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Ipsy vs Birchbox: The points system


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26 replies to this topic

#Post 1 of 27 ONLINE   zadidoll

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 03:24 PM

Birchbox has had their rewards system in place since around the time it launched. Now I wasn't around when it first launched and began my subscription May 2011 but every month since I've been a subscriber I've always been able to review the items in my box and receive 10 points per item. Ipsy, formerly MyGlam, only recently launched their own Ipsy Points system which while similar to Birchbox's is very different.
 

  Birchbox Ipsy
Review Point Amount 10 points 10 points
Referral Point Amount 50 points 250 points
Monetary Value $1 per point unknown
Redemption Amount 100 points 1000 points
Redemption Value $10 varies*
see below
Earn points from signing up?
Note: one time only
Yes Yes
Amount earned from becoming member 10 points on a monthly account
110 points on a yearly account
100 points
Can be stacked? Yes No
Can be used with promo codes? Yes No
Can be used to pay for subscription No*
see below
No
Expires? Yes, after 1 year Yes, after 1 year


Essentially for every 100 Birchbox points you accumulate you earn a $10 credit that can be used in their online store. You can accumulate these points ("stack") up to a year and be combined with Birchbox's promo codes and deal for fantastic items. I recently redeemed 1100 points on an order with a retail value close to $180 and paid 32 cents out of my pocket. Birchbox's points system is THE BEST of ALL the beauty subscription services out there. The only downside is you can't use your points to purchase a quarterly, six month or yearly subscription but YOU CAN pay for a gift subscription for someone else using your points. I know people who buy themselves a gift subscription using their points to have essentially a free second account where they still earn points from reviews and referrals on that second account however you can't directly pay for a subscription with points at this time.

Ipsy recently revamped their system. Until August if you made two referrals the previous month you would earn a free bonus item in that current month's bag. NOW it essentially will take FOUR referrals (250 points each) to redeem for one item. It's no longer automatic, you have to choose (or not choose if you don't want the bonus item that month), which item you want to redeem your points on. Here's why the new system is terrible and too many people dislike the system as it currently stands.

The items available for point redemption the last few months have been a $7 Nicole by OPI bottle of polish or a $12 eyeshadow palette from NYX cosmetics. At this time it takes 1000 points to redeem for one of those two items. Keep in mind it now takes four referrals (earning Ipsy $40 from those referrals) or 100 item reviews. Also keep in mind it will take about 20 months to earn 1000 points if the average Glambag contains five items per month. Factor in the fact that there is an expiration on those points after one year so you can NEVER earn 1000 points simply from reviews. So for the average person who doesn't refer people there is no way for them to earn 1000 points to redeem on one item. This is what has people upset because you can't accumulate the points before the points expire and the value of the products is far less than the redemption value.
 

Had Ipsy gone the route of Birchbox and made an item redemption be between 100 points (to 200 points at most) it would have allowed the average person to be able to accumulate and redeem their points. If the average Glambag contains five items and all five items are reviewed the Ipsy subscriber would earn 50 points for the month and it would take two months (100 points redemption) to four months (200 points redemption). As I mentioned above 1000 points at 50 points earned per month would take 20 months to accumulate which the average person who does not do any referrals would never be able to accumulate.

At this time a person can only choose ONE bonus item PER MONTH so even if a person refers multiple people and earn 250 points per referral they are still restricted to only ONE bonus item per month. There is no logical reason, at least none to me, for Ipsy to have the redemption value so high and essentially out of reach of the average person. To me the current Ipsypoints system is unfair to the average person.

Worst yet, Ipsy has reto-applied points to past bonus items; items we didn't ask for or get to choose such as a Baublebar bracelet. I didn't request that bonus item but it was sent to me in June (before the current system) and thankfully Ipsy didn't apply 1000 points but only 500 (two referrals) for it. I think that Ipsy should have had the Ipsypoint system in place BEFORE adding and removing points on past items  since they have stated they "cannot retroactively add points to your account" but apparently they can retroactively remove points for past bonus items.
 

I'm hoping the folks at Ipsy realize how unfair the new system currently is and reduce the redemption amounts from 1000 to a more fair redemption point. If a bottle of polish is retails for $7 then it shouldn't take 1000 points to redeem for it but more like 100 points. I just don't see how 1000 points is worth $100 on Birchbox but no more than $12 on Ipsy. Granted, if the average person on Ipsy doesn't refer people to Ipsy then they might not on Birchbox BUT at least on Birchbox you STILL have the chance to redeem your points after two months unlike Ipsy where it would take you 20 months and even then it'll never happen because points expire after 12 months.

Hands down: Birchbox wins in my book as having the BEST reward system in place.


