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Quarterly Will Now Charge For Shipping + GQ Box Spoiler

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Quarterly Will Now Charge For Shipping + GQ Box Spoiler Shipping

Quarterly will be charging for shipping for US customers on all subscriptions starting March 1st. ($5 for $50 and $75 boxes, $8 for $100 boxes). (Thanks Leisha, Regan and Lily for lettings us know about this).

All subscriptions that are active before March 1st, will get a free shipping credit on the next box that ships. So if you are currently a subscriber to Book Riot for example, you won’t pay shipping for their next box that ships in March, but you will be charged for shipping on the following box.

Also, if you sign up for any Quarterly box before March 1st, you’ll get free shipping on the first box of that subscription.

Also, we have two new spoilers for the Quarterly GQ box:

Quarterly Will Now Charge For Shipping + GQ Box Spoiler Spoilers

The Date-Night box from GQ will include Surfing Photos From the Seventies Taken by Jeff Divine and


a chocolate bar from Mast Brothers Chocolate. (And check out the first GQ box spoiler in case you missed it!)

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. I only had the Hitha on the Go box subscription and just got a note that it was being discontinued. I liked that subscription.

  2. Given this and their new position on returns, I feel that there is no rush for me to want to subscribe. There are 3 subscriptions I’m keeping, both Book Riot boxes and the Kevin Rose box. Anything else, I can take the chance that it will appear on Best of Quarterly. It will be the same price. If it sells out or doesn’t make it to Best of Quarterly… oh well, it wasn’t meant to be.

  3. Well, I decided to re-subscribe to Arianna’s box making the assumption that the subscriptions prior to March 1 would apply to all subscriptions, not just to one. It won’t ship until May (if then…) so that gives me plenty of time to back out (assuming the next policy change won’t be to charge us as soon as we subscribe!). Their website still says shipping is free – maybe that will change tomorrow.

    I noticed that Hitha disappeared from the list of curators. I don’t know if that’s because people were not happy with her boxes or if it’s because she’s expecting a baby soon and decided to drop out of the box business.

    • I got an email that Hitha’s subscription was ending 🙁

  4. I received a quarterly email that the nina box theme is… luxe hair care
    No poducts mentioned though

    • See, I didn’t even get this lol. Between this and their recommendation of the Nina box to me I’m confused. But on my account page it shows me as subscribed. Oy.

      • I think it was because I wasnt subscribed, it was a reminder email I could get ninas box free shipping if I order before mar 1

        • I may keep NG’s box because of the theme. I don’t want to drop it yet in case it sells out and then I want it. I love hair products, but not all love me. I hope they post a spoiler soon!

  5. Since they are only starting to charge shipping March 1, and the Nina Garcia box was supposed to be shipped in February, I think that those subscribers should not only get free shipping on that first box after March 1st, but then the “free shipping credit” on the box after that. Not my fault you can’t get it together and get boxes out on time.
    Another thing – they sent me an email yesterday saying that MSA is no longer a curator ( 🙁 ), but here are two that we suggest based on your interests – Design*Sponge and Nina Garcia. Good work figuring out that I’d be interested in the Nina Garcia box, since I’ve been a subscriber forever.
    Ugh. Really not feeling the love for quarterly recently.

  6. I’ll stay subscribed to Bianca’s (MizzFit) box because I pretty much adore her and what she embodies. However, and I’ve said this before, I wish someone would come along and compete with Quarterly. All they do is facilitate the box infrastructure elements, while the curators do all of the actual selection. Quarterly sucks when it comes to shipping, timeliness and to add a charge and call it a “shipping charge” is just such a bad move considering that the shipping is the most frustrating part from a customer standpoint. Why not just raise the cost of every box by $5 and just call is a cost of living adjustment or inflation adjustment or heck, just say that you need to raise the cost to keep afloat. Starbucks raises their prices and they don’t feel the need to describe WHY they are raising prices.

  7. I’m afraid this will be it for me as well. The only benefit of a subscription over a single box purchase was the free shipping. Quarterly already provides a terrible dollar value. The curation is good, but why not just wait for the reveal and buy the items you want somewhere else or wait until they put the boxes on sale.

  8. I never even got the email showing the changes and I was supposed to get two boxes in March. Guess I’m going to go cancel them too. Too bad, but like others have said, I can take that money and go get something I actually like.

