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Message from Katia About Birchbox Points Changes

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As you likely may know, Birchbox is changing their loyalty points program starting in July. The major change is that after July 11th, subscribers can only review 5 more items for points. After that, the sample review + points will be over. Above is the message Katia, the founder of Birchbox, gave to Facebook viewers about the reasons for the change.

I thought this video was much more informative than the original email sent (below) so I wanted to post about it. Let us know what you think!

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 11.58.42 AM

Birchbox has announced changes to its Birchbox Points program beginning July 11, 2016.

Here are the highlights:

  • You’ll now be able to spend Points in any increment – no more waiting until you hit 100 points to shop. Every 10 points equals $1 to spend on full-size products.
  • Any Points earned after July 11, 2016 will expire 6 months from the date you earn them. Birchbox will send you a reminder so you have plenty of time to shop.
  • Going forward, Points will only be offered for your first 5 sample reviews. New subscribers will earn points for the first 5 sample reviews in their subscription, and as an existing subscriber you’ll have the same opportunity. Starting with your July box, you’ll receive 10 Points for each of the next 5 samples you receive.

UPDATE: To clarify, current subscribers will be able to review only 5 more samples for points after July 11th.

Read our latest Birchbox Reviews to learn more about this box.

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Yesterday I used about half of my points and got the Foreo Luna Play (since everyone already got it in the Allure box I’m behind haha) but was wondering what y’all are cashing in your last points for. I still have about 300 left and will be using them in the next month or two

    • I only had 300 points but I got a PC toner and Briogeo curl charisma. I love the briogeo mask that I got in the sephora box.

      I ordered the day the news broke so they should be here any minute.

      • Hi Abby! Is PC Paula’s choice? If so, I recently discovered a mousturizer I really like of theirs! 🙂

        • Yup that’s where my points always went, to Paula’s Choice items (particularly the liquid exfoliant which is GODSEND).

          • The PC liquid exfoliant is AWESOME!

    • I’m getting the No. 4 hydrating shampoo and conditioner…that is the BEST duo I have EVER used…and I’m almost 41 so I’ve used a lot 🙂 I couldn’t afford it normally but I have enough points to where I won’t have to spend so much out of pocket.
      The only way I’ll keep the sub is if they start having better sample sizes.

      • I agree with you about seeing how the sample sizes change. I’m probably not renewing after October but it’ll be interesting to watch! Also, thanks for the shampoo and conditioner recommendation 🙂

      • I agree about No.4 hydrating shampoo & conditioner being the best duo. I’ve tried a lot too (I’m 42) It’s expensive but definitely worth it ?

    • I’ll be getting my momma her favorite mascara – bad gal volumizing and for me the tati collection. I have it still from last year and use all the eye products. I was very impressed with their color variety so that will be one I’ll use again and again. I think I have enough dry shampoos for a few freakin years…I do wash my hair but birchbox seemed to think air dry means don’t wash often.

    • I only had about 300 points (and just decided to cancel my annual sub. Hopefully they let me.) I ended up getting the Jouer Petale de Rose liquid lip because Tati Westbrook raved on how great they were, and I don’t anything like that. And I went for the Benefit Trio (Hoola, Roller Lash, & Lollitint). I love having the mini Roller Lash for traveling/using for my bottom lashes, and I haven’t tried the Hoola or the Lollitint, so I figured it’d be a fun gift to myself. I almost changed my mind and got the Frog Prince Lipstick (the one that’s green and shows up pink when you put it on), but I couldn’t bring myself to spend $25 on a lipstick when I have so many. I also used the coupon code Welcome20 (I think that was it) and it worked.

      • Ohh the Benefit trio does sound good! I saw Tati’s video of the Prince Charming lipstick and really like that too! I totally am in the same boat though – can’t see a point in getting another lipstick right now haha

  2. Like many companies before them, they had to make a tough cut and people would’ve probably understood if they’d handled it differently. It’s all in the delivery. They should’ve warned people a change was coming, perhaps had a quick survey about whether people would rather lose points altogether or have $1 added to the cost of the box, or something to soften the blow. Better yet, slowly scale back the points given for reviews, because $5 is too generous — we all knew that, I suspect. $2 or $3 total per month would’ve been acceptable and probably sustainable. But they went from giving too much, to not giving anything at all, and also added to the insult by saying the sample business was “boring” and they spent a lot of time “coddling” their customers (which I think was a waaaay worse remark than the boring comment, but few people have mentioned it!). Anyway, it’s done now and they will reap what they’ve sown. They will never be able to compete with other beauty retailers or etailers, so it’s too bad that’s the big plan. I’m starting to think getting a business degree from an Ivy League school must not be as hard as I thought it was. 🙂

    • You don’t open a store in SOHO AND GEORGETOWN and not EXPECT to be making money. That’s their problem. Not the subscribers. Two priciest places to operate a business is a poor business decision. Period. So is this one. I’m no longer a customer and I’m sure I spent at least 3-4 hundred a year at birchbox. I agree that their delivery and all of that sucked. It personally offended me. I was a yearly subscriber and feel that they altered a material part of the contract. I have been refunded the remainder of the subscription price – I advise everyone else who has a yearly to demand the same thing if they want to send a message about their dissatisfaction.

    • I agree with you 100%! Reading your post gave me the strength to send that cancellation email to CS like 5 minutes ago. Hopefully they let me cancel. And you’re last line – hahaha – thanks for the laugh. ;P

    • I was taken aback by the “boring” comment and the “coddling” comment as well. It was as if we, their customer base, was not cool and just there.

      I recently renewed for a year during their black Friday specials and got some great deals. I also gave many subscriptions as gifts. But I am kind of sick of seeing the same stuff in the boxes lately and the small samples.

      I always thought that they got some kind of fee for promoting certain brands/including them in their box or got the items for free since they are samples. I have discovered items that I love and have repurchased because of BB.

      I have some mixed feelings about this and agree it should have been handled better. I think they should have just reduced the number of points you got for reviewing. I stayed because I was hoping the boxes would get better and also or the points. If they want to compete, they need to negotiate better deals for their customers or exclusives. Otherwise it will be hard to do it against established retailers like Sephora and Ulta.

      They are subscription company and not a retailer. They should have probably sold their business to Ulta or Sephora or created various levels of subscriptions.

      I used to love their LE boxes – the “Snow Day” was one of the best LE boxes ever. It was cute, well curated, a great value and even the box was big and decorated to match the theme. I never forgot that box and have been waiting for the next cool Snow Day LE box. This is what made Birchbox so cool for me – it was like a friend curating a special box for you. Now its not the same. They haven’t had such a cool box in like ever.

      • I LOVED THE SNOW DAY BOX TOO!!!!!! I still have my Jonathan Adler fireplace matchsticks! That box was truly what sold me on BB!

