Is Subscribe & Save Worth It?
Updated: Dec 2, 2019
If you’re anything like the average American, chances are you’ve not only been on Amazon, but you’ve been shopping on there quite a few times. We don’t blame you! It’s a great place to find everything you need.
If you’re anything like us, you get your basics on Amazon so that you don’t have to waste time at the store every week. In addition, claims that Amazon saves you money could also bring you online for your daily shopping needs.
That’s why many people use a feature called Subscribe & Save. Now, customers like us can skip the local market, get cheaper products online, and save even more through regular reordering discounts.
What is Subscribe & Save?
If you’re thinking, “Hey Popcart, What are you talking about?” Then, it’s time for a quick lesson. Amazon Subscribe & Save is a buying option on many “essentials” like groceries, household supplies, and personal care items.
If you choose this payment method, you’ll get the item shipped to you at set intervals with the claim that you will save money over buying the item on your own when it’s needed. For example, you might set your account to order certain household essentials bi-weekly, and other supplies every two to six months.
In doing so, you’ll get a small discount since Amazon knows you’ll be a repeat customer. According to Amazon, you can save up to 15% when you get five Subscribe & Save orders at once.* In addition, you’ll get free shipping even if you’re not a prime member and the ability to cancel or postpone shipments at any time.
If you think this all seems too good to be true, you might be right.
Is Subscribe & Save worth it?
A question, we think, is not asked often enough. Sure, Amazon might have a good pitch for their program, but there are issues with how the program is structured that can actually cost you more money.
While you might think you’re saving by ordering household cleaning supplies on repeat, you could be losing money and even precious storage space! That’s why chances are, you, and your wallet will be better off thinking twice about Subscribe & Save.
Four Reasons Why Subscribe & Save Isn’t Worth It
1. The Subscribed Price is NOT Guaranteed
According to Business Insider,* Amazon changes the prices of items 2.5 million times a day, that means the average item chances price every 10 minutes; something called dynamic pricing. 13 Action News brought a good example of this to light with Folgers Coffee. At $6 in June, $12 in August, and $7 in September the lack of fixed-rate pricing could have you paying times more than you expected.*
However, you don’t just risk losing $6 on one coffee order, the price change could be much higher. According to the New York Times*, one customer was shocked when his $10 box of chewing gum jumped to $100. He didn’t realize the price change until he was charged the $100.
2. Their Schedule Won’t Always Match Yours
There are many cases where Subscribe & Save will not give you what you need when you need it. While things like dog food might sound like good things to put on repeat; the reality is, you’ll either get the food before or even worse, after you need it. Our team dog at Popcart, Basil, would not be happy.
Think about how many times you’ve needed milk or eggs when you thought you had enough. You can quickly see how this could be bad for your pet’s only food source. It’s not just limited to dog food, though.
If you choose to Subscribe & Save on diapers, you run the risk of not having enough of something more than vital! While Subscribe & Save makes online shopping seem even easier, sometimes “the old-fashioned” is just better.
3. Bulk Sizes Aren’t Best for Everyone
A large percentage of the products eligible for Subscribe & Save are bulk quantities that eat up valuable space, yet aren't much cheaper, if any cheaper, than their regular-sized equivalents.
So while not having to worry about toilet paper might sound good, the growing mountain of it in the corner of your bathroom (since you might not have space for it anywhere else) might not be so pleasing.
Bulk shopping can be especially perilous for those in tiny homes, studios, dorms, or other places with limited storage space. Sure, smaller packaging can cost more. However, make sure the bulk option is something you have space for until it’s used up.
Do you want to bust more myths around buying in bulk? Check out this post we did last week!
4. You Can’t Use Price Comparison
The last straw in the box for Amazon’s Subscribe & Save is, in our opinion, the most important. As we’ve talked about before, comparing pricing online is the best way to ensure you find the best price for what you are looking for.
Online stores make saving money and comparison shopping much easier than it used to be. In addition, new tools like the Popcart price comparison Chrome Extension mean you’ll never have to worry about manually comparing website prices or product listings.
However, you can’t use this price comparison tool if you have Subscribe & Save turned on. That means missing out on price drops across different sizes and even stores! While you do have to order your product each time you are about to run out, we’ll compare website listings to make sure you’re getting the best deals each time.
That means more money in your pocket and your products when you need them.
So What Does All This Mean?
A product you subscribe to today could change prices tomorrow, and based on the data above, this happens all the time. Yet, buying things exactly when you need them can be hard to time just right. As a consumer, it doesn’t feel great to have to time sales and monitor the price of products just to get the best deal. However, there is a way that you can buy goods regularly and not worry about prices changing.
That’s Where Popcart Comes In
You should be getting the best price, every time you shop, without worry. Sign up for Popcart, the price comparison Chrome Extension that makes sure you’re getting the most for your money every time you order and helps you save some money along the way. are
Unit Price Comparison: Each time you order, we’ll make sure you pick the size with the best unit price. That means more for your money, guaranteed.
Multi-Store Check: The internet isn’t just Amazon, as much as it seems like it is. Stores like Target and Walmart could have what you’re looking for even cheaper than Amazon.
Check More Than Size: If the product you’re looking for comes in multiple sizes, colors, or scents, then Popcart will make sure you see what items is most cost-effective across all factors.
For you, these background checks mean having the dog food when you need it and the extra money for when you want it. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want free money?