June 9, 2017

Subscription Boxes – A great business model :: Newsletter Spotlight

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As you know, I send a weekly newsletter with business articles to read, things I find interesting and similar stuff. One of the best-received emails is this one about subscription boxes. I’m putting it here exactly as it was sent because I think it can be interesting for a lot more people than the hundreds subscribed there.

Interesting (for me) is that since then (January 2017) I helped my girlfriend start a subscription box of her own (Miruna’s Illustration Box) and it’s as interesting as a business model as I thought.

Finally, before reading it, consider subscribing to Bobby’s Curated Reading List, as well :)



I’ve always had an attraction to things based on subscription (this newsletter is one of those, after all :D ). But an entire business model based on subscriptions? Yeah, baby!

This model is called subscription boxes and I recently recognized that it’s actually a thing. I mean, I knew about Dollar Shave Club (being sold for $1 billion), BirchBox or BlackSocks, but I didn’t know there is an entire business model out there based on this. And there are, actually, about 10,000 different “boxes” sold, from Japanese candy to all kind of toys, books, food and whatever you can imagine.

The business model is this: the customers pay a monthly subscription and they receive a box with stuff. The big thing about this type of business is that you don’t need too much starting capital because, at least in the initial stages, you just buy the things in the box as needed. You don’t have things to store, you don’t have maintenance costs. Almost perfect :)

So, to the links (and read the comments in the reddit threads, as well):

1. The inner workings of a subscription box company
2. Wet Shave Club – 1 year update
3. Ask Me Anything with these guys

These guys started by buying a subscription box business that had a $4000 monthly revenue and they’ve grown it to $350,000 in the first year:

4. Candy Japan crosses $10,000 in monthly revenues

This is a guy that sends Japanese candy all over the world (he also has a book written on the subject of subscription boxes).

5. How I Built a Subscription Business that’s Made over $50k in 6 months

This guy (Jameson Morris) started several businesses with this model (including going through Y Combinator and getting $1,000,000 as investment for one of those).

6. Hot Startup Trend: Boxing Up New Business
7. How an Ordinary Couple Made it Happen with Less than $1,000 and Our Insights on How You Can Too

8. Use Shopify: How to Launch a Subscription Box: Lessons from a Successful Korean Beauty Business
9. From Socks to Sex Toys: Inside America’s Subscription Box Obsession
10. How to Start a Subscription Box Service (Infographic)

There are some more interesting articles above and below, there are some subscription box directories, just so you see how many types there are:

Hello Subscription

Subscription Boxes
Crate Joy

Yeap, lots of links, I know :) But really, it’s that interesting.


P.S.: Oh, and don’t forget I might contact you next week to tell you that you won a book (one of these three I’ve written about here). And, also, if you think this email is interesting for somebody else, forward it and tell them to subscribe to this list, please :D