Is The Subscription "Box" Popularity Wanning? forums

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May 15, 2012
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Here in the last few months I have seen many people who are unhappy with (fill in Subscription here). It seems like the companies that are putting out the various boxes are more concerned with the money they are raking in, cannot get billing right, cannot live up to the hype, cannot get hold of the "high end" samples they promised, go from great to a downhill slide fast, they cannot keep up with the demand, and the list of complaints. I am seeing these complaints and more from all subs not just one or two. More and more I am seeing people cancel their subs and instead opt to just buy the products they want right then.

So what do you think? Is the Subscription box going out of popularity quickly?

I don't think the popularity itself is dying, but I think the "problem" (if there is one) results from the number on the market. With such a glut, people are looking for competition, and some of our favorite boxes that have been out there the longest tend not to be "competing".

I don't think so. Subscriptions have been around for so long, I don't think they'll ever go away completely. Some of our long time favorites have started to outgrow their capabilities, but the waitlists are miles long for some companies and I don't think they'll fall out of favor any time soon. 

I think another issue is that customers who've been partaking in subs, especially with multiple accounts and/or companies, are looking for more. The wow factor is starting to wane and certain expectations have already been established. So what may seem like a small error or mishap becomes unacceptable and customers want/expect more and tolerate less.

Originally Posted by MissLindaJean /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think another issue is that customers who've been partaking in subs, especially with multiple accounts and/or companies, are looking for more. The wow factor is starting to wane and certain expectations have already been established. So what may seem like a small error or mishap becomes unacceptable and customers want/expect more and tolerate less.
This is very true, i see it a lot on this board and am guilty of it myself. A lot of people new to subs say oh why are you complaining it's only 10 dollars!! Then a few months later those same people are the ones doing the complaining. And I know I am VERY guilty of it myself, but as we get comfortable with our subs and are amazed with our products one month, the next month is bound to be disappointing and we are going to complain on a forum like this.

Originally Posted by MissLindaJean /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think another issue is that customers who've been partaking in subs, especially with multiple accounts and/or companies, are looking for more. The wow factor is starting to wane and certain expectations have already been established. So what may seem like a small error or mishap becomes unacceptable and customers want/expect more and tolerate less.
I think this sums it up nicely. It's definitely a buyer's market now. Personally, I've started to get sampled out. I've been cutting subs left and right. I expect to cut this down to two after September. 

*waves hands* I'm only 5 months into my subs..have 4 after axing Glossybox, but I'm still satisfied. I do think a lot of the grievances we see aired on the threads are from long time subbers, which is understandable. Same brands, repeated CS issues, yada's going to get stagnant for many reasons for experienced ladies. ;D But I personally feel if you're constantly unsatisfied, treat it like a dying relationship and get out. Keep it moving and sample another company, if you still want that monthly box. Or rotate your subs to keep it exciting. Lol, I'm still honeymoon status for the most part. Also, no.. beauty subscriptions are never going out of business as an industry. Too many ladies of all ages, shapes, and sizes want the convenience of to your door delivery of products... Avon, Mary Kay, anyone? We'll see an evolution, whatever that might entail. It used to be salesman knocked on your door, soliciting and tempting consumers. Now, they spam your email, FB..whatever.

I think it's a combination of things.

1. Too many companies out there that promise fantastic products at ___ price only for the items to be a complete let down.

2. Too many BAD companies out there taking advantage of those who either don't know products (so they don't know if the item is legit or counterfeit) OR advantage of those who love subscriptions to try something new.

3. Lack of quality products. I've always said that there is a finite amount of products from companies and with such a gluttony of companies trying to get their hands on those products the sizes end up differing between companies and sometimes even box to box.

I know I'm over subscriptions unless it's a company I'm already familiar with (like Loose Button). I will not sign up for another "no name" company since I think most are complete BS now with various claims. Take "Respect The Fashion" and the owner's claim on Facebook that she has over 125,000 members/subscribers yet the Facebook page only has 16 likes. There's no videos or reviews or anything and none of us has ever heard of them until recently yet they have 125,000 members when a company like MyGlam has less than 90,000 on Facebook? Uh huh.

Well, the novelty / popularity of these sample boxes is definitely wearing off and waning for me.  I came to the realization that I needed to start cancelling my subs when I had 8 large tupperware containers filled with samples (I would never get around to using all of them!).  I have multiple samples that I tried but I hated, and stuff that's just not right for me, like moisturizers that make my skin look super greasy.  I just don't know what to do with it all.  I don't really have time to do sample trading as I work 2 jobs, go to school, and do hospital volunteer work. 

I mostly sub just for the chance at getting some nice makeup (which did happen occasionally - even full size!).  It just makes me giddy when I get any type of makeup (provided it isn't a .00003g sample of blush).  But when I look at how many samples I actually use, like, and would repurchase are definitely few, far and in between.  I have finally made a smart decision to cancel all the subs except  Birchbox, My Glam, and Conscious Box -- which are just $10/ pc and have provided me with the best selection of samples and seem to have good brands-- because I would rather use money on going to Sephora and Ulta and buying high end cosmetics I know I'll use from brands I've tried and test, ie- Urban Decay, Too Faced, Smashbox, Benefit, CARGO, Stila!  Hell, one month I had about 12 different subscription boxes -- it was so ridiculous.  I started to get repeat samples, definitely starting seeing the same brands pop up time and time again (even across eco-friendly / non eco-friendly ones)!  I ended up with about 8 of the same Weleda samples  (omg, Weleda was in like every single box!)  Also, I really detest getting food samples which is why I hated Conscious Box - plus all the natural organic foods would always contain nuts and I have a nut allergy.  I mean literally every month would be some type of nut bar -- one month they even put 3 different nut bars in.  It was just unnecessary!