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#Post 2 of 27 OFFLINE   ewiggy

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 07:55 PM

I completely agree. It's like someone at Ipsy didn't sit down and figure out the math and realize it would take an eternity to be able to get one inexpensive drugstore nail polish. 

 

Have you submitted feedback to them?  I'm considering sending them an email, but I don't know what to say, exactly. Maybe we could come up with something brief and anyone who feels similarly could email them with it?

 

Something like, "I'm writing to let you know that I'm disappointed in the recent changes to the points system. I feel like the amount of points required for each bonus item is out of reach of the average person, and it's far higher than the industry standard set by long-running services like Birchbox. I'm also upset that points were removed from my account retro-actively, for items that I didn't have a choice in selecting or receiving. Please reconsider this system". 

 

Welp, maybe I do know what to say, lol!  I'm going to email them about it right now. Maybe if they get enough complaints, they'll do something about it?



#Post 3 of 27 ONLINE   meaganola

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:34 AM

I feel like they are trying to emulate a hybrid of the points systems for Glossybox and Birchbox but only paid attention to point totals but not the value of redemption items. I would have expected an option of a 500-point redemption for a free bag.

#Post 4 of 27 OFFLINE   Mandy Kane

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:09 AM

GREAT SUMMARY Zadi!!! I totally agree 100% and I have not redeemed any points because:

 

1) I'm not particularly interested in the 2 items offered. Especially when compared with the Lime Crime nail polish or the Urban Decay eye shadows that were previous 'referral gifts' A $7 OPI Nail polish REALLY doesn't seem worth it.

 

2) 4 referrals = one $7 item is insane. Just like you said- you're giving them $40 worth of business (just for the first month!!) and in exchange you can have a $7 item (or 18% of the first month business value). Four BB referrals would be 200 points or $20 (i.e. 50% of the first month business value!) 

 

I really hope that they strive towards better rewards for lower point values (the Nyx pallet at 500 points would be more equivalent to Birchbox's system) because you are absolutely correct! This gives the average person who doesn't refer anyone NO incentive to even do reviews. They have no chance of ever getting enough points to redeem for a gift, in which case why even award points for reviews other than to shut people up when they say Birchbox is better due to their point system. 

 

I understand that they are just implementing this system and hopefully they will make adjustments as time goes on, but for now I'm sitting on my points. 



#Post 5 of 27 ONLINE   kawaiimeows

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:13 AM

Great post Zadi! There are many wonderful selling points that make Ipsy worth joining, but at the moment the points system does not seem to be one of them. For that reason, I'll probably stick with birchbox because I like the *present* benefit in that each box is a fun surprise each month, and the *future* benefit of the points has allowed me to get a lot of high end products I wouldn't normally be able to afford.


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#Post 6 of 27 OFFLINE   Mahjick

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:08 PM

Strangely enough, Ipsy's implementation of this point system is sort of what pushes me over the edge to want to switch to Birchbox (that and the fact that I don't need that much cosmetics). It makes me very suspicious of companies that implement a points system that only benefits people if they refer people - I get it, of course they want folks to refer friends, but if it's impossible for someone to redeem for at least one reward a year (and the points expire), I see it as basically a sham. 

That, and as it was said, the rewards are a little low, doubly so because it does require you to refer someone. If I got one OPI nail polish a year a bonus for reviewing all my items, that'd be no problem, but if I have to go out and find someone and refer them? I'll just hit up the local beauty store. 


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#Post 7 of 27 ONLINE   zadidoll

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:38 PM

My reply to their Facebook post about their points system.

 

 
Quote:
I just did a blog post on the points system and honestly, the average subscriber who does not refer people will never be able to get 1000 points under the current system. It would take a person 20 months at 50 points per month to get 1000 points.

Also, the current redemption values went up - in the past it was two referrals earned a person a bonus item and if one referral is 250 points then two equals 500 points but now it takes 1000 which is equivalent to four referrals ($40 to Ipsy per month from those new subscribers). Four referrals for a $7 bottle of polish or $12 shadow palette (currently offered)... it's not balanced or fair to the subscriber.

When compared to another sub box that's known for their point system that one is far more generous. 1000 points on that site is equivalent to a $100 credit not $7 to $12 like on Ipsy.

I highly encourage Ipsy to revamp the system, lower the redemption values so it's more appropriate with the items offered. That $7 polish for example should have a redemption value of 100 points, the $12 shadow palette no more than 200 points. It would allow the average subscriber who merely reviews the products a chance to accumulate 100 or 200 points over the course of two to four months rather than 20 months.

https://www.facebook...tal_comments=61

 



#Post 8 of 27 ONLINE   kawaiimeows

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 05:26 PM

Great comment. It seems so bizarre that 1000 points get someone something they could just go out and buy at the store instead of waiting forever, compared to what 300 points can get me from birchbox when i combine it with coupons and GWPs. I think that's the huge reason I could never leave birchbox.

