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An Update from MSA on COVID-19

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanMar 13, 2020 | 95 comments

To our MSA Readers,

I hope you and your family are doing well and staying healthy and safe.

To me, subscriptions have always been about treating yourself, providing a great value or convenience, and helping you discover products that you make your life better. And we always want MSA to feel the same way. A site that you enjoy visiting, where you can take some time for yourself, a site that helps you find the right products and subscriptions that are best for you, and a community that makes that experience even better.

With that in mind, and in light of the spread of COVID-19, here’s how we plan on moving forward in the next few weeks:

We’ll continue to post spoilers, news, deals, and reviews as always. (Some reviews may be a little delayed as we work out the logistics of everyone working from home.)

And we’ll also cover some subscriptions that can make life right now easier and less stressful. (See my recent Thrive Market review for example.)

Are there any subscription services (anything from toilet paper subscriptions to streaming services) that you’d like us to review? Please let us know in the comments.


Liz Cadman
Liz Cadman
Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She's been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

Liz Cadman
Liz Cadman
Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She's been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
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I do think that halting all NEW swaps is the best course of action. However….I think all open swaps should be completed. It basically amounts to swaplifting in my opinion to have no clear notion of when you May receive your side of a swap that could be worth a great deal of money. I did everything I could to make certain that my end of all my open swaps was mailed out. I would have felt very badly had I not done this. IT IS VERY EASY AND POSSIBLE IN EVERY STATE TO HAVE PICK UP AT YOUR DOOR FOR PACKAGES BEUNG MAILED. Yeah, I put that in all caps because I wanted the people in back to hear it. You don’t need to risk your health to mail your side of the swap. And it’s easy enough weigh, if you don’t have a scale or kitchen scale, then if it’s over 1 pound, use your bathroom scale. This is not about selfishness, it’s about honoring agreements that have many ways of being taken care of. If your swap partner doesn’t feel comfortable receiving a package from you, that’s different, but other than that. I think MSA should stand behind honoring all current swaps that are open.

Tara W

I agree. It should have only been new swaps. This thing could be going on for six weeks (best case scenario). It could also be five months, eighteen months, who knows. An agreement between two parties should NOT be hanging out there for months and not finalized. Enough with trying to guilt people for actually getting what they “paid” for.


Tara then use this time to start your own swap site and make the rules. I hope you don’t get sick and realize how completely petty some of you sound crying about swaps and sub boxes. Some of us have actually lost someone to this virus.


To be frank if you are concerned about swaps right now you really need a reality check. Swaplifting is a ridiculous thing to even be thinking about right now and is basically a fart in a hurricane. Yes you are being selfish no matter how much you want to pretend that you aren’t.


It will be interesting to see the effect on all the boxes in the next few months

I m still subbing to a few boxes. Yet have been canceling subscriptions due to focussing on items I need verses want. I am worried about not only the short term yet long term effects on the economy.

Jewelry boxes are not a need. I could justify a beauty box with shampoo, and soap more then a beauty box. Even if it’s a face cleanser verses a necklace.


Consider bringing back the forum. We need community right now, particularly for many isolated at home.


Msa chat would also be great.


I know many people are concerned about receiving packages. According to laboratory findings the virus can survive on hard/smooth surfaces like stainless steel or plastic for up to 72 hours and on rough surfaces like cardboard for up to 24 hours. I have the link to that specific study but I don’t think I can post it here.

You can purchase postage through paypal or Pirateship and order a carrier pick up on the USPS website. They will pick up your packages for free right from your porch. You don’t even have to open the door. You will need a postage scale to weigh your package.


I don’t believe the temperatures are sufficient for it to survive on a mail journey, which is what I read. Probably good to do a little googling if anyone wants to know.


Would you look into reviewing Intoverts Retreat and Peace & Pages? Thanks for considering readers’ suggestions.❤️


I don’t know if it’s been stated, but reviews on activity boxes for kids would be great. Pinterest is great but a box with specific directions and parts would be really convenient right now.


To be more specific, updated reviews on activity boxes for little kids, 1-3 would be great.


Never mind previous comment I missed it.


I don’t see any mention of them working from home but I know several reviewers don’t work in the office.


Maybe postpone swaps?


My good friend is the director of the State Board of Health of a MAJOR city. If mail is/was a concern, it would’ve been halted in January. While the virus has been detected on some surfaces after a couple of days, it wasn’t necessarily transmissible. The risk of transmission by mail has been deemed HIGHLY unlikely, even with overnight packages. This includes in countries that have had large outbreaks, such as Italy, which halted and then resumed mail service after mail delivery wasn’t deemed a risk. Just an FYI for those interested. 🤷‍♀️

Ragan Buckley

For what it’s worth, I have heard exactly the same things. Italians are still getting their mail, if a bit belatedly.


I agree … there needs to be something on the swap page saying due to the pandemic that swaps can be postponed till the end of march.

