Unboxing The Trends: Shopping By Subscription

Posted by Anna VanHorn on July 19, 2016


Subscription boxes are a relatively new retail trend where specially curated collections of niche items are sent directly to your doorstep. They’re a way to let consumers try new products, while giving brands a valuable introduction to potential new customers. No matter what you’re into, there’s probably a subscription box out there for you. Beauty junkie? Check. Foodie? Check. Gamer? Check. Pet owner? Check. Music love? Check. Fashionista? Check, check, check…

Along with subscription boxes comes the interesting digital trend of “unboxing” videos. What is unboxing? Exactly what it sounds like. People film themselves opening subscription boxes (as well as highly-anticipated newly launched products and other items) and post the videos online. Think watching a person open a box of random stuff would be boring? Not according to a search on YouTube for the word “unboxing,” which yields over 46 MILLION results!

Not one to turn our back on a trend, we here at Mitchell just had to get in on the action. Take a look at what happened when we recruited our people to open and test 15 unique subscription boxes.



Geek Fuel Box


Description: Every box includes $50 minimum value of “Geeky Goodness,” including a guaranteed t-shirt, exclusive gear, everyday essentials, downloadable game and 5-8 “epic” items.

Cost: Ranges from $13.90 to $17.90 (plus $6 s/h per box) per month depending on subscription plan



  • Dinocide Downloadable game and game map
  • Amazing Fantastic Incredible” A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee
  • “The Legend” Exclusive Art Print by Juan Muniz
  • Batman V Superman Mystery Mini Vinyl Figure (Clark Kent)
  • Vision of Justice GeekFuel Exclusive T-shirt




Description: Each month you’ll get a box of the best artisan sweets from ever-changing confectioners all over the country.

Cost: Ranges from $16.92 to $19.95 per month depending on subscription plan



  • Izard Chocolate Original Caramels
  • Grey Ghost Bakery Chocolate Espresso Cookies
  • Grey Ghost Bakery Cinnamon Pecan Cookies
  • Raley’s Confectionary Acid Drops Hard Candy




Description: Monthly box of unique and exclusive cat lady items, including cat-themed shirts, jewelry, home décor, accessories, art and more, delivered in a box your cat can keep.

Cost: $31.33 per month for the regular CatLadyBox or $36.00 for the CRAZY CatLadyBox



  • Cat Butt Pillowcase Set Exclusively by CatLady Box
  • Handcrafted Artisan Soap by Purring Buddha
  • Satin Catnap Sleep Mask Exclusively by CatLady Box
  • Spa Washcloth Exclusively by CatLady Box




Description: Glossybox is a personalized box of 5-6 luxury-sized cosmetic and wellness samples hand-picked by the Glossybox beauty experts.

Cost: Ranges from $17.50 to $21.00 per month depending on subscription plan



(Left box)

  • Icona Milano – Emotion Allowed Mascara
  • Sinfulcolors – Kylie Jenner Trend Matters Satin Collection Nail Polish
  • LA Splash – Lip Lacquer High Pigment Collection
  • Tantowel – Half Body Classic
  • Sebastian Professional – Shaper Fierce Finishing Spray and Dark Oil
  • Caolion – Premium Hot & Cool Poor Pack Duo

(Right box)

  • Talika Photo-Hydra Day
  • Benefit Cosmetics - Roller Lash Super Curling & Lifting Mascara
  • Rituals Cosmetics - Shower Foam in T’ai Chi
  • Versaspa - Face Moisturizing Gradual Tanner
  • Nioxin - Nioxin System 1 Cleanser and Scalp Therapy Conditioner


Club W


Description: Answer 6 easy questions about the flavors you like and choose monthly wine shipments based on recommendations for your palate from Club W’s curated selection.

Cost: Starts at 4 bottles for $52 a month and includes complimentary shipping



  • 2015 Loves Me Not Malvasia Bianca
  • 2015 WKND Sparkling Chenin Blanc
  • 2014 Chop Shop Cabernet Sauvignon


Vinyl Me, Please


Description: Subscriptions to this record club include special-edition LP pressed exclusively for members, original 12X12” art print and custom cocktail pairing, as well as special members-only pricing on additional curated albums and gear.

Cost: Plans start at $23 a month



Artist: Nada Surf
Title: High/Low
Drink Recipe: Twentieth Century

Artist: Lapsley
Title: Long Way Home
Drink Recipe: Dark & Stormy

Artist: Big Bill Broonzy
Title: Big Bill Broonzy Sings Folk Songs
Drink Recipe: Sidecar

Vinyl on HBO series preview album


Kitchen Table Passport


Description: Box features a different country each month. You’ll find everything you need to create fun, memorable food and travel experiences. See, hear, taste, touch and smell a different country – all without leaving home.

