Incredible Subscription Businesses that Really Exist
Written by Michal Dallos
Incredible Subscription Businesses

The subscription economy is vast and getting bigger every day. SUBTA Annual Report 2019 expects that, in 2023, up to 75% of all direct customer sales will be offered as subscription services. The current 5-year based Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of subscription businesses is above 17%.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to select some of the most unexpected subscription businesses out of a huge number available worldwide. I’m aware that their “incredibility” is subjective. Drop me a note if you have some “cool stuff” to recommend.


Vintage Teatime

Vintage Teatime


Category: box experience / food

Web: www.vintageteatime.co.uk

Price: starts at £26.99

About Vintage Teatime: Experience every month the delivery of a carefully curated assortment of name-brand teas, premium posh biscuits, together with uplifting reading. Accompanied by genuine patterned china tea-for-me set, complete with a cup, saucer and plate, the Vintage Teatime experience provides all the necessary ingredients for a relaxing afternoon tea time in a “very British” style.


SurfAir

Category: transportation

Web: www.surfair.com

Price: strats with USD 1,950 per month for frequent fliers

About SurfAir: California’s private air travel membership targets business travelers and offers them unlimited flights for a monthly subscription fee. Surf Air arranges travel and other services solely as a manager and does not own or operate any aircraft.

SurfAir


Joymode

joymode

Category: consumer goods / sustainable enterprise

Web: www.joymode.com

Price: item dependent

About joymode: joymode is a subscription business for products that the customers don’t use everyday. Cotton candy, popcorn machines, kitchenware, outdoor equipment, electronics and games… you name it! Joymode provides a vast variety of products following the motto: “Do More. Own less.” Joymode currently (as of late 2020) operates in California and intends to roll out the service US-nationwide.


Dispensary of Hope

Category: pharmaceuticals / social enterprise

Web: www.dispensaryofhope.org

Price: see example with Good Sheperd Pharmacy

About Dispensary of Hope: Dispensary of Hope is a charitable non-profit medical distributor, which collects and distributes donated medication to clinics, community health centers, hospitals, and other medical institutions. It does not purchase medication, but receive donations in the forms of newly manufactured or “short-dated” drugs from manufacturers and distributors. It then provides these drugs to distribution network partners for an annual subscription fee.

Interestingly, some of these partners themselves adopt the subscription business model. Take, for instance, Good Sheperd Pharmacy, a “membership pharmacy”. In exchange for the annual fee of USD 12,500, it obtains its needed drugs from Dispensary of Hope. It then provides these drugs to under-insured patients who are members of the pharmacy. Monthly membership starts at USD 25, + USD 10 per shipping.

Dispensary of Hope

Piquant Post

Category: box experience / food

Web: piquantpost.com

Price: starts at USD 11.99 per month

About Piquant Post: Piquant Post offers on a monthly subscription basis a variety of freshly grounded spice blends in small batches, accompanied by dedicated, chef-developed recipes that feature a new region every time.
The 3 or 4 new spice blends come free of “bad stuff” like preservatives or fillers and allow to cook delicious dishes without running around in search for exotic spices.


MeUndies

Category: clothing

Web: www.meundies.com

Price: starts at USD 8 per month

About MeUndies: MeUndies offers, in its own words, not only the world’s most comfortable and sustainable underwear, but combines it with a unique shopping expereince of matching underware pairs for couples. It describes its approach as ‘different cuts for different butts’. Beside a subscription, customers can also purchase individual or visit the 2018 opened first flagship store in Los Angeles.

MeUndies

Vyrent

Vyrent


Category: luxury accessories

Web: www.vyrent.com

Price: starts at USD 275 per month

About Vyrent: This luxury watch subscription business allows customers to get access to multiple high-end watches over the course of their membership.
In contrary to similar (mainly watch rental) companies, vyrent follows an unique marketplace approach: different retailers and wholesalers are offering their own watches and setting their own prices; vyrent do not own any watches.


BoneBox by Skulls Unlimited

Category: box experience

Web: www.skullsunlimited.com

Price: starts at USD 24,99 per month

About BoneBox: Skulls Unlimited provides legally and ethically obtained natural bones and bone replicas. Beside individual purchases the customers can subscribe to a BoneBox containing natural animal bone products (no replica) such as skulls, teeth, bacula, claws and others.
Skulls Unlimited also offers a purchase, where private individuals may offer Skulls Unlimited skulls and skeletons.

skulls unlimited

Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway

Category: clothing

Web: www.renttherunway.com

Price: starts at USD 89 per month

About Rent the Runway: Rent the Runway helps women to cut down the amount of clothing in their possession by providing a subscription to evening gowns as well as everyday wear. Starting with 1 swap (4 items) per month, the subscription can be upgraded to unlimited swaps. You also have a chance to purchase your absolute favorites. Membership includes insurance for minor damages and signs of wear.

As the company states, an average woman in the US throws away about 37 kg of clothing per year. Hence subscription-based wardrobe contributes to less clothing waste. Garments no longer suitable for the clients are re-sold or donated.


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