The Pros and Cons of Subscription Services

Weigh if the service meets your needs, keeping in mind you usually pay a little more for convenience.

Subscription services are popular these days. They offer a way to keep a constant supply of the things you use without having to re-ordering each month, often with a nice discount and free shipping. It just requires you keeping your credit card on file. The most popular ones are Amazon Prime, Walmart Plus. But, most all shopping sites offer them. Are they worth it? A shopping expert from Consumer Report says there’s a few things to consider if it’s right for you.
1. Will it make your life better?  If it saves you from lugging heavy containers from the store each month and if you love love a particular coffee that you have shipped each month, then it may be worth it.
2. Consider first if you can trust the company with your credit card.  Beware of introductory offers that are hard to cancel.  Read the fine print for all the costs, along with how and when to cancel. Is there a phone number you can call if you need to speak to someone.  A $20 intro offer could cost you many times over before you figure out how to cancel.
3.  Can you skip a month?  Look for flexible terms.  Many will let you pause deliveries and schedule when you want the deliveries. If it’s a food service, can you edit your cart each week or pause it?
4.  Is it a good deal?  Subscribe and save plans make sense when they offer discounts on things you would otherwise buy at full price.  Chew for example gives a 5 percent discount, Amazon has up to a 15 % discount if you order 5 items.  Other subscription boxes are harder to determine because of variations of the products where you don’t get an itemized price list of each item.
Bottom line, you have to weigh if the service meets your needs, keeping in mind you usually pay a little more for convenience.