hi everyone! HAPPY LEAP YEAR!! once every four years... i was scrambling to finish this on time so that i could publish this on Feb 29 - i wasn't done on time so i cheated and just clicked "publish" early anyway. hehe.
anyway, since i have now collected 3 boxes from each company, i decided to do a quarterly "report card". i thought it would be interesting to take a look at all the products received as well as shipping times. i hope this gives everyone an idea of what each company is like and help you find one that suits your needs best. for more information on each one, i'll include links at the bottom of the post or you can also look under "Links & More" on the right.
too bad i couldn't make a super pretty table on this - i had to turn to Excel instead. please click on the pictures to see the tables in detail - i list what kind of product it is as well as if it is full-sized or personalized. if there is a number after the item, it means that i got that many of the same sample. an "S" after the product means that it was a sample that was only intended for a single-use (or for very limited use, like shampoo and conditioner samples that are not in a bottle).
quick recap: i signed up for all 3 services on November 7, 2011 (so my first box was in December).
* sold out but will have more in March - you can join their email notification list today OR enter to win a 3-month subscription here
* Cost: $10.50/month including tax
* Beauty Profile? Yes
* Referral program? Yes - for every friend you invite, you get one box free (up to a limit of 6); invite through email only
* Buy full-sized products online? No - but Topbox will suggest a place where you can
according to their website, Topbox sends out 4 samples every month:
this has actually been pretty consistent with Topbox. in February, i counted 5 but i guess Topbox agreed that the YSL Touche Éclat sample was way too small to be considered one.
notice how much hand creme we have been getting?? but it's gonna be all good now since Topbox has promised that there will be none in the next box! another type of product i have received a lot of is perfume samples - but funnily enough, none of them are from Topbox!
another thing with Topbox is that they hold a number of giveaways - usually around holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day. when you complete surveys, you are entered into a draw to win some full-size products in your next box. that's pretty awesome!
Glymm & Glymm Box:
* Cost: $10.50/month including tax
* Beauty Profile? Yes
* Referral program? Yes - you earn Glymm Points in their Loyalty Rewards program (also by completing surveys, etc). you use Glymm Points to get a discount when purchasing a product. note that you cannot redeem them for free boxes.
* Buy full-sized products online? Yes - from their Beauty Boutique
Glymm strives to send out 4-5 samples in each box:
it appears that Glymm has been sticking to their word EXCEPT i was very generous in counting a couple of these products as samples at all since they were definitely not "deluxe-sized" (re: blush papier from February 2012 box or cleansing cloth from January 2012).
Loose Button & Luxe Box:
* sold out but join their waitlist to be notified
* Cost: $12.60/ month including tax
* Beauty Profile? Yes
* Referral program? Yes - refer 3 friends, get 1 box free
* Buy full-sized products online? No - but the company will direct you somewhere else
like Glymm, Loose Button states that they will deliver 4-5 samples per month:
so far, it's 4. with the fragrances, even though they were different samples, i counted them together. i didn't feel right counting it separately because then for January's box, there would've been 9 samples?
also it's interesting to note that Loose Button has the most "bonus" items. both Glymm and Loose Button included some form of candy in their December boxes but it has not happened again since then.
Loose Button also has a "First in Line" program that began in December (they did not use it for February though). with this program, they send out an email allowing you to reserve a product in your next box. so far, you are allowed to choose from 2-4 products and they give you around 2-3 days to do so. however, there is a reservation limit and people are quick! they have some really good products for you to choose from but i have not been successful in reserving a product yet :(
in the far right, i included a "Total" column. so the number of products received from each company over the last three months is fairly the same (12-13). Topbox and Glymm tie with the number of full-sized products they included in their boxes while Luxe Box has only offered half the amount. and lastly, Topbox is clearly the winner when it comes to customization. so far, they have included 3 items that were personalized for each customer. all three companies have a "Beauty Profile" for you to complete, but it seems like Topbox is the only one making use of your answers.
i broke down the number of products into product types. here you can see how many makeup-related samples i got and how many of them were fragrances, etc etc. Loose Button appears to have the most variety of samples (5 categories). Glymm is pretty much concentrated on makeup and skin care. Topbox focuses on these two the most, but also offers some hair care samples.
after taking a look at the samples received, i decided to turn to shipping times. if it seems unclear, the numbers represent the date in that month. for instance, for Loose Button in December, they stated that they were shipping the boxes on the week of the 12th. later on, they were more specific with the dates: December 12th to 16th. according to Canada Post, Loose Button actually shipped them out on December 16th and it was expected to arrive on the 22nd. in fact, it was early and i got it on the 20th. the little * besides some dates under "expected" indicates that the date had to be updated (usually because Canada Post received the package after cut-off times).
just so you know, Topbox ships from Toronto/Mississauga, ON; Glymm from Montreal/Brossard, QC; Loose Button from Mississauga, ON. Topbox is the first one i receive every single month. and it is interesting to note that they are the only company that has specifically requested Canada Post to not safe drop. i think this means do not leave them outside the customer's house? because i always find Luxe Boxes and Glymm boxes on my porch somewhere, but Topbox arrives in the community mail box.
both Glymm and Loose Button have sent out emails apologizing for delays. according to my analysis, it looks like Topbox's delivery date is becoming later and later in the month - hopefully this trend does not continue!
as for Glossybox, i will be getting that soon i hope! i signed up back on January 25 but they had already sold out of the February box. anyways, they expect to ship it out the beginning of March ($15.00/month including tax and shipping).
looking for a conclusion? well well well. i have not decided to unsubscribe from any of these services just yet. i think i will decide once i get my March boxes. as much as i love receiving these, i do not have the funds to sustain subscriptions to 4 companies for a long period of time. and besides, if i keep receiving products i do not like/can't use, then it is much better for me to save it and spend it on something i actually like. so far, i am loving the sizes of the samples from Topbox. the samples also tend to be from luxury brands too such as Principessa and YSL. Glymm has given me Burt's Bees and Sula products twice now, both of which wouldn't be considered luxury. so if i were to pick one company to stick with for sure, it would be Topbox right now.
sorry if that was a lot of reading to go through. i hope it wasn't too confusing!! if it was, just drop me a comment and i will gladly answer your questions. i just want to give you as much information about these companies as i can. if you wanted to see what products i was referring to specifically, please feel free to go through my other blog posts. i include pictures and some of them have reviews as well.
for more information:
Glymm / Glymm Box
Loose Button / Luxe Box
thanks for reading! please let me know if there is anything you suggest i change/add in my report card :)