  9. I went ahead and canceled my Wil Wheaton box last night. I signed up months ago at the original announcement, and part of me felt like “Well, I’ve waited this long…”, but the other part of me said that it was time to move on from this company. As some of the other commenters have mentioned, some of the changes, while unpopular, just make good sense for them as a business. It was so nice when they offered returns (and free at that! We didn’t even have to pay return shipping, which is sometimes required by even non-sub companies), but I can understand why that was working against them.
    My main concern with Quarterly boils down to lack of communication. For example, I subscribed to this box months ago, knowing that it was not scheduled to ship until February. However, there has pretty much been only one mention of the box since. So with every email that came from them about new spoilers, curators, or other announcements, I was left anxious waiting to hear more about this one. The only spoiler that was listed was an action figure, not even specifying which type. It was more like a vague hint than a spoiler. With Wil Wheaton’s box having a higher price point, it’s hard to justify spending that much money without a real sense of what I might be getting. There have been posts on FB from people asking when the box will ship. The response was that it would be last week, with no update since. I understand that things occur that delay the boxes, but I just wish that in all of the announcements that they send out, they could at least acknowledge the people that have subscribed to this box (“Hey Wil Wheaton subscribers! Hang tight! Your box is coming soon!”).
    And another area where I feel that their communication is lacking is the announcement of changes. I do understand why they made them, but it does feel like it was brought up in a rather shady way.

  10. I feel with each email they just push me further away. I’ve already broken up with you Quarterly, now you’re just sealing the deal.

  11. :: Sigh :: The only Quarterly box I subscribed to was the MSA box (sad to see it go but am totally understanding of why it ended). I’ve considered Wil Weaton’s box (love Wil Weaton) and Hitha’s box (good curation, but not a great value), but I haven’t taken the plunge on either. There were also several “best of” Quarterly boxes I debated getting but ultimately didn’t buy because of the high shipping cost (shipping was never free on old / “best of” boxes). Because I consider shipping costs as part of the cost of a box, it’s like Quarterly is raising prices without raising value.

  12. Subscription boxes are changing and morphing as the landscape changes. I was an early subscriber to Quarterly and remember some of those first Jason Kottke boxes. I loved them! An ant farm! A pinhole camera! Mexican jumping beans! Stuff I would never even think about buying for myself (or even think about in general) showing up on my doorstep. I felt like a kid.

    Those early boxes were more about curation and wanting to see things through the eyes of someone you found interesting. They were about the experience, about exploring things you might never have considered. They weren’t about value necessarily, although I recall giving one of the Cool Huntings boxes the side-eye because it seemed underwhelming for the price.

    The addition of so many new niches and the community that has been building around boxes have both added to new attitudes. Subscribers are interested in a balance between value and curation; no longer is receiving something interesting from someone interesting enough.

    Quarterly’s model – return any box for a full refund, free shipping – was simply unsustainable. One factor here must be manufacturer agreements. In the early days of sub boxes, companies were probably excited about getting their products in front of a waiting audience. Today, with many of us subscribing to 5, 6, 7 and more boxes a month, companies have most likely come to realize that we are waiting for our next surprise and not necessarily beating down their door to purchase seconds. I certainly have bought items after discovering a new product that I love, but because I am getting several (heh) boxes a month, my desire to shop is tempered by “what might I get next?!”

    French Box found that $24 was unsustainable (they said so in their letter to subscribers) and I expect that they will restart with a higher priced box. But instead of doing what Quarterly did and raise pricing, they first tried to snow subscribers by sending out expired and very un-French products.

    I think that only the companies with the largest backing such as Birchbox and PopSugar and FabFitFun as well as small niche boxes which have a particular demographic like the vegan boxes will be sustainable in the long haul. I think that we will see less makeup and jewelry startups and more niche offerings. We will probably see some large companies get in on the box idea (like Target and Wal-Mart have done).

    Just some thoughts!

