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sakura33

Birchbox Points Changes

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Saw this on reddit-- http://imgur.com/T3gC1Wu

 

Essentially, starting July 11, 2016- we will only earn points for sample reviews for the first 5 samples- ie if you get 6-7 items in your box you only get 50 points max.

 

However, we will be able to spend points in whatever increment we wish- ie if you have 90 points you can spend $9.00. We won't have to wait for increments of 100 to use them. BUT they will expire 6 months after earned.

 

What do you guys think about this?

 

When I first saw the thread I thought they were doing away with sample review points altogether or something awful, but since most of my boxes are 5 items, this doesn't seem to affect me too badly except it will be harder to hoard points with the 6 month expiry. With this change and the lack of coupons, I wonder how good of a "deal" Birchbox is going to be in another year or so....as I know many, myself included, are loyal to Birchbox as a sub because of the point system.

Edited by sakura33
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So, I just received the following email from Birchbox regarding their updated point system and I can't say that I'm too happy about the changes. For those who have not received it, I've pasted it below:

 

"Hi there,

I'd like to personally thank you for being one of our top reviewers, your
feedback is valuable to both the Birch box community and to
our team as we create your personalized boxes month over month.
I'm emailing today because we are updating the Birchbox Points
program next month and I want you to be one of the first to know .
 
Beginning July 11, 2016, you'll see the following changes:
 
• We've heard your feedback and you'll now be able to spend
Points in any increment-no more waiting until you hit 100
Points to shop. Every 10 Points equals $1 to spend on full-size
products.
 
• Any Points earned after July 11, 2016 will expire six months
from the date you earn them. But don't worry-we'll always
send you a reminder so you have plenty of time to shop!
 
• Going forward, we will only offer Points for your first five
sample reviews. New subscribers will earn points for the first
five sample reviews in their subscription, and as an existing
subscriber you'll have the same opportunity. Starting with
your July box, you'll receive 10 Points for each of the next five
samples you review.
 
Until the changes take effect on July 11, 2016, you'll earn and
spend Points the same way you have in the past. We want to
assure you that we value your reviews and will continue to use
them to build boxes that fit your tastes. We're happy to share
that, as always, you will still be able to earn Points by shopping,
inviting friends, and gifting Birchbox.
 
Thank you again for being a valuable member of the Birchbox
community. Feel free to reference our FAQ for more details, and please
don't hesitate to visit info.birchbox.com with any questions.
 
Thank you,
 
Katia Beauchamp
Birchbox CEO"
 
The points program is one of the main reason I subscribe to this particular box and  why Birchbox, for me at least, is a stand-out subscription. While I appreciate bullet point 1, the other two detract from the whole sub in my opinion. I'm curious to know what everyone thinks about this. As for me, I think I'll be unsubbing after my next box as the samples alone don't always do it for me.
Edited by Queennie
Just changing an offensive word that was created by a simple spelling mistake, no need to worry!
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Actually, that's not how I read it.

 

Starting in July, new subscribers will get points for the first 5 sample reviews in their subscription and then that's it.  Existing subscribers will get points for the next 5 sample reviews after July 11, and then that's it.  No more points for reviews.  The email says "you will still be able to earn points by shopping, inviting friends, and gifting Birchbox."  I believe those are the only ways going forward.

 

It's funny, I was just wondering as I reviewed my May box the other day if they were ever going to take that away.  I'm not angry, I totally get it - it's got to be costing them a FORTUNE to hand out the discounts for reviews.  But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't going to impact how much I buy from Birchbox and my decision whether or not to renew my sub.

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From what I've read, they mean five reviews total, not five reviews per month.

 

This is a pretty big change, and I'm not sure what birchbox has going for it over other boxes now...

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From what I've read, they mean five reviews total, not five reviews per month.

 

This is a pretty big change, and I'm not sure what birchbox has going for it over other boxes now...

 

Exactly! The point system was a huge part of why I initially subbed to this particular box, but with Sephora Play now in the game...sorry Birchbox. I found that I bought more if I had a few points to spend with my purchase, but what incentive do we have now? 

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oh wow, I posted this in another thread but I took it to mean 5 samples a month. 5 samples total is BS. This will seriously make me reconsider my sub when my annual ends if true.

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yeah, I am not sure if I will continue sub'ing to BB anymore.  I LOVED their point system and that is why I stayed with their boxes, but if I can only get points now from purchases, well, there is no reason to stay sub'd with them. I have Sephora Play! and I have been debating which one to keep or not.  Sephora Play gives you 10 points towards your insider points, and gives you the 50 point card every month. 

 

 

With BB doing this, I think I will cancel after July's box as there is no major incentive for me to stay with the box and I like Sephora's better at this point.  I will still purchase from BB, but I hate that they are expiring the points after 6 months.   

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Yep, I am out after my yearly runs out, nor will I ever be activating the second one again. Guess I gotta use up those points now instead of saving them for Xmas like I had been.
I have a feeling they will regret this...there are just too many other boxes that are just better overall for them compete sans points.

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According to some people on MSA, it's 5 more points for reviews for everyone, then no more forever.  I can't say I'm surprised seeing this, since I recently read an article featuring the CEO saying the company HAS to be profitable this year.  Which likely means they aren't profitable currently.  

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-03/birchbox-finds-cute-boxes-filled-with-makeup-aren-t-enough

I save my points for a long time, but these past few months haven't been able to find anything I actually want to spend them on.  The points were the only thing keeping me subscribed, but then again, if I can't find anything I want to buy with them, what's the point?

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I just thought of something else - there's a significant chance that I (and a lot of people) won't reach ACES status without review points. Which means that the incentive to buy something from Birchbox that I can get elsewhere (free shipping) also plummets.

