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MSA Q&A – Any Questions?

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Tower of Subscription Boxes

I just realized we haven’t done a Q&A in years, so it’s probably time for a new one!

Please feel free to comment with any questions about My Subscription Addiction, subscription boxes, me, my obsession with subscriptions, or anything else, and I’ll do my best to answer everything in a follow-up post!

 

(Thanks for the suggestion on doing this post, S!)

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.

159 Comments

  1. 1) Do you strategically release your reviews or just release them when you finish them?
    2) When do you and Eric take down time or do you?

    I’m a big fan and appreciate your awesome reviews and your general tone!

  2. How did you and Eric meet? How long have you been together? You seem like an adorable couple, I would love to hear more about your love story.

    • Also, do you ever sleep?!?!? You are always posting late at night, early in the morning, and all day!! ha ha ha πŸ™‚

    • I second that!!

  3. What is or favorite subcription?

  4. Hi Liz! Thanks so much for doing this.

    As “S,” or Stefania, I wanted to say I’m very excited to see the results!

    I wanted to reiterate my questions from the thread prior:

    Which boxes do you think are the most worth it? I know you said Popsugar but there are so many (Adidas Avenue A, Rachel Zoe, Popsugar CFDA, etc etc) that are now there that weren’t before.

    What is your favorite box (month/year, specifically) of your favorite box?

    What has been your favorite ITEM of all time? I think mine would be the Miansai cuff from the first Rachel Zoe.

    What is your favorite discovery of all time? I.e. things you now have incorporated into your daily life? I don’t know if you’ll break this up via category if answered, but I think for me, it might be the Drunk Elephant Vitamin C from a Popsugar Resort box for skincare, and Briogeo for hair.

    What has been your favorite food discovery of all time?

    • Riding on to my comment, I saw on some other sites they put their own “personal” value on the box. As in, this box is worth x amount of dollars for me, disregarding the often inflated prices listed on the box. It would be very interesting to see you do that!

      • ** What do you think of advent boxes? A big part of subscription boxes is the value. But I see that advent boxes are very popular in the UK. However they don’t offer much in terms of value. Do you think the trend will translate here?

        What is your dream subscription box? Dyptique? etc

  5. Thank you for creating this site! It is super informative and helpful.

    If you could only subscribe to ONE box, which would you choose?

    What do you do with your mountain of empty boxes?

  6. How many members are there on the swap site?

  7. Is there a My Subscription Addiction office? How many employees are there at MSA? Do you have staff meetings? Are your staff all in the same city as you? How do you store/organize your boxes and products? For example, do you have labeled boxes or labeled drawers… are they all kept in one big room etc. Thanks!

  8. I’d be interested in a survey of your readers to find out the age ranges subscribing to different boxes. The reviewers all seem to be younger but I know there are quite a few of us 40+ (or 50+) who are sub addicts…

    • I’m curious about the average age also, but I don’t think she would know our ages. I don’t remember ever giving my age on this website. I actually think the audience seems older because the reviews tend to love skincare geared towards aging concerns, household items geared towards an older crowd, and jewelry that I don’t find younger girls wearing. I think the younger girls are leaving their reviews and opinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’m obsessed with this site because I feel I get great advice from the MSA reviewer’s and the subscribers opinions. I’m part of the older audience, but I would love to see more cosmetic boxes, and less skin care and home items. My question for Liz is how she comes up with the time to review so many boxes, keep up with all the comments, and stay current on new boxes? This site is so up to date I can only imagine how much time she devotes to it.

  9. A few questions:

    1. What do you *DO* with all the products and items you receive? There’s only so much you can use, swap, gift, give to friends, etc. so I’m curious what you decide to do with it all. I’ve personally taken a break from all of my subscriptions because I have so much stuff I can’t use and can’t swap, so I can’t imagine how you manage.

    2. Do you ever feel “swapped out”?

    3. What item haven’t you seen in a subscription that you’d like to see? What do you want to see more of? What are you sick of getting?

    Thanks, Liz!

  10. Hi Liz,

    As a Canadian who is well on her way to being a subscription box addict, I am hoping you can create an up-to-date post on different categories of newer sub boxes in Canada and outside of Canada that ship to Canada for free or cheap shipping. The exchange rate between US & CAD has seen better days so this is really something I’m sure all your canadian followers will appreciate.

    • Jellyrocka, I am a Canadian living in California and I’d love to know what sub boxes you get in Canada. I’m always looking for something different this time of year to send to family and friends. But the shipping fees for most boxes are quite high to send there. What are your fave Canadian boxes?

