Subscription Box Guide 2018

By Tracey Dowdy

Do you have someone on your list that’s virtually impossible to buy for? A parent who doesn’t want or need more “stuff” because they’re planning to downsize? A child that has more toys then Tom Hanks in “Big?” A friend that eschews consumerism?

Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy – the subscription box. No matter their interest or personality, there is a multitude of great subscription boxes out there at a variety of price points. Here are some of the most popular.

The granddaddy of them all is Birchbox, who kicked off the subscription box trend back in 2010 when it offered a monthly delivery of personalized beauty samples for just $10. Once you fill out your profile, Birchbox picks five samples of both “prestige and niche” beauty products for you to try. If you decide to purchase full-size versions of your favorite products, you get $1 back in Loyalty Points for every $10 you spend in their Shop. They have several promotions right now on their original $10 a month subscription, $30 for three months, or $110 for a year.

If you have a foodie in your life, Try the World or Love With Food are great options. Try the World does just that – every month you get a selection of foods from around the world. You can choose Countries ($39/month) or Snacks ($19/month). Love with Food ships junk-free all-natural, organic or gluten-free snacks and each subscription helps fight childhood hunger. For every box shipped, they donate at least one meal to American families in need. Subscriptions start at $7.99 a month.

If you’re looking for something for the wine connoisseur in your life, Winc, California Wine Club, and Cellars Wine Club are great options. Each has you complete a taste profile that helps identify your wine preferences. You can stick to what you like or explore wines you may be unfamiliar with. Subscriptions start at $13 a bottle and up, so you can choose to be as fancy as you like.

For the pet owner on your list, there’s no end of options. Choose Bark Box, that ships you and your dog a box of toys and healthy treats for as little as $19 a month or even a WINEDOG Box a seasonally themed monthly box with wine-themed gifts for you, and a (non-alcoholic obviously) treat for your pup.  Subscriptions start at $35 a month. For the cat-lady – or gent – in your life, The KitTea Kit subscription box ships cat-themed samples and accessories every month, or choose The BUB CLUB SUB BOX, a quarterly subscription that ships exclusive premium Lil BUB items, with a portion of proceeds providing food for homeless pets. Subscriptions start at $23.

Kiwi Crates make great family gifts. Every month, you’ll receive all the supplies for creative art, science, games, and activities. Set your preferred age group – e.g. ages 0-36 months, ages 3-4, ages 5-8, etc. – choose your plan, and then sit back and anticipate activities designed by educators, makers, engineers, and rocket scientists – seriously – rocket scientists. For example, in the toddler themed box, you’ll get two to three developmentally appropriate projects, a copy of Wonder Magazine, access to Online Resources, and a Tadpole Board Book. Subscriptions start as low as $16.95 a month, shipping is free, and you can cancel any time.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

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