 

I don't think I would get to 1000 points on Ipsy. I've referred quite a few people to birchbox just from my instagram/facebook/and chatting with friends IRL but it's usually a few over the course of the year.


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#Post 9 of 27 ONLINE   kawaiimeows

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:16 PM

@zadidoll am I crazy or did they delete your comment from the post? I definitely saw it earlier and I might be sleepy-blinded now, but I don't see it there.


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#Post 10 of 27 ONLINE   zadidoll

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:29 PM

It's there. If you've viewing from a normal browser rather than the app it may be lost in the weirdness of how FB now posts things.



#Post 11 of 27 ONLINE   kawaiimeows

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zadidoll View Post
 

It's there. If you've viewing from a normal browser rather than the app it may be lost in the weirdness of how FB now posts things.

Oh interesting! I am on a normal browser, I usually don't pick up on these quirks since I usually don't pay attention to statuses with tons of comments on them.


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#Post 12 of 27 OFFLINE   Mandy Kane

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 06:13 AM

i see they commented on someones post saying they were currently restructuring the points system. 

 

i hope everyone holds onto their points for a while until they get this figured out!



#Post 13 of 27 ONLINE   zadidoll

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 07:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandy Kane View Post
 

i see they commented on someones post saying they were currently restructuring the points system. 

 

i hope everyone holds onto their points for a while until they get this figured out!

 

Do you recall when they said this? Was it before or after my public post about the points being unfair?



#Post 14 of 27 OFFLINE   Mandy Kane

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 10:59 AM

It was on the page, not a reply to one if their posts, and I think the person commented on the 9th, and their response was that they were currently restructering the points system

#Post 15 of 27 ONLINE   zadidoll

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:15 AM

Ahh. Let's hope they revisit the point redemption. 1000 points for $7 bottle of polish, a $12 shadow palette or (now) $10 hair ties is outrageous.

 

I think the redemption value is about 10 cents (varies) per point compared to Birchbox which is $1 per point.



#Post 16 of 27 OFFLINE   kitnmitns

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:50 PM

The hair ties are ridiculous



#Post 17 of 27 ONLINE   zadidoll

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zadidoll View Post
 

Ahh. Let's hope they revisit the point redemption. 1000 points for $7 bottle of polish, a $12 shadow palette or (now) $10 hair ties is outrageous.

 

I think the redemption value is about 10 cents (varies) per point compared to Birchbox which is $1 per point.

 

So to follow up on what I wrote.

 

1000 pts x $0.007 = $7

1000 pts x $0.012 = $12

1000 pts x $0.01 = $10

 

Birchbox is 1 pt = $1

100 pts = $10

1000 pts = $100

 

So Ipsy's point value has an average of $0.0096666666666667 per point. So not worth it.



#Post 18 of 27 OFFLINE   Mandy Kane

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 05:22 AM

I posted yesterday on their fb wall asking if they were still working in their points system and they gave a super generic we are always striving to improve type answer that sounded to me like they are finished tweaking. Guess I better redeem for bad gal!

#Post 19 of 27 OFFLINE   JaxCarey

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:52 PM

Ughhhh, I just hit 1000 points after 3 months of reviewing and 3 referrals but the best thing they have up is that beauty blender thing. Given, if it's the same travel kit that's on birchbox it's worth $23.95 but if they actually do end up restructuring and giving out free months I want thaaaat.



#Post 20 of 27 OFFLINE   Heather Hicks

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 07:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandy Kane View Post
 

i see they commented on someones post saying they were currently restructuring the points system. 

 

i hope everyone holds onto their points for a while until they get this figured out!

 

Zadidoll just referenced this thread when it came up in another one, so that explains my late reply. But...it just kind of hit me. If they don't fix it, just wait for the sh*tstorm that's going to hit when people suddenly see their points start to disappear. That is when they will realize they will never be able to reach 1000 points. If Ipsy is smart, and I'm not so sure they are, they will put a fair grace period on using points based on the time the points first started. In other words, even if they let points expire in a year after this first year, they will not let them expire after exactly 1 year, the very first year after the point system was introduced. Maybe by then they'll have figured out how to allow 1 redemption in a year's time for the casual subscriber without referrals. Like, they could set it up to send out emails to everyone who stays subscribed for a full year, telling them even though they didn't actually get 1000 points, Ipsy will allow them to pick 1 redemption item just for being so loyal. Kind of like how Birchbox sends out the 20% off codes at 6 months, 9 months, etc. Does anyone know the date the point system first came out with Ipsy?