It goes by different names such as Auto Delivery, Auto Refill, Auto Renewal, Auto Shipment, and Auto Subscription, but has the same end results. You sign up to have products automatically sent to you on a regular basis (often every 30, 60, or 90 days). In exchange for participating in an auto delivery program, you receive discounts on the cost of products, free shipping, or the ability to freeze prices on those products at today’s levels. You participate in the program until you cancel or the company no longer offers the auto renewal on these products.
All sorts of items are available for auto delivery from a variety of companies. Cruising the web, I found that it is no problem to get automatically shipped:
- Cleaning Supplies
- Contact Lenses
- Face Cleanser
- Feminine Products
- Food Products (i.e. chicken, croissants, lobster, nut mixes, protein bars, steaks)
- Hair Dye
- Incontinence Products
- Infant Formula
- Laundry Detergent
- Makeup (i.e. foundation, lipstick, mascara)
- Magazine Subscriptions
- Meal Replacement Shakes
- Paper Products (i.e. plates and cups, toilet paper, towels)
- Pet Food and Flea and Tick Medicine
- Prescription Medicines
- Retinol Treatments
- Teeth Whitening Treatments
- Toothbrush Heads
- Weight Loss Supplements
Pros of Auto Delivery
Setting up products to be delivered to you on a automatic schedule can be helpful when they are things that you need and use regularly. For example, it can be tremendously helpful for a diabetic to have his or her blood sugar test strips and insulin administration supplies delivered to the home doorstep on a schedule. This automatic shipment can prevent the person from running out of critically needed medical products. Same goes for contacts, incontinence products, or other medically necessary items.
Auto renewal also has merits for products that you do use consistently because of the cost savings (in product and shipping cost discounts) that most often come along with it. The key phrase to emphasis here is “That You Consistently Use”. If you know from Your History of Use that you will consume a product at the rate it will be sent to you, then auto delivery is a smart play. Some of the products on the list above may fall into this category for you.
An absolute necessity for smart auto delivery management is to only use the service as long as you are regularly using the product. Read the fine print and know the cancellation policies thoroughly so that you are not left with a surplus of product that you will not use before it expires.
Cons of Auto Delivery
On of the biggest cons of auto delivery is that you must cancel in a timely fashion to get shipments to stop. If you know that you are a person who procrastinates or does not tend to stay on top of how much of a product that you have in your house, then auto delivery is probably not for you. When you let subscriptions continue when you are not regularly using what is sent to you, that is a money losing proposition.
Also, if you are using auto delivery for wants or desires rather than needs, you can find yourself stepping into a money drain. The product categories where you will most often find this to be the case are food and beauty and magazine subscriptions. For example, it is so fun to have that lobster to serve at Christmas dinner, why not get more sent to you every 90 days? Or that perfume smells so good, surely I will use it all time?
Well, ask yourself, do I really need regular lobster shipments that can run me well over a hundred dollars or that pricey perfume? Or are these items just luxuries? If you are unsure, use the products in question consistently over a period of six months before you sign up for auto delivery.
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