“A box without hinges, key or lid, yet golden treasures inside is hid” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Imagine that feeling of anticipation and wonder when the delivery man hands over a package filled with unknown goodies inside. Subscription boxes, or cheer-me-up-boxes as I like to call them, are making that scenario a reality every day. They’ve gained a lot of popularity in the last few years, and it’s no surprise that India now has the second highest number of subscription startups in the world.
For me, the biggest advantage is discovery and convenience. I’ve wasted so much money for just trying out products only to find out later that they just don’t suit me or my expectations. You know the feeling, right? Luckily, subscription boxes allow you to sample a wide variety of products before you actually buy the full sized product. For the neophile in all of us, subscription boxes provide that feeling of discovery with lots of options to choose from.
While many like to expound about subscription boxes being a fantastic bargain, the banker in me has a hard time agreeing. It may be a waste of money depending upon how much you spend on the subscriptions and whether or not they live up to your expectations. Some subscription boxes lose their charm after a while, and that is why many services haven’t stood the test of time. That being said, there are a number of other factors in the subscription business model that might go wrong.
However, this post is about what the Indian subscription market has to offer (Yes, it’s going to be a long one). I have tried to incorporate all that I’ve discovered so far. In case you know about more, please leave a comment and I’ll update the list.
1. The Beauty subscription boxes: “Beauty isn’t makeup”
- Fab bag (earlier known as Vellvette)- One of the early subscription boxes that’s still in business and also the first one I subscribed to. The box has about three to five makeup or beauty products and at least one full-size product. (₹599)
- My Envy Box – It is one of my favourites. Their product quality has been consistent and I always save their boxes. The box arrives with five product samples from luxury and prestige brands every month. (₹850)
- Glo Box – They recently celebrated their first birthday. You get five full-size products every month customised on the basis of your beauty profile. We will do the math on the savings in a separate post. They also let you build your own box. (₹999)
- MSM Box – The box contains full-size products along with carefully curated deluxe samples but it is not a subscription box. They also offer boxes specially curated for men.
- Nature’s Co Subscription Box – Their beauty wish box is a mix of five to seven deluxe and full-size products that are natural and cruelty free. The box is theme based and arrives in a reusable packaging. So if you haven’t tried products of Nature’s Co yet, the subscription would be a good idea to start with. (₹795)
- O my bag (by Natural bath and Body) – Again, this is not a subscription box. They provide four products (trial packs as they say) that are organic and paraben free. (₹399)
- Lady Raga – The box contains three to five sample and/or full-size items ranging from beauty products, jewellery, lifestyle and other fashion accessories. Have read a lot of good reviews about this one. (₹666)
- Glam ego – The box contains a pre-selected set of full-size and deluxe size (I don’t get the difference 😛 ) beauty products along with ‘How to’ tutorials. They also have a beauty quiz so that products can be curated as per your need. All of it for a mere ₹399 per month. Seems like the most affordable of all. Too good to be true? We’ll find out in future posts.
- Go and Say – Launched in February 2017, it claims to be India’s first cruelty free box. They send four products in full size or monthly size and not samples. This one is on my “to-subscribe” list. (₹796)
- Oh Cute Box – The box delivers five to seven products curated according to your beauty taste. They also offer limited edition and gift boxes(₹540)
- Reverie Box – This box delivers four to five luxury natural skincare products. Ordered this recently and waiting for the box to arrive. (₹1499)
- Vanity Cask– Five beauty samples – Global luxury brands – Curated for Indians. That’s what the site says. I like the box design. Haven’t tried it yet. (₹999)
- Jas Box (by Jas Naturals) – This one claims to deliver 100% natural cosmetics and beauty care products. (₹1099)
- Zo box – This box delivers five to six curated skin and hair products and there is a different theme every month. Also they claim to offer mostly full-size products. (₹499)
- The adore package (beauty box) – This box offers four to five personalised full-size beauty products every month. (₹599)
- India Grooming Club – It is a men’s grooming brand. They have subscription plans and also gift boxes.
- Let’s Shave – India’s first shaving club. (Well… That’s what their site says.) They have different shave plans and claim to provide quality shave at a reasonable price.
- Ways to shave – Ways To Shave aims to provide the Indian men and women with the most affordable, easy, stylish and quality shaving and grooming products online.
- Bombay Shaving Company – They offer 6-Part Shaving System in which you can subscribe to refill 4 shaving supplies. You can choose which products you want and at what frequency you want them replenished.
