Subscription boxes

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

26 April 2019

Why we love subscription boxes

I am a slow learner. Subscription boxes are not in my experience. Yesterday on the way in to the office, I heard a radio commercial I have heard many times before. This time, I made a mental note of the brand’s name. Great fodder for a post (I thought).

The brand was Box of Awesome. Do you know it?

Subscription boxesIt seems you subscribe to the service (and can quit at any time) and they send you a mystery box of stuff each month. The radio banter jokingly mentioned waffle irons and gadgets meant to appeal to men. I guess we must love making waffles.

Cost? $50 bucks a month.

Subscription boxes and compulsive behavior

Think about some of the TV shows on cable. Many of those shows seem to celebrate compulsive behavior. But I think just the opposite. We are all a bit compulsive but we still like thinking we’re better than others.

Think about just these two shows. My 600 Pound Life and Hoarders. Watching them is a guilty pleasure. That’s how subscription boxes get into this conversation.

A confession

Now, before you start criticizing me for associating My 600 Pound Life and Hoarders with gaper’s delays on highways—know this. I was an obese guy for most of my life. In high school I weighed 250 pounds. As an adult— I occasionally tipped the scale at 300.

And, if you ask my wife, I am a hoarder. OK. You can walk through my home without tripping over garbage. Feature me on the show Hoarders, no one would tune in.

But cleaning my desk translates into shifting all the papers into a box.

I now avoid Goodwill stores

One time, a few years back, I stopped at my local Goodwill. You know, to look around. I spied a Cuisinart ice cream maker in “like new” condition for $15. I snapped it up.

When I got home, I showed my wife. She was furious but instead of yelling at me for more crap in the house she burst out in laughter.

She had dropped that machine off at Goodwill the day before.

Apparently, she had talked my mother-in-law into parting with it because she had only used it once in three years.

“The truth appears to be that we are all hoarders. We are willing to have folks ship us shit every month without even knowing what’s in it.”

Enough confessions. Back to subscription boxes.

I thought Box of Awesome was a unique idea. Until I googled subscription boxes. Besides obvious category subscriptions like Dollar Shave Club and Blue Apron, there are a ton of others. Who knew?

Birchbox Man, Loot Crate, Bespoke Post, Gentleman’s Box, SprezzaBox, Fanchest, Frank And Oak Style Plan for Men, Robb Vices, Stitch Fix Men and Breo Box. There are hundreds of them.

The truth appears to be that we are all hoarders. We are willing to have folks ship us shit every month without even knowing what’s in it.

Apparently, we are in such need of receiving gifts that we are willing to gift ourselves. It’s like having Facebook substitute for hanging out with a real friend.

Think I am passing judgment?

Maybe I am. But… does anyone want a barely used ice cream maker or a waffle iron? Tune in next month to see what my wife makes me get rid of.

See more posts in the following related categories: human behavior


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