      • I have been a member since 2012….I think I’ll cancel and go to ipsy. This was the best business birchbox could have made for Ipsy. I watch the comparisons on u tube and ipsy always has WAY better value, sizes, items. So without your points system, birchbox….you should also rename the box to SKIMPbox….because your samples have only been getting more and more skimp, small, and less per box too!

    • Mary,

      This is exactly what I was thinking, everything you said, and written beautifully.

      I cancelled my annual subscription – reason? I absolutely was staying with BB for the points to purchase my beauty items. I have not shopped at Sephora for years. I am not one who saved my points, I used them when I wanted or needed something and most of the time they didn’t cover the cost of what I bought, so yes, I was spending money in the BB store. If I needed a shampoo, I bought it at BB vs. anywhere else, so I would get the points for future purchases. So, I was a loyal BB customer.

      Sehopora has a loyalty point that has not kept me loyal. Starbucks changed their loyalty program and it’s awful, I don’t frequent there as much as I did when I was earning the points.

      BB samples were just awful compared to other boxes. The only thing that was great was the actual “box”.

      So yes, I cancelled my yearly sub which has been on auto renew for a very long time. I’m deciding between Allure or Glossy for my beauty fix.

      • Exactly. I always spent $ in the store on top of my points & I used them frequently, so BB was always making $ off of me. A survey would have been a fantastic idea. The sample situation got so bad that I was swapping everything I received, but keeping the boxes, b/c they make great gift boxes. So, essentially, I was paying $10 for a cute box. Like so many has said, I stayed so long for the points. My last box (in Feb, I think) had six samples. TWO were PURFUMES (AND I’d received both samples twice before)! Two were Davines & Parlor. The last two were so small, there wasn’t enough product to decide whether I liked them! Right now, I sub to Scentbird, which is $14.95, but I choose which perfume/cologne I want & if I get a repeat, it’s b/c I chose that. BB stopped being worth the trouble for me long before this whole fiasco.

      • I cancelled for the exact same reason as you. They responded to try to talk me out of it but said they would refund my money if I still wanted to unsubscribe. Basically I see them as giving no benefit to subscribers, and the boxes on their own are not enough to hold my interest. The sample sizes had shrunk significantly during my tenure, which was almost a year – so over not much time at all. However I liked using points at the BB store (and I always spent more than my points), plus getting 20% off while those codes lasted. Without the codes and points basically for being a subscriber, plus shipping costs, there’s no point in shopping there anymore, especially since I don’t live anywhere near their store.

        I’d rather shop elsewhere, get free samples that I choose, plus free shipping, etc.

      • 100% agree. I specifically tell my salon that I’ll purchase Kerastase, R & Co, and now Shu Uemera products on BB just to get the points. I’ve been beyond loyal to BB and this kind of feels like a slap in the face. Also, def go with Allure. $15/month for some of the best samples (and sizes) ever. Tried Glossybox a while back and was only impressed with the packaging. And the Sephora box hands down tops BB now.

      • Cheryl, go with Allure 100%. Glossybox is incredibly inconsistent and overpriced

        • Agreed. I have a year of Glossybox (through October) from the Gilt City deal they had last fall ($8.75/box), and I have no intention to renew. Maaaaaybe if I can get that good a deal again, I will, but probably not. (I definitely won’t renew at full price!) The boxes are hit or miss, which is to be expected with sub boxes to a certain degree, but the Glossydots are only good for more boxes, not products. Further, I don’t think I can cash them in to extend a gift sub (I could be wrong about that, though). Also, their CS is questionable. My second month, the box went MIA, and even 10 days after the box “stopped moving”, they still would not consider it lost. They finally agreed to ship me a new box but took forever (nearly three weeks) to do it, so I got my replacement box all of a few days before my next month’s box. Because my original box was apparently not the same as the replacement, my surveys were all wrong. They did give me Glossydots to compensate, but it was annoying that I had to ask. The lost box never did show up, either. While GB eventually made it right, it took way too much time and effort on my part.

          I have Sephora Play that I’m “meh” so far on, but the price is right, and I like buying Target and Amazon beauty boxes, which I can see the contents of before deciding to buy. If I add another, it’ll be Allure, but they’ve had their own pretty big CS issues lately.

    • No joke…. I would have much rathered paid $12 a box and kept the points….its a weird customer psychology

    • Speaking of delivery, what’s up with the quality of this video? They make these high quality product and box videos, but this one that is supposed to be a PR move is sub-par. You could put some effort into presentation if you really care how you come across at this difficult time (difficult for you).

      • I think the sub-par quality of this video is intentional, and for a specific rhetorical purpose. Had it been a polished, edited video, it would have been obviously pre-meditated – i.e., an acknowledgement that Birchbox would need to defend itself in the aftermath of this points program overhaul. By posting a video that looks as though she recorded it at home with a smartphone or webcam after a long day, it’s as though the customer backlash comes as a complete “surprise” to both Katia and Birchbox (see how the original email used phrasing as though this change was something customers had asked for?). In effect, it humanizes her, allows us to see the CEO without the facade of a stylized production team. It is meant to convey earnestness and authenticity, whereas a high-production video would not.

        Whether or not this was a successful move I can’t say, but don’t doubt for a second that it was done this way entirely on purpose.

        • I agree and saw through it right away. I actually think it looks too unstated. She is very image conscious. So showing herself in this light feels so fake to me. Could have at least brushed her hair and flipped the phone sideways. It’s done poorly on purpose. But we all know she know better.

    • Yes. So much this. Exactly!! The decision isn’t what makes me mad – it was the way they went about it. Like the people who grew their business are idiots. No thanks.

    • No one is talking about it because it didn’t happen. BB did not say they coddle their customers, the interviewer did. Go back and re read the article.

      Also, everyone is taking the “boring” comment completely out of context. She said that a business selling samples would be boring, she said this in regards to full sized item profitability. In other words, what would be the point of having a store that ONLY sold samples? That’s ridiculous, and boring. Birchbox does not sell you samples. You pay for the luxury of trying sample sized products before you commit to a full sized item version. You receive a box that has samples in it in hopes that you like something you try and go on to buy the full sized item, but you’re not purchasing the sample items themselves. There’s a difference.

      • Thank you well said,it’s nice to hear a voice of reason

      • What? They do sell samples. They come out with themed LE boxes and curated kits all the time that are filled with deluxe samples. They have the word sample written a million times on their website. They’re built upon a new generation of people who want to purchase a bunch of samples for a good value. They’re reviewed by Youtubers and bloggers in the sample category. You go to their actual store and build your own box of samples to buy. And now that you won’t be getting money back for reviewing, you indeed are buying a box of samples each month. So yes, they are in the business of selling samples.

        • This is their business model:

          Sell you a box of samples (that they probably received for free,
          Or highly discounted) in hopes that you’ll go on to buy the full sized product. Offer incentives to get you to review your samples in hopes that outsiders will also purchase the full sized item.

          It’s a giant marketing scheme.

          That’s very different than a shop that simply “sells samples.”

