Discussion » Pricey Book Subscription Boxes

We all love our book subscription boxes right? Is there anyone her that actually doesn’t? I know I love them, it is always a fun thrill to guess what the book will be, and see all the cool knew stuff you get in a box. But there is one problem to these Book Subscription Boxes…they are pricey and expensive. Really pricey and expensive when you include shipping.

Personally, as someone who doesn’t have a job, I clearly can’t afford these boxes. Below are the prices of some boxes not including shipping.

  • OwlCrate:$29.99
  • Uppercase: $23.99
  • FairyLoot: $35
  • LitJoy Crate: $29.99

These four book sub boxes are probably some of the more popular boxes out there. The cheapest box is $23.99 and that alone is without shipping. For almost all of these, shipping is around 7 dollars. That is a lot of money, nearly 40 dollars for simply a book and some swag.

Now for me, I can totally understand the awesomeness of expecting such an adorable and fun package. But on the other hand, when I think of 40 dollars, I also think of how many more books I could buy with that money. I am a reader and I love books, swag is just an extra. It is hard for me to ask myself if it is worth it to pay for swag.

For some of these boxes, the final valued price of all the swag inside is worth more than the price that each box is selling for. That is great, clearly you are getting better than what you paid for. But what if I don’t want all that swag? What if I want to spend that money on useless RedBubble trifles?

I have only subscribed to Uppercase’s book box. Can you guess why? It was the cheapest. Yup. The book inside it was This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. I was pleased with the book choice, but the swag inside was meaningless to me. The swag was an exclusive bookish post it note set and some bookish pencils. Um, cool, but I probably won’t ever use this.

That is the main problem with some of these book subscription boxes. To be perfectly honest, I think that you are paying for the surprise. The surprise of seeing what you get. Which is nice, but I’m simply not willing to pay such a high amount for that.

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Do you subscribe to any book boxes? If so, which ones? Do you agree with me? Disagree?

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22 thoughts on “Discussion » Pricey Book Subscription Boxes

  1. I 100% agree with the fact that you’re paying for the surprise! It’s good that you recognize that and realize that it’s not worth it for you. As for me, I love love love the surprise aspect of the boxes. Love that it feels like my birthday every month. So of course, I subscribe to various boxes (:. That being said, I have a job that allows it to work out for my budget. If I was tight on funds, I don’t think I’d be subscribing, either!

    Ali @ the bandar blog 

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    1. I like the surprise aspect but in the end I can’t afford it! Lucky you have a job! I am jobless…but even if I did have a job I think I’d rather spend my money on more books than one book and some swag I won’t ever use

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  2. I totally understand where you’re coming from! I’ve been getting OwlCrate for a few months, but I’m going to have to cancel because it’s really expensive and just isn’t worth the money to me right now. I like getting swag, but I don’t need it. And as a college student, I really shouldn’t be spending so much money on it every month just because it’s a fun thing to get in the mail.
    There’s one subscription that comes to mind, Book of the Month, that may be a better option for you if you do want to get a subscription box but don’t care about the swag. I haven’t personally signed up for it (although I want to try it out soon when I have the money), but basically for one month you pay $17 (at least in the US) and if you sign up for a longer plan, you get a bit of a discount (for example, the three-month plan ends up only costing $15 per month and a twelve-month plan costs $12 per month). There are quite a few discount codes floating around too. You get to choose one of a few books each month and if you want to add more books, you can add more for I think $10 each. And it’s free shipping! May be worth looking into if you decide that you’d like a subscription box. 🙂

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  3. I agree with you 100%. I’ve recently purchased a Lit Cube box, and only with a coupon code did I buy it. I will be browsing different boxes but none that are too expensive, I am saving up money for school. So this will be my only subscription box for now. I’d rather buy books instead of a subscription box though you never know what you’ll get. I guess it just depends if you like being surprised or not.

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  4. I absolutely agree. I have owlcrate but I skip every other month just to afford it. I really wanted to subscribe to the bookworm box by Colleen Hoover because 100% of the profits go to charities but it’s nearly $50! I wanted to get a book subscription box for my son because book outlet just launched one for $26 free shipping but that’s still a lot for me when I can go buy him more books for that money.

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  5. I feel you so much! I live in Malaysia so these subscription boxes are definitely WAY OUT OF MY BUDGET and although there is on subscription box catering to Malaysian bookworms I really can’t spend so much money on a box that I might or might not like especially if I can get free books on Netgalley or buy books that I actually want. although sometimes the swag monster in me does feel envious 😥

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  6. They are ridiculously expensive indeed! And for someone who lives in Europe, the shipping costs are about the same as what the box costs. Luckily for me, I can plunder my husband’s credit card from time to time, but then when I see what I’m getting for $50-60 is obviously a joke compared to when I would’ve just bought all the items seperately myself. Yet the temptation remains! 😥

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  7. I totally understand what you mean! I’m not subscribing to any book boxes. I’m in college, so I don’t currently have exorbitant amounts of money to spend each month, so I’m really selective when it comes to deciding what I spend my money on. Seeing as I don’t read that much YA fiction and don’t care for half of the items in the boxes because it’s often merch for fandoms I don’t have a big interest in, the money is just not worth it. I do think it’s an incredibly fun idea though and of course there are some items I’d be incredibly happy to have, but in the end… I’d rather just buy a bunch of books because that’s more important 😛

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  8. I agree with this so much! I would love to purchase one of those boxes but they are too expensive, as a college student you have to watch what you are spending your money on and those just aren’t realistic. Maybe one day when I have a little extra cash from my birthday or a holiday I will get one, but for right now? I don’t see them to be an immediate necessity. Another concern is what if I don’t like the book that month? I just paid all this money and I am most likely going to send to book to one of my co-bloggers or give it away, sometimes they seem a little risky too.

    Amber ❤ The Book Bratz

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    1. I’m not in college yet but soon and I can totally imagine where you are coming from. Yes! There are so many people who don’t like the book and that is super frustrating especially if you order both OwlCrate and uppercase because sometimes they even give the same book!

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  9. I want some of these as well but I can never afford them. Mostly because of their price and then shipping for me if they even have it costs about $20 almost. But for you there is this book only box in which you only get two books, without any swag and it is about $15 for two books(shipping included) and you get to choose a Genre section. It’s called BookCase.Club http://www.bookcase.club/subscribe/

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  10. I was just talking about subscription boxes with my sister! I looked at one (Australian based) and shipping was just as much as the box ($30 + $29 shipping). I want to do one sometime but they are just too expensive when I can just buy most or all of the swag for less. 😀

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  11. I totally see where you’re coming from, but as far as I know that’s just a little bit above the average price for any subscription box. I’m not completely sure, but I think they’re all fairly expensive, especially for a teenager with no job or a part-time job. I have never subscribed to book boxes and though I sometimes think swag is pretty, there’s absolutely nothing I would do with it. I don’t bookstagram, so all those pins and bookmarks and whatnot would waste away in the back of a drawer somewhere. And the books? I might not even like it and I could purchase it for a third of the cost off of Amazon. Maybe someday when I’m ridiculously wealthy (hahaha), I’ll try out Owlcrate or Uppercase, but for now, they’re not for me.
    Great discussion topic!
    -Lish

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    1. Perhaps but the average is too expensive and is it really worth it? Yes, agreed a teenager with no job at all hahaha. I would try Uppercase first, their swag isn’t as great but it’s okay and it’s a bit cheaper than OwlCrate!

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