Is a subscription box worth it?

No matter what you're into, there seems to be a subscription box for it...beauty, food, you name it. I love surprises and excitement, but I just want to bring up a few thoughts before you re-sub for 2014.

1) The price: I would view the price of many boxes as the excitement factor. If you know you will be excited for a week, tracking its progress on USPS and trying out all your new goodies for weeks, $10 may be more than worth it even if you hate 100% of the products in one box. Be honest about whether this will be included as part of your main makeup budget (ie, replacing core items) or supplemental (fun goodies to play with along with your normal staple replacements).

2) The items: If you are subscribing to a high-end makeup sample subscription but are otherwise on a low to mid-end budget, you might be cruising for a bruising (of your wallet). I remember seeing a $10 sample box had a $250+ moisturizer! If you can't afford it, it may be better not to know about it. Also, keep in mind how many items you can feasibly store! I was able to get a free sunglass of the month subscription from Stunmo from attending an event. I really liked those sunglasses, but subscribing would have meant having to store 12 sunglasses a year....

3) The audience: Are you really the target for this type of box? For example, when I first started eating dairy-free, I didn't have much knowledge about where I could find dairy-free items. I got a gift subscription to Vegancuts, and it was great for the first 3 months of my transition as I learned about new brands and where they were sold. Once I knew more, it wasn't worth it to spend $20 on food I may or may not like. The same is true for makeup-I have friends who would be happy to get some high-quality makeup delivered so they wouldn't have to think about it. If you like to research your products and you already have enough makeup, a box may not be the right choice.

4) Is it legit?: When reading reviews of new subscriptions, be VERY suspicious. Over the summer, I looked into cheaper vegan snack boxes, and was surprised how many had fake reviews. It's relatively easy to buy Facebook fans, Twitter followers, etc, so you really have to dig in deeper. I usually check on Twitter to see if anyone has talked about their box, and on Facebook through the user-submitted section. It's way harder to consistently produce fake conversations than it is to pay 10 bloggers $50 + referrals to write a great review of their service.

5) Time to evaluate? I often see this on beauty boards: people are sick of a certain box for 3-4 months, but then they miss the deadline for changing or cancelling the next box. This is throwing your money away! I would put an appointment in my phone (on a day where the next box can be cancelled) at ie, 3 or 6 mo, to decide on the value of the box vs. my budget.

What boxes do you subscribe to? Do you have any suggestions to add?