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We Reviewed Cratejoy & 5 Alternatives: Here’s What We’ve Found

Helpful Summary

  • Overview: In this article, we review Cratejoy (a subscription box marketplace and platform), and give you five alternatives that may better suit your needs.
  • Why Trust Us: Upscribe is a leading subscription commerce tool for Shopify—we know what to look for in these platforms.
  • Why It Matters: Choosing the right subscription box platform can make or break your subscription business, so it’s important to have all the information before deciding.
  • Action Points: Our top picks are Upscribe, Chargebee, Maxio, Billsby, and Sage Intacct.
  • Further Research: Do you run your subscription business on Shopify? Check out our list of the 15 best Shopify subscription apps.

Cratejoy is a subscription box marketplace that lets businesses, creators, and entrepreneurs easily set up and manage their subscription box services. It packs in a ton of features and tools to help businesses grow their subscription box offerings, like customizable website templates, marketing integrations, and analytics.

While Cratejoy has been a popular choice for subscription businesses, we wanted to take a deeper look at its features and compare it to other alternatives on the market. So we did our research and reviewed Cratejoy along with five other top alternatives—Upscribe, Chargebee, Maxio, Billsby, Sage Intacct.

So, if you’re considering starting a subscription box service or are seeking an alternative to Cratejoy, keep reading.

Why Listen to Us?

At Upscribe, we have firsthand experience helping businesses find lasting success with the subscription business model. Take Bionox, for example. They saw a 180% increase in subscriber count after switching to Upscribe and taking advantage of our subscriber growth and experience tools.

The bottom line is that we know what it takes to make a subscription business thrive. And we’re here to share that knowledge with you.

Now, let’s dive into our review of Cratejoy and see how it stacks up against its competitors.

What Is Cratejoy?

As we mentioned earlier, Cratejoy is a platform designed specifically for subscription businesses. It offers a marketplace for customers to discover and purchase new subscription boxes, as well as tools for businesses to build their own subscription-enabled websites.

Features that come with the platform include fraud detection, support for 138+ currencies, and analytics for your store. Cratejoy also offers a wide range of templates to help you design your website quickly and easily.


  • Sellers have the option to list their products for free
  • Easy-to-use web interface
  • Large customer base
  • Simplified subscription and billing process


  • You need to upgrade your plan to build your own website
  • Transaction fees on the free plan are relatively high​​
  • Lacks telephone support or live chat

Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Cratejoy Alternative

Fees and Commission Structure

Understand the platform’s fee structure, including listing fees, transaction fees, and any other associated costs. For example, at Upscribe, we make sure our pricing is as clear and transparent as possible—we have one, all-access plan that costs $100 per month plus 1% per transaction.

Customization and Branding

Look for platforms that allow you to customize their look and feel to match your existing branding and design. That might mean the ability to use your own logo, custom colors and fonts, or even a fully customized website layout.

Payment Processing and Security

Make sure the platform offers secure and efficient payment processing options. Chargebee, for example, is compatible with leading payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree. You should also consider the security measures in place to protect your customers’ sensitive information.

5 Best Cratejoy Alternatives

  1. Upscribe
  2. Chargebee
  3. Maxio
  4. Billsby
  5. Sage Intacct

1. Upscribe

Upscribe is a subscription commerce platform for Shopify businesses that makes it easy to offer subscriptions, grow recurring revenue, and win loyal customers.

Upscribe offers a wide range of features for both businesses and customers, including easy subscription management, self-service portals, and flexible billing options. With Upscribe, you can easily create and manage your subscription products, offer discounts and promotions, and track customer analytics to optimize your offerings.

Relevant Features

  • Integrated Checkout: Use Upscribe’s integrated checkout to make it easier for customers to purchase subscriptions and manage their accounts.
  • Customizable Self-Service Portals: Allow customers to easily manage their subscriptions and access account information through customizable self-service portals on your website.
  • Smart Cancellation Flows: Encourage customers to stay subscribed by offering customizable cancellation flows.
  • Advanced Analytics: Track customer data and behavior to gain insights on which products are performing well and identify areas for improvement.
  • SMS and Email Subscription Management: Let subscribers manage their subscription through text or email.


Upscribe offers simple, transparent, and flexible pricing with no flat per-transaction fees. The monthly rate starts at $100 + 1% per transaction.

Pros and Cons


  • Offers a user-friendly interface, ensuring easy navigation.
  • Provides insightful data and subscription analytics
  • Many merchants report immediate ROI and significant revenue growth
  • Seamlessly integrates with platforms like Shopify and Klaviyo


  • No free plan

2. Chargebee

Relevant features

  • Dashboard Management: Simplifies subscription oversight with a user-friendly dashboard for efficient control.
  • Logistics and Fulfillment: Manages the logistical aspects of subscription boxes, ensuring seamless operations.
  • Growth Tools for Customers: Equips businesses with insights, data, and customizable tools for customer base expansion.
  • Flexible Payment Collection: Supports major payment gateways like Stripe for secure and convenient transactions.