  3. I’ve been done for months – repeat sample brands, small samples, etc. but only stuck around for the points but now I will cash out after July and switch to Play which I got off the wait list. I am getting my first Allure Box also but I can’t deal with them and CS with all of the issues they have been having.

  4. Maybe they can cut costs by using smaller boxes lol.. I just got my box today and moved all my products to the side and it took up 1/4th of the box. I didn’t care for anything in there so I’m done with Birchbox anyway.

  5. So disappointed.. For me the point system allowed me to buy products that otherwise I couldn’t have justified buying. I’m not loaded, but I can afford $10 a month, and by letting my points build up I could buy high end skincare or makeup and not feel bad doing so. 🙁

  6. I do understand that giving $5 back per box is hurting the company’s profits. I am surprised that policy lasted as long as it did. However, by offering nothing, that will hurt their bottomline even more because they are going to lose the majority of their customer base. I agree with prior suggestions that other business modes might be a better option. If we could build our own box like you can in the store for $10-12, that would be great. Add on $5 back for purchasing a full size of one of the samples you chose would be even better. And, if reviews were still wanted for their clients’ market research, then offer 1 point per review [where you could only review product you have never reviewed before]. All in all, I think the bottomline is simply that they are in a such a financial hole that none of these options seem viable right now. They didn’t think far enough ahead unfortunately. If they had started off this way with what has been since suggested, perhaps they wouldn’t be where they are right now. Poor business decisions all around.

    • I read an article today that said they are now having to pay for some of the samples they send out. There is no way this whole model can end up being profitable. I would doubt if they last another six months!

      • I agree Sharyn, I estimate that it will be closed up as soon as their leases end at the brick and mortars. There is no way they are going to be a sephora or ulta…should have stuck with what they were good at and not changed CEO’s in 2015. Good riddance Katia.

  7. When I received the email from Katia, I read it as we’d be able to spend our $$ at any amount, and the points expired after six months.
    I did not think that they’d only give five reviews per customer! The email is so misleading.
    I quit Birchbox for Sephora Play, and almost signed up back to Birchbox upon my initial read of this email!!
    I am so happy I was able to check this threads and search deeper. It truly is a bummer with how they are leading subscribers on – past and present.

    • I’m getting my second Play bag either today or Monday. I wasn’t that thrilled with the first, so I was planning on this month’s being make-or-break given that I had BB and a Glossybox sub through October that I didn’t plan to renew. Now after officially cancelling BB, I’m considering giving Play more time. Otherwise I intend to buy Target and Amazon beauty boxes as I see fit. I kind of appreciate that those are not subscriptions so that I don’t have to buy them if I don’t want to (though we all know I probably will anyway).

    • omg right? they actually state in the email, “we heard your feedback and listened!” (regarding redeeming points without the increments of 100) – yeah, that’s not at ALL what went down lol

  8. This is the video that should have been seen first .I personally thought it was honest and heartfelt .I always wondered how they made any money with their point system.So for me I’m going to ride this out for a little while ,see what’s to come.I do wish they would have some reward system for giving real and honest reviews not the happy face or the thumbs down .Ive never thought people who didn’t do a review properly deserved points .as a matter of fact they get on my last nerve.So be happy people life is hard and there’s lots more bad things going on in the world ,people are dying out there and were worried about our points .Just my point of view that’s why I live in this great nation and my sons serve and protect it.

    • I don’t think what you said was fair. This is a forum to express our opinions, so it’s the perfect place to express how we feel about the loss of the points system. I don’t think anyone is putting that loss over deaths in the world. We are simply discussing how we feel. Everyone has their opinion & shouldn’t be blasted b/c it isn’t in line with yours. I certainly am not letting my feelings for this ordeal take over what’s important, but I do feel strongly about it. That’s why I am using here to express those feelings.

      • Funny, you just did the same thing! She was just stating her opinion also.

        • And thank you for stating what you did

      • That’s why we live in the good old USA freedom of speech.Im the first person who will speak their mind and get what I paid for,having said that there comes a time to let it go which is what I did .I watched the video thought it was heartfelt and stated that.I also said it was my opinion and everyone has one.I had to fight to stay alive so yeah I feel there are more important things fo me to stress about .Thanks for your opinion and you have a great day

  9. I’m sad; ve been subscribed to Birchbox for only seven months and was just beginning to have fun shopping their site with my review points 🙁

  10. I’ve only been subbed to BB for about a year, and never did reviews. They did give me some points for signing up, and some more I guess just because. I finally used some of the points to make a purchase about a month ago. After receiving that order, I quickly saw the value of the points system.

    I need to cut back on my subs, but BB wasn’t one I was going to give up, just for the points. But I’m thinking too that once my prepaid sub is up in Nov, I’ll probably cancel too.

    I like their sample boxes, but if they are moving in a different direction, I don’t think I’m in the target audience any longer. 🙁 Even a revamped system (maybe giving half the points offered now per review) would have been better than doing away with them altogether.

  11. I’m debating switching to Sephora. I’ll see how I feel about the July Birchbox, and make my decision then.

  12. It really would have been nice if they’d have been honest about WHY they made the change to begin with. I think people knew and would have understood, but the various messages of “YOU asked for this” and “customers are leaving bogus reviews” were a huge turnoff for many.

  13. I am turned off by the Bloomberg article and this video. I knew very little about the founder, but still.

    Did anyone chat with CS? I had something else to ask (rather than this change), but CS went ahead and mentioned it for me about the points change. She also mentioned that they upgraded their technology so that our previous reviews will be factored into our monthly sub box content in a larger capacity. I have a few more months of yearly sub left, so I am undecided whether to cancel now and get refund or ride out the sub and see if anything changes. After that I don’t think I will renew my subscription.

    • If you want to cancel your prepaid sub earlier, customer service will let you. Simply inform them that you paid for a service (the points system) that you are no longer receiving, and they’ve broken their contract with you, thus you deserve to have your money returned for your future boxes.

      • Except that they literally say they can change their side at any given time. You don’t have to be so cutthroat with people, just ask for your money back. I’m pretty sure in the US if you’ve prepaid for a service you can ask for your money back at any time until the company has delivered.

    • I ultimately cancelled, but here is the response to my request to cancel:

      “Thanks so much for being in touch and providing your feedback.

      “I definitely understand your disappointment, and I apologize for any inconvenience.

      “It is important to us to continue offering a generous loyalty program, especially for our ACES, which includes Mystery Sample Packs, Gifts With Purchase, Free Shipping, Early Access, and more! Making changes along the way is necessary to sustain and continue improving our program to make it as easy and rewarding as possible for our customers.

      “We’ve put a lot of thought and time into determining the best choices for our customers and our business, and want to continue rewarding our customers in the most valuable ways by keeping other aspects of the program active.

      “We believe there are lots of reasons to remain part of the Birchbox community. Although we’re phasing out the incentive for sample reviews, you’ll still earn 1 Point for every $1 spent which is equal to 10% back on every purchase. And, you won’t have to wait to spend the points you earn—you’ll be able to use your points in any increment.