Cost: Ranges from $19.99 to $29.95 per month depending on subscription plan



  • Welcome Card
  • Irish Stew Recipe
  • Spice package
  • 10 Discovery Cards
  • Curated list of local music
  • Connemara marble Coptic Cross
  • Bookmark inspired by Irish Mythology


Kawaii Box


Description: Kawaii is the Japanese word for cute. This box is filled with 10-12 handpicked super Kawaii items from Japan and Korea, including candy, stationary and beauty accessories.

Cost: Ranges $17.90 to $19.80 per month depending on subscription plan



  • Apollo Chocolate DIY Kit
  • Kokeshi Notebook
  • Kawaii Pets Sticker Sheet
  • Emoji Plush Charm
  • Friendly Bear Color Pen
  • Stick Chewing Gum Eraser
  • Polka Dot Hairband
  • Cute Travel Lock
  • Happy Mini Towel
  • Polygon Bracelet
  • Panda Sleepmask




Description: A monthly box of dog goodies of “paw-picked” toys, healthy treats and innovative gadgets that will drive pups bonkers.

Cost: Ranges $20 to $29 per month depending on subscription plan and dog size



  • Candy Apple Plush Toy
  • “Pupticipant” Ribbon Squeaky Toy
  • “The Pickup Artist” BarkBox exclusive Plush Toy
  • Happy Howie Beef Woof Stix
  • Healthy Dogma Berry & Bacon Biscuits
  • Nana’s Natural Chicken & Sweet Potato Jerky


Tea Sparrow


Description: The world’s best teas, curated, taste-tested and delivered to your door. Each box includes 4 carefully selected teas that average 35 cups per box.

Cost: $20 per month



  • Herbal Republic Strawberry Mint Herbal Tea
  • Rishi Tea Tropical Coconut Oolong Caffeinated Tea
  • Rishi Tea Organic Ruby Oolong Caffeinated Tea
  • Tea Desire Bake Apple Rooibos Herbal Tea


Smart Art


Description: Smart Art provides artists with diverse high quality materials that inspire and nourish creativity. Each month subscribers receive a new box featuring: A different artist that highlights their time period, 8 or more full sized art supplies, a unique project and a pamphlet detailing a new art medium.

Cost: Ranges $39.99 to $49.95 per month depending on subscription plan



  • 4 ¼ Square Coaster Mold
  • Clear Con-Tact Paper
  • Mosaic Stone Cement (2 lb.)
  • Gold Veined Mosaic Tile (1 lb.)
  • Qualita Gold Long Handle Flat Brush size 8
  • Cement and Tile Sealer (1 oz)


Bulu Box


Description: Allows you to discover the health, nutrition and weight loss products that are right for you. Try 4-5 samples based on your profile before buying full-size products.

Cost: $10 a month



  • Fru-licious freeze-dried Banana and Strawberry real sliced fruit
  • Shotz Natural Energy Drink
  • Quality of Life Krill Oil MD
  • The Hand Stuff all natural hand balm
  • Cal-EZ powdered calcium + Vitamin D supplement


Prix Fixe


Description: A box of carefully selected jewelry each month, plus 10% of proceeds go towards a charity of your choice.

Cost: $20 per month for the Bargain Box and $30 for the Trend Setter Box



  • Leaf Earrings
  • Leaf Necklace
  • Elephant Bangle
  • Donation card to Susan G. Komen




Description: This box contains men’s and women’s sock subscriptions as well as a men's boxer brief subscription. As a veteran owned and operated company, they donate 10% of profits to a different veteran charity each month. 

Cost: Ranges $18 to $20 per month depending on subscription plan



  • Richer Poorer Inc. Women’s purple and teal socks
  • Purpose Outfitters - Staggs style socks
  • Card with Sponsored Veteran Organization: Suits for Soldiers




Description: Select a monthly, 30-day supply of perfume from 450+ designer and niche fragrances that allows you to “date a scent before marrying it.”

Cost: $14.95 per month with free shipping



  • Versace Eros Pour Femme
  • Lisa Hoffman Tuscan Fig Perfume of the Month club card

 What did we miss? What subscription boxes are your favorite? Tell us in the comments - and happy shopping!

Topics: Marketing, trends