Thursday, January 9, 2014

January 2014 Birchbox Review - or - Why I cancelled Birchbox.

 I'll start off by pointing out that this January Birchbox looked, at first glance alright. I'm not going to call it fantastic, because I've gotten this same sample of Viva La Juicy several times during my subscription. I didn't like it the first time (and yes I reviewed it and said I didn't like it) and I don't like it now. The nail rock I'm excited about but then again, I love nail stuff so of course I am. The other samples are a leave in conditioner and an eyeshadow. I'll give shout outs to the brands on my twitter independently of this review because I don't want them associated with my negative opinion of Birchbox.

NOVEMBER 2013
Alright now lets talk about what's changed in the last few months with Birchbox, in November they introduced something new, FINDS - if you take a peek at the image below you'll see that in November the item list count was 6. In that box we got a notice that the 'find' which for me was a chocolate bar, was in addition to my samples and that it would always be in addition to...not a replacement for, ok cool. I've ALWAYS gotten 5 samples...so the additional item was welcome and seemed generous. Last month December in the image below. The 'find' was a Birchbox branded cell phone cleaner, yea...great, they didn't even bother to list it in the box description on their site. I get why, it was lame. However, I at least still got my 5 items (though they were pathetic) and my 'find' in addition.



 Fast forward to this month and what have we here?! My my, I've only got 4 samples and a find, followed by a disclaimer that states: 'Don't worry - these products are in addition to your usual samples, never in place of them.' Really? That's funny because I'VE ALWAYS GOTTEN 5 SAMPLES. Now we only get 4? Oh...new year less value for money. Great! Thanks for the Mass market find...and for taking away my sample. I would have had to shrink the screen too much to show you how many months I've been getting my box and how many items came in it, but I included as many as I could so that you can see (and that image is shot right from Birchbox) that they have always given me 5 samples, the find has replaced my 5th sample. If I wanted mass market samples, I would reach out to mass market companies, and get them for free. It's easy enough to do.

After being dissappointed for the last few months, while seeing the sample sizes dwindle from something I could test out to one time use samples, they fed me a canned response and then realized I was a blogger...it doesn't matter. I'm a consumer advocate, I want to get my moneys worth and I want anyone who reads my blog to get theirs. Even if they AREN'T a blogger. This review is harsh, because Birchbox earned it. 

That is why I've cancelled my Birchbox.


If you weren't sure if you should join, I'd say don't bother. Get on the waiting list for Ipsy. It's much better and the same price.


31 comments:

  1. I cancelled by subscription a long time ago because I didn't feel it was worth the price I was paying.

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    1. I loved it for almost 6 months, enough that I bought a gift subscription (a years worth) for a friend...and now she's disappointed every month as well. It's alright, I have my IPSY bag.

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  2. Hmmmm....well although you usually receive 5, the promised minimum is actually 4 (even though that sucks). And that cellphone sticker cleaner was a marketing scheme, not a Birchbox find. That's why it isn't up for review. They just wanted people to download their really crappy app.

    However, you are completely right about how the sample sizes are getting smaller and smaller and smaller. I get the whole 'a little goes a long way' but it's getting to the point where I can only use it once. Is that Inika eye shadow full size or a sample size?

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    1. You are correct, however, it's clear that a pattern is developing with the size of the samples shrinking first and now the number. Not to mention, the mass market stuff is just unnecessary. The eyeshadow is full sized, which makes it the only reason I didn't down rate this particular box.

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    2. Ah, well that's really nice that it was full size. My Juara Candlenut Body Creme sample was a .27 oz foil packet that you can get for free off of the Juara website. Like really BB?

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    3. Gah! That does suck! Honestly what can you learn about a product with that size sample? Nothing, the answer is nothing.

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  3. It is sad that subscription boxes do not pay attention to detail for each box the repeat items are good for those who are new subscribers but not those who have been a member for awhile.

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  4. I'm stuck in a yearly subscription, but I must agree that the samples are getting smaller/ridiculous. My body lotion sample was 3 tiny foils of 0.067 fl oz each. Really disappointing. I'd have preferred the perfume sample.

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    1. Yuck. I hate that I can't cancel the gift subscription I purchased for my friend. Honestly how are you going to know anything about a body lotion with a sample that size!?

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  5. Wow, this is upsetting o hear how disappointed you are. I don't understand why they kept sending you the same sample so many times...

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  6. I never heard my wife speak of this.. But then again i probably didn't pay attention to it if she did.

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  7. I always wondered how Birch Box worked. I'm not really interested in paying for samples that I'm not even sure I would like. I could get samples for free from a lot of different web sites.

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  8. Given how sparse my January Ipsy bag is, and how incredibly small the samples in it are compared to my other Ipsy bags, I am hoping that Ipsy isn't about to also fall down the rabbit hole of smaller samples now that their subscriber numbers are much bigger than they were this time last year.

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    1. I just checked out my list (Didn't get my January bag yet) I hope it's good. Or else I'll be on the hunt for something new as well!

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  9. Thanks for sharing. I always wondered if subscription boxes like that are worth it or not! This one is definitely NOT

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  10. I've never tried the Birch Box (or most of the other boxes to be honest). I am glad that you gave your honest opinion. So many bloggers are afraid to give negative reviews and that just, in my opinion, calls their opinion into question. Why would I trust a blogger that refuses to tell me when something sucks! Thanks so much for being honest!

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  11. That's pretty disappointing. I honestly never tried subscribing to these stuff but I've heard about Ipsy from Michelle Phan, not sure if she owns it or something but thank you for the review! At least I know now it's worth going for Birchbox.

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  12. Birchbox has always promised 4-5 samples, plus a beauty or lifestyle extra. The extra is normally something like a small single use sample, a hair accessory, candy, or tea...And isn't considered one of your 4-5 samples. This is what the Birchbox find is replacing, not one of the 4-5 samples. I've been occasionally getting Birchbox Finds as the extra since April 2013, and all of my boxes have had either 5 or 6 items total. The majority of them have been 5 though, and I've been subscribed for over a year.

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  13. What a disapointment. Well, they deserved the harsh review. They shouldn't offer one thing and then deliver another.

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  14. I'm glad I read this. I've always wanted to try this but wondered about the size of the products you received and its sad to hear they dimished over the last few months.

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  15. I'm not one who likes surprises, so I guess this kind of subscription box wouldn't really be up my alley anyhow.

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  16. Thanks for sharing, I will pass it along.

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  17. Wow! I must say this is interesting and probably the only post I've ever seen out of hundreds (maybe even a couple or few thousands) I've read about products that had a full on negative side to it. Thanks for letting us know about it. Now I know what NOT to get.

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    1. It used to be wonderful, but they have become so inconsistent and the samples shrinking in size.

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  18. Well Im glad that I never got BirchBox, I guess I got lucky on this one, I will make sure I let people know about this

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  19. It is so frustrating when you sign up for something, then you are all excited about it & it sucks! Been there few times :(

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  20. Pity it didn't work out. I'd never heard of them and their monthly but it's good to have this information handy for future reference.
    Elizabeth

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  21. I love subscription boxes but I haven't tried this one. Thanks for the heads up.

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  22. I loved birchbox. But it just got to expensive for what was in it for me. I also felt like I kept getting some of the same things. I think it is a great idea though!

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  23. I'm not a sample person so this wouldn't fit me either

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