Do you know anyone whose day doesn’t get instantly better when a package arrives on the doorstep? Didn't think so! So, if you’re looking for a last-minute gift (or, yes, just want to treat yourself), there’s nothing better than a subscription box.
The concept is simple enough: Pay a small monthly fee, then wait for a box of goodies to show up at your door. Love what you got? Keep it coming! Not so enthusiastic about your loot? Cancel and move on. You may have heard of subscriptions from beauty companies like Birchbox, but the model is booming, and now almost every imaginable interest and hobby has been neatly packaged for your enjoyment.
Check out the compilation of boxes below to find your monthly delivery of choice.
One of the first, and still one of the best: This monthly delivery of high-end beauty samples lets you discover new products for primping without committing to buying a full-size item. Based on your personal profile, each box will contain five to six travel-size skincare, makeup, and perfume samples, all geared to your specific taste. You might also score some non-beauty extras—think hair ties, snack bars, and ear buds. The company recently added a few additional boxes to its repertoire, so check out Birchbox Man and Birchbox Home, as well.
Need something to get your creative juices flowing? Each month, you’ll receive a treasure trove of supplies for your next DIY project. After unpacking your goods, head to the Whimseybox website, where you’ll find a community of like-minded craft fanatics who will provide ideas and inspiration for how to use your new materials.
Each Klutchbox contains health, wellness, and fitness products that will help you live better, such as juices, nutrition bars, and workout DVDs. (If you’re planning a health-related New Year’s resolution, check out this month’s box, themed “Breaking Bad Habits.”) And, by participating on the Klutchclub website, you can earn Klutchbucks to redeem toward full-size versions of the samples you’ll receive—or more monthly boxes!
$18/month or less
Bored with your usual vodka cranberry? Sign up for Julibox to discover two new carefully curated cocktails per month. Inside each box, you’ll receive the spirits and mixers to make two recipes and two servings of each, enough supplies to mix up four cocktails total. If you need any additional ingredients (say, lime or lemon), the mixologists at Julibox will send you an email, so you’ll be completely prepared when the box arrives on your doorstep.
Don’t hog all the mail wealth—treat your pooch to a subscription box of his own. Select your dog’s size, and each BarkBox will come to your door filled with an appropriate assortment of bones, treats, pet shampoo, leashes, and other pet accessories. Best of all, part of the proceeds from each box go toward pups-in-need at local shelters and rescues.
Discover another realm of obsession-worthy products with a collection of homemade gifts in Umba Box. Each delivery contains two to three handmade creations, ranging from jewelry to bath products. Because the gifts are so unique, the box also includes the story behind the artist that made each product—and where you can continue to browse his or her wares.
Pamper yourself with five luxurious beauty samples each month in a perfectly packaged Glossybox. Each kit is filled with samples unique to your customized profile, so you’re sure to discover some new favorites. As a bonus, these deluxe samples come from around the world, so you’ll get to experiment with products and trends that you may have never seen before.
It’s hard to get excited about the bland office brew, but with Craft Coffee, you’ll indulge in three different gourmet selections each month, totaling 42 cups of java. You can pick your grind of choice (whole bean, French press, or filter-specific), but the sample selection is left up to the experts—there’s no preference profile to fill out. Each box includes tasting notes and brewing tips, too.
If you’re pressed for time to shop, let Stitchfix step in as your personal stylist. After collecting a profile of information outlining your size and style, stylists will send you a box of five clothing and accessory items. You’ll pay a $20 styling fee per box, but if you keep any of the pieces, the $20 counts toward your purchase. If you keep all five, you’ll receive an additional 25% off the total price. Give feedback about what worked and what didn’t, and your stylist will get better over time.
And if you really, really just want an excuse to receive mail each month, try this box out. Your, um, worst week of the month will instantly improve when a survival kit is delivered directly to your door. You’ll receive the necessary supplies, of course, along with an extra gift or two, like tea, chocolate, or a fun scarf.
After beginning a career in management, Katie realized she wasn’t doing what she loved and determined it was time for a major career transition. Now, as a staff writer/editor for The Muse and a content marketing writer for a healthcare IT company, she gets to do what she loves every day—write and edit content ranging from demand generation campaigns to career advice. Her career and management content has been published on Forbes, Mashable, Business Insider, Inc., and Newsweek. Find her on Twitter @kgwolfie.More from this Author