PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you’re on Facebook or other social media, you’ve probably seen ads for subscription boxes.
You may have even seen that some of your social media friends are using them.
But, what are they exactly and what do you really get with them?
Subscription boxes seem to be a big hit right now.
People are paying anywhere from $10 to hundreds of dollars for them each month, signing up for everything from beauty products to clothing to underwear.
You pick your category, but what comes in the box is always a surprise.
“It’s super fun every month. You get this box, you have no idea what’s going to be in it,” Theodora Blanchfield said.
Blanchfield said she spends about $100 a month for a box from Stitch Fix, a fashion service.
Professional stylists make selections based on subscribers’ preferences.
“Some stuff I open it and I’m like, ‘That’s exactly my style,’ and other stuff is like, ‘I never would have picked that for myself, that’s kind of cool,’” Blanchfield said
“We definitely have the woman that doesn’t like to shop. We also do have some of the fashionista who loves shopping and this is another way for her to shop,” Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake said.
Lake said her customers seem to be happy to let others do their shopping for them.
“Simply keep what you want, send back what you don’t want,” Lake said.
Bombfell is a men’s fashion service.
“A lot of times what we’ll see is the wife or the girlfriend is actually signing up for the account,” Bombfell CEO Bernie Yoo said.
Yoo said no matter whom picks their clothes, they’ve found most men are happy to be surprised.
“It’s basically been picked for your fit, for your taste,” Yoo said.
Retail expert Tom Julian said customers love the surprise, but critics say letting other people make choices for you is not for everyone.
“I think we signed over some of our fashion choices and some of our shopping budget too,” Julian said.
However, Emily Palan is hooked.
“I do the ones for makeup and beauty all the time,” Palan said.
She spends $39 a month for a surprise box – designed just for her dog.
“I was pretty excited to see what he was excited about,” Palan said.
Most of these services do not charge a fee to join, and will let you suspend the service anytime.