Subscription Shopping

Subscription-based programs conjure up images of random soft rock albums I didn't remember ordering showing up on my doorstep each month, or obscure packages of cured meats and artisan cheeses that a relative signed me up for as a Christmas present. Suffice it to say, they were never really my thing. But they obviously work for some guys, as services like Dollar Shave Club have developed a cult following. And given the advent of e-commerce, expecting packages in the office or at the doorstep has become more commonplace than ever. Two new services recently caught my eye. The luxury product-based Svbscription and the more pragmatic (but no less luxe) "Basics On A Schedule" by Bench & Loom. But do they really deliver?


The Cost

$300/quarter; $1,110/year at

What You Get

A periodical parcel of products chosen by the company every three months. Each box contains a publication that expands upon the "theme." For example, my July parcel was about travel and contained, among other things, travel-sized toiletries from Malin + Goetz, a leather passport holder from WANT Les Essentiels de La Vie and a copy of The Travel Almanac Magazine.

The Verdict

While the founder's aim to connect members with products that are important to them is a noble cause, I can see how a service like this could be cost-prohibitive. However, for jet-setting business types with more cash than time to spare, each parcel could provide a little escape, some new products to try and some light reading between meetings.

"The Basics"

The Cost

It depends on the items you order, but there's no cost or commitment for the service. Available at Bench & Loom

What You Get

Choose from an array of high-end toiletries and undergarments, and Bench & Loom packs them up and sends them to you at a time you designate. Your first order arrives quickly and then you designate how often you'd like deliveries, with the ability to easily pause, modify or stop at any time.

The Verdict

Sure, less discerning guys might just run to the drug store. But if you want quality products on the regular, or if you're a busy (or forgetful guy), this makes for a simple way to ensure you don't run out of your favorite grooming cream. And it's an easy way to remember to buy new underwear every once in a while.


Published on

August 2, 2012

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