Pros and Cons of Merchandise Subscriptions

  • By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com
  • 11 Sep, 2016
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Many who struggle with organization struggle with one or more of the following issues: issues with quantities and having more than is useful, issues with consumption and buying more than is useful, or issues with time management and challenges with attention span. So when I see the trend in the merchandise subscriptions who will send […] The post Pros and Cons of Merchandise Subscriptions appeared first on www.ColumbusClosets.com.
Many who struggle with organization struggle with one or more of the following issues: issues with quantities and having more than is useful, issues with consumption and buying more than is useful, or issues with time management and challenges with attention span.
So when I see the trend in the merchandise subscriptions who will send unspecified merchandise on a regular basis to members based on a profile, it gives me pause. This can be in the form of clothing, jewelry, or beauty products, and specialty foods. Some convenience companies offer the opportunity to return anything unwanted, for others, you agree to keep what is provided. I don’t usually write opinion pieces, but I can’t imagine a more dangerous consumption pattern for those who struggle with organization.
On the positive side, if you are someone who is new to a product line or has trouble pulling together an outfit, this type of service offers the potential to be exposed to merchandise you may have never otherwise tried. In addition, it eliminates the time commitment of shopping for such items.
But there are also drawbacks with receiving “surprise” merchandise. If you haven’t decided you want something or need something, there generally is not a reason to make a purchase. We become passive consumers instead of savvy shoppers when we receive items whose value we have not identified, or when quality and best price have not been considered. Admiring an item is not the same as wanting to purchase an item. Imagine that you are window shopping: you like all of the things that you see and appreciate how attractive they are, but you choose not to purchase because you don’t want or need it. Recieving items in the mail which may at first appear interesting but aren’t actually desired, is the equivalent of receiving the items in the window display.
Receiving something random in the mail may stimulate the pleasant feeling of receiving a gift, but the unconscious reception of goods likely results in receiving unwanted merchandise. Like gifts from well-meaning friends and family, it is so easy to miss the mark.
Once the initial feeling of interest has passed, you are left with a relic that will need to be managed, i.e, stored, maintained, paid for. Or if you don’t like it, you must take the time to return the item. So many clients struggle with completing returns that the errand often doesn’t get completed. Now we are putting time toward managing this item that we did not intentionally decide to bring into our home.
Another concern is waste. Many of the convenience services for beauty products send random sample-size items. Like the “free” cosmetics we receive with purchase, many of these items don’t get used and go to waste. Are we just throwing it away? Are we having it pile up in a drawer? The potential for waste is concerning.
From an organizational point of view, I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. But for those who have tried convenience services, I would love to hear your experience and tips for managing unwanted items. For more discussion about organization, visit us at http://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com
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