  11. Which green beauty box(es) would you recommend?
    Thank you.

    • I am interested in this as well. I’m redoing my whole arsenal and making it green.

    • Also interested in switching to healthier products.

    • I’m also changing over to organic/green/eco/natural so I’m curious about this too. I had a not so pleasant CS experience with one of my fav ingredient concious subs recently so I cancelled :(, I’m looking for a replacement. I’m all ears!

  12. I just want to first thank you Liz for doing so many reviews yourself . I find I always love the same items/ boxes that you do , so if you give a positive review I am completely comfortable Ordering the sub, as I have never been disappointed ! Which brings me to my important question / request . Will you please start a subscription ? I feel since you have seen so many of the great , good, and ugly , that you would be the perfect person to curate a beauty /lifestyle/home products sub box !! I would sign up immediately for a full year if offered ! I just know I would love any box you put together . I know you are busy enough , but you would be so great at that , even a one time box if that is all you can fit in your schedule . Please consider it ? I for one would be thrilled !!!!

    • She has done boxes before like 2

      • Too bad it was with Quarterly, easily the least organized of all boxes. She had fantastic products – the Tatcha, I can’t believe she had a full size version of that! She also had this coffee scrub that looked fantastic.

      • I want to see the boxes Liz curated I’m sure they were great. Were they reviewed, or posted.

        • Search msa01 Nd msa02

  13. How do you pick what to review yourself and what to let other reviewers review?

  14. Why don’t you ever say anything negative about anything regarding the boxes or items in them? Is it just so you can earn more money and continue to receive everything for free?

    • She does pay for some of her boxes n I’ve seen negatives before but not like super negative shell sayy like a sample is too small or empty or smells or low value

    • I think its more about keeping the negative vibes away. In some other sites they’re much more blunt and upfront but there’s a lot of positive energy and trust that feels pretty integral to the website, especially the swaps

  15. Hi Liz,

    I’m addicted to MSA (so it must be working)!

    How do you decide which subscriptions to review? Do you ever find that, especially when the subscription is sent at no cost, it’s different/better than what everyday subscribers get? How do you find out about spoilers?

    Thanks!
    Andrea

    • I literally read almost ever review. She States when some are at no cost and she does say it may be different than what regular ppl get. She has a anonymous or us msa reader that help her look out for spoilers also also that’s how she get spoilers but the company sending them out to her earlier

  16. I’d love to know more about your set-up for photgraphing items lately. You do such a great job with the pictures! I think before you said you just used your phone, but I’m wondering if that’s changed. I’d love to see one of your photoshoots from further back, to see the set-up and lighting.

    Also, what sub does Buckles like best?

    • Me too! I love your pics lately. I’d love to know how (even if it’s something I can’t afford/do) y’all do that.

    • I would like to know about your photoshoots too πŸ™‚

  17. Would you consider reviewing trytheworld? It is my favorite subscription?

    What led to your decision to minimally participate in the MSA forum?

    What percentage of sub box items do you keep?

    Do you think sub boxes are ever an economical way to purchase items that are necessities, or more a luxury?

    I like the question about whether or not you take feedback on other reviewers. I agree that some reviewers could use a better set up for pictures, but the thing that bugs me is when inaccurate information is presented for item RV. Some of the newer reviewers will guess what an item’s worth is rather than look it up, or take the company’s amount without checking if that is accurate, then say what a good value the box is. There is also inconsistency with how box cost is presented- sometimes shipping cost is listed, sometimes it isn’t.

  18. Have you heard of any research or theories as to why these boxes are so addictive (to some)?
    I mean, I love a good deal, but subbing takes most of my disposable income these days. But, in turn, I am getting almost all of my beauty and skincare from them now (and getting better products than my budget would allow me to have). And now that I think of it, I am getting more, and better, stuff than I could afford before subs.
    There must be a catch.

  19. Whatever happened to the French box? Buckles is adorable.

    • I’d love to know that, too, as they still have some of my money. I foolishly gave them the chance on future boxes.

  20. How do you decide when to stop reviewing a box?

    Will you still review the Allure Beauty Thrills? It wasn’t reviewed this last time (unless I missed it! LOL) but it was reviewed consistently before that.