      “We’ve also updated our technology so your sample reviews will be factored into your monthly Birchbox content in an even larger capacity. We want to continue to provide excellent samples each month, and definitely want to ensure that they’re all about the products that you love and wish to receive!

      “We wouldn’t have the unbeatable network of knowledgeable subscribers without customers like you, and hope you’ll continue to support us as we work to perfect your experience with us. We’d hate to see you go!

      “That being said, if you’d still like to cancel, please let me know and I’ll take care of it.

      “Have a great day!”

      • And when I asked to cancel they told me, they cannot cancel, but will make sure it will not renew when my pre-paid is up. (Cancelling meaning you get refunded for the rest of the months).

        • Really? I was refunded the remainder of my prepaid year as well as the gift subscription that was tacked onto the end. (I was essentially subbed through August of 2017.)

      • But 1 point back for every $1 spent is equal to 1%, not 10%. I wonder if they sent that out as an honest mistake, if they are revamping how much points are worth, or what?

        • But it is 10% when redeeming the points – i.e., 100 points equals $10.

      • So, please correct me if I’m wrong, but basically they’re saying they only have perks available for Aces? I’m not an Ace myself, and the way they worded things it sounds like those ‘wonderful’ programs only apply to those who spend big bucks. What’s in it for the little gal?

  14. I’m still satisfied with Birchbox, and I completely understand the logic. Their points system always seemed excessively generous–even if they get all their samples free, with the rewards, box, printing, and shipping, they’re not clearing more than a buck or two/box. $10/month is still a great deal for me, because I prefer skincare.

    Sephora Play is actually bumping my ipsy, not my Birchbox, because I hate all the invasive social media requirements for every fracking point and the highly limited reward selection (besides, the eyeshadow-and-brush-heavy sample selection is less useful to me).

    • I created all dummy accounts. Although now some of the ladies at the office are following my instagram, which is weird.

  15. Thought I’d better go use up my points real quick and…. they have all been marked “expired”.

    • Mine as well. Even the points I earned for reviewing May and June samples. I can’t cancel this sub fast enough.

    • Oh wow!! I better go check my points too. Although, the new system should take effect in July

    • Holy cow. I thought I was being a jerk by placing a huge order as soon as the notice came out. Welcomeoffer20 worked yesterday by the way. Although I did have a bad dream that I got an email saying my order was cancelled due to some error on my part.

  16. About two years ago, I no longer had the funds to continue with my subscription boxes. So I dropped them gradually and Birchbox was harder to let go because it is only $10 a month and they had a great point system. In the shop, I would go spend real money with a little points credit on full size products but it’s not like it ever replaced Sephora or Ulta for me. So my subscription lapsed. Maybe twice I’ve thought of returning to the box but the honest truth is, I haven’t missed it and if you drop, I doubt you will either.

  17. Okay, I am one of the people who will most likely leave BB with the recent change in the points program. As a person on a tight budget, I greatly appreciated the points program and the ability to save up and buy high end products with my points of some of my points. Within the past 5 or so months, I haven’t been very excited over my boxes and more excited to get my points value up with reviews, so keeping my subscription just doesn’t make much sense. HOWEVER… I am happy that Katia came out with this video and straight up said they made the decision over money. We all knew that anyway, but, instead of dancing around like the BB email notifying us did. I felt like it was trying to confuse us and dance around the truth to make it sound better. So, props to Katia for just stating what we already knew and treating us like we are not fools. I respect a person and a company that comes out and says what’s going on. Even if I leave BB, I will leave with a positive attitude about the company now. My only complaint is that this was not just told to us in the first place instead of that confusing and misleading email. Oh… And also my June box didn’t have my confirmed gimme brow product! 😉

  18. It’s funny that she wants Birchbox to be more of a store.

    “Hello, welcome to Birchbox. Would you like to buy Harvey Prince, Davines, or Parlor?”

    Sephora, Ulta…heck, even Nordstrom…are much better options with many more incentives to buy. Buying crummy brands to get points to buy more crummy brands doesn’t seem like a deal to me.

    • Lol. They’d probably spritz you with the latest Harvey Prince as you walked through the door.

    • Haha! This actually made me laugh out loud. I was just reviewing my box and received both Parlor AND Davines. ENOUGH already. 😀

      • I actually like Davines but felt overloaded getting it over and over again in boxes and MSPs. However the one holy grail product (Davines Anti-Aging Hand Creme) I was only able to by once before it got discontinued.

    • The only thing I’ll miss is the Marcelle BB exclusives. That’s what I’ll be spending my points on before disappearing for good.

      Nordstrom has sales relatively often, plus it’s always free shipping with no minimum. They also let you choose samples. No points, but I’m okay with that. I bought a Kiehl’s product on sale for $12 and got a bunch of good samples (mostly foil, but still) as well as free shipping. Smashbox also has good discounts and points with free shipping sometimes (otherwise I think it’s $50 and up), plus all your free samples (that you choose) are all good products because they’re Smashbox.

      • I’m in love with Marcelle and went looking else where – they actually have a website and will ship to Canada and the US. They also still have a points system that works and their prices are better, with free shipping over $75, if I remember correctly? I’ve been getting my products directly from them. I cancelled BB as soon as the announcement came out; I only had a few products that I regularly purchased from them and would save up my points to get. I had just renewed by subscription too. Contact CS – my message was identical to the one posted above. Good Luck!

  19. Also from the Bloomberg article:

    “While multiplatform retail kings Sephora and Ulta go after the woman who already likes makeup, Birchbox is targeting the one who ‘doesn’t feel excited to shop beauty,’ Beauchamp explained.”

    I guess I’m not the target demographic!

    • I don’t think she’s right. I used to hate beauty shopping. However, Sephora Favorites sets and counter visits to Nordstrom have changed that. I can only imagine she meant that shopping on Birchbox with their great selection of Made in China brands makes women loathe the experience.

    • What does that even mean? If they’re moving away from the sub box, then how exactly are they targeting people who maybe wouldn’t buy beauty otherwise? Knocking on their doors? lol

    • “…Birchbox is targeting the one who ‘doesn’t feel excited to shop beauty…”

      If this quote is accurate, here’s a news flash: If you’re not excited to shop for beauty, you don’t shop for beauty. At all. Anywhere. Ever.

    • The dishonesty of the first email super turned me off. If this video had been sent with the announcement, or even the same information people wouldn’t have been so upset! They handled it all wrong and for most people its probably too late.

    • Yeah, this is backwards and I’m surprised Birchbox doesn’t realize it. Do a little research on subscription box demographics/markets and you’ll find we (subscribers) are quite misunderstood. Turnover is so high and few subs make it “long-term.” I’m thinking Liz should start a sub! She “gets” the market. ?

