Blogging is hard Y’all. It takes up so much time and energy and creativity: you have to come up with fun and clever ways to word things and then add pictures to go along and make it all interesting and stuff.
Well – this blog was always supposed to be brutally honest reviews of subscription boxes, and anything else I bought and tried, so that maybe it would help someone out there make a decision about whether a box is right for them or not.
I haven’t blogged in a long time because of a lot of reasons, but mostly because I finally looked around my house and saw that I was positively swimming in clothing, makeup, gadgets, coffee mugs, cords (so many cords to so many gadgets) and just stuff. Stuff and more stuff. All from subscription boxes. Right now, I have more black mascara than Tammy Faye Baker could have used in a lifetime. I have enough tiny little shampoo samples to wash all a Y’all’s hair twenty times over – assuming we could get it all out of those ridiculously non user friendly bottles. And the clothes….good lord if my house caught fire right now, you would be able to smell the burning polyester for miles and miles.
So I took inventory. Both literally and logically. How much of this stuff from these boxes did I actually use and enjoy vs. how much is just sitting in boxes in my closet?
How much of the clothing am I actually wearing vs. what is just crammed in the drawers….and closets…and laundry area….and hampers…and over chairs, tables, the dogs etc…
Why was I spending all of this money on all of this stuff; the majority of which I didn’t use? Well, that’s an easy question: because I love surprises. That’s how these subscription boxes suck people in. Who doesn’t love a good surprise? Who doesn’t love getting packages of fun things delivered to the front door instead of the same damn water bill month after month?
So I decided to stop subscribing to all of the boxes that didn’t offer me my monies worth. I define that as being: which boxes consistently contain items I have mostly loved and mostly used? Simply, which ones are really worth my money?
Here’s what I kept:
BarkBox: I have gotten two a month of this box for eleven months now. The boxes always have more value in them than what I paid, but more importantly, they are always fun and exciting to open for me, the kids and especially, the dogs! They offer toys and treats that are quality sourced, the customer service is incredible, the toys make me laugh and the best part is they have increased my interaction with my dogs. I now have loads of dog toys all over the house, but I learned a trick for that. If I take away all but three or four toys at a time, and then add one or two toys back in – it’s almost like the dogs got a new toy again. All of a sudden, a toy they were no longer interested in and had abandoned to rot was now brand new and exciting again. Love it!
Birchbox: the OG. The gateway box that lead me down the path to subscription box addiction. It goes without argument that BB has the best reward system going. They give out points like candy and they make it so easy to use those points to get quality beauty items I need. In a year, I have racked up over two thousand points just by promotions and doing product reviews. They also have the best customer service I have ever dealt with from sub boxes. They go the extra mile for their customers and it shows. So they can keep sending me teeny bottles of No.4 hair products and “Hello” perfume; and I will keep reviewing those products and racking points and cashing in for stuff I really use.
Birchbox Man: Another winner almost every month for me. The success or failure of this box always depends on the one high priced item that’s in each box = if it’s an item you like, than the box is beyond worth it. If it’s not, then you still get points! Winner.
Glossybox: I just love this box. I love that they are always introducing me to high end beauty products that are fun to try. They don’t have the best customer service – but it’s tolerable. About twice a year they have a promo code for 20% off any length sub – and it always rolls around right before my sub is about to expire. Yay me!
Stitch Fix: I’m waiting on my tenth Fix to arrive and I’m liking it. I have one had one Fix that was an epic failure, but one nice email to customer service and they sent me a sincere apology and a new $20 styling fee for the next one. Keep em coming Stitch Fix!
Nina Garcia for Quarterly: out of all the sub boxes, this one seems to be the one that people either totally love, or totally hate. I totally love it. I’ve gotten more things I love and use out of this box than any other. So it stays.
DottieBox: for now, but only because I have a six month sub. I originally bought a six month sub to a box called “Indie Gift Box”. After I got the first box, they merged with the pre-existing Dottie Box and that’s what they started sending me. The contents of each box so far have been just ok. Nothing overwhelming. Really, just more clutter for my house. Cute clutter, but clutter nontheless. This one will be going away once it’s time has run.
BoCandy: I bought a year length sub for $80. It stays till the year is up and then I won’t renew it. It’s a super fun box though. My kid loves going through it with me and reading the labels and trying all the different candies from around the world. The value seems to always be there, but the novelty wore off after about the fourth month.
Loot Crate and Arcade Block: LC is for my 11 year old kid and he loves it and begged me not to cancel. AB is for my 16 year old and he actually smiles at me once a month when it arrives – so that makes it worth it alone.
Rachel Zoe Box of Style: I jumped on the yearly offer when this box first became available. I will get four boxes. I think that will be just plenty
There. That’s all them and damn, it’s still a mighty lot of subs…..but I love these and they bring me joy and quality stuff I use, so they are worth my money to me. They make me, and my kids and dogs, happy and, with the right promo codes, they are the right price. So they get to stay – and the rest can sashay away…..