Cratejoy Review: Start Your Own Subscription Business With Marketing in Place

If you go to Cratejoy as a consumer, you'll find a multitude of subscription boxes to fit your own tastes. Would you like to get comic books delivered to your door every day? Chances are you'll be able to find a box. Would you rather a book every month with beautiful literature and poetry? There's a box for that as well. Cratekoy is an incredible marketplace for searching and finding some of the most interesting things in life, then having them sent directly to you.

What's even more intriguing is the fact that anyone can sign up to sell their own subscription boxes.

With a full-service support team, decent pricing and a full scale marketplace for getting the word out about your subscription box, Cratejoy takes subscriptions to the next level.

I've always been entranced by the subscription industry, partly because it's a tough way to make a profit. That said, many of the companies are extremely successful, and even the smaller, less profitable ones open customers up to all sorts of fun, creative and educational ideas and products.

Cratejoy Features

The Beautiful Marketplace

One of the main reasons most subscriptions companies list on Cratejoy is because of the marketplace. It works similar to Etsy or Amazon, where the vendors can share their own products (in this case subscription boxes,) then thousands of customers come to the marketplace to see which boxes they would like to sign up for. Cratejoy reports that 30,000 customers stop by the site on a daily basis, which removes the need for doing much marketing to start, and you can keep on all of your sales in one place.

The good news is that it also allows you to integrate their shopping cart with your current website if you have one.

Customizable Subscriptions

Subscriptions are the core of the Cratejoy platform. Therefore, it makes sense that you have full creative control over the types of subscription offers. For example, Cratejoy lets you setup discounts for customers who prepay, along with options for calendar renewal dates.

Subscription variations are useful as well, giving your customers a chance to select how often they would like to get a box.

A Clean Dashboard for Managing Things Like Subscriber Accounts

The dashboard is about as powerful and simple as they come. One of the areas I like the most is the subscriber account management section. It displays all of the subscribers, and you can update everything from billing information to referal program status.

Solid Product Pages

Try-Shopify

The product pages have variations, so if you'd like to ask customers their size or what color they want, that's an option. They also have support for product images and reviews, building your credibility in the process.

Tons of Built-in Marketing Options

Although the marketplace is going to be plenty of marketing for some companies, they take it up a notch with referral programs, coupons, social media integration, email marketing and recurring discounts. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Cratejoy Pricing

It's refreshing to see when companies come along and have extremely simple pricing plans. What's better than multiple simple plans? Only one!

That's the case with Cratejoy, since they offer one payment plan of $39 per month.

Keep in mind that this doesn't include transaction fees.

They have two types of transaction fees:

  • Any sale made through the Cratejoy platform: 1.25% + $0.10
  • Sales made when you list your subscription service in the Cratejoy marketplace: 10%
  • (These don't include whatever credit card fees you're responsible for)

That 10% sounds like a large number, but they do give you significant marketing reach, considering the marketplace sees over 500K customers per month. That's not too bad since you don't have to spend a dime looking for your own customers.

Overall, I'd argue that the $39 per month pricing is pretty solid. The transaction fee is low, and the marketplace fee is to be expected.

The only part that rubs me the wrong way is that you still have to pay for that general 1.25% + $0.10 transaction fee when listing in the marketplace. Therefore, you can expect to be charged the 1.25% + $0.10 on top of the 10%.

CrateJoy Support

The team offers a full support team with a ticketing system and everything. I don't see any phone numbers of live chats, so you'll have to stick with email or a support ticket.

That said, you also gain access to an exceptional number of resources such as a knowledge base with articles, a full merchant community for chatting with other merchants and a blog to see what's going on with updates and the company in general.

They even have several social media networks that are often more effective when looking for a quick answer to a question.

Overall, the support looks wonderful. However, since this is a large marketplace I would hope they add more support options through the phone or maybe even some options to speak with dedicated representatives if you pay a little extra cash.

Who Should Consider Cratejoy?

Since the monthly pricing is at $39, that might make it a little tough for entrepreneurs who are really strapped for cash. However, if you can muster up that $39 every month, all of the other fees are pretty much risk free. I definitely think they get you with the fee combinations for the marketplace, but in Cratejoy's defense, you're saving lots of money not spending it on your own marketing.

In addition, you only have to pay those fees when you make a sale.

Seeing as how the fees might cut into your profits a little too much, I recommend CrateJoy to folks just getting started with their subscription boxes. This way you have a chance to get the word out instead of forking over tons of cash on marketing expenses. Growing companies will obviously try to keep sales on their own websites, but they  could also serve as another outlet, similar to Amazon.

If you have any questions about this CrateJoy review, feel free to drop a line in the comments section below. Also, share your thoughts if you've tested this solution in the past.

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a freelance writer who creates tools and resources to help other writers get more productive and market their work.

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