Subscription commerce has had a bang-up year in 2013, and we love the idea of giving subscription boxes as gifts for those extra-special loved ones.
Here’s our roundup of the best-of-the-best subscription services for the 2013 gift-giving season. Our list includes options for just about everyone, be they makeup fiends, avid readers, or serious meat-lovers.
Also, check out our guide to small-business shopping online.
Here we go!
The gist: Limited-edition fancy stuff for dudes or the dudely
The price: $45 per month
This subscription service sends boxes of cool, quirky, handcrafted finds for the studly special someone in your life. Boxes can include snacks, booze, apparel, kitchen and dining ware — you name it. Each box has a theme and a story.
The gist: Oh my god, shoes.
The price: $40 per month
ShoeDazzle charges $40 per month for VIP access to its wardrobe of wonders, which run the gamut from Deschanel-perfect flats to skyscraper heels. The $40 is yours to spend that month or save for the next month. Shoes are priced around $30 to $60, depending on what you’re buying.
The gist: High-end menswear, customized to your preferences
The price: $100 to $300 for most clothing items
With this subscription box, you get a personal stylist sending you fashionable, on-trend, and high-quality items suited to your specific tastes. You’ll get a mix of labels, from indie German-made trousers to Brooks Brothers. Keep what you like (you pay for whatever you keep with a card on file at Trunk Club) and send back what you don’t. Return shipping is free, and your stylist will use your returns to tweak your preference profile.
The gist: One great, personalized book at a time
The price: $90 to $400 annually for periodic shipments
I’m one of those people who likes to get a physical book. But I’m still picky about the kind of content I read. So I’m putting Just the Right Book, which mails hard-copy books based on your preferences, on my gift list. It has a sliding scale on prices: You can choose to get one paperback every three months or a hardcover every two weeks. Prices vary accordingly. It also has children’s and teens’ options.
The gist: Razors, shaving creams — everything you need for clean-cut living
The price: $1 to $9 for monthly blades
This one works for ladies, gents, and everyone in between. The company makes all kinds of razors, from single blade to super-luxe. Also, its shave butter is one of the creamiest, dreamiest experiences we can imagine. And the hilariously named One-Wipe Charlies are this company’s answer to similar wipes from Charmin or Always.
The gist: Monthly meats
The price: $50 per month
This monthly box packs a meaty punch with preserved charcuterie, terrines, and jerky made by people from around the world. The company says it goes out of its way to get items you won’t find at a grocery store or your average butcher’s shop.
The gist: Luxo goods for women, men, and makers
The price: $130 to $560 per quarter
The whole tone of this subscription box service is borderline obnoxiously fancy, and the prices reflect that hauteur. You gotcher $200 keychains, your $300 gloves. But for the aesthete with too much money and not enough stuff, it’s ideal.
The gist: Useful products for moms and infants/toddlers
The price: Starts at $21 per month
These fascinating boxes can grow with your family, from pregnancy through preschool. Each box contains mom-centric products as well as toys, games, and apparel for your little one. Also, each box is customized based on your child’s gender, age, and developmental stage.
The gist: BirchBox for winos
The price: $10 per month for samples, $150 for quarterly cases
This service does something unique: It ships you mini-bottles of wine and then uses your feedback to build a wine profile for you. They call it a WinePrint. In a time when wine is as fascinating as it is perplexing to learn, tools like this one will give beginners a dash of confidence just from knowing what they prefer.
The gist: Global luxury and travel goods
The price: $50 per month
This goodie box brings treasures from abroad as well as incentives and tools for the receiver to go abroad. It has full-sized products (snacks, home goods, bath products) from local artisans, and each box has a different “theme” or location. Perfect for the globe-trotter — or better yet, for that person who refuses to take their vacation days.
VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation
, and we’ll share the data.