  20. I do see how giving $5 of points on each $10 box would be unsustainable but so much of this is in the spin. What they should have done was make the initial email more straightforward, honest and apologetic and instead of the “5 more reviews” in July simply gifted all subscribers 50 points as a thank you for weathering the change. The muddled messaging did not do them any favors. I haven’t cancelled yet because Birchbox was my first box (my gateway box!) so I do still feel some nostalgia, but it’s definitely on notice. I’ll see what the next couple of boxes look like and then decide.

    (Hi I’m new! Longtime lurker and sub box addict. I love this site.)

    • Hi Amie – OMG I call Birchbox my “gateway box” too! 🙂

      • Ha ha My son has always referred to Birchbox as being my Gateway Box too. 🙂

    • Exactly!

    • Amie, you are spot on, this is exactly how I feel about these changes. Bad messaging and now they are trying to do damage control. My sub expires in September and I think I’ll let it ride until then, already cashed out all my points when the initial email came out so I’ll just enjoy the next 3 boxes and likely be done and focus on the Sephora Play sub. Maybe even re-up my PopSugar box? Options!

    • Glad you came out of the shadows 😉
      I appreciate your brevity & common sense, which are sorely lacking in the commenting-community.

  21. Serious question – when did Katia call the boxes “boring?” I’m so fascinated by this and can’t find it – if anyone has the backstory or a link I’d be so grateful.

    I quit Birchbox a few months ago after being really unhappy with the repeat samples and tinier tinier offerings each month. It bummed me out because I was a loyal subscriber for years, and used to get so excited for my tracking info. I would buy the LE boxes and feel like I really got something cool before it sold out. In fact just the other day I was using an item from one of the early LE boxes and thinking about how excited I was for that box, and how I used every single item. It’s a shame but I think BB is on its way out.

    Anyway enough of my rambling… I’m interested in this boring comment from Katia (who has always seemed to me like she sees herself as several steps above her subscribers — this video was so condescending it didn’t make me feel any different).

  22. BB was so successful because they were innovative. There’s really been nothing new about the company in FIVE years. And now it’s business model is to offer the same thing as their competitors – a retail experience. With her fancy education, you’d think she wouldn’t have been just a one-hit-wonder, but that’s what she’s turned out to be. As a consumer I can go someplace else, but what about all those employees that will be laid off? I feel for them that their leader doesn’t have enough imagination to keep the company headed in a profitable direction.

    • I’m pretty sure they already laid off a lot not long ago. I am not surprised by the changes bc I knew they were already suffering but it doesn’t change that the perks are what kept me with them. Without the points I will shop elsewhere.

  23. I think they could have kept the $5 monthly credit and changed in a way to not only keep customers happy but to promote purchases of full size items and overall sales. In the soho store, you can choose any 5 samples for $10. Why not make that available online and give a $5 credit towards the purchase of a full size of one of the 5 samples. I would be all over that. I’d love to choose 5 items that I really want to try and get a little credit back to use towards the full size version. Keep a minimum purchase for free shipping and people will likely buy more than just the one item. I do get that the subscription box market is saturated and it’s hard to be competitive. The rewards is what made birch box so awesome. I can see how allowing people to build up a credit and use it on anything might cause them to lose money. But I don’t think it had to be all or nothing. They could use the credit to promote their online store.

  24. Done with them.

  25. Although I’m 31 make-up only became prevalent in my life in July of last year. By August, I was up to my ears in confusion because of all the different make-up and all the different stores and counters. A quick search taught me about subscription boxes and my husband liked the idea because it allowed me to sample things before I spent $40 on a cream that broke out my sensitive skin. Birchbox was my second subscription (I currently have four plus I try to grab a Target box here and there). I have become more and more upset by the samples I receive and like with this month I gave four to my daughter and only kept one. My husband bought me a year subscription on Black Friday so I’m stuck even after this change but I won’t be staying for long. With other $10 subscriptions like Play! that gives a better variety of the brands I actually would purchase myself, I have no need for Birchbox. I honestly only kept them because the monthly ‘loyalty’ points allowed me to purchase things like Dr. Brandt and Origins at a discounted price. Sorry Birchbox but as soon as I can, I’m out.

    • Mary, If you contact customer service, demand the remainder after July be refunded and they will. They are well aware that this has alienated most of their subscribers and they’ve changed a material part of their contract with annual subscribers by cancelling the points for reviews system.

  26. I’m so over saturated with products now that this is actually a benefit for me in a way….no worries about canceling when my annual is up. I spend the remainder (almost) of my points yesterday because I had a birthday coupon. I will review for the $5 next month, buy something, and just not look back.

    I get why the points system is costly, but they should have thought about doing something else, like a lower amount, or something. Or maybe give us more than 1 month’s notice.

    P.S. I didn’t watch the video (and not sure if it was in posts), but BB made a comment on Facebook that we will get 10% off our purchases.

    • My birthday is in a couple of days and I didn’t get a birthday coupon 🙁

      • Michelle: It was Birthday2016 so it will probably work. $10 off on $50 purchase. I only had $48 in items but adding the Mystery Pack put it over $50 (even though that ended up being free).

    • If you want to cancel your prepaid sub earlier, customer service will let you. Simply inform them that you paid for a service (the points system) that you are no longer receiving, and they’ve broken their contract with you, thus you deserve to have your money returned for your future boxes.

    • Based on CS’s response to my request to cancel (which I posed as a response to a later comment), there’s no 10% off purchases for subscribers, at least not now. They’re saying that $1 for every 10 points is essentially 10% off your purchases.

      Except that’s 10% of you purchase towards a future purchase, so that language is a little misleading. Kind of like when you go to CVS and see that something 99 cents, then when you read the tag it’s because you’re spending $2.99 on it and getting $2 in CVS cash for a later purchase, so it’s “like getting it for” 99 cents. Also, you have to consider that you still have to earn points in multiples of 10. For example, my second BB account (used to be a sub) has 89 points in it. I can only get $8 worth of credit, not $9. That low an amount is pointless anyway because I’ll have to spend a lot more to get free shipping, leaving points in the account.

      In other words, there are quite a few strings attached to that supposed “10% off”.

      • Posted* as a response

      • Your* purchase

        I will stop correcting typos now!

  27. Looks like I will be cancelling as well? I usually get a box of samples not suitable for me. So, to give $10 away every month to someone that will not give me anything useful in return, I don’t think so!

  28. Yeah, I’m totally jumping ship as soon as I spend my remaining points.

    I’ve actually been considering cancelling anyway just because the samples have been ridiculously repetitive. I have VERY OFTEN wondered why people would even make comparisons between Birchbox and Ipsy…. as if Birchbox would EVER win??! Not for me! My Birchbox samples have always been smaller with much less variety and always with the skin and hair care. I want friggin makeup. The ONLY reason I kept Birchbox for as long as I did is the points rewards. I am particular about ingredients and always try to buy organic products. They tend to be more expensive, so I would save up my points and get a full size product I actually like and could use. And I just used the Birchbox samples as swap stock as I VERY RARELY ever got ANYTHING I could use.

