Pink Parcel used to be one of the better beauty subscription boxes, but recently fell into financial difficulty due to various factors from being too ambitious and issues with funding. If you haven’t read the open letter from the founder Dominic Hill, take a read here:
That said, he did say by March, he hoped things would turn around, but that is not the case as I received the March box and it was disappointing, more so as it looked like it was a Cosmopiltan box which would have cost more, but seemed to have less in it.
Rating and verdict
While if understand the plight of the company, if they are still trading then they need to offer a good service. Nearly all the items I received were repeats, so obviously they are using up old stock which is fair enough but they should state that so people don’t get disappointed. It’s okay to do that as long as they tell people that.
Here is what I got:
- Dr Botanical Rose Facial Oil ~ 15 ml
- SkinChemists Rose Quartz Lip Plump ~ 8 ml
- Lyons coffee sachet
- Phase Zero eye shadow
- Squirrel Sisters chocolate brownie
- Magnitone cleansing cloth
- what’s in it for me body cleanser ~ 50ml
With the exception of the eyeshadow, brownie, and body cleanser, I had received the other items in other boxes. Now, if they were extras because they were favourites that would have been great, however, all went on eBay or were given away as gifts. Subscriptions are £12.99 a month, and you can prepay for 3, 6, or 12 months. Given the uncertain future of the company, a monthly rolling one would be a better option at present.
The box was quite average, even if the perceived retail value appears quite high, but sadly SkinChemists and Dr Botanicals items always seem over priced and are always on offer. The body cleanser is a handy travel sized tube, and the coffee was okay, and I am saving myself for the chocolate brownie, so the smaller items were more useful. The box was beautifully packed and arrived on time, so these are good plus points. However, given the uncertain direction of the company, rather than to take a risk on another month, I would wait and see before I subscribe again.
Thoughts on the open letter from the founder
Having read it a few times, most customers commented in support of the company and wish them well and to get back on their feet. Reading between the lines and observing also from the changes last year, I saw the company trying to expand too fast, and it was bound to fall flat. I expressed apprehensions about the Cosmopolitan collaboration, and I believe that has been halted at present, and so lasted a few months. You see it’s about price point and value, and customers want both and good customer service.
Then I read that Hill had wanted to take on Birchbox and Glossybox, but both have struggled with Glossybox getting bought out by The Hut, and Birchbox had problems and culled their points scheme and lost many subscribers in the process. Beauty boxes, as much I love them will fade out and some have been lost already, where in a saturated market it’s hard to stay competitive and profitable. Companies are creating their own boxes, such as Clarins and the Lauder group and don’t need to go to external parties.
As for Pink Parcel and their need to discuss periods constantly, is something I was never that comfortable with and less so when I man talks about it who has never had a period in his life. I used to ignore all the emails and posts in my Facebook feed because quite frankly I wasn’t interested. If I want to know, then I will look it up. Is focusing on periods the right move? I would hesitate to agree because most women I know just aren’t that interested and are more interested in the practical items and the goodies each month.
Hill is involved in other ventures such as The Pool which is also struggling financially, where most of the directors have resigned, and it was announced that the online magazine will fold. Hill remains as the sole director while the company is liquidated, so he seems to have a lot on his plate!
I feel it would be better to stop trading and when they are back on their feet to start up again rather than disappoint customers. They may need to fulfill outstanding long term subscriptions rather than refund customers, but can they really provide a worthwhile service during this period? This happened to This is Powder who stopped their monthly boxes and now only do collections.
While I do wish to support Pink Parcel, it appears that the mission statement and the aims of the company need to looked at, and perhaps it would be better to ask the customers what they want? After all, then you know what makes the customer tick and that’s much better than second guessing what they may like, or what you think they will like.