Are Subscription Boxes Worth It?

Posted on 24 Jan 2017 by Anna Scott
Everyone loves a surprise and when that surprise comes packaged as a saving then all the better. This goes some way to explaining the increasing popularity of subscription boxes in the UK, whether as monthly treats for ourselves or a gift idea, and they really do cover absolutely everything. For example, did you know you can get subscription boxes for pet treats, stationary, bookish accessories and even cocktail ingredients? Well, you do now. But what exactly are they and do they really represent good value for money?

In most cases, after agreeing to pay a monthly subscription cost, you get sent a box of different products every month, usually advertised as a higher value than your payments. The catch is that you don’t get a say in what goes into the box, but the element of surprise is part of the deal. So are they really as good value as they appear? We’ve taken a look at 4 different examples covering a wide range of interests…


Toucan Box

Toucan Box is a craft subscription for kids that sends out monthly or fortnightly packages packed full of creative ideas for both parents and kids. You can choose the size of the box and how often you want them sent out, and with Toucan Box discount codes you receive your first box absolutely free. It’s immediately obvious that the items contained in these boxes unique and beautifully put together, and prices start from £3.95 a fortnight to £16.95 a month (not including postage) for their Super Box that also contains a book. You can also add extras for siblings at a reduced cost.

Although it’s difficult to assess how these prices compare with buying the items separately yourself, it’s fair to argue that you are also paying for the convenience and the creativity of the minds behind Toucan Box. Another important thing to note is that you can cancel the subscription at any time if your kids aren’t really taken with it. We reckon this definitely passes the good value test.



Look Fantastic

This online beauty retailer has built up quite a reputation for providing sought-after brands at good prices, and now they’ve entered the subscription box market with their Beauty Box package. You can choose to set up a 1, 3, 6 or 12-month rolling subscription for a regular £13 payment and each month you’ll receive a box full of beauty surprises worth over £50. They ask for regular feedback to make sure they’re featuring products people actually want, and you can use current Look Fantastic promo codes to get an idea of what’s involved with an offer that gives you a Bumper Beauty Box for £40, containing items worth £160.

There’s no denying the value available here, and with the option to commit to just a few months, you can easily work out whether the Look Fantastic boxes are right for. Especially good for those interested in trying out new products and don’t mind experimenting.


Look Fantastic Beauty Box subscription



The food and drink subscription box market has exploded and you can now get different types of tea, coffee and even gin delivered direct to your door every month. Yes, gin. And with that in mind, we’re taking a closer look at what Flavourly do because when you sign up to their service, you can choose to receive a selection of either craft beers (from £20 a month) or craft gins (from £35 a month). The latter package gets you 10 different craft beers along with a copy of Stout magazine, meaning this costs you less than £2 a bottle. Members of the Craft Gin Club get 3 x 200ml bottles of gin (featuring different distilleries every month), a mixer and a snack. And for additional savings, you can use Flavourly voucher codes to claim a £10 discount on your first order.

Excellent value we think you’ll agree – not only does the beer work at a very low price indeed, but the cost involved in trying out new gins when buying 750ml bottles from your local outlet would be astronomical in comparison.


Flavourly Craft Beer Club



You may be familiar with Zavvi as retailer of DVDs and vinyl, but they too have now moved into the subscription box market with their ZBOX, marketed as ‘the mystery box made for geeks’. Each month there is a different theme (for example, this month’s is ‘mystical’ featuring unspecified Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise) and each box contains goods worth £40. Your monthly spend depends on how long you’re willing to sign up for – a 3-month plan will cost £18.99 a month, whereas a 12-month commitment reduces this to £16.99 – and with Zavvi discount codes, you can also claim a 10% saving on your first order.

Well, this is clearly excellent value, but is perhaps most suited to those who belong in many different fandoms that cover a number of different movie and TV universes other you might end up disappointed more often than not.


Whether subscription boxes actually save you money in the long run is debatable because the chances are you probably weren’t going to buy a lot of the products featured anyway, but in terms of face value, it’s clear they represent good discounts. So if you think you deserve a monthly treat, or want an unusual gift idea, subscription boxes are a very welcome addition to the online shopping experience.

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