    I think that as people begin to fully comprehend the impacts of this that people will be cancelling their Birchbox subscriptions IN DROVES. As a matter of fact, I predict that after people spend their last points and the company starts to see HOW MANY people start leaving… they’ll change their tune on this change entirely and they will probably at least make it where like, if you review all of your samples you get 15 points or something like that. BUT the bottom line is that Birchbox samples are redundant and small and in comparison with other sample subscriptions they just don’t make the cut. And this metaphorical spit in the face to their long time customers will have a lasting impact. It’s a shame really. I really don’t think they realize. I think they truly believe that they can stand on just their sample service. But let me reiterate, their samples are DEFINITELY sub-par when compared to Ipsy and Sephora Play (which I’m sure those companies are dancing right now.)

    • I prefer birch box to iPsy because the majority of ipsy products seem to be made in China, so quality wise birchbox wins

      • Ditto. Plus, in the end BB cost half as much once you factored in the points. I never cared much about the BB samples and considered them freebies of sorts or in any event at least worth the net $5 I spent.

  29. I’ve had Birchbox on and off for 3+ years, and I really want to hold on but I just can’t justify spending $10 on their boxes as much as I love them. Their points made it totally worth it for me. It’s bizarre to me that they’re trying to move away from their box service when that’s what they’re known for and that’s where their foundation lies. As much as I really don’t want to discontinue BB, and as much as the Sephora Play! waitlist erks me and I refused to sign up because of it – I just might now. It all comes down to actual samples now, no points, etc. Play! samples absolutely kill BB samples… Sorry Birchbox. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s just not worth it for me to stay. I’m going to ride off my gift subscription until December and go from there.

    • If you want to cancel your prepaid sub earlier, customer service will let you. Simply inform them that you paid for a service (the points system) that you are no longer receiving, and they’ve broken their contract with you, thus you deserve to have your money returned for your future boxes.

  30. As stated here previously, I felt the statement was a bit too scripted / disingenuous as well. Although I do understand their decision to end the review points portion of the subscription – they also need to understand that as a customer in the middle of a sea of subscription options, the thing that really gave them the edge / my continued business was their repeated effort (through points and coupon codes) to foster loyalty for both their subscription program and their online store.

    The constant barrage of Parlor, Davines, Coastal Scents, Beauty Protector, and Harvey Prince product month after month was already getting a bit old. By contrast, after two months with Sephora Play I have received items from Briogeo, Atelier, Origins, Korres, Bite Beauty, Tarte, Bumble & Bumble, BareMinerals, Benefit, BECCA, and Tocca Beauty. (The only brand repeat from Sephora was Tarte – a lip crayon in May and sunscreen in June.) For the same price, there’s no question Sephora is a better fit for me with far superior variety. I didn’t mind swapping at least half of my Birchbox each month when the points and coupon codes were more than making up for it.

    But to quote Thelma and Louise, “Now, one of our things that was going for us is gone!” And it makes a huge difference (to me).

    • And Supergoop. Soooooooo much Supergoop!

  31. The problem here is, the people who weren’t happy with their boxes because of the issues everyone has mentioned (small samples, same brands, poor matches to profile, etc) aren’t going to stick around to see if the boxes get better once you take away the ONE thing they were staying for (the points). Maybe they think they won’t lose that many people to that point, but I think they are wrong.

  32. I just can’t get over her saying selling samples is “boring” in the Bloomberg article. How dumb can you be to say that out loud as an owner of a subscription box?!

    • that’s the thing though- she doesn’t want BB to be a subscription box company, she wants it to be like Sephora & Ulta.

      • If that’s the case, they need to offer a broader range of products per brand.

    • Agree!

      • This is the one article I’d like to read the most and I can’t because I don’t subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. Dangit.

        • copy and paste the link about the WSJ journal in google and it will bring up the article in a way you can read the whole thing.

          • That was a great read– thank you!!

    • It’s a marketing thing. You don’t want “to be in the business of” anything that you’re selling; you want to have more of a value-offering.

      For example, if I was a cookie store, I wouldn’t want “to be in the business” of cookies – I’d want to be in the business of offering a magical adventure of a sprinkley and chocolate-y experience. Something like that.

      You have to create more of an experience and value, or customers can go to any of the other subscription box companies for the same thing.

      p.s.- Sorry, I’m a student studying marketing, and I just finished a branding class. lol

  33. I dont know how this makes subscribers feel any better. If anything, it is a bad business move. Its gonna be a tough road ahead for BB.

  34. How sad- I’ve been a birch box subscriber for over three years but as the boxes are getting so dated and redundant and the loyalty program disappearing I’m not sure why I would continue to subscribe.

  35. It was also a bad idea calling them “loyalty points.” No loyalty in that.

  36. I understand needing to make a change if they weren’t making enough of a profit after a while, but the change wasn’t gradual, and the way they worded the points changes seems very shady. I don’t understand why they didn’t just keep the points system and raise the price of the box a little, or scale back the amount of points you get from each review. I really feel like the original email was written in a way so customers wouldn’t realize right away that they weren’t going to get points for reviews after July (after the first five), so that way most customers wouldn’t know until August what was going on. It’s like they didn’t think anyone would call customer service and ask. I saw all the passive-aggressive replies on Katia’s Twitter account, and just thought, wow, it doesn’t seem like she cares.

    • I read an article that indicated their source of funding pulled out suddenly, leaving them in a desperate situation. I think they had to take quick action, and this is just a small part of it. According to the article, they fired 50 employees and made other major internal changes. I imagine she’s frazzled by now.

  37. If they could add more brands instead of the same ones and up the quality, some people would stay regardless of the points. However, a lot of the complaints that I see are from people s is that keep getting the same brands and repeats of products. I have only received three boxes (apparently my fourth got lost in transit so I am waiting for it) but that is what I see a lot of people commenting.

    • Calling them “loyalty points” was also a bad idea as you are no longer letting customers receive points in the future. No loyalty there

    • This. I unsubbed from BB a few months ago after being a subscriber for almost two years because I was sick of seeing the same brands in my box every month. YES, some of the brands were good and I was happy to try different products from them (Amika, Beauty Protector) but some I would just get angry seeing month after month (Parlor, Harvey Prince, Whish).

      As much as I loved the points and as thankful as I am to BB for introducing me to some of my now holy grail staples in my skincare collection, I couldn’t justify the $10 a month. I switched to Allure and I don’t look back. They were losing subscribers before this – this is just now giving those that have been on the fence about it the excuse to jump ship.

      BB was a leader in this business and could EASILY continue to be a staple box in every sub box lovers home IF they wanted to even with the points change if they took the time to revamp and offer more. I don’t get the sense that’s what they want, I feel like they have other business plans in mind.