So to conclude, yes I'm subbied out !  I've tried it all.. from being like a giddy kid on Christmas day when I get a new sample box to just being a scrooge going Bah Humbug and hating every sample because it's not high end cosmetics is when I knew the excitement was over for me!  I know a lot of people are just getting into the sample box craze -- I think if you just keep 1 or 2 subs you'll have less of a chance of getting subbed out as opposed to having about 5-10 subscriptions. 

LOL Fluttershy! I vetoed several boxes including Conscious Box for the very same reason, when I was deciding which one to go with... could not stand the idea of getting a fricking granola bar in my $10-$25 box. My breaking point with it though was reading a couple of reviews of some box that had what looked like a fancy foil-wrapped chocolate... which was actually a massage bar sample or something... one lady actually found out by trying to eat it, iirc! That totally would have been me. No matter how much I like massage bars, I am not gonna like it when it has been in my mouth, NOT being chocolate! 

I have been getting the Green Grab Bag for 5 months now and I am so happy with the customer service. I have already experienced what MissLindaJean commented on, where "what may seem like a small error or mishap becomes unacceptable and customers want/expect more and tolerate less." There was a lip scrub in one of my boxes, or a skin scrub or something - which I'm not that into anyway - and the one that we got was CLEARLY not natural, based on the smell (ugh) and then on the list of ingredients. I complained and they apologized profusely, explained that the manufacturer had pulled a fast one on them, and gave me a ton of extra samples in my next box! Which was especially good because it meant I got to try the Deep Steep moisture stick I had read about. 

I think that good customer service is really the key. If I feel like I can make suggestions (more moisturizers!) and get goodies if they fall short, I am way more invested in seeing them succeed and in continuing to get the box. I just feel way more into it because of something like that. 

It also really does help that I only get one box right now... I don't think I could handle more samples than I already use, but then, maybe I should have planned ahead and gotten another one so I'd have more stocking stuffers piled up! (And I WAS really interested in that popsugar one where you get full-sized scarves and things....) 

I feel there are only a handful of good ones.  I've been doing the gift thing to try them out before fully committing.  If they're lame the first time, they're out!  I just experinced that with CB with their Ultimate Thanksgiving box.  More like Ultimate tired box,  And I'm supposed to receive another box called Holiday Spruce Up.  Well I hope they spruce it up and step it up too.  I'm done!  Which is a good thing, I've been out of control with the subs!  Wake up call!!!!!!!

I've been through the full cycle by now! First, I tried Birchbox and I was ecstatic about it, and I wanted more. So then I subbed to myGlam, and the two were nice...but I kept adding more and more and more and more. I got all sampled out, started feeling crotchety about all of it, and so I got rid of everything but Glossybox.

Then I started feeling the withdrawal, so I'm back up to four - Glossybox for my high end and skincare needs, Ipsy for my fun stuff, Starlooks for makeup, and Goodies for snacks. :) /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />

I do think these boxes have more value for me than many others, simply because I have a limited budget and I live in a tiny town with no Sephora or beauty stores. I don't have samples accessible to me in person, and these boxes help me try and discover these brands and products without taking a gamble on buying them full priced online and hating them! 

I think we all go through the cycle. We find them, go nuts and then realize how much we spent. When you total up what you spent and decide whether you really thought all of those samples were worth it or not it usually changes your mind. I cut out a ton of mine and just started buying full sizes of things I know I like.

I give a box 2 months, if I get 2 crap boxes in a row I cancel.  I'm over-run with creams right now so I'll be glad when the winter boxes are over!

Not for me I just this past month subscribed to ipsy birchbox glossybox  beautyfix and I am thinking about popsugar looks like a fun box

I think the glut of new boxes coming on to the scene might have something to do with it. I know for me, I spent time figuring out which ones I like and which ones I don't. I've gotten it figured out pretty well now and I don't feel like I need anything else. A new box might pop up and be something that would have interested me before, but I'm just not looking for any more boxes right now. I think seeing people on this board being burned could have something to do with it as well.

So really, I don't think the interest is waning, I just think people are being more selective.

I like sub boxes, just my budget is much less and being burned a few times and even being burned with a recent dance school/studio sub where I lost hundreds of dollars makes me want to take a break.

Right now the only subs I really like are the ones run by companies that have a store and my favorite sub SkincareRX Beauty Cache, they took a break from their bags/box in November and theirs was great.

you would spend $30-40 and get a coupon for either 20% off or $35 or whatever. and they were even giving away the bags w coupon codes by email and I still have tons of skincare from that.

Maybe when I have less samples I will consider signing up for something.

For me, I love getting stuff in the mail, but after going subscription box nuts last year and figuring out that I pretty much spent about $900 in a year for nail polish and a crapton of foil samples and things, that it was not worth it to me at all.

At one point, I had two birchboxes, Glossybox, two Julep subs, Sample Society and PopSugar Must Have.

I personally would rather take $200 to Sephora around Christmas time, and buy some things I've REALLY wanted, or some of the nice sets they have.

It's actually cheaper, I don't end up with all kinds of beauty stuff hoarded away like I ended up with, ,and for me, the samples were a bust anyways. I didn't buy a single thing that I got a sample of.

I keep my Julep one because I enjoy their products, and skipping is easy. But that's the only one I've kept.

So I don't think that most of the subscription boxes are worth it at all. If you are into experimenting with stuff, it would be, but for me it just was a total waste of money and super expensive!

I mean, I spent almost 1k on those boxes and to me it was a collosall waste of money. I think about what I could have bought for a fraction of that at Sephora, and it just sucks.


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