Chargebee offers three pricing plans—Starter, Performance, and Enterprise. The Starter plan is free, but there’s a 0.75% fee on revenue >$250,000 per billing cycle.

The Performance plan is designed for scaling companies and costs $599/month for <$100K of revenue, or a 0.75% of revenue >$100K. The Enterprise plan is customizable and tailored to the specific requirements of leading companies.

Pros and Cons


  • User-friendly subscription management system
  • Excellent customer management capabilities
  • Seamless integration with other tools


  • Difficulty in implementing price indexation for subscriptions
  • Generating credits and credit notes may be confusing
  • Some users find the billing options and invoicing processes to be basic

3. Maxio

Maxio is a subscription billing, management, and reporting platform for growing SaaS businesses.

On top of basic features like automatic billing and invoicing, Maxio also offers advanced capabilities like usage-based pricing and customer segmentation. You can also use the tool to track key SaaS metrics and drive customer retention.

Relevant Features

  • No-Code Subscription Management: Offers a no-code software for managing subscriptions, testing new pricing models, and updating product catalogs.
  • SaaS Product Catalog: Provides a customizable product catalog for complex pricing, allowing easy customization of pricing plans, contracts, and subscription plans.
  • Sync Financial Processes: Helps regulate plan adjustments, ensuring adherence to pricing guidelines for all subscription plans.
  • Declutter Catalog: Prevents contract sprawl with tailored invoicing, customizable invoice templates, invoice consolidation, and a self-service billing portal for customers.


Maxio offers pricing plans based on trailing twelve-month billing volume.

The starting price is $5,000 annually for up to $500,000 in annual billings. For higher billing volumes or the need for multiple modules, customers can request a custom quote to bundle and save.

Pros and Cons


  • Offers advanced options for managing recurring billing
  • Can integrate with other systems
  • User-friendly and easy to navigate
  • Provides a robust solution for managing subscriptions


  • Some users have reported difficulties during the onboarding process
  • There have been concerns raised about the direction of product development
  • Some users feel that Maxio does not fully understand its customers’ needs

4. Billsby

Billsby stands out as an adaptable and seamlessly integrable subscription billing software.

The tool boasts a range of features like advanced pricing options, limitless add-ons and allowances, customizable discounts, brand personalization, and a streamlined checkout process. Plus, Billsby makes tax compliance easier with automated tax calculations and invoice generation.


Billsby offers a free plan with unlimited users and basic features.

Core ($45/month + 0.4% of revenue on >$15,000) comes with additional capabilities like automated dunning and QuickBooks integration. Pro ($135/month + 0.3% of revenue >$50,000) has advanced features like multiple payment gateways and tax integration.

There is also a Custom plan available for businesses with specific needs.

Pros and Cons


  • Easily integrates with other systems
  • Offers great customer service for user support
  • Features a competitive pricing structure
  • Boasts a user-friendly interface for easy navigation


  • Users have reported a lack of options to set up discount codes for their products.
  • Some users have noted the absence of certain features.
  • Lacks the option for white labeling

5. Sage Intacct

Sage Intacct is a cloud-based financial management software that offers advanced accounting and ERP functionalities. It includes key features like multi-entity consolidation, revenue recognition, inventory control, and project accounting.

But that’s not all. Sage Intacct goes even further with modern planning, budgeting, forecasting, what-if scenario modeling, and powerful reporting with data visualization.

Relevant Features

  • Accounting: Offers a full suite of accounting features.
  • Expense Management: Enables streamlined tracking and management of business expenses.
  • Financial Management: Provides strong capabilities for financial management.
  • Inventory Management: Supplies essential tools for managing inventory, particularly vital for businesses with physical products

Pros and Cons


  • Seamless updates and upgrades without the need for downloads​​
  • Efficient timekeeping and expense tracking
  • Allows direct viewing of GL codes
  • Enables reclassification of financial transactions


  • Limited reporting flexibility
  • There are challenges with the budgeting and forecasting features​​
  • Accessing and navigating time sheets can be cumbersome​​
  • Manual processes and duplication risk


Sage Intacct’s pricing isn’t publicly available. Contact their sales team to request for pricing.


While Cratejoy has its strengths, like offering sellers the option to list products for free and providing an easy-to-use web interface, there are some drawbacks to consider. The high cost to fully maximize its features can be hit or miss, particularly for startups.

As an alternative for Shopify businesses, Upscribe is a compelling option.

With expertise in helping sellers on Cratejoy and similar marketplaces manage their subscriptions and recurring billing, Upscribe offers a solution that aims to address the issues faced by users. By providing unbiased reviews and assistance, Upscribe helps users make informed decisions about their subscription box choices.

Book a demo today.