Monthly subscription boxes are a thing, in case you didn’t know. You sign up with a company who charges your credit card or PayPal on, for example, the fifth of every month. In exchange, you get a different box monthly, curated based on information you’ve given them or just filled with a different item or collection of items they specialize in.

I happen to be a sucker for these. For one, receiving fun mail is one of the best feelings in the world, so when I know the UPS man is going to be bringing me a box full of awesome goodies at least once a month, it makes me happy. I’m also a marketer’s dream. I see “$19.99” and instantly just notice it’s less than  $20, instead of realizing that’s a package of diapers or seven Starbucks coffees or a couple movie tickets and a small popcorn. So I hit that “buy now” button like it’s just nothing. I’ve gone through many subscription boxes, only to regret it when I really want a white mocha americano.

You can sign up for bacon of the month club, kid’s science kits, headbands, workout gear, beer or even diapers. Go ahead and type an item followed by “subscription box” in Google and see if something pops up. Some are incredible, a few are okay and many are not worth it.

Let’s take a look at Stitch Fix. Stitch Fix (www.stitchfix.com) is a company that sends you five items of clothing and/or shoes and accessories at whichever frequency you set: four weeks, six weeks, you name it. The items they send should reflect what you’ve told them you like via the style profile questionnaire which can be changed at any time.

Pros:

  •      Stitch Fix accommodates any size or body type from small (0) to XXL (16). They offer petites and maternity, too.
  •      You don’t have to keep any of the items if you don’t like them (and with this option, will only be charged $20 for the styling fee. If you choose something, the $20 is automatically applied towards your order).
  •      The Stitch Fix stylists really do try and find things that you’ll love and give you a personalized note explaining the options they’ve included. If you give them a link to your Pinterest page and fill it with clothing you like, they’ll try to match those styles.
  •      The shipping, both ways, is free and easy. Whatever you are sending back can be stuffed into a prepaid bag and added to outgoing mail.
  •      You can earn credit just by sharing your custom Stitch Fix link with friends – if they follow the link and schedule a fix, the company loads your account with some bonus money.
  •      You can try on clothes in the comfort of your own home.
It’s not just for women, Stitch Fix recently started providing this service for men.

Cons:

  •      They boast a wide selection of brands and styles, but I’ve been disappointed to get the same type and brand of sweater/shirt/jeans, after leaving a note for my stylist asking for something different.
  •      You can set a price point for the items, but do you know which one you’ll really want to buy? The one pair of jeans they snuck in for $98. Sure, everything else is in the $25-$45 range, but they try and hook you with the high-end stuff.
  •      If you’re scheduled for a regular ‘fix’ and forget about it, you’re charged $20 at the very least for the styling fee which can be a real buzzkill. And it will probably make you buy the least-expensive item in the box, even though it’s a hideous orange beaded necklace for $30 so you at least get something out of your money.
  •      You have only three days to decide what you want to return. If you miss the deadline, you’ll be charged for every item in your fix. This can be hard if you’re especially busy or are on vacation and forget about a scheduled fix.
You should try Stitch Fix if you absolutely hate going to the mall to go shopping or if your preference in clothing styles and colors and brands tends to be pretty much the same across the board. There’s nothing wrong with this, but if you’re someone who might wear a fit and flare dress one day and the next try out a leather jacket with ripped jeans and the next a crop top with tight jeans, Stitch Fix might not be for you. The average item price, according to the website, is $55, so it’s not for people on a strict budget. To see a sampling of what they have to offer, search the hashtag #stitchfix on Instagram and see what users are saying about it.

Next up – Try the World, a foodie subscription box sending snacks and food from five or six countries. (Spoiler, it might be my favorite)

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