Overland subscription box? Would anyone be interested???

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PuraVida

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my wife and I are in the process of starting a monthly subscription box catered towards the overland community. Our goal is to provide useful gear, not trinkets and novelty items. We hope this will be a great resource for those new to the overland life to get some good gear to start outfitting their kit. At the same time hopefully help expose our seasoned overland subscribers to new useful gear that they did not know about.
Our plan is to have two size boxes each month, one would be a basic, we are calling it the explorer, with 3-4 items that would be more geared to the camp aspect. The second box (called the overlander) would have the same things but would also contain something for the vehicle, i.e. vehicle lights, switch kits, Jerry can, those sorts of things.

I am looking for feedback.... of any kind. Would it be something anyone would be interested in. What kind of price point would you be willing to pay? Would you want one really good product and a few smaller things or or just a couple of good products?
Price point for the explorer would be around $45-50 and the overlander we have not quite nailed down yet.
 

Tim

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Interesting idea. I was going to dismiss it thinking well I probably have all that stuff already or I might need the content one month and not the next so what would I do with the stuff I didn't need. You've probably thought of that already? I also thought, actually this is a great idea for spreading the cost of getting equipped for a trip. My next thought was perhaps the content might contain materials that might get me out there and exploring, like maps and trail guides or navigation aids like gps and compass. Maybe that's another box? The Explorer box? I'm not sure how much I'd pay for the Overlander box... I'm thinking to be quality items they could be quite expensive and then you'd need to cover the postage too.


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Young Satchel

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I think this is a cool idea, but would be extremely difficult to pull off such that is was both a success from the customer satisfaction and ROI angles.

Overlanders and outdoor adventurers are picky folks. As a niche-demographic I would argue that we are going to be hard-pressed to buy into the idea of a subscription box for our vehicle-dependent adventure travel desires. The thought, Care, and research that goes into gear acquisition is something that I enjoy almost as much as the gear itself. I try to vet it thoroughly, and make sure it will meet my needs well before I actually buy it. When I buy it, I like cross-shopping different retailers to find the best price, shipping costs, delivery timeline, etc. while I am certain that not EVERYONE is like me, most genuine enthusiasts of any stripe that I have encountered tend to operate in a similar manner.

While I think the "surprise factor" has some potential in the smaller box, I think the larger box may be problematic from both a retailer and consumer perspective. How to procure a high-quality substantial piece of relevant gear at a cost that allows you a decent margin without dumping that margin on the consumer is the first hurdle. Then you have to ensure that whatever that piece is, it will be "cross-compatible" enough that a given percentage of your subscribers will actually like it.

I would reckon Most of us aren't 20-something-to-early 30s bachelors working our way up in finance who don't have the time to select the right apricot scrub (although I'm wiling to be wrong here ). In large part, birchbox and others like them thrive on a certain lack of customer education. The Sub-box model proposes that there is value in the box maker's curatorial skills. I wonder how that will stack up in a community like ours that ultimately values experience and knowledge over the producers themselves?

This is the "hole-poking" process I undergo anytime I hear an idea. My wife hates me for it . I don't mean to discourage you outright, I just think there are several factors that need serious consideration in order to give such a venture any chance of success.

I'm really curious to follow along with this and see where you go!


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PuraVida

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Great thoughts! I have worried about all of the points y'all have brought up, and honestly don't have an answer to all off them. There are few other boxes out there that cater to the ultra light backpacking crowd, or the regular camping crowd. So I am fairly confident....ish.... that we can get the 'explorer' box up and running, the 'overlander' I am not sure how that is going to look or work out. I would love to keep it universal as possible but I am not sure how possible that would be for a given amount of time, especially if I am trying to avoid 'gimmicky' items. Now there could be a way to gather vehicle info (make/model) and then send out a product that matches....
We are excited to see how this goes! I will keep y'all in the loop of our progress!


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[DO]Ron

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The thing with boxes like this is that.. as the name says.. are subscriptions. I don't have money like that available every month. The overlander box might be getting pretty expensive as well.

Maybe just have the explorer box as a subscription. And then have random surprise boxes that are one off without subscription? Maybe have something special in them that you advertise and have more suprise stuff in it..

Subscription boxes always intrigue me.. but the costs of them.. i don't feel comfortable with that. And most of them don't even ship to europe so.. hava.

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Craig M

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My wife bought me a subscription to Cairn a while back and I kept it active for a little over a year before cancelling. I liked the idea, and generally there were at least a coupe of items each month that I liked, but I ultimately cancelled as the quality of items they were sending started to deteriorate rapidly.

One thing I liked about their service was that it was a good price point. I think it was like $25 a month, and you probably got $40 - $50 in value. I think a price point over $30 - $40 is going to significantly lower your number of subscribers, so maybe offer at least two options like some do. Lower priced then one or two higher, which gets you more stuff.

One thing you might consider is to do a bi-monthly box (every other month) or even quarterly at first, instead of monthly. That way you can bump the price a bit and offer better items. This will also give you more time in between to better select items.

Good luck with your endeavor!
 
