Amid online sample sales and daily deal sites, a new breed of e-commerce sites has been steadily cropping up. Monthly subscription shopping sites are the new kids on the block.
What are monthly subscription sites? They’re exactly what their name says: shopping sites that allow you to pay one flat rate per month and receive packages filled with goodies, sometimes endorsed by your favorite style stars, always right to your door step. Each site charges different rates, and depending on which you decide to subscribe to, you can find the latest in shoes, jewelry, and beauty products customized just for you.
Given their popularity, monthly subscription sites have been popping up on our radar left and right, but only some offer truly worthwhile offers. We researched all the players and narrowed down the best monthly shopping subscription sites for your viewing (and buying) pleasure. After all, time is priceless in our fast-moving world, and we are all about convenience and style going hand in hand.
Birchbox caters to your beauty needs by giving members a curated box of luxury beauty samples for $10 per month. Each month, members receive a selection of 4 to 5 skincare and beauty samples from the best well-known brands to emerging brands that have a cult following. Featured brands include Origins, Philosophy, Pangea Organics, purminerals.
Birchbox stands out among the rest by using its magazine feature to help members get the most out of their newfound products. Instructional videos, advice, inspiration and more can be found on the site. And, lastly, when you’ve decided you love the samples you bought, you can purchase full-size versions from the Birchbox shop.
Just as there’s subscription sites dedicated to all things shoes, undies, and even beauty, there’s also one that caters specifically to your nails. Cue Julep—a site that allows you to pay $19.99 a month for a customized box of polishes. As with most subscription sites, members take a personality quiz to determine which shades work best for them.
Each box usually includes two polishes, another nail care item of some sort, and a special surprise goody. Members can also feel free to skip a month, and they can also request a new box of polishes and items. Plus, the site offers a great share-with-your-friends program, which includes a free box of nail fun for every two of your friends who sign up.
Use our exclusive code MARCHINTRO and get the first month subscription for 1 cent, plus free shipping. 2 eco-friendly polishes in vibrant colors and a few other goodies for 1 penny? We are so there!
(Don’t forget to subscribe to our free newsletter for more great deals.)
3. Me Undies
Me Undies works similar to other monthly subscription sites, but instead of baubles and duds, it caters to your spanks! The site offers undies to both men and women, and by taking the answers from a questionnaire members fill out, it sends emails complete with the perfect pair of underwear for your taste.
Like Beachmint, you can chose to skip a month within the first five days, and you’re never charged when you don’t buy. You can pause or cancel your membership at any time, and it’s $16 per pair a month, plus free shipping and returns. The best part? Me Undies claims it offers the world’s most comfortable underwear, and at less than $20 a month, we’re tempted to give it a try.
For a limited time only, promo “DOUBLEUP” takes 15% off your favorite pair. PLUS, this code enters you to have your order doubled automatically.
4. Beach Mint
Beachmint.com is one of the most well- known monthly subscription site, playing host to micro sites like Stylemint, Jewelmint, Beautymint, and Shoemint. The site has made an art of selling celebrity-endorsed clothing (Stylemint), accessories (Shoemint), beauty (Beautymint), and jewelry (Jewelmint) to the masses, with users signing up and paying a flat, monthly rate and receiving hand-picked, quality products. For example, Stylemint users, who are fans of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s easy T-shirts, pay $30 per shirt a month to receive exclusive picks on tees that will make you want to lounge around all day long.
To receive your customized package you’ll need to activate a membership and wait for your goodies to arrive. Users can then chose to buy or skip a month within the first five days. Shipping is free, returns are “easy,” and style profiles allow the site to email you options based on your personal tastes.
5. Send the Trend
Send the trend is all about fashion accessories, and it makes it easy to find all the best fashion baubles in one place. Once again, members fill out a style profile, matching their tastes to Send the Trend’s inventory. The site then sends a personalized email, and for $29.95 each a month, you have access to all the jewelry of your dreams.
We’d be remissed if we didn’t mention Send the Trend’s ‘Deal’ page. Unlike other sites, Send the Trend allows you to spend a specific amount, while getting another amount worth of merchandise. For example, spend $75 and receive $100-worth of products. And, on top of it all, the site does “Trends Day” sales, which offers up to 50% off of one piece of jewelry for one day only. Get 40% off your first $29.99 Send the Trend purchase now.
6. Shoe Dazzle
Kim Kardashian is the Chief Fashion Stylist and Co-Founder of Shoe Dazzle, the monthly subscription site that allows you to snag the season’s hottest heels for just $39.95 each a month. After taking a three-minute style quiz, which samples your favorite heels, flats, celebrity-style, and even heel height, users get a personalized showroom, complete with shoe, bag, and jewelry options catered to you. Lastly, users can shop and buy only what they want, and like other sites, if you see anything you like that month, you can choose to skip.
The site will send “DazzleDeals” to subscribers’ showroom every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. to keep options fresh and current. The site has also become a mainstay for celebrity-inspired fashion, with designs by the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Perez Hilton, and more. Not to mention, ShoeDazzleCares, which offers chic, one-of-a-kind-shoes for a cause.
Just Fabulous is similar to ShoeDazzle, in that it offers the latest shoes designs for $39.95 and has Kimora Lee Simmons as its Creative Director and President. The site offers a similar personality quiz to the previous sites listed, then customizes your monthly packages based on the results. The site has similar, noteworthy style experts, like Katherine Power, Hilary Kerr, and Angela Fink, and it also offers up a celebrity photo gallery of stars donning the shoes valuable on the site. JustFabulous also offers subscribers the top three shoe list per month, and the top three handbag list per month, which showcases the three most popular styles of shoes and bags, ripe for the picking.
If anything, Just Fabulous caters mostly to those looking to shop according to celebrity style. While it does use its personality quiz to determine which styles would fit you best, its amount of celebrity coverage, mixed with the pieces available, sets it apart from other sites and gives a better amount of inspiration when it comes to donning your favorite pieces.
8. Stitch Fix
Stitch Fix is still in its Beta phase, but the site has already garned the attention of many. It’s a monthly styling site that’s revolutionizing the art of shopping, and if you hate dragging yourself to the mall to find the perfect outfit, this site is exclusively for you. Stitch Fix does charge a $20 styling fee, however, the fee is applied as a credit toward the pieces you purchase after receiving your fix. And speaking of which, “fixes” come once a month, with the option of deciding what you want now, what you want to wait on, and what to skip entirely. You only ever pay the styling fee if you do decide to purchase a fix.
The site claims to have an average price point of $75. It will keep the pieces included in your fix as close to your predetermined amount as possible, which allows you to streamline options according to your budget. Additionally, the site sends options it thinks you’ll love but are considered outside of your comfort zone, acting as a virtual stylist to help push your fashion just a little further.
Are you using a subscription site? Which is your favorite? Why?
Looking for a perfect swimsuit? Now through Friday, March 9, 2012, enjoy 20% off (plus free shipping) on swimwear at Jcrew.(Prices as marked).