By Stan Ashbee
Subscription boxes, bags, etc. are the latest in online shopping. There’s a subscription service for everyone with anything available these days. From underwear to cosmetics to beer to a Jelly of the Month club — if you want it, there will be somewhere to get it, online. It’s big business and who doesn’t like to open up mail with surprises inside. Some subscription services offer a random pack of items the consumer picks from a variety of different products or product groupings. Or with some, consumers can pick exactly what they would like to be delivered to their door each month. Unboxing has also become very popular online with YouTube and social media influencers, as well.
Over the years, I have been gifted a few sample subscriptions, including a Beer of the Month club, a Cheese of the Month club and I even purchased my very own Jelly of the Month club (like the one in “Christmas Vacation”). What happens is, each month, a box comes full of selected items or a random gathering of the “best of the best” products from different locales and/or companies. With the beer club, there was a six-pack of different brews from the Ontario area, which I received for six months. With the cheese club, the same thing, but with a few different cheeses from different countries. And with the jelly club, each month was a featured jam or jelly of a variety of flavours.
I’ve also tried a Basic Man subscription, which was a month with a package that contained underwear, a T-shirt and socks. Recently, I received a few boxes in the mail from Bespoke Post. An online subscription service and e-commerce marketplace site. The company sends out a “personalized mix of unique products and a whole lot of bang for your buck.”
Bespoke Post partners with under-the-radar brands, “so you can discover the coolest selection of goods and gear.” New options are introduced monthly and selections are based and improved based on feedback from customers. Prices vary and many services are from the U.S. and Canada.
One item, I pretty much use every weekend these days is the Weekender Bag. Which is simply a canvas bag one can load up with clothes for a short outing from home for a few days. It reminds me of an old school doctor’s bag, which was used to make house calls. Quite fitting. It holds a few days’ worth of clothes, toiletries and whatever else you might need. It closes snugly and voila — it does the trick for weekend getaways or staycations.
“The style was originally used by stonemasons to haul their tools to construction sites — and we figured a mason bag could work wonders for modern times, too,” it was stated in promotional materials for the item. “It’s built from thick, capable canvas, with a heavy-duty, reinforced frame. The interior pocket now offers enough space to stash a laptop, keeping it safe by suspending it above the bottom of the bag. The handles and buckles are cut from thick, quality leather and a seatbelt-style nylon webbing shoulder strap clips onto reinforced, metal D-rings.”
Another item I received from Bespoke Post was a box full of Drive coffee. Unfortunately, the Turbo collection does not ship to Canada. Luckily, I got a chance to try it out and it was some darn good cups of coffee. It came in a great package for a gift with whole beans and some nitro cans for some quick and easy caffeinated consumption. After grinding the beans, the coffee is amazing and is some pretty high-end beans used to make this collection a great way to start every morning.
So, if you are a consumer and would like something new to try, subscription boxes or packages are pretty cool. There are pop culture boxes, camping and outdoor-related boxes, boxes for dudes with beards, accessories for ladies, toys for kids, and the list goes on and on. It truly is remarkable what is available to be shipped to your door these days.
Of course, Amazon Prime is also a way to get items online too. Opening up boxes and/or packages is like Christmas or a birthday. It makes one feel excited about getting mail, other than flyers and bills.