POSTED: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 2:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 2:09pm
"Subscription boxes" are becoming an increasingly popular gift. So what are they? Mark Barger reports.
(NBC News) In an age where traditional mail is diminishing and a fair amount of what does arrive is unwanted, more and more Americans are signing up to get something in the mail they'll be excited about.
The website MySubscriptionAddiction.COM estimates about 400 companies deliver monthly product packages covering a variety of niches.
They're to Wine of the Month or Fruit of the Month clubs.
"Every month a box comes with four to five items in it, and it's tailored to your needs or your child's needs," explains Suzanne Kantra of Techlicious.com
Kiwicrate is one that delivers kid-friendly arts and crafts and science related projects.
Citruslane offers items to help out new parents.
Subscription boxes for beauty products and samples are among the most popular.
Birchbox, Beauty Army and Julep are among companies in the category.
They sell for between $10 and $20 a month.
Kantra says Birchbox offers guys equal time with a collection of grooming and lifestyle products.
Bulu Box offers fitness products and supplements while Barkbox serves up toys and treats for dogs.
"One of the great things about gift boxes is companies get to expose their products to new people but then you, as a consumer get to try something new that you might not have put your money down for," Kantra says.
And that makes subscription boxes a gift that keeps giving for companies and consumers all year long.
In most cases consumers can purchase the gift box subscriptions online, in some cases as a gift.
Because of the growing interest in these boxes, some of the most popular brands like Ipsy and Birchbox have waiting lists so it may be six to eight weeks before the first box arrives at your door.