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Raul B

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I had thought about doing something like this myself but came up with too many negatives. What can you offer that someone already doesn't have? So instead of offering monthly subscriptions I'm going to offer up "kits" that can just be purchased instead of subscription based. That way people can just purchase the kits they don't already have.

Wish you the best......

-Raul
 

PuraVida

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I'm going to bump this because I really am curious what the community thinks about this product.
What kind of gear would you be looking for in such a subscription box?


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Cemeb4dk

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Cool idea but as others have stated is the problem with subscription boxes is you may not be interested or need a certain month theme. There is a box service that kind of solves the issue. https://www.iraqveteran8888.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html take a look at how they do it. They give you a theme for the next month, and you have til the 15th or so to order to receive the next month's box. I believe this helps them order enough of the product and not have loads left over. And as a subscriber your not locked in or commited. If the box interests you , you order if not wait til next month.

Which ever way you go good luck in your endeavours

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PuraVida

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Cool idea but as others have stated is the problem with subscription boxes is you may not be interested or need a certain month theme. There is a box service that kind of solves the issue. https://www.iraqveteran8888.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html take a look at how they do it. They give you a theme for the next month, and you have til the 15th or so to order to receive the next month's box. I believe this helps them order enough of the product and not have loads left over. And as a subscriber your not locked in or commited. If the box interests you , you order if not wait til next month.

Which ever way you go good luck in your endeavours

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That is a very valid point. And at least for the higher box we would really work at finding things that are universal and something you can't have to many of, i.e. LED light pods, recovery gear, phone/tablet mounts, fuel cans, small tool kits. And the list goes on
Will that help them sell and keep subscribers? I am curious enough to give it a try.
 
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[DO]Ron

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Also think about shipping costs.. most subscription boxes i see have little stuff in them.. if you are going to ship stuff like fuel cans the weight and size of the packages go up a lot i guess.

But overlanding is booming.. the whole thing might work. As long as you advertise it correctly.. the best ideas go unnoticed because of poor advertising. And for a subscription box ob might not be the best place to start. Most people are kitted out or just looking for specifics.

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TnK1

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That is a very valid point. And at least for the higher box we would really work at finding things that are universal and something you can't have to many of, i.e. LED light pods, recovery gear, phone/tablet mounts, fuel cans, small tool kits. And the list goes on
Will that help them sell and keep subscribers? I am curious enough to give it a try.
I would be more likely to do this vs a full subscription box, I've never quite found a box i liked but I do follow the IV8888 boxs


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Young Satchel

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I made several "small box-worthy" purchases as part of my larger basecamp reboot/vehicle preparedness initiative (more about this elsewhere later)

A couple bits and bobs that could potentially be of interest.

- Dynaplug compact Tire Repair Tool
- Set of retractable ratchet straps (sooooo nice to not have tangles. Will they hold up for the long-haul? Not sure
- You could partner with Blue ridge Overland and offer some of their MOLLE interior organizing components. Everyone loves them :-) I purchased the seat back panel a while ago and have been adding modular small pouches as needed.
- ARB snatch Strap
- Soft Shackles (these are a great price point, light, ship easy, and everyone could always use another even if they have a couple)
- various small LED illumination products. I have a small stick that can clip to sun visor, clip to hood of engine bay, attach to a hat, etc.
- Overland Journal or other related print publications, books, zones, etc. the print renaissance is real.

I've got other ideas but my kids are up and demanding waffles!

I think marketing and customer research is absolutely crucial--perhaps the "make or break" of the whole endeavor--but more specifics there later....


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Tim

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Cool idea but as others have stated is the problem with subscription boxes is you may not be interested or need a certain month theme. There is a box service that kind of solves the issue. https://www.iraqveteran8888.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html take a look at how they do it. They give you a theme for the next month, and you have til the 15th or so to order to receive the next month's box. I believe this helps them order enough of the product and not have loads left over. And as a subscriber your not locked in or commited. If the box interests you , you order if not wait til next month.

Which ever way you go good luck in your endeavours

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In a similar theme to this idea my niece signed up to a scheme for sports goods where they take an amount of money per month unless you pause it for a month (you have to do this by a certain date). Maybe you give the option to pause on months where people might not want stuff.


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PuraVida

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Thanks guys for the great ideas! If y'all care to follow along we are on Facebook and instagram.

[EDIT] Deleted links as this thread went from asking about suggested content to an advertisement, which is not permitted.
 
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PuraVida

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Thanks guys for the great ideas! If y'all care to follow along we are on Facebook and instagram.

[EDIT] Deleted links as this thread went from asking about suggested content to an advertisement, which is not permitted.
Hey Steve sorry wasn't thinking when I posted that! Good catch!


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Young Satchel

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Really? I'm curious why linking to Facebook and Instagram content is considered undesirable advertising assuming it is from a regular member here. I'm curious to see what he's up to personally


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Steve

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Really? I'm curious why linking to Facebook and Instagram content is considered undesirable advertising assuming it is from a regular member here. I'm curious to see what he's up to personally
Yep, as @PuraVida noted, the thread was originally about discussing if folks buy subscription boxes, and if there would be any interest in one geared toward overlanding. Then in the edited post, he posted direct links to his store accounts, which is advertising.