Mail call: Subscriptions

I see subscription boxes everywhere on the internet but the idea of them stresses me out: getting random or partially random boxes full of things that might interest me, but also might ultimately be given away. YouTubers often feature subscription boxes in their videos as the companies send them boxes to demo. The main boxes that I see online are from Ipsy, and I see Ipsy makeup bags from my friends often. The idea of Ipsy is to try a few sample size products a month, and one full size product. Boxes like Ipsy are popular because more often than not, the products featured in the boxes are high end makeup products that cost a lot of money to buy in full size versions. For this reason, subscription boxes allow consumers to try out the products that they may end up repurchasing in the future.

StitchFix is a fashion subscription box that sends clothing in your size and sometimes catered to your style to you each month. The idea behind this subscription box is that you can send back the clothing that doesn’t work for you, and buy the items that you like. They are size inclusive, which is a plus, but like many fashion concepts, the plus size clothing can be boxy or shapeless. Consumers also complain that the clothing isn’t always what they like, or more specifically, StitchFix sends them the things they requested not to receive. In addition, there are food subscription boxes. These can range from vegan snack boxes to meal prep to meal replacement shakes. All of the subscription boxes have something in common, though: they are trying to sell us particular products and brands.

The companies that produce the boxes have partnerships with different companies to send out their products. That means you receive products that you might enjoy, but they might be selected from a narrow range of companies rather than what might truly be the best fit for you. Regardless, subscription boxes remain popular because their convenience and usefulness outweighs the potential for unfair product selection. Users of subscription boxes appreciate the seemingly personal items they receive, and are happy to wear clothing or use makeup that will flatter them or reflect their ideal style.

On campus, subscription boxes are ideal because many of us do not have cars, and therefore cannot reasonably drive to Sephora to get samples of makeup or drive back and forth returning clothes that end up not fitting. In addition, people may enjoy the food-related boxes because snacking is a college essential.

If you have a subscription box, let us know your thoughts on it on Twitter!

Caroline King – Staff Writer

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