Memberships, once the exclusive domain of warehouse clubs like Costco and BJ’s, are officially hot right now. From Amazon Prime and Walmart ShippingPass to subscription boxes (like Birchbox) and membership programs from retailers including Bed Bath & Beyond and Restoration Hardware, companies aren’t content until they’ve turned occasional shoppers into loyal members. But should you join? Will it be worth the money? How will you know if a membership program is right for you? We break it down. [More]
Subscriptions and recurring payments are the hot thing these days. From political donations to arts patronage, from subscription boxes to student loans, everyone wants a scheduled monthly slice of your money. And that’s all well and good, as long as you actually want what they’re selling. But what happens if you change your mind? [More]
The appeal of the subscription box Birchbox isn’t just getting a box full of personal-care goodies in the mail every month: it’s also reviewing the samples that you receive to earn points toward buying full-size versions of those goodies. Now a change to that system is proving very controversial, and some customers want to quit the service because of it. [More]
Subscription boxes are a hot retail category, but the business has a problem, especially when it comes to beauty product boxes. While other companies in e-commerce are super-focused on efficiency and logistics, boxes that change their inventory every month and often let users add on to or customize their selections are a logistical nightmare and often have to be hand-packed. [More]
Consumers really love Amazon Prime, a subscription service that now includes a variety of other perks, but began as a humble program that got subscribers free 2-day shipping. Now other retailers have started to wonder whether they can get customers to pay up for free shipping programs with additional perks. The latest retailer to try this is Lands’ End, which has introduced their program along with a more expensive and more stylish collection of clothing. [More]
Two years ago, newspapers began warning consumers that subscription renewal notices, which ask for your credit card and personal information, may look legitimate, but are more than likely a ploy by unscrupulous companies to get their hands on your money. Today, the Federal Trade Commission took a step to rein in this scheme by suing the operators of dozens of interrelated companies that send out such notices. [More]
NatureBox, a subscription box offering curated selections of healthy(ish) snacks, is a company that you may not be familiar with…unless you’re a fan of podcasts, in which case you’re probably tired of hearing about NatureBox, since they’re a frequent advertiser in that medium. Now the company is reaching out to the rest of the population in a partnership with Target, putting its snacks on store shelves. [More]
Monthly subscription boxes are currently a hot category in retail: vendors exist that can send you curated selections of everything from pet treats to razors to healthy snacks to butt wipes. One popular subcategory of these boxes are beauty sample boxes, which send you trial-size versions of beauty products to enjoy, and perhaps buy full-sized versions later on. Beauty brands and consumers both love these boxes…but which ones offer the best value for your subscription fee? [More]
You may think of Newegg as a retailer for electronics, but they sell a huge variety of items, from copy paper to pet supplies. Some of these items are useful to have a standing order for, and Newegg is happy to oblige with their new service: Newegg Subscription. This idea may sound a bit familiar. [More]
How much would you pay per month for an unlimited coffee pass? If you drink coffee daily and don’t brew it at home, that could become a pricey addiction. Yet CUPS, an app out of Israel, recently expanded to this country. Its premise is simple: subscribe and get discounted or even unlimited coffee from independent coffee shops for a discounted price. [More]
In most of the magazine business, subscribers equal advertising dollars. It’s not the subscription fees that are important, but being able to guarantee a certain number of eyeballs on your pages for the foreseeable future. This leads to some ridiculous situations, like the New Yorker subscriber who received an urgent renewal notice because his subscription is expiring four years from now. [More]
The amount of money newspapers and magazines charge to advertisers is closely tied to their reader base. That’s why print media will often give discounts to people willing to subscribe for longer periods of time. But not the Denver Post, which wants you to pay significantly more per week if you go with the lengthier subscription.
Apple has tinkered with its in-app subscription purchases policies, making things more flexible for publishers and possibly more difficult for consumers. Previously, Apple required publishers to charge their lowest prices for subscriptions purchased within apps, but now Apple has dropped pricing restrictions.
A New Yorker profile this week details how 80% of AOL’s revenue comes from subscriptions, and, according to an ex-AOL exec, 75% of those users are people who subscribe to the dial-up service and don’t need. Basically we’re talking about folks who have another kind of ISP and don’t realize that you don’t need to pay AOL anymore if you’re just using it for email. The group can be further divided into two sub-groups, the old, and the lazy. Here’s a step-by-step process for canceling AOL and saving some cash while still keeping access to your AOL email account.
If you watch enough TV, there’s a good chance you’ve seen ads for The Green Millionaire, which purports to be a free book that will teach you how to take advantage of government programs to do things like “keep your gas tank full for free” and “get big dollars to ‘green’ your home, even if you rent.” But some complain they’re getting more than the free book — they’re getting a pricey magazine subscription they can’t get out of.
If record labels decided to pull some of their songs from the Zune Pass service in the past couple of weeks, they did a poor job telling Microsoft about it. The company seems to be as in the dark as Zune Pass subscribers about why songs, albums, or entire discographies have gone missing. Ars technica reports that a Microsoft employee wrote on a Zune forum, “We are investigating your reported missing albums indicated in this post—and will come back to you as soon as we understand why they’re missing.”