    • That was a great comment Bird, I love reading it.
      I don’t care about the change in the return policy bc most sub boxes don’t allow for returns. Also, I just signed up for some quarterly boxes last month, after the policy change, so I’ve never taken advantage of it anyways.
      Now I’m signed up for Hitha, Fathom and Travel Noire. I got the underwhelming February Hitha box, but I was going to wait for a spoiler to decide about cancelling. The other two have yet to be received. What I want to know is, will we be getting a free shipping credit for each of our different subscriptions? Or just the first one? Well I’ll definitely get the Fathom box in March (with free shipping) and I may cancel travel Noire. If I have to pay shipping on Hitha, I will almost definitely cancel, since the value doesn’t seem to be there at $50, let alone $55.

      • Okay so I emailed Quarterly and I got a response. It said that each subscription I have before March first will get 1 shipping credit. It will automatically come off the invoice, no reimbursement necessary. 3 subscriptions = 3 credits.

        With this clarified information, I will probably get one shipment of each of my 3 subscriptions, and then I will probably pick one to keep. And the one I choose will probably NOT be the Hitha box lol.

    • You are becoming one of my favorite commenters, Bird. You always have something thoughtful to say.

  13. Quarterly is slowly going down hill. Before too long, there will be only a handful of curators left.

  14. I don’t even have any quarterly subscriptions since there is no more MSA but I feel that quarterly is on its way out.

  15. I don’t understand how a coffee book is related to a date. Is it to reenact a Barnes and Nobles quick date away from the kids?

    • A strange choice, to be sure. They say it’s to “spruce up your home” so I’m guessing their target audience is single guys hoping to impress a date.

      • It’s been almost 10 years since I last waded in the dating pool but I don’t recall ever going to a date’s house and specifically evaluating the esthetic quality of his displayed reading material–as in “oh this one’s a definitely keeper, why just look at that amazing book on his coffee table.” It would have been more along the lines of “this guy actually owns a coffee table and it’s not covered with old takeout boxes…he’s got definite potential….”

  16. I have really enjoyed the Book Riot box, but now that there is competition with a few other book boxes, I don’t know. I just don’t know. I have the feeling after my free shipping box comes, that will be it for me.

  17. What’s going on with this company lately? Were they bought out?

  18. I decided to unsub from Nina today…just before receiving this email from Quarterly. The reason being there have been no spoilers or even a hint at a theme for her box…not a good sign. Now that shipping is charged separately and there are no returns they should be able to improve the value/quality of the boxes right? 😉

  19. I could see why they dropped the returns (they had to be losing a lot of money) but the shipping is very odd. I’m guessing that they are hoping for a flurry of re-subscriptions before March 1 (the e-mail said it was per subscription) but I’m not sure what their game plan will be after that. Maybe the next step will be billing as soon as someone signs up (like PS does). They can sometimes lure more people in by posting spoilers but they also cause a lot of people to cancel too.

    I’m keeping Bianca’s box because she really did provide a nicely curated box with good value. I’m debating on Ariana – I cancelled the last one because I didn’t need the fitness tracker or more yoga DVDs (although I did think the box was great) but overall she has done a nice job putting together good value and good curation.

    I am wondering if Quarterly is going to make it. Some of their curators seem to have a pretty big cult following but not all.

  20. Shipping isn’t free and you “pay” for it somewhere, whether it’s built into the cost of a box or a charge tacked on afterwards. That being said timely shipping/delivery has been Quarterly’s worst area of performance for pretty much as long as I’ve heard of them, so to start charging for something that you are legitimately terrible at does not make sense to me unless you PRESENT it as a way to improve in a weak area, which they did not do. If they had bothered to “spin” this a little differently, I bet the overall reaction would be markedly different.

  21. I feel like Quarterly is not long for this world. I signed up for the Renarda Joy box after yours ended, but then I got an email before Renarda even did one box saying that she was no longer a curator. Then I signed up for Food52’s, so I’ll get the shipping credit this time around, but after that I think I’m going to be done with them as a whole for good. It’s too bad, I think they have potential and have had great boxes/curators in the past, but based on the experiences you shared with us it seems like there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that is making them scramble!

  22. Cancelled!! Done.

  23. I’m waiting for two “February” boxes to ship. I wonder if they will actually get them out by Saturday or if they will push them to March 1 and charge me shipping. Very confusing to me.

    • You should be good. They responded to a question on their FB page, and said that the shipping credit would be applied to all subscriptions placed before March 1. So if you have two, they should both include free shipping. I highly doubt that they will make it out before the end of the month. They responded to a question about the Wil Wheaton box saying that it should ship at the end of the week (it’s already Thursday night…) but 2 weeks ago they said that it would be shipped last week.