  38. The more I think about this, the more I think Birchbox is doing me a favor. I haven’t been happy with most of the products in the last year or so of my Birchboxes and I’m drowning in tiny samples. The points kept me on board but now I can cut the chord and I’m happy about that! In researching alternatives I realize I’ve tried most of the cheaper beauty boxes and been disappointed. I think Julep and the occasional one off might be all the beauty boxes I need. So, thanks, Birchbox! It was fun while it lasted.

    • I agree! I haven’t really been happy with my Birchbox samples but stuck around for the points system. Now this is just confirmation that it’s time to cancel my subscription.

    • I agree. From a non-emotional or business standpoint, it’s time to say good-bye for me. I think they knew going in that they were going to lose a crapton of subscribers but even still it was poorly handled both in emails and the media.

      Looking back, I don’t know why I was hanging on. I might stay if they were actually providing samples based on beauty needs but as it stands, I don’t see how they can. I recall Ipsy one time saying that the companies provide product with the provision that it gets matched to consumers that fit the profile they want, not the other way around.

      This makes much more sense than the profiles or reviews being used. Using myself as an example, I don’t think there’s any way that I would match my long, extremely dry, frizzy/wavy hair with hair products that can only be described as Instant Ratsnest in a Can/Spray Bottle. And I have so many of them, Thanks Birchbox!

      At this point, I am just hanging on to Sephora. They have products from brands that I actually want to try.

      I do wish Birchbox luck. I am not swearing them off forever but I don’t feel any loyalty towards them either. If they have the best incentives or prices for what I’m looking for then I will buy from them

  39. I totally get that giving $5 in points back for every box is not a sustainable system, but to completely eradicate the system is completely silly. I quit Ipsy b/c the points system was pointless (I was a member for 6 months, always collected my points and still didn’t have enough for even the 1st tier of gifts!). I stayed with Birchbox b/c of the points. I have found more than a few brands with BB that I love, but when it comes to buying a full size version, I certainly will not spend full price without a little incentive (case in point: I’ve been purchasing Not Soap, Radio’s body wash every other month for a year, always using $10 in points, which means they are still making $6 off me each time, plus whatever else I buy spontaneously). Titrating down the amount of $ they offer in points every month would make more sense & would have kept more customers. I had planned on rejoining, but now I’ve changed my mind. Especially after that video. She looked so bored and annoyed with having to address her customer base. At least attempt to feign interest in your customer’s concerns… she looked as though she was forced to make that video. I’m going to join Play! By Sephora, I think. Their boxes have looked awesome & I can earn Beauty Insider points.

    • I don’t think she looks bored or annoyed… I think she looks exhausted. It’s almost as if trying to keep Birchbox afloat is taking a huge toll on her and perhaps she should really take a good hard look at the company and where it’s headed. I feel bad for her. I’m not saying the way this situation was handled is correct, but when BB launched it was the pioneer box and I’m sure all involved with the company thought they had developed a concept that will last a very long time and it’s just not looking like that’s the case

      • I agree, I think she looks exhausted – and even a bit scared. This business that she’s worked so hard to build looks like it might fall apart.

        I feel for her.

      • Her tone is the problem, coupled with her poor choice of wording in print media. I don’t “feel sorry” for businesses having to well, do their jobs. She is not just one poor woman against the world of beauty subscribers; this is a rather large company with many employees. The change was abrupt, poorly communicated and executed and ill advised as a business decision. Calling the existing sub box business boring doesn’t exactly inspire pity from me. She clearly is finished with this business model, to the surprise of pretty much everyone, and in doing so is crapping all over the business while it still exists. I don’t care if a business owner wants to expand. Great, have at it. But you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, certainly not the hands that established you in the first place. If she’s exhausted she has no one to blame but herself.

        • I have always found her annoying and superior. I don’t think she is tired at all. I think she is annoyed that the little people don’t want to support her little plan to make herself richer. There is a reason her partner jumped ship a few months back.

      • I think you nailed it. My thoughts exactly.

      • I agree, she seems wiped. Handling media is tough, and social media really tends to pile on to any negative reaction. And taking umbrage at her preceived tone in print media is completely unfair–you have absolutely no control of the tone of an article, being misquoted, misunderstood, or what throwaway quotes a writer will cherry-pick from an long interview.

        • Saying you are bored with the sub box business is not taken out of context. I work with the media every day. It’s part of my job. I have a good deal of control with content of most stories I place because of my relationship with the reporters and editors. I am pretty darn sure the articles people are referring to reflect the exact image Katia wishes to project.

          • I have to respectfully disagree about controlling a writer’s tone or editing. If you just changed “proclaimed” to “explained,” and inserted additional context before the follow-up line, it would completely erase the flippant, haughty tone a lot of people are getting (I didn’t read it that way, personally).

            “We are not in the business of selling people samples,” Beauchamp proclaimed, alluding to the revenue generated by full-size purchases. “That would be a really boring business.”

            Not that there necessarily *was* any additional intervening conversation–but you have to assume the interview went for longer than the 5 minutes required to produce the handful of quotes used in the piece–for all we know, there could have been an extened conversation or several questions in between the two lines. I’ve had hour-long interviews that spawned 2 quotes–and in that hour, I’m sure I’ve misspoken and said plenty of things that would make me sound like a jackass on their own. I’ve also been misquoted and misinterpreted–even with recorded interviews. Then you add in the step of editing (often out of the writer’s hands if they’re freelance), and a story can go far afield from the original interview.

            As far as your own media job goes, you’re fortunate to have relationships with reporters who are willing to preserve your tone and stay on message for you. But if you’re talking in terms of “placing” stories, that’s very different than the access that the average executive has at an outlet like Bloomberg or WSJ, and it’s just inaccurate to assume that because someone has success or fame that they can exercise any media control.

            All that said, I’m not asserting that *any* of this means that her heart is pure and she farts rainbows and unicorns; just that a weary facebook video and a few light business pieces aren’t a smoking gun of contempt.

            (And I can’t believe I put that much thought into defending a beauty company. I must be getting old.)

      • I don’t think she’s exhausted. I think she looks that way b/c she could care less about how we see her. We are the *little people* to her. I refuse to be part of a company that doesn’t hear it’s customer voice. She clearly doesn’t care about what we have to say. If she did, she would made more of an effort making this video AND with the changes.

  40. Birchbox and Julep were the only beauty subscriptions I kept when I reduced over a year ago. Birchbox for points and Julep for the skipping and box customization. At this point, I usually only keep 1 or 2 of my samples and swap/gift the rest. I might sign up for a yearly deal in the future, but July will be my last month. I would rather put the money toward a different subscription, like Beautyfix. I might still shop through Birchbox occasionally when I want a limited edition box, but I will be much more likely to spend my $$ at Ulta and Sephora.

  41. I am confused as to why this is a big deal- we still get 50 points per box per month if we review all five items. Seems fine to me since I often only get five items in my boxes anyway. Am I missing something here?

    • You only get points for the first 5 items ever, not per month. So once you review the first month, you are done getting review points for life.

