as a passion for sharing them. By delivering a package with various quality candles made by artisans in the United States, they help candle lovers discover, appreciate and support homegrown talent.  Currently they only ship to the United States, but I am hoping that this single, crazy Canadian girl who adores candles can convince them to expand their shipping policies a wee bit.  🙂

MustHave by PopSugar:  PopSugar is a fun and sometimes frivolous site… and until recently, I only knew them for their daily turnout of articles on celebrities, fitness, fashion and product recommendations, as well as various lifestyle tips.  Imagine my excitement when I learned that they also offer a subscription service that mirrors the subjects they cover.  The editors test the products and then send out what they love to their readers for them to discover.  Hopefully this means quality –they have a reputation to upholdl!  One day when I possess more pennies than I know what to do with, and they decide to ship to Canada, I will definitely try this one out.

Yuzen Box:  Yuzen is the name of an exquisite Japanese paper, and this service promises to deliver a dose of zen and tranquility in every elegantly packaged box.  Yuzen offers a box every 3 months, and selected products are eco-friendly, natural, and organic. If you need a moment to pause and delight in the present, Yuzen seems to do that very well.  I think this box would work well for both men and women, as the point is to recenter and pamper yourself while finding serenity.

Root Bizzle:  Once a month, you get a silk tie –choose from business, skinny, or whimsical– designed in Italy.  I would definitely get these for my brothers, as they are in jobs that require ties, ties, ties!!  Plus it’s good to have lots of extras for special occasions, right?  In all honesty, I don’t see this as something anyone can commit to for a very long time… perhaps cancel and start up again whenever a wardrobe refresher is needed!

Hammock Pack:  This subscription box takes armchair travelling to a whole new level (although you can probably open this box in bed, if you wanted to! ;)).  Each month, a surprise pack with a themed ‘getaway’ will have you going places without leaving your home.  These experiences-in-a-box include date nights, a trip to South Carolina, Colorado, and apple picking!

Wine Collective:  My husband and I love sharing a glass on the couch after supper… I would like to subscribe to this box one day to expand our tastebud repertoire and find some new après-dinner favourites.

Prudence and the Crow:  Based in London, Prudence and the Crow is a vintage book subscription box.  You cannot imagine the happy dance that I did!  I am just crazy about books, and adore nothing more than flipping through centuries’ old books and sniffing the pages.  My mum is sure that this practise leads to mental imbalance, and can rattle off dozens of ‘behavioural patterns’ to back this theory up, but who cares???  This is the best book subscription service I’ve come across as it lets you pick classics and children’s books (it has more, but those are my favourites)… that are vintage.  *insert hyperventilation*

Loot Crate and Nerd Block:  For the nerds, geeks, dorks, and gamers out there… both are subscription services to satisfy our odd little hearts.  Think game and movie franchise related items –such as Diablo III, Mario, TMNT, and Star Wars.  Anything that includes Star Wars is a win in my opinion.  Plus they include t-shirts!!  I need more geeky tees!!  OK, I am probably the only one excited about these… 😛

What do you think of subscription services –purse-killers, or the best sorts of packages you can get in the world?  Do you have any favourites?

xoxo,

– Mrs. Cathie

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