Subscription boxes personalize online shopping

Evelina Gaivoronskaia |   Staff Writer

Monthly subscription boxes provide out-of-the-box ways to explore new products. 

With the rise of the Internet, more and more people have used online shopping platforms, such as subscription boxes. Sophomore Allison Fries has been using Birchbox, a subscription that provides a couple of samples of various beauty products every month, since December. She said that she got a year-long subscription for Christmas. 

“I asked for a subscription box because it’s something that intrigued me,” Fries said. “I like beauty and there are a lot of things that I would want to try, so I thought it would be fun to try out a box.”

Freshman Izzy Zellner got her Birchbox subscription as a gift for her birthday. She said that she enjoys the box because it allows her to try a small sample of the product before she buys it. She said that with new products coming every month she is more likely to try new products and find the ones she would like.

 “I usually get samples in my subscription boxes, and then if I like the products I can buy the big bottles of the brand’s website,” Zellner said. “Sometimes I will get a full-sized product. I would like to try other boxes and see what I will get in them.”

Although some people enjoy getting different items every month, Junior Nate Schmidt, realized that subscription boxes are not for him. Schmidt was subscribed to Loot Crate, a themed box that provides different merchandise from a chosen franchise. After a year and a half of being subscribed, Schmidt decided to cancel his subscription to the box. 

“I stopped using it because I didn’t care about most of the stuff that I got,” Schmidt said. “I had no clue what half of the stuff that I received was. All of it was just sitting in my house and I had no idea what it was, so I realized that I would much rather get stuff I want instead of getting a box of random stuff I won’t use.”

Schmidt said that he realized that a lot of the merchandise he received through the subscription boxes wasn’t useful for him, so he decided to cancel the subscription box. While he isn’t subscribed to any new ones at the current moment, he said he would try one if it was more useful. 

“I wouldn’t order subscription boxes unless I knew what I was getting into,” Schmidt said. “I would say don’t get subscription boxes, unless you’re interested in the product that they are providing, because you will be getting it every month. It will be just a waste of money, your time, and their product.” 

Sophomore Abby Walton also said she was disappointed with her current subscription box service — Ipsy, which provides a makeup box subscription. Before subscribing, Ipsy provides its users with a quiz for them to check their skin tone and what products they are interested in. Yet Walton said that she sometimes receives products that do not match her skin. 

“Some negatives are that even though the subscription box quiz makes you put in your skin tone and the things that you would like to receive, they sometimes give you things that don’t match your skin tone at all,” Walton said. “I’ve gotten things that were too light or too dark and they wouldn’t match me.”

Despite the inconsistencies that are sometimes found in the boxes, Walton said that she enjoys being able to receive new products and expanding her makeup collection. 

“I will get excited because I know that my Ipsy bag is coming soon,” Walton said. “It’s exciting because you never know what you are going to get. I like makeup and I find it fun to do, so when I get a new product it makes me happy.“

Photos by Evelina Gaivoronskaia.