2. The Lifestyle subscription boxes: “Living in style”
- Sugar Box – This is quite a popular box offering full-size, premium products of beauty, lifestyle, fashion and food. They also offer some limited edition boxes. (₹1499)
- Mystery Box – This box delivers four to five products based on the theme of the month. They claim that every product is specially handpicked to fulfil your desire for latest in beauty, fashion, lifestyle and personal care (₹1499)
- Guess what – This box offers five to eight full-size premium products ranging from beauty, lifestyle, fashion, footwear, clothing and food. (₹1499)
- The box story – They claim to pamper their subscribers with full-size products plus awesome goodies with every box. They have different boxes but I haven’t yet figured out what to order. There are very few reviews so I’m all the more tempted to try it out.
- Glam Treasure Box – A monthly subscription that gives you a mix of fashion beauty and lifestyle products in a box. (₹1499)
3. Subscriptions for Kids: “Learn – Play – Create – Grow”
- Flinto box – It is an educational activity box for children in the age group 2-12. They have different boxes for different age groups. Every month has a different theme. Each activity box is packed with three to seven play-based activities.
- Magic Crate – It is a toys subscription. Every quarter this subscription offers a boxful of toys from high-quality manufacturers.
- Xplora Box – It is a theme-based monthly box packed with some exciting projects, games, DIY activities and a story book.
- Ivy kids – This subscription box features a classic book and over ten fun, creative, and educational activities designed to build math, literacy, and science skills in children.
- Enchantico – India’s first kids book subscription box. Each box contains a minimum of two books, few activities and collectibles.
- Genius Box – Genius Box activity kits are designed to encourage creativity and curiosity for children of age group 2-7 years. With a new theme every month, each kit contains a range of interesting activities, books and board games.
- Pod squad – Pod Squad is a series of learning tools for children aged 2-8 years. The activity box is filled with unique learning games, puzzles, arts and crafts, books and lots more.
- Einstein Box – This box claims to be India’s number one early learning subscription. It delivers books and toys, for children aged 1-6 years, which would develop their curiosity, imagination and learning.
- Curious Cobo – It is an age specific kids learning activity box that comes loaded with fun play based activities and games. It is designed by experts in early childhood learning to promote 12 essential skill sets.
- Purple Bee – These activity boxes are fun hands-on activity kits for children in the age group of 3-7 years. Each box is based on a theme and comes with all the materials and instructions required to do the activities.
- Globe Trotters Box – It is a monthly learning subscription box in India, for kids aged 4-12 years. Each month a country-themed box is delivered that contains 4 to 5 activities that revolve around a country. The first box comes with a large world map and a passport too.
- Curiositi – It offers complete Science & Maths learning solution that includes activity kits mapped to syllabus, teaching videos for every topic and 1,000s of practice questions, with detailed solutions. They deliver 9 activity kits over a period of 12 months for students of grade 1 to 10.
- Butterfly Fields – I like the name! They have a lot of options when it comes to activity based kits. Their project kits cater to students from grade 1 to 10.
- Friendly Toyz – It is a rental toy/book subscription service. You can choose from a wide range of toys, books, puzzles & much more. It may help you teach your child something new every week with different toys.
- Zlife Education – It is a science box subscription for your little scientist. Each box offers 4 science experiments.
4. Subscriptions For Bibliophiles: “For the Literati”
- The biblio box – You can find them on Instagram. The box delivers books and merchandise every month. You can find box related updates in their newsletter.
- The story trunk – Every alternate month you receive newly released YA books and bookish goodies. They have two plans wherein one you will receive 1-2 YA books and the supreme plan in which you receive 2-3 YA books of which at least one is hardback.
- Books and beyond – Each box contains 4-5 magical bookish goodies along with an exciting new/bestseller book. Officially launched in January 2017, they also deliver custom made boxes.
- Aurora box of dreams- They too launched in January 2017 and are working on putting up an official website. Meanwhile, you can find them on Instagram. They also offer customised boxes in case you are looking for gift options.
- K K Book Box (Kaffeinated Konversations) – This one is all about “Make in India”. The merchandise in the box is sourced from startups of India. The books are from authors of South Asia, Indian sub-continent as well as Africa.
- Paper Planes – An indie magazine subscription! They allow subscribers to indicate their reading interest by selecting different genres from culture, lifestyle, food, travel, design, visual culture, sports and recreation, arts and literature, fashion, etc.
- Book o Box – It is a themed monthly book subscription service that delivers one interesting book from the genre you have subscribed to and a few related literary goodies.
- The big book box – They delivers books, stationery treats with bookish items that are especially designed by small businesses. The number of books and the type (paperback/hardcover) depends on your choice of plan.
- The bookling’s crate – It is a monthly book subscription box that delivers a top notch young adult fantasy book along with some very quirky bookish goodies.
- Fiction crate – This box promises to deliver books of your chosen genre and custom goodies.
