Subscription boxes are the latest craze and there seems to be one for everything.
Want to find a new novel to read each month? There’s one for that. Want your pup to taste test some new dog treats? You got it. There’s even a subscription box exclusively for “geeks and gamers” that regularly sends collectables and stickers.
If you’re unfamiliar with what a subscription box is, it’s a package of retail products shipped directly to your home on a recurring basis, many of them either monthly or weekly. The products vary depending on what service you’ve signed up for. Julep Maven sends nail polish and beauty items monthly, while Freshly sends pre-made, packaged meals weekly.
With all the other monthly bills you’re bound to pay each month and with a tight college student budget, are any of these subscription boxes really worth sparing some of your coveted beer money?
Birchbox is the love-child of two women who were passionate about beauty products; one was a self-proclaimed novice, the other an expert. They were frustrated with the sea of beauty products to navigate through, but had no way to try them without having to buy them all. Thus, they created Birchbox, a website and subscription service that allows both men and women to try, learn about and purchase beauty products online.
The Birchbox subscription service is personalized according to specific beauty needs that you can fill out in a beauty profile. The women’s box includes five samples ranging from haircare to makeup to skincare products. Each box comes with a card explaining what the product is and how to use it.
There’s also a Sample Choice that allows you to choose one of the samples for your next box or select to receive a Featured or Guest Editor box.
The products offered through the service are high-quality and full sizes are all available on Birchbox’s website.
Birchbox Men is specifically catered to men and is $20/month. Each box includes four different grooming samples and one full-size product, which could be a gadget or an accessory.
At a reasonable price (the cost of two venti iced vanilla lattes at Starbucks), most college students would benefit from sampling high-end products on a poor-man’s budget.
2. GlobeIn Artisan Box
The GlobeIn subscription service brings finds from all around the world to your front door. The products are sourced from direct relationships with artisans, as well as partner organizations. Each Artisan box is curated based on a monthly theme and offers products that support remote artisans and farmers from over 40 different countries.
There are three different subscription options. The monthly option is $40 and is the best option if you’re just wanting to try out the service one time. For $114, you can receive a three-month subscription. For $210, you can receive a six-month subscription.
Whether you choose the monthly or the six-month option, subscriptions can be cancelled at any time. You can also purchase individual boxes from the website for $50.
They pay those supplying the products a fair wage, allowing them to maintain a sufficient quality of living. Although not all organizations the business works with are fair trade certified, GlobeIn makes sure they work under fair trade principles.
This is a unique way for college students to support artisans from around the world, and receive unique, one-of-a-kind products in return.
If you’re a chronic snacker, Graze is the subscription box for you. Started by seven friends who were tired of munching on junk food, Graze offers a better way to snack. Graze has a specialized Taste Team who are the backbone of the snacks, finding exciting new flavors and creating new taste combinations to make sure the unique snacks are top of the line.
Graze works with small suppliers, which allows them to curate unparalleled products and ingredients.
Graze offers over 100 different snacks. The in-house nutritionist makes sure that each and every snack benefits your health in some way, whether it be low calorie or a good source of essential vitamins and minerals.
Each box is $12.99 and comes weekly. Subscriptions can be changed or cancelled at any time. The first box you’ll receive holds a variety of eight snacks. The food that comes in the box is catered to an individual’s taste preferences.
Disclaimer: Graze is not a good option for people with food allergies.
4. Bulu Box
The Bulu Box is a great way to discover new health, nutrition and weight-loss supplements. Each box offers 4-5 different sample products from top brands. Some of the brands sampled through the subscription service include Hydroxycut, Skinnygirl and Naturade.
Depending on what plan works best for you, you can opt for the Bulu Box Original or the Bulu Box Weight Loss. The Original box offers a range of products from sports nutrition to healthy snacks. The Weight Loss option is equipped with products to help with all aspects of losing weight, including fat-burners and sleep aids.
Full-size products of all the samples are available on Bulu Box’s website.
College students are a body of people who like to experiment and try new things. With the endless subscription box options, it’s easy as ever to sample new products and learn about different brands. Whether you’re on a tight budget or have lots of spare cash that you’re ready to spend, there’s a subscription box for everyone. Plus, many of these subscription boxes pride themselves on supporting green and eco-friendly products.
Since the beginnings of the subscription box outbreak, the market has been growing, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Most subscription services allow you to cancel at any time, so there’s no obligation or commitment. Consider expanding your horizons and dive into the world of subscription boxes.