I am fairly new to monthly subscription boxes. I can’t even tell you how I came across Popsugar’s box, but a few months back I came across their website talking about their first month of the program. I thought what a great idea a package in the mail with a wide variety of products to try and full size products at that. It took me a few weeks but I decided I would sign up and give it a try. They listed on their site that the first month was $30 with their $5 off coupon. Also if I was not completely satisfied with my box I could return it and get my money back. So what the hell I thought, I like getting mail and now I will actually be getting more than just grocery ads in my mailbox and if I am really that disappointed I could get my money back. All of this was just 6 months ago, which brings me to why I decided to write this post. I am struggling with this subscription now, I mean it is a great value, for $35 a month I get approximately $100 or more in products that are fashion, food, fitness & home related. (granted when I first signed up it was $150, that was a short lived price and they quickly switched to $100 min value)
But here I am, I just received my sixth box from them and I am just blah. I don’t even have a better word for it, just blah. I don’t exactly hate what I have received but they haven’t been that great either. It has been this blah feeling for the last 3 boxes. Below is a picture of the January box once it was opened.
Every month the items come packaged surrounded by hot pink tissue paper and sealed with an enjoy sticker. I don’t have any pictures of this presentation because honestly I am just impatient and by time the box shows up I am just ready to dive in and forget to stop and photograph it until I am all done looking at everything. Each box also comes with a booklet outlining what is going to be included inside, now I do find this informative to try to understand their reasoning, but in reality it is a spoiler. Don’t read this until the very end, because once you read the first paragraph listed on the front you know know exactly what is inside. Ok, ok yes you can see what is inside in the photo above but really not everything is visible.
Here is everything laid out and I will go over my reactions to each after the photo.
First and most obvious is the stability ball; now the focus of this box was fitness and freshness of the new year, so I totally get why they included a piece of exercise equipment. Now I don’t hate this but I already own a stability ball, it is deflated and in my garage. Granted I did just recently decide that I need to add some different exercises to my routine so I was going to blow my ball up if I could find the pump. But this is one of those things that most people already own if they wanted to own one. I did blow it up and it is a good size for me, but the pump I found to be cheaply made. I had a hard time connecting the nozzles to the end of the pump because the plastic nozzle wasn’t threaded the same as the metal on the pump so it was just half screwed together and at an angle. Oh and if you want a work out just pump up a stability ball, because I spent almost an hour pumping away and I still could never get it to the right stiffness. I feel like it needs more air, but after that long of pumping I was bored with it and decided that I should just get on the treadmill instead.
Here is a close up of all the little items that were in the box:
The included items are Popbar Hot Chocolate on a Stick in Dark & Milk chocolate, Jet-Puffed Vanilla Mallow Bits, Epicuren Discovery Lip Balm & the Remix Timebomb watch. The items located at the top of the photo are Think Thin Bars & Casetagram gift certificate these items are considered special extras which is why I am listing them at the end.
Let’s start with the Popbar Hot Chocolates, now I haven’t had a chance to try these yet and honestly I may give them to my parents to try because I personally am not a hot drink person, I like things with ice no matter how cold it is outside. But I have to admit I feel like this is a really cute idea and I would have rather seen these in December’s box especially with the peppermint poles we received. In actuality the tea from December should have been swapped with the hot chocolate because tea is more in line with the healthy ideas and freshness of the new year. When I think of hot chocolate I am thinking sitting around the fire with family during the holidays not hey let’s get fit by drinking hot coco. So really this just seemed kind of off for this box.
Next up the Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits, now yes this was included because how can you have hot chocolate without marshmallows at least this is their reasoning for throwing these in this months box. Which of course is very cute and I will be using these but not for hot chocolate but for baking, I did see a cookie recipe a little while ago that called for these and now that I have them it will give me a reason to give the recipe a shot. Because this is one of those items I don’t think I would purchase unless I had to so it was kind of nice to get them in this box.