6. Food and Beverages: “Good Food – Good Mood”
- Taste Case – With an assortment of goodies spanning across snacks, quick bites, desserts, teas, coffees and more, each Taste Case takes your taste buds on a whole new adventure. I love this box.
- The gourmet box – Subscribe and discover 4-5 full sized products that you can use to whip up dishes . They have got boxes from snacks to coffee to chocolates.
- Snackible – This service will deliver a box of snacks at regular intervals per week or per month, and for a set span of time.
- Tea Box – Incredibly fresh and delicious teas chosen to match your tastes using data science. You have to go for a quiz and then they will pick a plan for you. They have other options as well for discovering tea.
- Snack expert – This subscriptions offers you a wide variety of awesome and nutritious snacks, delivered right at your doorsteps.
- Cocoa Trait – Your monthly supply of fine chocolates comes to you in a elegant tin box hand picked from among the best chocolates and curated by L Nitin Chordia, India’s 1st certified chocolate taster.
- The Nibble Box – They claim to be the first online snack subscription in India. All snacks at the nibble box are approved by one of India’s leading nutritionists – Luke Coutinho.
- Munchkins – A weekly snack subscription box for kids. You will receive six nutritious snacks every week.
- Gogrub – This subscription aims to bring great international flavours right to your doorstep. They claim to work with only premium ingredients and stay clear of added preservatives, flavours or colours for their snack list.
7. Pets: “You thought that subscriptions were only for humans.”
- Wag Box by Heads up for Tails – Based on your dog’s profile, their team promises to pick awesome products ranging from toys, grooming products to treats.
- Woof Box – Team Woofbox plans the monthly dog box for your pet by selecting cute dog stuff from a wide range of dog products (toys, treats, gadgets, etc) especially made for your adorable pet. They also offer a MeowBox.
- Puprise – This box is jam-packed with toys, treats, chews, grooming supplies and accessories for your pet.
- My Pet Shop – This subscription box is customised for your pet and includes 2 toys, 1 treat, 1 grooming product, 1 silicone bowl, 1 personalised tag and 1 pet owner product.
- Dog Box – The box offers three to six quality products for your pet that will range from daily use items to mouth watering treats, from toys to utility products that will help you keep your pet super happy.
8. Jewellery: “Glitter – Sparkle – Twinkle – Shine”
- Zotiqq – This box offers five pieces of jewellery each month (1 statement neck piece, 1 light neck piece, 1 pair of earrings, 1 ring and 1 bracelet) as per theme of the month. The box is dispatched in the last week of the month.
- Bling Bag – This box delivers three to four trendy jewellery pieces packed in a small clutch/ pouch.
- My Envy Jewellery Box – Get a surprise box of two to three curated items of designer jewellery. The jewellery is usually curated by their partners at NIMAI.
- Crunchy fashion – A box with three pieces of beautiful jewellery for fashion forward people which will make your style irresistible.
- The Red Box – Every box contains exclusive and stylish fashion accessories and jewellery of impeccable standards of quality and design.
9. Period Boxes: “Keep Calm and Pamper yourself”
- Being Juliet – This box arrives five days before your period, filled with sanitary essentials, period pain comforters and thoughtful gifts. You can choose your sanitary essentials before ordering the box.
- Kitty Flo – It is an online monthly subscriptions service to help you stock up sanitary napkins, tampons and other periods related stuff just before you need it.
- Those 5 days – This site offers not only a variety of subscriptions but much more for those 5 days.
10. And so many more:
- Origin one – A collection of everyday stationery and elevated basics made for the design loving global nomad.
- The Moja Club – As is evident from the name it’s a sock subscription. Every month you will receive a pair of funky socks.
- Geek Crate – A monthly box for all the Indian geeks who love comics, movies, gaming, television, and anime. Also, each Geek Crate will always have a T-shirt of your size.
- Pinc Box – India’s first lingerie and nightwear subscription box.
- Krate – Subscription clothing for men wherein one will receive two to three items matching their style.
- The Modiste – Your own personal stylist and shopper! You will receive five to seven apparels and accessories at your doorstep as per your style preferences. You can pay for what you like and return the rest.
- Babble Joy – A subscription package for your baby’s monthly essential needs which has six to ten baby care products such as clothes, diapers, personal care products, feed, toys, etc.
With so many options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find one (or several) that suits you. Remember to treat yourself now and then. 🙂
- This is not a sponsored post. I have compiled this information because while I love subscriptions, there was hardly any information available about them when I was looking to make a purchase. I wrote this so that others can make an informed choice. That being said, this post is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all subscriptions and I may have missed a few.
- I have not subscribed to all of these boxes. All the information mentioned in this post is indicative. Please go through the terms and conditions, FAQs, the price, shipping and return policy and all the important stuff on the official site before placing an order.