Subscription box services have become a hot commodity for eager consumers. Their convenience, variety of goods and affordable price points often make them a no-brainer for busy, trendy consumers. There are a wide variety of subscription box services to choose from, ranging from beauty-focused boxes to snack-focused boxes, to even toy-focused boxes. But what should consumers consider before signing up for one of these services? We spoke with Angie Nelson, owner of MyBeautyBoxReview.com to get some tips.
According to Nelson, there are five main things to watch out for:
Are there any hidden fees?
Hidden fees can take a variety of forms. “Some subscriptions offer free shipping, while others will have an additional charge,” Nelson explains. “In some locations, sales tax may also be a concern.” Keeping an eye on the fine print and your account statement can help you keep track of these.
What is the cancellation policy?
“In many cases, you only have until a certain date each month to cancel before being locked into that month’s box,” Nelson points out. “Know these dates if you’re working with a strict budget.”
When can I expect my first shipment?
“While you may have signed up in March, with many subscriptions it is likely you won’t receive your first box until April. Know what to expect to prevent disappointment,” Nelson advises.
What do bloggers and reviewers have to say?
“Paying attention to reviews is very important,” Nelson says. “In addition to checking for recent blog reviews, I also check the subscription box company’s Facebook page. What do the customer reviews say? Are there any frequent or unaddressed complaints? While a shipping issue or product complaint occurs from time to time with any business, a big red flag goes up if customer service issues are no longer being addressed by the company at all.”
Will they allow you to have a short-term trial?
“If you do want to try out a new subscription box but aren’t sure you want to commit long-term, see if they have a gift subscription or one-time box option,” Nelson recommends.