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I've opted out of auto-renew for my annual.

 

I have a handful of boxes left. I feel like this is a bit of a bait-and-switch for annual subscribers, since that purchase was made with the understanding that the points system was a part of the program. 

 

Oh, well, this is just one more issue in a long list of problems I've had with their service over the past year...including some truly atrocious CS.

 

I was very happy to get into Sephora Play, which I'll stick with for now. Between Play, the random Target/Amazon boxes and Memebox, I'm set. 

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I've been with BB for 5 years, and my sub is up, but I bought a gift card last winter for like $70 for a year. I'm debating on even using it, lol I don't even want to sub anymore. Birchbox was always my favorite, but they've just gone downhill for me. 

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I didn't read this as 5 samples total. I read this as we are only allowed to review and get points for 5 samples a month. So, even if we get six or even 7 samples... we can only review and get points for 5 of those samples. I think it would be a bad move on BB's part to change this to 5 samples total. They would lose a lot of subscribers!

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I thought so too Jo-Jo Ma, but on Reddit people have posted their chat transcripts with CS confirming we only get 50 more points EVER, then no more. It sounds like if you want, you can stretch them out- and review 1 thing a month for 5 months if you really wish to, but only 50 points total

Edited by sakura33
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well and I know we discussed this in another thread- but in the ACES fine print it is 2 day free shipping on orders $100+, and just standard free shipping otherwise. As an Ace I have encountered this too- I know some people say they have gotten 2 day free shipping for less orders, but I have not had that experience. But anyway, I buy from Birchbox because I have points and for a FEW items they have that Sephora doesn't (Oribe)- but their standard shipping is slow. And even worse if you are paying for standard shipping!

 

I am a rouge at Sephora so I get 2 day free shipping for any order (non Rouges can also buy this for a one time fee of $20 or something too). I can also walk into many Sephora stores around the country and shop that way too. I live nowhere near a Birchbox brick and mortar- so why exactly would I even really shop at Birchbox at all? ESPECIALLY if I lose my ACE status because yes, I think I qualify due to review points.

Edited by sakura33
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Yea, I just canceled because of this. Reviews were the only reason birchbox was worth the cost for me. Maybe I'll get a second ipsy :/

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I thought so too Jo-Jo Ma, but on Reddit people have posted their chat transcripts with CS confirming we only get 50 more points EVER, then no more. It sounds like if you want, you can stretch them out- and review 1 thing a month for 5 months if you really wish to, but only 50 points total

Yeah. . . I see on MSA that people are confirming from BB reps that it's 5 more sample reviews in a lifetime.  That's just silly. . I mean, why even bother!?   I always figured that BB made money from their market research and that's how they were able to offer $1/sample review.  

 

In the end, I understand that it's about making money and they've been pretty generous with discount codes, GWPs, and points.  But I don't see why they couldn't have just scaled back on the sample points. . like maybe only 5 reviews per box.   I agree with what other people on MSA are saying, that it's really more like a $5 box (especially if you compare the usual monthly value with that of other subs. . .Ipsy is usually at least $30 RV/month. BB is usually around $20 and sometimes even less).  

 

 

I don't expect full sizes every month, but the tiny perfume samples, foil packets, and repetition (I think I got a Parlor product 3 months in a row!?  Dr. Brandt pore products multiple times, LOC, Harvey Prince, etc.) made this only worth it for the shop points.  

 

I guess it's a bummer because I used my points to justify higher end products, but I still have spent a lot of money in the shop. 

 

Edited to add that I read reviews before purchasing a new product.  Not many people on Birchbox add reviews, unless it was sampled, so that is another detractor for me.  

Edited by Sadejane
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now... if they started pulling out boxes like Allure value, I would rethink a subscription- but I doubt that- that isn't their business model which is to have us sample and then buy.

Edited by sakura33
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I contacted them about a refund on my last few annual subscription boxes since they won't benefit from the points program that was in place when I bought the sub (essentially a "loss" to me of at least $20). 

 

They gave me a full pro-rated refund. FYI if anyone else with an annual wants out now. It's already taken effect on my account, and the refund is already showing up.

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Looks like we have two threads going on this subject. I'll go ahead and merge them. Thanks so much for opening them @@Squidling & @@sakura33 and sharing all this info!!!

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This wouldn't be too bad if they gave us points for the purchase of the box monthly. They don't do that, but Sephora does.

I did email BB about this and said since this was a purchase, I should get points for each box.  I haven't heard back from them.

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Thanks to someone on MSA, I found a recent article about Birchbox and their new strategy.  My takeaway is that Birchbox still isn't turning a profit and is the midst of a major identity crisis.   They don't really seem to have a great plan or strategy for the future.  I can't figure out if they just want to get out of the subscription business altogether, or dump their 'old' subscribers in favor of new customers who will use their shop more often to purchase full sized products.  

 

Opening brick and mortar shops seems risky. . .here in Portland metro we have Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta, Blue Mercury, and a nice locally owned store.  Plus, we have Whole Foods and New Seasons stores with large natural beauty sections.   I don't know how they will set themselves apart from the crowded market.  Just grouping things by item and not brand really isn't anything revolutionary or life changing.  

  

 

here is the article: 

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-03/birchbox-finds-cute-boxes-filled-with-makeup-aren-t-enough

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I think I might try to cancel what is left of my sub.  Their point system was the best and that is why I did a year sub.  It is not my fault they decided to build or set up B&M stores and are struggling?  Also it seems that they do want people to purchase full size from their store, but I have noticed on more that one occasion that their prices are always a 1/2 dollar to a couple of dollars more on items. Also it seems that they are losing a lot of key players that started out with the company. Hmmm, interesting to see if they stay in the sub biz!

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