woman receiving a delivery boxYou’ve seen the sponsored ads on Facebook. You’ve even screenshot the codes for free or discounted items upon your initial sign up (or written them down, if you’re still not comfortable with that “screenshot stuff” yet). But, what’s the deal with these monthly subscription clubs and which one is right for you? Many people find these recently trending services to be affordable, convenient and educational. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best monthly subscription boxes, including the pros, cons, prices and, of course, perks!

ShoeDazzle

Image: TheCluelessGirl.com

For the Fashionista

ShoeDazzle is an online fashion subscription service that boasts a large and diverse selection of shoes, handbags and jewelry, all in addition to providing its members with a monthly showroom curated to their indicated fashion preferences.

Perks? The discounts! You get 50% off when you sign up, and there’s a discounted item up for grabs every day. Also, the company collaborates with various celebrities to create limited-edition shoe designs, their most popular being the recent launch of “gx,” an entire line of shoes and bags by pop-rocker and fashion mogul Gwen Stefani, sold exclusively through ShoeDazzle.

Cons? You’re not allowed to cancel your account online, you’ll have to speak with a representative whose job is to convince you to remain a customer, meaning that they’re authorized to throw many discounts and additional perks your way to keep your business. Another con is that unless you select the free membership (which doesn’t include any of the coveted discounts or the promise of free shipping on every order), you have to make sure that you log in by a certain date and select the option to skip the month in order to avoid having your credit card charged for the $39.95 VIP membership. Otherwise, you’re locked into adding a new piece to your wardrobe, which isn’t always a bad thing.

Looking for something comparable? Try JustFab or Sole Society.

Bespoke Post

Image: BespokePost.com

For the Sophisticated Gentleman

Bespoke Post is a men’s monthly subscription service that provides many of the lifestyle products most men don’t even know they need yet. Each shipment features a fun theme with unique goods, ranging from an apron and spices for the “Maker” box, and car wash concentrate and carnauba wax for the “Detail” box. If the themed boxes aren’t for you, the website features various high-quality products, ranging from coffee table books to beard oils.

Perks? Free shipping! Also, if you want to just try out the service without committing to the monthly $45 charge, you can opt for their “one-off” and receive a shipment for $55.

Cons? You’ll need to make sure that you skip the month by the fifth of each month, or else you’ll be getting your personalized and themed box of goodies toward the middle of the month.

Looking for something comparable? Try Fresh Neck, Trunk Club or Curator and Mule.

Club W

Image: ClubW.com

For the Wine Lover

Club W markets itself as “The World’s Only Personalized Wine Club,” allowing its customers to create a “Palate Profile” and making monthly recommendations from a large assortment of wines that’s updated constantly. Since they work directly with winemakers, Club W is able to provide quality wines at lower prices.

Perks? There’s an app for this. Your membership includes access to the Club W app, which features educational videos about every wine available for sale and allows you to manage your account with ease. Then, there’s the wine! Whether you favor whites, reds or something in between, Club W stands so strongly behind their belief that you’ll love their selection that they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, meaning you’ll never pay for a bottle you don’t like. Whether there are actually many people in this world who have ever met a bottle of wine they didn’t like is a whole other story.

Cons? You’ll have to set a reminder in your calendar to skip the month, otherwise you’ll be charged for three bottles at $39, plus $6 for their flat-rate shipping, totaling $45. Also, this is another membership that will not allow you to cancel online, so you’ll need to be prepared to speak to someone and have second thoughts about why you no longer want wine conveniently delivered to your door every month.

Looking for something comparable? Try Wine Awesomeness.

Blue Apron

Image: BlueApron.com

For the Foodie

Blue Apron is for those of us who can’t quite get into the habit of cooking a “real,” balanced meal on a regular basis, and is nothing short of a godsend. Each meal is customized to preferences, roughly 500–700 calories per serving, takes about half an hour to prepare, and each box provides anywhere from 2–4 meals per week for serving 2–4 people.

Perks? Blue Apron only assumes you have olive oil, salt, pepper and basic pots and pans. They’ll never expect you to have turmeric or sumac, whatever those are. With boxes starting at $59 per week, flexible membership options, free shipping, and the ability to select which day your shipment is delivered, this option would really cut down on the urge to get takeout when you know there’s something exciting and new waiting at home that you are able to create yourself. Blue Apron also features interactive videos to show you exactly how to mince, chop, caramelize, and make sure your meal turns out as good as it looks in the pictures. They also have a marketplace where you can purchase all the tools you see in their interactive videos.

Cons? With Blue Apron (and every other meal delivery service) only providing a weekly delivery service, your window to skip a shipment is very small, and you’ll need to pay close attention to your respective deadline for doing so.

Looking for something comparable? Try Hello Fresh or Plated.

Cairn

Image: GetCairn.com

For the Outdoorsy Type

Cairn is an ideal way to find out about the newest brands in outdoor and recreational products. After creating a profile and indicating your preferences, you’ll receive a monthly shipment of gear, including apparel, snacks, skincare and emergency/medical items that will come in handy during your next camping trip, hike, canoeing expedition, etc.

Perks? Besides the fact that the subscription is only $25 per month, you can also earn free products just by contributing your opinion of the items in the boxes you receive each month. You’re also able to cancel your membership on their website.

Cons? You have to skip the month before the first of the month.

Looking for something comparable? Try Campbox Company.

birchbox

Image: Birchbox.com

For the Beauty Product Junkie (Male or Female)

Birchbox was created by customers, for customers. This company was founded by two women who know that when you’re searching for the ideal beauty product, you have to test out several different ones, but shouldn’t have to go broke along the way. Combining monthly deliveries of personalized and customizable samples with original editorial content and an e-commerce environment, Birchbox turns shopping for beauty products into an easy, efficient and fun experience.

Perks? Birchbox caters to both women and men, allowing a “one-stop shop” scenario when it comes to couples, families and holiday shopping. The monthly subscription is $10 and the yearly goes for a discounted rate of $110. You’re also able to cancel using the website.

Cons? The products in each shipment will be sample sized, meaning that once you do find a product you love, you’ll have be prepared to shell out for the full-sized version, though it is made available on the company’s website. Also, if you decide that you don’t want your monthly shipment, you’ll need to skip the month by the first of the month.

Looking for something comparable? Try Ipsy, founded by YouTube beauty legend Michelle Phan.

What subscription box will you be trying? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know!

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