Technology News

This Sugar Daddy Website Wants A Slice Of The $5 Billion Subscription Box Market

It’s amazing how quickly Sugar Daddy websites and related services have become entrenched in American society, with numerous competing companies offering different ways for older men to liaise with young women — for a mutually assured benefit. It’s considered so normal, that Brandon Wade, CEO of Seeking Arrangement regularly serves as a talking head on TV shows and in magazines. Then again, his company reportedly makes $30 to $40 million a year in revenue, so by some standards, he epitomizes the successful businessman living out his version of the American dream.

In what seems like an obvious publicity attempt — but nonetheless, a weirdly compelling business story —, a clear competitor to, has made its first foray into the subscription box sphere, naming their monthly mailer boxes, priced from $189, ‘A Little Something Extra.’ It’s only available to paid up members, (who pay $39.95 to $69.95 a month) so you won’t see it on their website, but once enrolled, the sugardaddies can customize it, for example, adding shoe sizes so their babies get the right sneakers. The tagline for the fitness box: She'll be raring to go after every workout!

This seems a weird move, but, like everything the sugar daddy industry does, there's a lot of strategy involved.

Today, subscription boxes are worldwide phenomena, allowing people to purchase monthly surprise packages of everything from makeup, food, fashion and fitness gear to geek and gaming equipment. In 2014 it was estimated that subscription box services made $5 billion in revenue, and many of the companies don’t even buy the products they post — they get samples for free in order to market to passionate consumers. The sugar daddy implication is clear: high net worth individuals providing products for their babies — who, if they adore their items, could theoretically request their daddies to buy them more of those brands. But that’s an ideal use scenario — it doesn't necessarily mean it will pan out.

"Subscription boxes aren't always the no-fail solution they're cracked up to be," wrote Robbie Kellman Baxter, author of The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue, in a recent press release. “In theory, they're a great way to get the supplies you need and want. But often they're not a perfect fit for every consumer.” Baxter highlights that out of 9,000+ subscription boxes, not everyone will be a great fit — sugarbaby or consumer alike. "Subscription boxes are always exciting in the beginning, but they could lose their luster once you start accumulating too much 'stuff' you don't really want or need," she said. "Don't get sucked into the appeal of getting a surprise each month. You could always just buy exactly what you need, when you need it, instead."

Currently, Arrangement offers three boxes, the Seduction Scene, My Beautiful bay and Fit and Fierce. Basically, that breaks down into a sexy box, one filled with beauty products, and one with fitness gear — so your baby always stays in shape. The traditional sub-box model has users pay a set amount each month for a range of ‘surprise items’ the agreed consensus being that the value you’ll receive will normally be at least double or triple the cost of the subscription.

Out of the three boxes they’re creating, it seems like the beauty and fitness ones are full of items sugar babies might actually like, while the bedroom version is basically tailored to the daddies fantasy — here’s a gift for you that’s really for me, and so on.

The company rep told me that their Fit & Fierce box was already sold out, and sent me an assortment of items from the ‘My Beautiful Baby’ and ‘Seduction Scene’ box for me to assess. box promotion

What’s in the box:

A note — no boxes have the same items, and most will be more specific to the subject/ mine was a mix of beauty and seduction.

How they’re described:

Seduction Scene: The Seduction Scene box will get you both in the mood to play! Items include gorgeous lingerie, seductive outfits, and toys for one and for two (!), games, videos and magazines, lavish sheets, premium candles and massage oils.

My Beautiful Baby: She'll be delighted to get ready for you on every date! Items include monogrammed makeup case, travel cosmetics for a weekend away, high-end perfumes, premium makeup and bath products, moisturizers and luxurious hair products.

Fit & Fierce: She'll be raring to go after every workout! Items include: high-end workout and loungewear, superior products like the newest water bottles, running shoes, cooling towels and the electronic gear that makes it fun, like wireless headphones, fitness tracking bands and premium music subscriptions.

The contents:

For my description, I used a template based on My Subscription Addiction, a subscription box review website that gets millions of hits per month. Prices are the best estimate I got from online searches.

Zara Stone Contents of the box

Honeydew sensual massage oil 8.0z $11.36, Amazon Shibari Mini Halo Wireless Vibrator, $21.95 Amazon 2x Rock Candy sugar lollipop, estimated $2 Amazon $4 Spice Bondage Candle, est. $7 Amazon Jelly Belly Bubbly beans, $6.99 Jelly Belly One Beauty is Timeless Cedarwood Bath Bomb, approx $3 for one from Sensible Needs Arbonne RE9 Advanced Eye Cream, $39.99 from eBay Arbonne Intensive Renewal Serum, $66 Amazon Two Lulu DK for Clinique makeup bags (two sizes) Inside: Lulu DK for Clinique Eye and Blush Palette Sample size Clinique Turnaround Daytime Moisturizer Sample size Clinique Mascara Clinique Matte Crimson Red Lipstick — estimated $27 on Amazon for all the above as a travel set. (some different miniatures). It’s also a free gift with purchase of $27 or above at Macy’s.(Noted due to blogger SmallDreams17’s YouTube review). Total estimated value of items: $185.29

Zara Stone Box contents

That’s four dollars less than the cost of the subscription box, and as a subscription box user, I’d expect the actual value to be at least $270 — the idea is to get more than you paid for in product choices.

To figure out how this happened, I wanted to understand more about how the boxes were curated, and who picked out each item but was told that it was done by the company, with no further clarification. For example — does a man pick out the items? A woman? A sugar baby? An Amazon robot who inputted ‘love’ and ‘sleep’ into its database? We may never know.

For now, the boxes are for a heteronormative audience, but the company said they’ll be launching a subscription box for Sugar Mommies and the LGBT sugar community soon — if you’re going to objectify, at least do it equally, right?

Based on the quality and cost of products received, it seems that this probably isn't the best use of a sugar daddy’s hard earned money — the idea may have come from the right place but they’ll need to up their game if they want to be actually viable in this marketplace. But if you're a sugardaddy looking for a gift without having to put any thought into it, maybe it's not such a bad deal after all.