Unusual subscriptions services similar to Quarterly?
December 1, 2011 11:32 AM   Subscribe

Someone just directed me to Quarterly, a really neat looking subscription service. I love the idea of getting surprise awesome things in the mail. Does anyone know of other subscription services that are similar?

I saw this thread from 2009, but I was wondering if there were suggestions for things that have popped up in the last couple of years.

posted by forkisbetter to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 113 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Birchbox delivers a cute little box of deluxe beauty samples for $10 a month. I've been a subscriber for a few months and have been pleased with what I get to try. They've just introduced a men's version as well.
posted by ferociouskitty at 11:55 AM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Apartment Therapy had a list of these a few days ago. In the comments of that post there are links to a bunch more.
posted by Gori Girl at 12:12 PM on December 1, 2011

Answers to a kinda similar question were Quarterly, which you know about, The Thing, and Not Another Bill.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 12:14 PM on December 1, 2011

Fair Ivy which I found from this similar thread/question: http://ask.metafilter.com/188709/Id-like-a-free-sample-of-awesome
posted by ejazen at 12:16 PM on December 1, 2011

Gawd, how would one go about finding information about Quarterly? The google configurations of "Quarterly", "Review", and "Subscription" gets me absolutely nowhere!! It sounds great but I'd really like to know more about what they've put out in the past before jumping in. Hope this isn't too threadjack-y but man, what a poor match with google searching...
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:24 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Little did I know when I bookmarked this page yesterday it would be useful right away

Have not tried any of these myself yet, but I have my eye on Stack.
posted by Stacey at 1:20 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Wanted to second Birchbox. They have one for guys now, too, and it's cheap, and it's cool to see what's in it. I'm one of those people that doesn't like to have say, more than one mascara, so I'm mostly hunting for stuff to replace my staples. I've come close with Spackle, a tinted foundation, except it also irritates my skin a bit -- which is why the sampler set-up is great for make-up, because now I can take that into consideration when buying it.

Birchboxes often include a slightly off-topic bonus item, e.g. a Kind bar (love those things), a chocolate, cashmere detergent, etc. Reminds me of when I used to trade perfume oils online and many people would make an effort to include a chocolate or soap sample or a small handmade craft. It sort of makes the box feel less like the commercial advertising force it is. ;)

Also, I sample anything that looks interesting and pass it all to a friend. I do it for free, but you could easily split it $5 each with a friend. Some samples are maybe too small, but generally not; even the moist towelette-sized samples of face stuff are usually enough for two.

There is also something that isn't exactly a surprise, but encourages variety. I haven't tried it, but it's called YBuy and you pay (I think?) $25 to try out expensive stuff like espresso machines and iPads for however long you want (I think) and if you decide to buy it, you get a discount. I'v been considering it because my husband and I are the type to save up for very nice, high quality versions of stuff to save costs in the long run, but I've been putting it off until we pay some things off first. Seems like a neat idea for a service though. You select what you want to try, but you can change it out for something else and they have a decent amount of variety, so it's a way to get something new in your life that might be too prohibitive otherwise. It also seems like a good idea for something that sounds cool but you might end up getting sick of after two months; I wish I had gone that route with the juicer I bought in high school, heh.
posted by Nattie at 1:57 PM on December 1, 2011

Your question got me searching, and I found this page. You might find it helpful.
posted by patheral at 2:12 PM on December 1, 2011

I like The Little Black Box and Out of the Box Sampler. Both of them contain a variety of handmade samples (many of which are full-size items) - things like candles, bath and body items, makeup, jewelry - sometimes baked goods and pet treats too.
posted by SisterHavana at 8:20 PM on December 1, 2011

I've not been as thrilled with Birchbox as others here, but I am really really pleased with lostcrates.com, and they are supposedly soon offering quarterly and bimonthly options (which is good, because it's a litle steep pricewise.)
posted by pixiecrinkle at 10:50 PM on December 1, 2011

Best answer: Mashable covered a bunch of these yesterday.
posted by knile at 7:22 AM on December 2, 2011

RolandOfEld: The Quarterly hasn't, to my knowledge, shipped its first batch yet, which may explain your problem finding any history.
posted by nbergus at 1:44 PM on December 4, 2011

StitchFix! It's like a surprise personal shopper. For $20 a month, you get five articles of clothing and accessories, which you try on at home. You decide what to keep and pay for it (minus your $20 Fix fee), and simply send the rest back. The stuff they send is pretty trendy but affordable, usually about $50-$150. They're pretty good about getting your size and style right. I've kept one thing so far out of two orders, and it's just so dang fun I'll be keeping it up. The $20 isn't auto charged, so if you want to opt out for awhile it's totally fine.
posted by kidsleepy at 6:38 PM on December 4, 2011

visionaire is expensive but quite interesting.
posted by taltalim at 1:10 PM on December 5, 2011

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