Where people go wrong with internet shopping, if you ask Esquire, is in buying the big things – entire week's groceries, a whole new wardrobe – that are really better tested first in person.
A far better approach is to go bespoke with the finer things in life you know you want, but don't have time or expertise to source yourself.
In 2015, there is a burgeoning industry of artisan food and drink, clothing accessories and niche entertainment suppliers who will curate their products for you and send them direct to your door. Here is a selection of our favourites.
1 | Razors
The supermarket razor aisle can be an overwhelming place. Presented with so many brands and blades, you quietly wonder: "Why does my razor even need to vibrate?" Relieve your anxiety with the Sterling Shave Club – quality blades delivered straight to your door every month, for a fraction of the price.
2 | Fresh Coffee
Wake up and smell the coffee (literally). Rather than queue for an overpriced, calorific latté every morning, let Pact Coffee deliver premium fresh coffee to your house in whatever batch you need. They'll even grind it for you.
3 | Tea
Loose-leaf teas can be daunting for the uninitiated – are you an organic oolong or a herbal chai kind of man? – but Bruu is the perfect way to get started without trekking to your 'nearest' tea specialist. They send five different gourmet teas to your door each month, enough for 40 cups. No milk, no sugar and no hassle. Get the kettle on then.
4 | Craft Beers
Knowing beer is being delivered to your front door is a lovely thought. And with eight new beers for just £3 a bottle, why wouldn't it be? Just try to resist the condescending stare when your less-than-refined friend orders a round of Fosters at the pub.
Think back to your refrigerator. Is there some diminutive-grade cheddar grimly wrapped in a bit of foil in the fridge door? We thought so. But it's okay because The Cheese Shed cam remedy this with an array of cheeses (and chutneys, mind) that can be delivered to you throughout the year, as and when selected by you. If you're feeling adventurous, we also recommend Market Porter's 'discovery cheese' box which goes out of its way to source unusual British cheeses to help you expand your repertoire a bit.
6 | Chocolate
It's never a bad time to graduate out of the half-melted Kit Kat that's been in your jacket routine and get into real, artisan chocolate. We're talking stuff made with sesame seeds, coconut or even goat's milk. It's better for you than any sugary nonsense, and it's only £18.95 a month (£16.95 a month if paid on a quarterly basis).
7 | Handpicked books
Blessed is the man who has time to peruse a bookshop to find the perfect title for his commute. For the rest of us, Glenogle and Bell will do the hard yards for you. Tell them your likes, your dislikes (we've had enough dystopian fiction, thanks) and each month a beautifully wrapped, laboriously selected book will arrive through your letterbox. It's about time books got bespoke.
8 | Bacon
Sunday mornings begin with a headache in full swing, one eye open and that fearful question "is there bacon on the fridge?" Start the restorative fry-up session with full confidence using Cure and Simple. They'll deliver a variety of classic English, pancetta and even Thai-influenced bacon right through your letterbox (dog-owners might need to re-think this).
9 | Socks
Buying socks never feels like a priority, yet rummaging for a matching pair when you're already running late is an ill-fated morning rush that befalls even the best of us. Happy Socks have 100s of pairs to choose from, including collaborations with Snoop Dogg and Adidas Originals, meaning you never need to that guy in odd socks – or even worse, a novelty pair – ever again.
10 | Cocktails
You're ready to kick start your Friday with some home-spun mixology, only to discover all you have is a bag of crushed ice and a mid-range bottle of vodka. It's hardly Dukes is it? Enter Taste Cocktails, who will send you all the ingredients (the liquids at least – you can buy limes yourself) and instructions to make a libation for any occasion.
11 | Fresh shirts
Ironing a shirt every morning (or doing five on a Sunday) is a necessary chore no man enjoys. One way around it that isn't hiring a butler is to join the Collar Club, which delivers beautiful Italian shirts to your door, perfectly ironed and ready to wear for a subscription fee. Meaning you have more time to focus on important things, like breakfast.
12 | Fish
If you live in the city, you're probably not eating enough fresh fish, which does all sorts of wonderful things for your skin, brain and ability to breath under water (we might have made that last one up). A great solution is to sign up for the monthly box scheme at The Cornish Fishmonger, the favoured seafood suppliers of Michelin-starred chefs around the country, who will send a bounty of delights direct to your front door.
13 | Meat
Contrastly, you're probably getting more than enough red meat in your life, but is it the good stuff? Long-established Esquire favourite the Carnivore Club deliver monthly boxes of charcuterie delights that will have you daydreaming about the moment you can get home and open your fridge – and unlike your average ham sandwich from the high street, it is all of the finest quality.