I have been getting birchbox for close to a year now, but I just canceled my subscription. It seems like the quality of the box has gone down...previously, the samples were nice and things I would actually use. For about the last 4-5 months, I have been throwing most of the box away. I logged into my account and tried to update my profile, but this seemed to do nothing. In fact, most of what I have been receiving doesn't match my profile at all, regardless of what is listed. In fact, there were two consecutive months when I actually got nearly identical boxes...down to the same perfume samples. There are other subscriptions out there that are much more reliable and better value. I won't be recommending birchbox to anyone.
For about a year, seemed as though any time I researched a high-end product that interested me, I learned that it had been first sampled through Birchbox. Clearly, Birchbox was the way to try out all those cool $200 skincare items that otherwise would feel like a potentially random waste of money. I signed up. Without reading the reviews here. What was I thinking?
So far, I have received two boxes. Maybe I need to wait a whole year to assess, but my impression is not positive. Why not?
-- You get better samples for free at Sephora and everywhere else
-- The products are no-name and unimpressive. Many seem to be drugstore quality. (I'm a snob that way, but I thought Birchbox got that vibe?)
-- Although I completed the profile, there does not appear to be any customization happening. In fact, I must have done something wrong because other people seem to be getting items/colors that would work much better for me!
-- Candy? Seriously?
I am a sucker for samples. I don't care that they're small. That's ok! But when I open the box, I want my reaction to be "oh, fun, new stuff to try!" not "is this it?"
I have been subscribing to Birchbox for one year. Here is a list of what I think are the most noteworthy items they have sent me so far:
-Essie LuxeEffects nail polish in Set in Stones (full size)
-Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Amused (full size)
-Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue
-DiorShow Extase mascara
-Algenist Lifting & Firming Cream
-theBalm Hot Mama
-Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in black (full size)
-Pixi Beauty Blush in Purest Peach (full size)
-Schick Hydro Silk Razor with coupons for refills
-Chantecaille Faux Cils Mascara
-Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre
-Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream
-Eve Lom muslin cloth
Not only have they sent me things that I was interested in and eager to try, they have also sent me things that I never would have bought or swapped for in a million years on my own. And that's why I continue to subscribe. For instance- before Birchbox, I had made up my mind that I did not like glitter nail polish. Well then I fell in love with the Essie glitter that they sent me, and now I own many. In fact some of my favorite polishes in my collection are glitters now. And theBalm Stainiac? It worked out so well for me that now I have it in all 3 colors. These are things I never would have branched out and tried without Birchbox.
But they definitely send out a lot of "filler" too. There have been tea bags, mints, a LUNA bar, an emery board, many random fragrance samples, a piece of chocolate- yes, ONE lone Ghirardelli chocolate square. But for $10 a month it can't be an all-out, full-sized, high-end extravaganza in every box. They'd go broke!
Overall, I love Birchbox. The price is right, the products are great, I'm glad I signed up.
I had a subscription for about 3-4 months and cancelled. I agree that some months were a hit and miss. I love receiving samples and was able to get my hands on some really nice generous samples of things I had been wanting or couldn't get because of price range. I actually enjoyed the hair ties that came in one my my packages and bought some more. I also loved the Jouer lip balm and a couple of the perfume samples. Yes, I also received a Luna bar which made me laugh (Did they run out of samples and need a back-up?) but seriously, $10 each month was not bad. I was able to make my own profile on their website and customize it. Overall, I think there are better sample programs to try and while I had an ok experience with Birchbox, I will not renew my subscription.
I just cancelled my subscription after only 5 months. I originally signed up because I love to try new products and while it was fun every month to get a little box of goodies, there weren't too many that I was crazy about. I never used the points because nothing wowed me enough to buy full size. It always seemed that the spoilers they previewed on Facebook and the website NEVER ended up in my box no matter how appropriate to my profile (you would think a girl who marked dry frizzy hair would have gotten that Ojon Rare Blend Oil sample). Nope- I got Juicy perfume samples in 4 out of 5 boxes and crappy nail polish that chipped in 6 hours. Yes, there were some products I liked but not enough to keep me hooked at $10 a month. Not terrible but not great so I'm off to try a different sample service.
They offer a wide range of products and I've rarely come across duplicate brands, unlike some of the other sample services out there that are notorious for pushing the same few brands (Beauty Bar Sample Society is THE WORST for doing this!). Plus, unlike other sample services, you can update your profile. Whereas with other services (yes, Beauty Bar is guilty of this as well), once you enter your profile you can't make changes.
Now, I've found that Birchbox is often hit or miss. Some months I'll get a fantastic box with samples that they somehow knew I'd like or want to try. Other months, it's like, "what the hell were they thinking?!?" Sometimes samples are small....as in really tiny single-use. Other times, they are pretty generous samples. There's often a full-size product in there--a nice unexpected treat. Sometimes it's even a full-size product that I'd want or could really use, like the Stila eye liner or Model Co. lip gloss. The non-cosmetic sample is a nice twist too, though like the rest, they are often hit (earphones, hair ties, designer Band-Aids) or miss (coasters? A Luna Bar?).