The Epicuren Lip Balm has tee tree oil in it, so if you aren’t a fan of that smell then this lip balm is going to be too much for you at least at the start. Because of the tree tea oil it can smell like medication and not something that I would want to have on my lips all day long. I am not a fan of pot balms, I don’t like having to use my finger because then I am always looking for a tissue or towel to wipe my finger off. This type of application has never appealed to me, I would have preferred a lip balm in a tube or stick. Especially since just two months ago we received a pot lip balm as well. So with two strikes against it before I even tested it out I was seriously hoping that it was going to feel amazing on but it didn’t it felt waxy and a slight gritty texture. Now the scent of the oil did go away shortly after application, which is good. So overall this balm will not be used when I already own things that are better.
Then we come to the final item of the box (excluding the extras) which is The Remix Timebomb watch. All I can say first off is wow how old do you think your demographic is? We are not teenagers in high school looking for gel watches that we can interchange with different colored bands. Oh and to up the kid factor it lights up?! This piece just seemed so off and not at all like they really took us consumers into thought when picking it out. I mean if you are going to make a box about the start of the new year and want it to be healthy, fresh & fitness related why would you pick this watch? Why not something that actually kept track of the time you spent working out or even a pedometer to track our steps. I would have to say that 90+% of the people signed up for this subscription I am sure have cell phones so we can check the time there; heck they even remind us when our appointments are. So the idea of using this to make sure that I am on time is so out of the ballpark. Honestly this is more than likely being donated to charity unless one of my friend’s kids want it.
Now a quick bit about the extras; in this box we got three different Think Thin bars I am looking forward to giving them a try, I have been trying to have these types of bars on hand throughout the day when I need a healthy filling snack. I just have a few already in my desk at work that I want to eat up before I give these a go.
The last item in the box was a gift certificate to Casetagram for $15 off of a personalized iPhone or iPad case. I did download the app so I could see what it was about, and the iPhone cases are $34.95 & the iPad cases run $54.95. While this idea seems cute and I wouldn’t mind having one but just to redeem this I still have to shell out $19.95 for a cell phone case and since I just shelled out money to purchase the current case on my phone I don’t see myself using this code any time soon. I have to admit I think it would have been better if they gave us a 50% off any case just so that we could experience their product. I think I would be more inclined to use it for a case for my iPad. These types of certificates are not uncommon in the Popsugar Must Have Boxes, and honestly I have run into trouble trying to redeem one in the past and the others required some form of additional payment to use so I have honestly given up trying to redeem any of them.
Here is the January box breakdown of the item’s cost:
Stability Ball – $39
Popbar Hot Chocolate – $6 ($3 per bar)
Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits – $2
Epicuren Lip Balm – $10
Remix Timebomb – $45
Using these totals my box value came to $102; if I include the extras the total becomes $123
Now I did only pay $35 for my box which basically is the cost of the stability ball alone, but the overall feel of the box to me makes this not worth what I paid for it. This really felt to me that at one point they received a bunch of different items and this was what was left over and they just had to get rid of them so they threw it in a box and called in January. It was like there was no thought process of how the items relate to each other as well as to us the consumer. They really missed the mark on this month, which added to the fact that the last three boxes have felt like misses as well it has me toying with cancelling my subscription. I don’t know if it is because the subscription has grown so much and they just cannot keep up with demand so they are slacking when it comes to the item selection or there just isn’t enough time to plan the boxes out because they need so many more. But they really need to step it up before they start loosing their subscribers. Even though I am considering stopping my subscription I do think I may stick it out through February’s box and see if it steps up a notch and then make my final decision. But to be honest this seems to be my response each month so I guess in one way they have me hooked because they keep getting my money.
What do you think of this subscription? Do you want to give it a try? Or are you signed up for a monthly box that you just absolutely love and want me to know about, leave a comment below and tell me what you think!! And if you want to give popsugar a try go to this link and use the code REFERFRIENDS to receive $5 off your first monthly box, this code is only valid for new subscribers.
Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated in any way in regards to this subscription or review.