Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I'm All About Subscription Boxes

Last year, it had seemed like there was only one or two subscription boxes. At least, ones that were well-known in the community. But now, they are ALL over the place. And that's a good thing since there are different themes and boxes to choose from, but it's hard to sift through them all and find the one that is perfect for you, or that you at least love most of the time. So I thought I'd write a post on my thoughts regarding the three I've tried, and the three that I want to get someday. :D

Subscriptions I Haven't Tried But Want To

Uppercase
While not a box, I still pay a lot of attention to this one. I've not only heard great things about them, but I've liked what I've seen. I just haven't gotten to a point where I want to try them, because it doesn't seem like they do themes, just new releases??? I don't preorder often, but I do worry that I'll get a book I didn't want or one I already bought. But the items they pair with the book are always fun and useful, and literary-themed. And the bags they come in are so cute!

Whimsify
This is a newer one, and they have potential. I haven't loved any of their previous boxes on a whole yet, which is the reason I haven't tried them. But I'm definitely going to keep on the lookout and see where this box goes!

Fairyloot
I want to try their subscription SO. BADLY. I've always been impressed with the quality of their boxes, and the thought put into them. But since they're UK-based, holy shit is shipping expensive. I added it up once, and it was like $50 altogether. And I just cannot justify that, especially for a book I haven't read. So, to get me to actually try Fairyloot, it'd have to be for a book I'm absolutely head-over-heels obsessed with, or from a capital FAVE author. I definitely stalk the hashtag on Instagram every month to see the boxes, and they're fun! But luckily, I've only been sad about missing a box ONCE. There are many repeat items in their boxes, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But I don't need more candles I won't light or pretty quotes that I don't know. Plus they only do fantasy or science fiction books, but that isn't completely a con for me since fantasy is my favorite genre. The price, though, that is really my hangup with them. So until the book or author makes it a must-have for me, I won't be getting Fairyloot sadly.


A Bad Experience
LitCube
Last October LitCube had a Beauty and the Beast-themed box, so OF COURSE I had to get it. It was my first experience, and not a great one, so I'm glad it didn't ruin subscription boxes for me. I did write about it in a post last fall, but I wanted to mention it again in this one. The biggest priced item was completely damaged (like it's still usable, but the purpose of the product is ruined), and I probably could have made a fuss, but it just didn't seem worth the energy. I think people were having trouble getting a hold of the owner too. I do LIKE that they pick indie/self-published books, because I'm a firm believer that it does not make a book somehow less the way it's published. (I don't understand the elitism some people feel when discussing self-pubbed books especially). They've also got a Gilmore Girls subscription box, but I don't love that show sadly. And I just feel like the items don't always mesh well with the themes they choose. I know people who really like LitCube. But I don't think I'll be getting a box again.


My Favorites
OwlCrate 
They are, by far, one of the best in the business. And I don't think I'm the only one saying that. So far, I've gotten three boxes, and bought another, and I love their creativity! tbh, I don't think any since the Wonderland (November 2016) theme have surpassed that box, because that one was AMAZING. Although I'm biased because of my love for Alice in Wonderland. ;) I grabbed the pirate-themed one in March, and while I liked a lot of the items, I didn't overall LOVE it. I also felt quite the same about July's box that I got this past weekend. But I'm SO EXCITED to get yet another Owlcrate; I'm so here for the Something Wicked This Way Comes theme. I think what makes them stand out is just the quality of their boxes. Their themes are pretty unique, and they tend to pick ones that other subscription boxes don't. I mean, the June 2017 one was wanderlust, how cool is that? ALSO. I love that they're adding more exclusive covers to their boxes. That was a huge reason why I bought the June one (as well as the previous Wonderland box). I've loved them more than the originals, tbh!

The Bookish Box
What made me start looking into this subscription was the fact that they did fashion. Each box comes with a shirt, for sure, and other wearable or usable items. Always some type of mug too! Sometimes the shirts don't seem as creative as they could be, but as someone who is always in need of new clothes, I really appreciate them. The sizes have given me a bit of trouble, but that happens when it comes to online shopping. I just need to find the perfect one, and get that each time. I've even grabbed some of their past shirts during their sales. The funny thing though is that I don't generally subscribe to their month's theme, but to their one-time boxes. They've done so many good ones (HP Yule Ball, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, Hogwarts Houses), and I think I prefer them to the month's box, especially after they started adding a book option. Of course since they're a BOOKISH subscription it makes sense, but another thing that attracted me to them was that they DIDN'T do books. It made them unique to all the others. I will obviously still be buying their boxes, though. One can never have too many literary-inspired t-shirts. ;)

*****

I think there are so many positives to subscription boxes, but a major con for me is the fact that I don't know whether I will love the items or not. It can be a toss-up, like when I got a damaged one from LitCube, or when I didn't love all the items in the OwlCrate pirate box. It's always a concern, because they ARE expensive, so you want to make sure you love the whole box, right? There are a few boxes I thought about getting until I saw the fandoms the items were based on, and unless you love them, I highly doubt you'd love the box. But to each their own, yeah? Sometimes the boxes don't have fandoms involved. Or if they do, it's only one or two. So I personally just wait until I a) know the book, b) at least like the fandoms, and c) love the theme.

Another thing that can be hard to determine is whether or not the subscription box is a GOOD one. There are *so many* that have popped up after this business started getting more popular, and I've been too wary to try them. Spearcraft seems fun, but their items just don't scream high-quality??? The Enchanted Book Box is one that I went to try until I saw the price. For a US-based box, it is ridiculous. It was as much as Fairyloot would be for me! So I've kind of just stuck to the older, more reputable ones. But I check out so many of them on Instagram. I have an obsession. 😁


Have you guys gotten any of these subscription boxes yet? Or any different ones? If so, what did you think of them? I'd definitely love your opinions on the top three, as I haven't tried them yet. :D