    • Same question on the mystery Bare Minerals boxes. I have gotten a couple but only saw a review for one or two. I like to see what is in the ones i missed out on or hear people’s opinions on the items received. Maybe allow reader reviews on boxes you don’t do yourself? Or just open a post with a picture of the company or box logo and say something like what did you receive in your box & what did you think? These comments have helped so much for me to learn new ways to use an item received or appreciate it more based on other people raving on it! Lol πŸ™‚

  21. Would you ever consider making a documentary about sub boxes?

  22. Do you identify more with your readers/sub box subscribers or does that become difficult as this is your business? I felt censured when you closed the May Allure Box Fiasco thread. It seemed to be pressure from Allure.

    • I’ll answer this more in depth on the follow-up post, but I just wanted to let you know that I’ve never been asked/pressured by Allure or any other subscription box company to close comments on a thread. On the few occasions I’ve done that, it’s been because I felt that some of the interactions between commenters were getting too heated and letting the conversation continue at that state wouldn’t be beneficial to the MSA community.

      I hope that makes sense!

      • Amen. Simple civility is something important here…

        • Liz, one thing I really appreciate and enjoy is how you strive to keep things positive here on MSA!

          • I agree-it’s one of the reasons I prefer this site over others!

      • I agree with Tat, civility is important and if often gets lost when making comments online. When the comments start getting ugly, it’s time to close the thread and move on.

  23. I want to add two boxes to my lonely Ipsy one, yup… I’m addicted? What do you think of Serendipity and POPSUGAR mini?
    Thanks!

  24. This may sound silly, but I just want to say how adorable Buckles is! How old is he? What breed is he? What’s his favorite sub box? And please give him a pet from me! πŸ™‚

    • Darla beat me to it. But please answer her Buckles questions. πŸ™‚ What does he like to do when he isn’t helping with reviews?

      • I am VERY excited about answering all the Buckles questions. And I will make sure to include Buckles pictures, too. πŸ™‚

  25. Wondering how you can become an MSA reviewer? I’m relatively new to subscription boxes and easily became addicted. Are there any deals for Black Friday/cyber Monday that I should be looking out for?

    • I was wondering this – how does one become a reviewer?

  26. -Have y’all quit your day jobs yet?
    -How do you organize your things? (Boxes, items, gifted items, etc.)

  27. Do you consider complaints about certain reviewers? A particular reviewer frequently posts substandard photos with excuses. It bothers me because these are boxes I would consider. Fortunately or not, MSA paid for these boxes but still, disappointing.

    • I’ve never noticed a review with substandard photos. hmmm

  28. Do you ever share pictures of your collections? I’d love to see how you store it all!

    • Oh…I concur!

    • Yes please, that would be interesting

    • Lol I don’t think we have that much time to go thru her whim collection since 2011 lol

    • Yes! I would love to know that ? and I’d also love to know if your mail carrier gets as annoyed with you as mine does with my swaps/subs. And how do you get the FedEx Parcel Select boxes faster than others. I have a FedEx account and haven’t seen any way to upgrade mine (I know UPS has the option with their accounts) but I’m probably not looking in the right place.

      • That is a good question Liz. Do you have the boxes come to your house or do you have an office that they go to? Or you just take a U-Haul to the post office for pick up.. haha.

    • Would love to see the storage of you stash!

  29. Hi Liz,

    I want to know how do you feel when commenters post negative remarks on any given box, news, etc?

    I’ve read that a few other MSA members are scientists, work in a law office, etc. Do you have a job besides MSA? What you do on this wonderful site seems like it would be at least a full time job.

    Are you compensated financially by MSA at all? You put so much time into this site and helping us, I really hope you are compensated somehow.

    I’ve noticed some new members being added to the MSA team. How does one get on the MSA team and are you guys looking for new members?

    When a box review says it is paid for by MSA, what exactly does that mean?

    • I’ll leave it to Liz/the future post to answer all your questions, but I wanted to quickly say that when we say that MSA pays for a box it means that we sign up for an account and subscribe just like any other subscriber vs coordinating with the subscription company to get a free box sent for review purposes. πŸ™‚

    • I’m curious about this too. Does the reviewer pay or does MSA, the company pay? And if MSA pays, is the subscription the reviewers compensation for doing the review?

      Thanks in advance πŸ™‚
      Jessica

  30. I’m curious if the critique level varies from boxes you guys get for free vs boxes you purchase out of your own pocket?

  31. Have you considered creating your own subscription box company? If so what kind of box will it be?

    • Yes, you should for sure start your own subscription box company, a mix of POPSUGAR, Allure, Box of Style and a bit of Nina Garcia please πŸ™‚ You would have at least 10,000 orders per month! You have awesome taste.

