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A forever twenteen-one lukaret chasing her dream to become a makeup artist. Join the club, we r kool hir.

My New Addiction: The Ultimate Guide on Subscription Boxes

What are subscription boxes?

Subscription boxes are goodie boxes of different beauty product samples. They're delivered to your home each month and just like any subscription, you can get a per box or bulk subscription.

You take a quiz and they send you goods based on your profile as to your skin type, hair type and fashion preference. You also set up an account with the site so that you can update your shipping info and subscription status.

Products sent out are featured in their online shop and each site encourages you to submit a review. That way, you and other prospective buyers have real accounts of experiences with the product.



BDJ Box vs. Glamourbox vs. SaladBox vs. Sample Room

I learned about subscription boxes just last week when a friend of mine posted something about Glamour Box on Facebook. Immediately, I was hooked to the idea. Thankfully I hadn't impulse-bought it yet, as I soon found out there were other options in the Philippines :) These four brands are what I know of so far, and Sample Room is even in a grey area as it works a little differently than the rest.

This is a mostly admin and impressions-based review as I've only gotten my BDJ box as of this writing. Let's see how that plays out in the head-to-head of these four brands. On with the comparison :)

BDJ Box

October BDJ Box photo from: bdj

P480/box, 5-6 samples guaranteed

Pros:
  • Ease of purchase and near instant delivery - Just pay and the latest featured box arrives 3-5 days after payment. Since I paid December 7, I got the November box last Wednesday. Each box rolls out around the end of the month.
  • Small compact box. At least my mom won't nag on me for cluttering up her room!
  • Quantity - They promise 5-6 items but have sent 7 + 1 bonus item in October, and 11 + 4 bonus items in November. This is really exciting for people like me who enjoy the mystery and want a big loot bag!
  • Price - Offers the lowest price, at P480/box. However...
Cons:
  • Use a lot of unexciting and old brands as "fillers". I don't like how they add perfume samples of already known signature brands. I can get these walking through a mall and I'm pretty sure most of us already know what they smell like. I'm especially disappointed with how much Garnier products are included in the first two boxes as samples of these were literally unloaded during my college orientation. But they have good reviews on the site and the point of sampling is to be able to try out different brands so I'm still willing to give it a shot.
  • I'm pessimistic about the variety and novelty of future boxes, I already subscribed to 3 months and the October box (which I wasn't able to get) and the November box have 2 Garnier products each.
  • No posting of items in previous boxes.
  • The curled cartolina confetti really cheapens the feel of everything.
  • Haven't seen a make up sample so far.
Check them out at: bdjbox.com

May 28, 2013 EDIT: As of May 2013, BDJ Box will be charging Php 590/box and has committed to bringing in at least 3x that value in full-size items.

Glamourbox

November Glamourbox photo from: manilamommy

P595/box, guaranteed 5 items

Pros:
  • Luxurious, huge box.
  • Delivered 12 items last November
  • Features new and interesting brands (Eye of Horus Mascara and Ofra lip palette) fit for beauty experts who are truly looking for unique finds.
Cons:
  • Has no waiting line. Just because their December box is already sold out, I can't even pay in advance for the January one. I really have to get into the January list 'cause that coincides with my BDJ and Salad subscriptions. I was hoping to do individual and side-by-side reviews so I can really get to the bottom of these subscription boxes.
  • A little pricey and very minimal in their promise. While they delivered 11 products last November, 5 of these were Shiseido. It's not as big of a problem as padding with a brand like Garnier, but padding is padding, and sampling should be all about variety.
Check them out at: glamourbox.ph

May 28, 2013 EDIT: As of May 2013, Glamourbox has stopped being a monthly service. It will now ship occasionally, with the schedules TBA.

SaladBox

November Saladbox photo from: kikaycorner

P500/box, 4 guaranteed samples

Pros:
  • Has variety in terms of other interests. (Has sent out room sprays and linen sprays)
  • Brands are all promising. I think they are all "indie," as I'm sure none of these are mega brands. Like what I said in the Glamour box review, this is fit for experts who are looking for something they probably don't know about yet.
  • Package tracking and highly detailed account status.
Cons:
  • Delivered 4 items on October and 5 on November. In terms of quantity, it definitely pales in comparison to the other two boxes.
  • PayPal payments are not processed due to some IT issue. Luckily, I emailed on Tuesday and got my order moving ('cause I paid on a Friday and processing should've advanced on Monday.) Yes, that's how obsessed I am about these boxes that one day is considered processing limbo for me.
Check them out at: saladbox.com.ph

Sample Room

Pay shipping fee with sunk admin fees. Meaning, shipping fees are higher than normal. Minimum fee is at P100 for 0.5kg in Metro Manila. 100 points available to shop with upon registering. Points spent on an item are fully redeemable upon reviewing said item. 50-65 points per sample.

Pros:
  • Truer to the try before you buy idea.
  • Complete control with what samples you get and when you can get them.
  • Redeemable points.
Cons:
  • Impossible to get more than 2 samples at once, as buying of points is still disabled.
  • Definitely the worst of all that I've checked. They announced they were going online this week but all the samples I tried to get were already consumed.
  • Out of 9 categories, only 5 have samples. There are 5 skin care products, only 2 of which have stocks, 1 hair care item out of stock, 2 body items, only 1 of which has stocks (and it's Dove. What the hell is there to try with Dove?) 1 fragrance and 1 cosmetic product, both out of stock. No tools, health, slimming and lifestyle products. This was last checked  early Friday morning, December 14, 12:30AM.
Check them out at: sampleroom.ph

June 17, 2013 EDIT: Around last month, SR introduced VIP membership with the following mechanics:

  • Php 599 for 1000 points
  • Points redeemable through reviewing as well, but they expire in two months
  • 3 products per transaction. Each transaction has a fixed delivery charge of Php 100.


In retrospect, it's probably a dumb idea to try and have all my subscriptions coincide with one another as there will be too many samples for me to review! Nonetheless, I really like the idea of subscription boxes and before I settle on one subscription, I'd like to try them all out first :)

Next post: My November BDJ Box Review/Unboxing!

My November BDJ Box Unboxing

First Post