Around here many restaurants are now closed

I was ok swapping and going to the post office last week. Yet the pandemic is getting worse daily

I have 3 swaps I need to mail off. I m hoping the swappers will be understanding and be ok with me mailing the swaps off at least a week late


Also, you can be proactive and wipe down packages you recieve with alcohol wipes before bringing into your home. Not only could the sender be a carrier for the virus, but also the delivery person.


Mail your swaps from home. Get a label from online postage. I would be upset if I had someone just decide not to send my stuff. Itll be even worse outside next week. Mail it now while you can.



Could you please place something on the swap page about the virus and people needing to postpone shipping of swaps till the end of march ….

Stores, and restaurants are closing, people are working from home. We all need to limit our exposure to people….now is not the time to worry about getting to the post office to mail off swaps …. preswaps and swaps are still ok because of no exposure…yet anything else needs to be postponed…


Because the virus can live on surfaces for days.


Thanks for the update, Liz. And thanks for allowing the MSA team to WFH. My team started WFH on Thursday; late yesterday we received word that it’s now “until further notice.” I saw this on Twitter and it’s really been resonating with me:
“You won’t ever know if what you did personally helped. That’s the nature of public health. When the best way to save lives is to prevent a disease, rather than treat it, success often looks like an overreaction.”


AmyM that is a GREAT quote!! Thank you for sharing.


Thrive Market is nothing like Costco. They carry very limited brands and for very specific diets. Right now their shipping is delayed 1-2 weeks. At this time when people are scrambling for groceries, Thrive Market is a terrible recommendation.

Beth in Oklahoma

Agreed. Glanced at it, but not my thing at all. The delivery appeals, but not their selection.


Does anybody else have concerns about swapping or is it just me? I have never thought twice about who I was sending my packages to/who was sending it to me, and I have only had one issue in 425+ swaps… but now I worry, if I swap with someone in a highly contaminated area, should I be wiping down/spraying down the things I get before I bring them inside? I am considered a high risk person, so I have been doing it with my other packages from Amazon, etc.


If it helps the virus can only last 6 to 12 hours without a human host


I don’t/didn’t have any concerns with continuing to swap and just received my most recent swap yesterday. However, in the week or so that has passed since I made that swap, my area has been hit with corona virus. It’s not in my specific city, but it’s all around us. I’m not super concerned about contamination through sending packages, but I am very concerned with the added risk of going out in public to mail my packages at the post office. It seems to be a much higher risk that you’ll contract the virus by being in close proximity of a person who has it. Given that it’s in my area, I’m trying to do my part to socially distance myself from others, including having my groceries and pet supplies delivered for the next few weeks/months. I’m doing my best to not go out and do anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, because that’s the best thing everyone can do to help is limit interaction. As far as swaps go, I think it’s highly likely you’ll be ok as long as your locations aren’t current hot spots for the virus. Of course if you’re high risk, it’s probably best not to take any chances, no matter how unlikely.


PayPal has a “secret“ shipping website that you could use instead of the post office and just put your outgoing packages in the mailbox.


I ve swapped over 800 times

I m more concerned about getting swaps out just in case the post office closes.

I normally open all my swaps at once and I open them in the kitchen next to the trash can so I discard packacking in the garbage can and clean the counter afterwards

I m not at all concerned about swapping. It keeps my mind off the virus and boxes and swaps are still my expensive fun hobby


I’m not sure we know how long the virus can live on a surface, all we know is “a few days”.
With that in mind, if you are high risk, you might want to take a vacation from swapping for the time being.


I read last night that it is normally live on a hard surface for 2 weeks. And one test person was contagious for 19 days. I have to stop swapping for now.


Up to 8 days on surfaces


I’d love to see a review of the Sago Mini box


My anxiety has led me to believe that one sick mail person can wipe out entire zip codes. That’s it. That’s the post…


I’m with you. I think the same thing……… I am becoming a hermit.


This was one update that I was happy to read. MSA has been a safe haven for a lot of us, and it’s great to know that you are sticking with us. Wishing everyone good health!
Has anyone else pondered the idea of actually being stuck indoors with your family for an extended period of time?? I love, love my family and cherish the time that I have to spend with them but…well, good luck everyone 🙂

Christine G.

Hahaha! That’s almost more terrifying than the illness itself!


And after posting that, I thought maybe there could be some good box ideas there. Things to help keep our sanity! Escape boxes are fun, I wonder if there are any that are good for parents with children? What boxes would be good to spend time with family?


Peach Luxury Toilet Paper subscription!


I never heard of that one and looked it up. It is quite pricey! It says it starts at $24 with 8 rolls of tissue. I realize tissue is hard to find right now, but dang!


I am excited for the back to basics reviews! I have been subscribed to this website for years already, even when I don’t have any ongoing subscriptions I love to read a review or more a day. Stay safe and thanks for keeping it going!

