It’s nearly the end of the month, and you want to order a new monthly beauty box—it makes sense order a March box in March, or try to pre-order it in February. However, that isn’t the case for some beauty boxes. I’m writing this is in the last week of February and here are my findings; it appears you can pay now for an April box in some cases, as March has already sold out.
Glossybox: The February box sold out in the first few days of February and you can’t pre-order a March box. If you subscribe before the 1st of March you will get a starter box (possibly and likely a selection of left over samples from the previous year). There is no guarantee that even if you do subscribe in March that you will get a March box, which at least Glossybox are open about. They seem very insistent that the starter kit is necessary, but do state it’s not suitable for current customers, probably to prevent the complaints of repeat items. Sorry, I can’t see why all new subscribers have to have a starter box and not the box that others receive. Currently they have not said the March box has sold out, so it’s possible to order a March box, but only of you order a subscription and accept a starter box in February it seems.
Look Incredible Beauty Box: Checking the site on 20 February, you can pay now and pre-order an April box, as March has already sold out. I’m not sure how many people are willing to pay for something that they won’t receive for at least 6 weeks? In addition there seems to be no registered company address on the website (a legal requirement for trading businesses in the UK). I have tracked down who owns the website, and the owner also runs an Ebay shop selling beauty items under SmartzPrice, as that is what the beauty boxes used to be called. While the boxes appear to be good value, I’m not keen on parting with my money for a couple of months with no guarantee of what I get. I also tried to sign up to the newsletter, only to get a 404 page error. Clearly there needs to be work done here.
Cohorted Beauty Box: I tried to buy one of these boxes only to be faced with a “Sorry, but this form is no longer accepting submissions.” I posted this query on Facebook any got no reply (quite a few queries had been posted with no replies). The next day I tried via Twitter and got a response. However, rather than answer me on Twitter they sent a couple of direct messages telling me the March box was already sold out (23 February), but I could pre-order (pay) for an April box from 1 March. Great communication, but I’m apprehensive about paying for something I won’t get for over a month, with no guarantee if they run out of boxes again. It’s not stated on the website (at time of writing), but I have been told that the website is being updated.
I really wanted to try these boxes, but that is the point of my investigation; rather than receive a complimentary box and gush at the contents, one needs to experience the reality of ordering a box and any pitfalls. Boxes do run out, and you as a new customer may get a hastily made up box of previous products instead. I suspect Birchbox do this too, as my box appeared to be assembled from old products that had been reviewed last year. The problem with many of these subscription boxes is that they don’t invest in customer service; you maybe getting a bargain, but you pay for it in other ways. Is it better to know a box has sold out, or be palmed off with a box of old/repeated products? Perhaps these sites should be more transparent when they do run out of stock, and make that clear on the site, and not in the small print just before you click pay. It would increase customer faith, and encourage people to return to the site, and retaining customer loyalty is priceless. Do let me know if other subscription boxes have run out and you were given a substitute. I will investigate further.