12 Great Companies That Thrive On The Subscription Model

With the rise of subscription services, you might just feel like ownership is going out of style. Of course, once you see the success of these 12 up-and-coming companies, you'll understand why everyone is jumping on board and paying to have these boxes delivered to their door.

1. Trunk Club

Trunk Club is a premium subscription clothing box. Like most subscription services centered around fashion, Trunk Club hooks every member up with a "personal stylist" who looks at their style profile to handpick pieces out of the collection. This brand was actually founded by Nordstrom and its high-end parent company has certainly put their own twist on things. 

In addition to being able to signup from home and wait for a box to arrive, Trunk Club also gives members the unique option to visit one of their six "Clubhouses" and meet with their stylist in person. Everyone pays a $25 "styling fee" for each box, but this fee is applied as a credit towards any pieces the person chooses to purchase out of that box. It's also waived entirely if the subscription is paid for using a Nordstrom card. 

2. BlueApron

For those who want to eat in without the hassle, BlueApron ships out up to three recipes each week. The box contains fresh, organic ingredients along with all cooking instructions. They promote sustainable agriculture along with non-GMO and antibiotic-free meats and fish. The most popular plan starts at $59.94 per week for three recipes, which breaks down to $9.99 per serving.

3. SnackCrate

SnackCrate sends out its tasty boxes every month, containing goodies from all over the world. Each box contains snacks from a specific country, plus members get a free entry to win an adventure trip with every box. The starter box contains half a pound of snacks and ships for $15. The user is then enrolled into a six-month plan with subsequent boxes costing $26/month.

4. Nicely Noted

For those who feel the written word is a dying art form, Nicely Noted has the answer. Delivering beautiful stationery and stamps each month, this box has a flat rate of $20/month or $220/year. The style is a complete surprise and everyone receives the same. Each box contains three letterpress cards, along with what you need to mail them to a friend or family member.

5. FabFitFun

FabFitFun says it all in its name. This box delivers seasonal fashion, fitness, wellness, and beauty items right to subscribers' doorsteps. They promise that each box will clock in at a value of $200 or greater, but it costs just $49.99. They send out boxes four times a year at the start of each season and you can signup for an annual subscription for $199.99.

6. Dollar Shave Club

Perhaps one of the best-known subscription boxes in the world, Dollar Shave Club has certainly taken the market by storm with their cheap pricing and creative advertising. It is one of the original subscription box services and has paved the way for personal care and beauty boxes. They started out with simple shaving boxes, but now offer boxes that cover grooming, shower, hair care, skin care, and oral care products.

As the name implies, the company started out with a very basic and competitive pricing structure. However, even in the beginning, no one could signup for just a $1. The cheapest subscription was $1/month for five blades plus a $2 shipping and handling charge. Today, the cheapest blade subscription is "The Humble Twin" at $4/month (with free shipping).

7. BirchBox

BirchBox is more than just makeup. Every month, subscribers receive a personalize assortment of skin care and beauty items to match their skin type and style preferences. The monthly plan starts at $15/box, with discounts available to those who signup for 6 or 12 months at a time. There are also other perks, like free gifts with each new subscription.

8. BarkBox

With the wild success of subscription boxes, it's no surprise that BarkBox came out with a brand that caters exclusively to canines. Plans start at $22/month and the lucky dogs who get signed up will receive a themed collection in every box. BarkBox advertises a value of $40+ and always includes at least two toys, two bags of all-natural treats, and a chew.

Since its founding in 2011, BarkBox has sent out over 2,000,000 boxes and counting. They are, by far, one of the most successful subscription companies and that's all because they answered a need on the market. People love their dogs and they're prepared to pay premium for them. Plus, with toys and treats being so disposable, a monthly subscription only makes sense.

9. Loot Crate

Summed up as "comic-con in a box," Loot Crate offers subscribers a varied collection of pop culture collectibles. There are multiple boxes to choose from aside from the original Loot Crate, like the popular Loot Gaming box or the Loot Anime box. The subscription starts at $24.99/month. Crate collections can also be purchased as one-off boxes, like the Lord of the Rings Crate, which sold for $49.99.

10. Kiwi Crate

You've likely seen a dozen clothing subscription and beauty boxes, which is what makes Kiwi Crate stand out. Like BarkBox and Loot Crate, it's something entirely unique and different. In fact, Kiwi Crate is all about creativity. This subscription box offers enriching and engaging activities that kids can do on their own and, so far, they've reached over 10,000,000 kids.

They offer six boxes divided amongst different age groups, with each one featuring crafts and experiments to suit. They also offer a box for 14+ that focuses on engineering and design principles. Boxes start at $24.95/month plus a shipping and handling charge.

11. MistoBox

MistoBox promises fresher, better-tasting coffee that comes straight from 50 of the best roasters in the country. When you signup, you'll get to enter your coffee preferences and your coffee selection will be tailored to meet them. For coffee lovers, MistoBox offers something the store can't: broad selection, quality blends, and bagged coffee that is roasted to order.

So, rather than having coffee come from a warehouse and potentially sit on the store shelves for months before being consumed, MistoBox says every bag is fresh roasted just days before it arrives at your door, making for a truly flavorful experience. Of course, that comes with a premium. Subscriptions start at $14.95 per bag of coffee (which comes whole or ground, depending on your preference) plus a shipping fee.

12. SockFancy

Last but not least, SockFancy is easily the most unexpected monthly subscription box on the list. This niche brand allows users to select a sock each month and then have it custom-fitted to their feet. Online, users choose sock size and sub length with the monthly subscription costing just $12.

What makes SockFancy popular is the creative design that goes into every new addition to the collection. They often feature themes, like the recent "Shark Week" edition socks. Subscribers will find that designs also shift with the seasons, so there is always a fresh pair to wear.

The Subscription Economy is Exploding

Forbes reports that over 15% of online shoppers have already signed up for a subscription box, accounting for the incredible growth in the subscription eCommerce market. In 2011, subscription boxes were worth just $57 million. Growing rapidly, that value jumped to an astonishing $2.6 billion in just five years and it's still increasing today.

As time rolls on, subscription boxes will only become more popular to meet the changing, trendy needs of today's consumers. From Amazon's Subscribe-and-Save to the boxes above, people are signing up to save time--and as the above examples prove, they're willing to pay extra to do it.

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