About Birchbox

Billing itself as “the leading discovery commerce platform,” Birchbox is a fee-based subscription service that sends you one box of beauty, grooming, and lifestyle product samples each month from well-known and up-and-coming brands. Founded in 2010 and based out of New York, NY, Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that helps you find products you love. Each of their packages are customized based on your specific preferences, and are delivered right to your door.

Birchbox holds an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, which is based on 8 complaints within the past three years, three of which were never responded to by the company. From a customer satisfaction standpoint, online reviews appear to be mixed, with the most common complaints citing poor quality products that were not personalized based on users’ profiles.

How Birchbox Works

Whether you’re an adventurous single or a time-starved parent, Birchbox claims to feature a selection of top men’s and women’s products, and provides you with a 360-degree process: try a product sample, learn more about the product, and then purchase it.

To begin using Birchbox, you’ll first need to sign up for an account. During this step, you’ll need to fill out a short profile, and include information such as your hair and skin types, specific concerns you may have, and even your level of beauty knowledge. This is important because Birchbox claims that their sample boxes are tailored based on your specific preferences. However, it’s important to note that the most common complaint we encountered during our research cited poor quality products that were not personalized based on users’ profiles. For example: If a user listed in their profile that they weren’t interested in hair care products, they would consistently receive these types of products each month.

After receiving your Birchbox samples, if you find that you like one of the products, you can then purchase a full size version through the company’s shop. If you find that you’re unsure how to use one of the products, or would simply like to find out additional information, you can always log in to the Birchbox website and visit the product’s page. Under the 'How It Works' and 'How to Use' section, you’ll find detailed information on “how to get the most out of your samples.”

In addition to the company’s website, Birchbox also has an app available for all iDevices, as well as a magazine that features the “latest beauty, grooming, and lifestyle news,” in addition to product tips.

Birchbox Pricing, Points, & Refund Policy

A Birchbox subscription will currently cost your $10 per month for women’s products, and $20 per month for men’s. (Note: At the time of this writing, there was a two-week wait to join.) If you choose to sign up for an annual subscription, you’ll receive one month free of charge.

For every full-size product purchased through the Birchbox shop, you’ll earn one point for every dollar spent. In addition, you can also earn points by referring friends or reviewing products. Every 100 points you earn translates into $10 off a full-size order, though your points can only be used in increments of 100, and are only redeemable for one year.

If you sign up for Birchbox through a monthly membership, you can cancel any time with no further obligation and no attached fees. On the other hand, annual subscriptions can only be cancelled within the first month, and will automatically renew on your yearly anniversary.

If you’re dissatisfied with any full-size purchase, Birchbox provides a 90-day refund policy. While your original shipping and handling is not refundable, the company does include free return shipping to the warehouse. To begin the refund process, simply email customer service at info@birchbox.com.

Pros:

  • A “360-degree discovery commerce platform” that helps you learn about and try new products.
  • Features products for men and women, and claims to be customized based on your preferences.
  • All full-size products come with a 90-day refund policy, including free return shipping.
  • A reputation for good customer service.

Cons:

  • Cannot customize samples by ingredients (e.g. if you have allergies).
  • Numerous complaints that the samples were poor quality, and did not match users’ preferences.

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6 Customer Reviews for Birchbox

Average Customer Rating: 2.2
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 1 4 stars: 1 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 0 1 stars: 4
Bottom Line: 33% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-6 of 6
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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Terrible customer service

    You can't submit a request to talk to someone with out their order #. I have a damaged box and I can't get an order number. No one to help. Their useless phone number just says submit a request.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Routinely take money for knowingly out of stock items they cannot ship.

    It has happened to me twice in one week. Item in stock on the site available. I buy it, my credit card was charged and then after I get the message that it wasn't really in stock! Now I have to wait a week for refunds to be processed. This can't be legal. Horrible service. Don't shop with them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Borderline false advertising

    • Minneapolis, MN,
    • Aug 10, 2015

    Birchbox claims to be a great service for trying new toiletries/"beauty products". When they take your money, expect to get a pile of crap and 1 or 2 nice samples if you're lucky. No, the "lifestyle" items (aka bungee loops, or random wrong-sized t-shirts) that cost $30 plus do not make up for virtually no usable products. I only received two boxes before I canceled. My profile states I am looking for fragrances (this is how it was advertised to me, that I could try out a bunch of fragrances for low cost), yet I receive items I wont use like 17 different pomades (when I specifically said I do nothing to my hair). I have not received any fragrances. I ordered a "fragrance sampler" but when it arrived it was for women only. There is no men's fragrance sampler. When I complained I told them I was in the market to sample fragrances, and maybe pick up some new moisturizer. Did they listen? Nope, instead they send crap from the target bargain bin that will undoubtedly end up in a garage sale or garbage can next spring. I received 0, count them (not one), fragrance. Especially after someone complains about your crappy service, make sure to send them what they want! I don't care if your "policy" is to get people to try new things and give every subscriber a different box. If you want my money, give me what you advertised. Have a lifestyle-item-free box or something. Call it the "No nonsense" box.

    Also, guys really don't like to pay double what the women pay. Figure out a way to make them the same price.

    Complete waste of money and time if you're looking for what they are advertising. If you want a pile of junk you wouldn't have bought on your own, then Birchbox is for you.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Good gift idea but needs info with box

    • Texas,
    • Jul 8, 2015

    Men, they're the hardest to buy for in my opinion. It's easy to know what they want but usually its expensive stuff. Well birch box for men helps greatly. I love it so far. Bought three months for my father. They sent my gift with a card.

    However, though he loved it there were a lot of unknown products in there. They had names but if someone does not have access to a computer OR if they don't want to spend time looking you the product their standing scratching their head wondering what 70 percent of the product is.

    The company would be a full 4 or 5 star if they place a pamphlet or have the companies include a pamphlet of what the product is and how to use it. Likely to increase sells.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 3 people found this review helpful

    I love my Birchboxes!

    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • Jun 8, 2015

    I've been a member for about six months now and have been very happy! The quality of the products is amazing and the items are customized based on the profile I completed. Unlike the first reviewer, I get lots of great perfume samples! Also, while you can buy the full sized products on their website, you are also free to buy them elsewhere for a lower price if you can find a lower price. So far, their pricing is right on with everyone else. Of course I have received a few things I would not use.

    That is not their fault and is just the way it is with a sample service like this. No one is going to love everything. Lucky for me, my daughter seems to love the items I don't. It's a win/win. Heck, I was so happy with my Birchbox subscription I got one for my husband. He looks forward to receiving his box each month and it has helped him to start taking better care of his hygiene, skin, self. He is a real mans man who is NOT metrosexual in the least and lives in jeans and t shirt. Thanks to Birchbox, he is expanding his horizons and now has softer skin and smells amazing! Thank you, Birchbox!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 10 out 11 people found this review helpful

    3 months of the EXACT SAME SAMPLES

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jan 25, 2015

    It's a scam, 3 months and I received the EXACT same samples every month. Waste of money! I took a photo of all my same samples for photo evidence.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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