Subscription-based business models are booming. These days you can get just about anything via subscription from wine and food to shaving supplies and, of course, t-shirts. There are many different subscriptions out there, and some are better than others. Here are some of the pros and cons of a monthly t-shirt subscription service.
The History of T-Shirt Subscriptions
It all started in 2010 with a subscription service called “Birchbox,” which is a beauty company that came up with a paradigm-shifting way to send people new products. For only $10-a-month, subscribers were sent a new box full of great beauty products they could try and, if they like, order more. The company was a runaway success and worked to catalyze an entire industry of subscription-based businesses.
Even though they set the foundation of T-shirt subscription serves, that doesn’t mean they’ve perfected it. Since then, there have been plenty of variations of subscription boxes that can meet any one person's need or lifestyle.
Clothing and T-Shirt Subscriptions
Today, subscription-based companies have grown to include countless new sectors, from cookies to t-shirt subscriptions. There are several reasons why someone might choose a subscription-based service, like a t-shirt of the month. These include:
- Saving Money: Saving money is a big reason why many people choose to go with subscription-based services. This is especially true of “utility” type services that offer products that people consistently need on a regular basis anyway.
- Cool New Products: Other subscription-based services have little to nothing to do with saving money and everything to do with exploring cool, new products. Pubscription services do not pride themselves on saving their customer’s money. Instead, they have beauty experts curate their high-quality monthly products to delight their customers. These companies may end up costing you money because you can easily find something you like in these types of boxes every month and then end up buying it independently, but the point is, you may never have encountered the product in the first place. You can find things like limited-edition graphic tees with unique designs from these t-shirt clubs.
- Monthly Surprises: Who doesn’t like a surprise monthly gift? Some companies will tell you in advance what to expect, while others may simply send you a surprise every month. Either way, if you buy into a monthly tee club or something like a wine subscription, you are sure to have at least one package every month that will put a smile on your face. You may have never considered a v-neck t-shirt because your favorite shirts are crew necks but the best subscription boxes push you out of the box as well! This is also why subscription-based services make great presents on birthdays and other holidays—they are the gift that keeps on giving!
- Convenience: Some buyers simply dislike having to physically go to the store to shop. These are the sorts of people who benefit from monthly subscription services that provide them not only with guaranteed deliveries every month of products they want or need but also a variety of items that they may miss out on because they are so averse to in-person shopping. With t-shirt subscriptions, for example, you can sign up for a service that will send you a cool new tee shirt that features interesting anime or pop culture designs while, if you only order your clothing online directly, you may get into the habit of only buying the same items over and over again and missing out on all the interesting and attractive variety out there.
Should I Buy a Monthly Subscription?
Monthly subscription services can sound great. Sometimes, though, people get ahead of themselves and end up signing on for a monthly service that does not benefit them and which just ends up becoming junk. To avoid this mistake, here are some of the questions you should ask yourself before signing up for a monthly product-subscription service.
Are You Going to Get Good Stuff? Before signing up with a new subscription service, it is always a good idea to read some online reviews. These reviews should give you more information on the actual value of the products being sent in the product boxes. Some poorly-designed monthly subscription services basically just send people junk every month, while others send their subscribers highly valuable products. Make sure you do your research!
- Can You Really Afford It? If you are signing up for a subscription service that is not meant to save you money then just make sure that you can afford it. There is nothing wrong with getting yourself a cool bag or box of products every month, but not until AFTER you’ve covered all your bills!
- How Does the Cost Compare to Retail? Once you know what’s in a typical box, you can check the prices of those items on retail sites like Amazon. By adding them all up, you can figure out what the contents of the box are worth and compare that to the subscription price. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of shipping, if there is any.
- Is It Hard to Cancel? The last thing you want to do is sign up for a subscription service that makes canceling difficult. Make sure that you read the company's cancelation policy before you sign up. It is a very bad sign if you work with a company that makes canceling difficult. Canceling your subscription should be easy, and it shouldn’t result in you being charged more than, at most, one month after the point of your Cancelation.
- Is the Service Customizable? Some subscription-based services are highly customizable, while others are not. Depending on why you are interested in subscriptions, this is something you might want to consider. If you are getting a subscription box service because you want a “blind” monthly surprise, then customizability matters very little. If, however, you genuinely need all of the products being sent to you, then yes, control and the ability to customize shirt designs are things you’ll want to consider.
- Is Box Too Much? The flat price of your subscription box is one thing to consider, and that includes the price-per-product. For example, some box subscriptions can save you bundles on how much you are paying per-product. But, the problem with some services is that they send you such a large box of items that you rarely if ever, can use them all. This ends up costing you more money than you are saving on a per-product basis. Try to choose a cost-effective box subscription that works on both a per-product and overall level.
How It Works?
INTO THE AM’s t-shirt subscription, known as the Tee Club, works like this: Each month, you will receive brand new designs on premium quality graphic t-shirts for just $19.95. Sign up by the last day of any month, and your first new shirt will ship by the 7th of the following month.
If you are interested in a monthly t-shirt subscription or any product-subscription service, you must first consider your intentions: Are you considering buying this service to save money? Or are you doing it for convenience, to experience new products, or for a fun monthly surprise? If you are doing it to save money, the decision is simple: Calculate how much you are currently spending on the products you are looking to replace and see the subscription service is cheaper. If it is, buy. If not, don’t! If, on the other hand, you are interested in a subscription service because you want a cool monthly surprise, just make sure that the product you are getting is something compelling enough to actually surprise you. For example, a t-shirt subscription is great because it is easy for anyone to get excited, however briefly, about a cool new t-shirt. But a deodorant subscription is a different story. It’s hard to get excited about something like deodorant—so if it’s on subscription then it better be saving you money!