I was only subscribed to Birchbox for a short time, but it was long enough for me to form some concrete options on this beauty subscription service. Birchbox, founded in 2010, seems to be the brand that kicked off the monthly subscription trend, at least it was first one that I'd heard of. Click through for my thoughts on the subscription service and rewards program.
Birchbox is a straight forward subscription service that's available in two options, both with two payment plan options.
Birchbox - $10/month, or $110/year+Free Shipping (Tax applicable in NY, NJ, MA, TN & VA)
Birchbox Man - $20/month or $195/year+Free Shipping (Tax applicable in NY, NJ, MA, TN & VA)
Subscribing + Payment: When you subscribe to either service, you take a simple quiz that helps determine what products suit your tastes best. Questions pertain to your skin type and color, hair type and color, and general product preferences. You're then asked for your skipping and billing information. If you choose to be billed on a monthly basis, your credit card will be charged automatically at the beginning of each month. Monthly subscribers have the option to cancel Birchbox at any time.Those that opt for an annual subscription will have the full amount drawn from their account immediately. Though annual subscribers also have the choice to terminate their subscription whenever they like, their payment is non-refundable and you'll continue to receive the boxes you paid for. Birchbox currently has a short wait list, with the average wait for both Birchbox and Birchbox Man lasting about two weeks. Birchbox is available in the USA, UK, France, and Spain.
Birchbox Man: Subscribes to Birchbox Man will receive three to four grooming samples per month, plus one full sized "lifestyle extra" item, which can vary from clothing, to playing cards, to tech items. Birchbox Man has partnered with popular mens' grooming brands like Billy Jealousy, Jack Black, and The Art of Shaving.
Birchbox: This subscription service sends out four to seven samples per month, with the occasional, usually edible, "lifestyle extra". Birchbox has teamed up with an absolutely massive array of brands, ranging from luxury brands like Le Metier de Beaute, Guerlain, By Terry, and L'Occitane, to affordable and accessible brands like Pixi, Yes To, and La Fresh. I think that's the strongest feature of the Birchbox subscription - you're almost guaranteed to try new brands every single month
The samples sent out in Birchbox can range in size anywhere from single use foil packets to full sized products. Personally, the two Birchboxes I received have featured pretty small samples. Out of the twelve products I've received, there were two foil packs, two were perfume vials, and two very small samples of the same sunscreen. I received only one full sized product. Though I've enjoyed many of the products I received, opening both Birchboxes was underwhelming for me. Recently, Birchbox began offering members the option to select one of their samples.
Cancellation: Canceling Birchbox isn't a hassle, it takes just a few clicks. They do ask why you're canceling, but I don't believe you're required to answer.
Rewards Program: Though I didn't love this subscription box, I have to give them props on their fantastic rewards program. Birchbox awards points. Every 100 points equates to $10, which can be redeemed for anything in the Birchbox Shop. There are four ways to earn points:
- Signing up automatically gives you 10pts.
- Reviewing Products received in your box - 10pts. each
- Referring a friend - 50pts. each
- Shopping in Birchbox Shop - 1pt for every dollar spent
Redeeming Points: Using your points is just as easy as earning them. You simply do your shopping, then select "Redeem Points" at checkout. Points are redeemable for any product in the shop, or for gift subscriptions. Points are only redeemable in $10 increments.
Birchbox Shop: This web store sells full sized products from most of the lines that partner with Birchbox. I've never made an actual purchase from the store, but I did redeem my points for Benefit's PosieBalm. Processing and shipping were fast and efficient. I received my product four days after placing my order. A majority of the products offered in Birchbox shop ship for free. All purchases from Birchbox Shop can be returned for free for any reason. Samples and gift with purchases are also included on orders over a certain amount.
Additional Offers: Birchbox frequently partners with magazines and designers, like Women's Health, and Kate Spade for example. A secondary offer, like a reduced cost magazine subscription, vouchers, or Birchbox exclusive offers and products usually accompany these partnerships. Birchbox also offers "special edition" boxes from time to time. These boxes, usually costing $40-50, contain 7+ full sized or large samples.
In Closing: Birchbox has strong pros and cons. The monthly subscription box isn't for me personally, there was more hair and skincare than makeup, and the samples were smaller than I'd prefer. The rewards program is great, points accumulate quickly and you can redeem them for anything you please. The shop stocks a ton of products and offers fast, often free, shipping. If you like trying new hair, skin, and fragrance products, or want to get acquainted with new brands, Birchbox may be a perfect fit for you. If you're like me, and would rather receive lots of makeup, and fuller sized products, this monthly beauty box is not for you.
Share your thoughts on Birchbox in the comments.
This post contains affiliated links+referral codes. This post was not sponsored in any way. All information was gathered from my first hand experience, or from official information offered by Birchbox.