    • Yes!! You already have a ton of people who will buy it! πŸ™‚ I suggest lifestyle/home decor/great gift items type of box!

    • Liz briefly had her own subscription box with Quarterly. Short lived though.

  32. If you could design your perfect subscription box, what would it be like? (Price, frequency, ability to customize, reward system, types of products and brands, subscription name!)

  33. Liz, do you still receive Golden Tote? If so, why did you stop posting your reviews? I would love to see more than just one person reviewing the totes each month so we could see some of the variation in the offerings!

    • Ditto

  34. A lot of subscribers are women who have men in their who do not understand our love of subs (how sad). How was you able to convince Eric to join in the obsession, or did he just fell into it along with you. He does seem to enjoy the subs he reviews. Thanks.
    Which leads me to the next question. How big is your house to be able to store both of your sub box items? and besides makeup, what other sub box items do you use on a daily or near daily basis?

    • How many reviewers do you for MSA?

    • My question is similar…..what do you do with all the items you get? Because you always open and swipe them, kinda hard to gift them after you do that. In my mind there’s no way you can possibly use all these items, so what happens to them?

      Oh…. another person said something about how you find reviewers? I’m sure many many of us would love to review boxes for you, how do you choose them? Are they friends in real life, people you met over the internet? Yes, that was a shameful plug that I would LOVE to do this. Stay at home mom with nothing to do hahaha.

      • Stay at home mom with nothing to is an oxymoron ???

  35. What’s the most disappointing sub you’ve ever had? (Folks have already inquired about the best so was wondering about the flip side)

    Has there ever been a customer service experience that blew you away, in either a positive or negative way?

    • Good question on the customer service experience.

      I had a similar question, which is, is there any box that has blown you away, either for a good or bad reason? E.g., a box with everything broken in it, or a box that had two of something.

  36. I understand that MSA has done a sub box before. Any plans to do another????? ?

    • Yes, yes! Any plans to do another sub box Liz?! I was one of the ones who discovered the world of subscription boxes about a year ago so I wasn’t lucky enough to get either of those amazing boxes you curated! ( and literally those boxes were perfect, just perfect!) so please let us know if anything is in the works or if there might be soon! If not please think about it ??❗️

    • I would LOVE to see a box that Liz curated!

  37. What do you think makes or breaks a subscription box? Is it customer service, curation, price point, etc?

    And what makes you cancel a subscription?

  38. Hi Liz!
    You helped me when I wasn’t getting messages from the swap board, and I came across another swapper who seemed to be having a similar problem.
    I suggested that she contact you to see if there was something screwy in her settings (that she can’t see on her end).
    My question is “What is the best way to contact you if we are having problems with our swap-account?”.
    Thanks for everything that you do.
    Cheers,
    Rosemary

  39. I’m curious about MSA. Where are you guys based out of? How many people work for the website? And do you guys have an office, or does everyone blog from home?

  40. When is the best time to get deals on subscription boxes?

  41. What are your favorite items that you’ve ever received in a sub box?

  42. Do you take submissions for new reviewers (of kids’ boxes, in particular)? Thx!

  43. Do you all still get excited when you get certain boxes, or is it more business than pleasure at this point?

  44. Oh Liz – let me just tell you I absolutely love ❀️ love ❀️ love ❀️ ??? your HAIR COLOR!!!! I’m sure you prob go to a salon there locally but if you don’t mind letting me know (if you know!!! lol) the shade or shades your stylist used ?????? Plz and thank you gorgeous lady!!!

    • Lol that’s my comment/question as well. I’m obsessed with Liz’s haircolor and style.

      • Everyone else is asking about the subs and specifics and we are looking at Liz’s totes gorg hair !!! Lol ???

  45. Liz,
    How do you organize your many starches?
    I also appreciate the new clean editorial style. Very polished, modern, and easy on the eyes.

  46. Where do you store all of the products you receive?

  47. Have you ever had so much stuff from boxes that you didn’t want, you had to donate it or have a yard sale πŸ™‚ ?

  48. Since we’re getting close to Christmas! What are the best subscription boxes would you recommend giving for gifting?

  49. Do you and Eric plan to have kids? If that’s too personal, I understand!

  50. What is something you’d love to see as a trend in upcoming sub boxes?

    • This one is interesting! I’d like to also know your opinion on what you think is on it’s way out – is dry shampoo, etc etc on it’s way out of boxes iyo?

      How about boxes? What do you think will be here in a year, five years?

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