    • Yes, you are. They’re will be no more monthly point earnings for reviews after your first five starting July.

    • We don’t get 50 points per month anymore for reviewing items. It’s only 50 more points for reviewing items ever for the entire duration of your subscription, starting with the July box.

    • They are getting rid of points forever. So you get to review five more and then that is it.

    • No, we don’t get any points for reviews after the first five period, not per box. So, essentially they are doing away with points for reviews.

    • You get to review 5 more items for points after the July date then no more reviews for points after that. So then they only ways to get points are to buy stuff, refer friends, or gift boxes. That is my understanding.

    • The fact that people are STILL confused just speaks to the shadiness of BB’s communications.

      Sending 2 different emails, ambiguous statements. We are done BB!

  42. So she’s saying no more points for review after the July box? I read the email they sent out to say that you could only get points for 5 samples each month (sometimes you’ll get 6 samples in a box). They should have made that clearer.

    Why bother reviewing products then? I always thought part of birchbox’s business model was supplying consumer research to the brands.

    • I thought the same thing as you – and even read the WSJ article with that impression. I thought limiting it to 5/box was the compromise with allowing points to be used before reaching an even $10 amount! I’m wondering about asking for money back on my annual (which I recently renewed in part with the thought, “Well, I’m really spending $5/box because I know I’ll use my points”)

  43. Canceled yesterday after I spent the rest of my points and picked up miss tutii mask bag instead. Seems like a really great way to put your toe into korean beauty/sheet masks, and the value seems great.

  44. On the BeautyBoxes subreddit, one user commented saying that her posts referencing the Bloomberg article (and link to it) where Katia called the subscription box aspect of Birchbox “boring” kept getting deleted, even though she asked specific questions to Birchbox that pertained to it. I can’t help but feel like Katia is kind of a brat, regardless of how pressured she is by investors.

    • Yeah, I feel the same way. I’ve been pretty happy with my boxes and I don’t necessarily think paying the full $10 is unreasonable for the service. But Katia isn’t doing the brand any favors with her recent interviews and actions. It’s getting the point where I kind of want to switch boxes just because I don’t want to spend any more money on someone who seems so unprofessional, ungrateful, and dishonest. (Plus, if she’s feeling pressure from investors, she should have figured out how to turn a profit in 5+ years.)

    • Thanks for the link. I don’t see anything wrong with the article or her future vision.

      People are misquoting/misunderstanding it. Katia beauchamp did not say she has to coddle customers, that’s the interviewer saying that. If that’s how the interviewer interprets the relationship between BB and its customer base, so be it.

      I’m all for mass exoduses but people really need to get their facts straight if that’s the choice they’re going to make.

  45. I think we all kind of knew that the point system was too generous to sustain, but I think that they didn’t do the market research to find out what really is important to their customers. Even reducing the point system or more clear commuication in the email that was sent out would have gone a long way. With the changes to points they are NOT offering a compelling loyalty program. Having to spend $500 a year or collect referrals to get sample choice and free shipping is not a great return on investment.

    • YES, I completely agree with everything you said above. I agree that the points system was a little generous (especially when paired with discounts to purchase), but it’s like they went in the complete opposite direction. There is zero incentive to review items, less incentive to even purchase anything and almost no hope of maintaining an ACE status.

      Seems like they could have saved a lot just stopping people from combining discount codes with points. If they forced you to just use one or the other and maybe lower the number of points you earn a month, it could have been better. I know for me, I like birchbox, but I am considering cancelling since this loyalty program is what I love about them so much. They’re not the only ones out there peddling sample products for cheap.

  46. Someone in comments on one of the other posts had mentioned LookFantastic as an alternative box. It’s English but shipping is included, it’s a really nice box, I signed up today for a year and it was only 16.50/month, and they bill monthly.

    • Careful. I thought about subbing too but then read the online reviews. CS was consistently and issue in the reviews I read. I’d be interested in hearing about your experience though.

  47. I’m glad that she did this – the scripted replies on twitter were really not cutting it.

    However, that doesn’t change the fact that they lost the thing that made them stand out. I much rather would have seen something to the effect of “We cannot sustain $5 back every box, so now we’re going to go with $3 back every box starting August or whenever your prepaid subscription runs out.”

    Oh well, best of luck to you birchbox – it was fun while it lasted but I don’t have confidence that you will survive the new year.

    • I agree! I think most people would have been okay with a gradual cut back, I admit that I have often wondered how they were profitable with the amount of points awarded. At least pretend to have some loyalty to the business model that you started. And as an aside, she lost me completely when she replied to a twitter exchange with “I’m sorry that you feel that way.” That is the most passive-agressive non-apology and it drives me nuts whenever anyone says it!

  48. It sounds like complete hogwash. They could have very easily lowered the points and phased it out in increments. If she thinks about us so much why did she say that a sample box was boring business?

    The problem is something she said exactly. The box will not change. It’s not wroth $10 without the points, at least mine haven’t been besides this month’s only because it included a $10 lip product (though it was a leftover from the curated but still) normally my samples are small and sometimes a tube has hardly anything in it.

    I haven’t purchased from the store itself but I doubt it has the best points in the industry.

    Overall this video kinda sounded like ‘lol by people there will be more chumps that stay than leave!’

    • I didn’t hear her say the box industry was boring

      • It was in a Bloomberg article this month.

        • “We are not in the business of selling people samples,” Beauchamp proclaimed, alluding to the revenue generated by full-size purchases. “That would be a really boring business.”

    • Exactly, the box needs to change drastically if they’re going to be $10/month. For $10 a month I can get full sized products, and it’s usually consistently over a $40 value. Same with Allure, even Lip Monthly, they might be a little more, but I get full size items. I just signed up for Essence today, for 6 months, it’s $10 a box, and they get full sized items too! At Birchbox for $10, I get “$5” for reviewing products, foil sample packets, tiny one use samples, half filled samples. It’s not worth it!! I LOVED Birchbox, I’ve been with them for 5 years, but the last year I’ve been very bored. The box samples are so tiny, it’s just not even worth it. Plus I’ve been getting products for the wrong hair type, no matter how many times I check to make sure my profile says thick hair, curly to wavy I keep getting ones for fine/thin hair. I loved the Miss Jessie’s samples I used to get, but haven’t gotten those in years. After the articles came out and now this video, she seems very fake. I can’t even get their CS to respond to me now either.

      • oops I meant for Ipsy* it’s $10/month and you get full size products!

  49. I saw the email the other day and haven’t watched the video yet, but needless to say I’m not very happy with the changes. Birchbox was hands-down the best sub box due to the points system alone. I’m overloaded with beauty and skincare samples atm and will discontinue my sub soon after these changes. I’ve become much more selective in the sub boxes I subscribe to and mostly do one-offs as I don’t seem to find good recurring value in most boxes of any type.

  50. Nice script. Felt disingenuous.

    • Was about to say- could she be any faker?!? Eugh- this video alone makes me more convinced to cancel then ever.

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