Still, for the price, the Birchbox service is a nice little treat. Overall, it's got me trying products that I normally would not have considered giving a go. Even the less-than-par boxes aren't too bad: I mean, in the past I've wasted $10 (or more!) on just one product that ended up being a failure; at least here I get to try several products for my sawbuck.
I haven't yet ordered from the website or written reviews, so I can't comment on those. I do think it's great that there's an opportunity to earn points that are redeemable for purchases.
My only suggestion is NOT to get the annual subscription--then you're locked in for a year, and to get one monthly box for free just isn't worth it. Go with the monthly or 3 month subscription so you can try it out first; then you can leave if you're not happy with the selections.
I've been subscribed to Birchbox for a year and a half. Initially the contents of the boxes were amazing-- full size essies, tarte lip stains, and even a beauty blender. Lately the box samples have been very small and from unknown brands.
Why do I continue to subscribe? Because of the points system. If you leave a quick review for an item you get 10 points ($1) that means for a birchbox that contains 5 items you can get 50 points ($5) added to your account every month. Also, their customer service is amazing. They have always been very generous with points if they notice that they sent a duplicate. Also, if a sample is empty or there is a problem they will credit your account 100 points ($10).
It's been a rocky road for Birchbox and I but I'm sticking with it!
I jumped on the Birchbox bandwagon a little later than most people. I read reviews and watched youtube "Unboxing" videos before I made my decision. I'm glad I did. For ten bucks a month you get a grab bag of different products to try out. If you like them you can make reviews on their website which will earn you points for money off of full size products.
I haven't had any problems with shipment or delivery. Ya, some of the stuff in the boxes haven't been to my liking. But, that's what you get when you sign up for something like this. You win some and you lose some but for ten bucks a month it's pretty cool! I'll keep my subscription for now. I've gotten some really cool things that I wouldn't have otherwise heard about before. It's like a surprise every month.
I started my subscription a month or two after Birchbox started in late 2010. Initially the boxes were great, with four samples that were truly deluxe each month. Customer service was also great. If I had a problem, someone from customer service would usually call me within a day. Shipping was typically pretty quick- I would get the samples around the 11-13th of the month, just a few days after they were shipped. The point system was also great, because I could earn points toward full-sized purchases. I think there was a small array of products/box combinations, so most subscribers were getting roughly the same box.
By 2012, all of this had changed. Most of the samples were far from "deluxe" and more like the single use free samples you can get when you order from Sephora, and perfume samples you can get in department stores. There were a few samples that looked promising, but I could not even get a single use out of the container! With skin care products, there's really no way to tell whether you'll want to buy it after one use. The tiny mascara/eyeliner samples ended up everywhere but on my lashes.
The boxes also came later and later, to the point where it was coming around the 27th of the month and I had just a few days to review the products before I could no longer earn points or get free shipping. Customer service also became worse. One month they just didn't send me anything because they had a problem with the billing (my credit card was fine) and instead of informing me that there was a problem, they just didn't send anything. There was nothing on the site that indicated the problem either. I've never ordered from another website that didn't send you an email if there was a billing problem.
The worst problem I saw was that the product array grew, and the likelihood of getting a box that a) wasn't worth the money and b) didn't fit my lifestyle went up dramatically. When I went online to see what other products came in other people's boxes, it seemed the selection in my box couldn't have been a worse fit for my lifestyle. I am a thirtysomething professional and my boxes seemed to be geared more to the high school crowd- strong fragrances, gigantic stick-on eyeliner, sparkly body lotions, fashion tape, etc. Some products were also repeating- why do I need the same fragrance ore than once? I ended up canceling in September and am happy with my decision.
I got a 6 month gift subscription for Birchbox. I would have never purchased this myself b/c I figured it would suck. It did. I was excited at first b/c you get to make a profile w/ preferences...like natural products, acne products, etc. After 6 months of this, the three best things I got were a shick razor (w/ coupons), an eyeko purple eyeliner and a pixi eyeshadow stick (a tinkerbell one) These were all full size things and I use them all regularly. Everything else was just so useless. For example, the november box had scented handsoap samples, a stinky bath fizz thing, a texturizing/volumizing hair spray ( i have super thick hair, would never need that) and a nasty perfume sample (every perfume sample i got was disgusting). I was excited for nail polish samples and I only ever got two and both were ugly. It would be great if like the julep program you could preview what you get and skip a month. But I don't think that's possible b/c every box is different for everyone. Another crappy thing about this is that I would get emails with previews with videos. They would always show great stuff. Like in the 'goop' themed box they had the eyeko eyeliners a stila lipgloss and a small essie polish. I did not get one of those things. And for this month's video they featured an organic lipbalm from a portland based company which I would have been SO happy to get (always looking for new lip balm). Did not get it. SUCH a disappointment.