I also let my boxes sit for a couple of days and then I disinfect anything in it. Even before this!😊 I have prime, but I am not usually in a rush to open my packages unless it’s a subscription box!


I have an autoimmune disease and use steroids so I have been completely homebound for 3 + weeks now, I am ordering water and groceries – I have them drop them in front of my house and spray the outside with lysol – I usually get them in about an hour and then wash my hands well. Any other ideas? You are the first person I have heard of that is doing something similar to me 🙂


I also leave things by my door for a while. Today I am going to pick up my order from Walmart and I made sure to get enough that I don’t have go in again anytime. I do store pickup and I usually help them unpack it but I might just stay in my car. Not that I am disgusted by the worker or anything but they are sadly coming into contact with so many people all day.

I have already cleaned the refrigerator and I add all the gallons and cartons in the sink and clean them with warm soapy water and then put them in.

I have these baskets that I will empty out the snacks for my kids so they can grab them themselves. If I can switch out a container like cereal I will do that. I actually never put the bags down on my floor. I lay down garbage bags and put them down on there, lol! Then I mop where I walked because my youngest always crawls around. I them wipe anywhere I put anything down and all handles like the fridge etc.

I think I drive the people in my house crazy sometimes, 😂 but when I didn’t do these things we would get sick more. No shoes in my house, etc. They stay in the garage. I just try to separate what I consider outside things from inside things. I feel like I make things harder than I need to but I can’t help it. Viruses last the longest on plastic, glass and stainless steel. HTH


I’m in the same boat! I have several autoimmune diseases and just found out yesterday that a person tested positive in my neighborhood and their kid is in the same class as My 10 year old! They closed school and the health department said we have to isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms! I’m terrified! I have no one to help me and just hope I have enough food and money to survive!


I am with you also. Just starting today though as I am in Montana and we just got our first case yesterday. And I can’t find a store that has toilet paper!!!!

Kelsey R

Please review Sipsby. I really love their tea subscription and they are a very small, female run business that could really use the plug!


I just subscribed. Thanks for the recommendation 😊


Their box is great! I have been getting it for five months now, and I really enjoy it. I have ordered four separate teas that they have featured, and they offer discount codes for each brand every month. They always pick ones that are true to the survey I filled out, and are very tasty! Plus I love that they include tea bags. 🙂

Kelsey R

Exactly! Their service is wonderful and I’ve discovered so many new teas too!


I love checking the reviews and the spoilers. I have some subs so I will continue to check MSA for sub news and updates! Now I there’s toilet paper subs! I also sub hello fresh too. Take care Stay healthy


Thank you guys! I’m probably going to lose my job over this as I’m in the travel industry. I may have to cut all of my subs out, but this is one of my few websites I go to to get away from the world. Looking forward to reading about makeup as my escape in the next coming weeks


I hope you do not lose your job. I just wanted to let you know you are being thought of.


Usually, the shipping companies “quarantine “ my boxes for a very safe length of time while they make their way to me 😂. Amazon, on the other hand, I let sit a while before opening.




Now I have heard everyone’s Covid 19 policy. I’m not trivializing the concerns or criticizing, just saying I didn’t realize how many email subscriptions I had until I started getting everyone’s Covid 19 policy. “We sanitize our stores!” That’s good to know Loft/Target/Chipotle/1-800-contacts/…

I appreciate all the content. I’m stuck at home with school districts closed so I will be looking for reviews of digital subs. How is Master Class?


I just got a Covid-19 email from my local grocery chain that included this request “Please only buy what you need right now.”


I haven’t tried Master Class, but I absolutely LOVE Great Courses Plus. I’ve learned so much about food, anatomy, geology, etc. It would be great to see a round-up of ways to distract ourselves from panic and use our home time productively.


May be paranoid here but tempted to let mail sit for 3 days before I open it because I have no idea where it’s coming from ☹


I take my big can of lysol each day and spray my mailbox cover and handles before opening and getting mail…I have an order in for latex gloves which I will begin using to handle the mail! Hope this helps!

Beth s

I did the same thing. I’m pretty sure my husband thinks im nuts. Rather be safe than sorry


Wonderful idea! Thank you. 😊


I was just think of that! Also about ordering items….. My daughter wanted a stone necklace and found one on Etsy. It’s from India. I think I’m going to be saving money instead of ordering from Poshmark, Etsy and such at the moment.


What’s wrong with things coming from India? The US has an order of magnitude many more COVID cases than does India. There’s certainly nothing wrong with taking precautions and saving money, but I also don’t think it’s right to jump on the bandwagon that everything foreign is a health risk.


Well, I just googled and buzzfeed says that there are toilet paper subscriptions, who knew? They are “Peach Goods, Reel Paper, and No. 2” and they are booming right now.


Liz, please don’t worry about taking photos of the products with the nice backgrounds you have in the office. Work from home, stay safe, and we’ll take product photos shot from your kitchen table. No problem.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.