  24. I will stay subscribed to Bianca’s box but I am not happy about additional $5… still her boxes always have a high value and I adore her curation 🙂

  25. quarterly is getting out of control! I used to love them, but after all the delays around the holidays, the no-return change… AND now this!!! I guess This help me decide between the travel box or the LE PS box.

  26. we already had a GQ spoiler – LITE+CYCLE pillar candles

  27. I cancelled my last remaining box immediately. I also took the survey asking why I cancelled and was completely honest about shipping and returns policy as the reason they lost me as a customer.

  28. Hold on – they thought this was a GOOD business move, charging for the aspect of their service that already gets the most complaints???

    I was offended enough that the one box I bought from them was repeatedly delayed and arrived after Christmas, when they “guaranteed” delivery before that (Rosario’s).

    This company deserves to bleed.

  29. I’ve gone from 3 subscriptions to now zero with quarterly. It’s understandable that they have to put some protections in place for themselves, but the curation and the customer service just isn’t there to make up for that.

  30. Hmmm….signed up for the Naiomi Kyle one because of the spoiler…but then got that in my Loot Crate….was gonna wait it out, but now this and seeing everyone’s comments about how the value isn’t there I may cancel. I did snag two of the GE boxes and definitely am not canceling those since the value is there.

  31. Considering that most of their boxes (although not all – MSA and Arianna have definitely been exceptions) only barely reach retail, it seems kind of sleazy to be basically jacking up all the prices by around 7-10%. I can buy most of the contents of these boxes retail for what I pay quarterly, and if I did that I could just skip the stuff I don’t want. I am rapidly reconsidering my Arianna subscription….not yet decided, but…

  32. I canceled my one remaining box, which was Rosario Dawson. They were supposed to ship a Love-themed box in Jan or Feb, never happened, no communication about it. Now there’s a 5 Senses box supposedly shipping in March. I subscribe to too many other boxes I enjoy to stress out over this one. See ya, Quarterly.

  33. I wonder if all of these “user-unfriendly” Quarterly changes have anything to do with that unpopular Nina Winter Box– I do think that they took a big hit with all of those returns. Seems like a BIG coincidence that they dropped the “free return” policy relatively soon after that box. Haven’t seen any spoilers for her Spring Box– seem like that one won’t be sent out on time either…

    • I think that Nina had a couple bad boxes, at least for me. The summer one got returned. The 2 bags and the melted shoe were just to much for me. I returned the winter one too. My purse was not made right and they just didn’t seem to understand so instead of fighting with them, I returned it. I had 5 different boxes from them and now have none. I must say it is strange not getting a bunch of boxes anymore. But I honestly cant get behind this company any more. Stop ADDING more boxes and get the ones out that you have on time. I cant understand how someone can charge shipping and then take an extra month or two getting the item out to you. I was thinking about signing up to one box just the other day. But after this, nope. I’ll go on Ebay.

  34. I just canceled GQ. I don’t understand how the coffee table book about surfing has anything to do with a date night at home. Seems like the explanation was a little bit of a stretch.

    On top of that their policy changes have made me wonder what is going on with the company. Very strange.

    • I totally agree. I cancelled our box…I don’t understand how a party theme/household box and date-night surf book box is related to normal GQ topics. Only the first box was remotely close to what we were expecting. Plus this box is delayed as it was supposed to ship in January and then Feb 6 (I emailed after the first delay), now barley in Feb. This company is really terrible. Why on earth would you tack on a pricing change to the thing that’s most annoying about your product (delayed shipping) and not promise better service? I am getting my two other boxes with the credit and then canceling everything. This company has much to learn about value propositions and customer service.

  35. This is highly annoying. I am still waiting for my Wil Wheaton box to ship and have heard that they’ve had shipping issues with some of their other boxes.

    “…take advantage of our free shipping one last time…” Seriously? Like you are offering us some sort of special deal? More like “We used to always have free shipping but now we are having problems and can’t do that anymore so better sign up now before we raise our prices”.

    I’ve been hesitant to sign up for any of their boxes before, as an entire quarter is a long time to wait. And now that they are suddenly going to charge shipping when they can’t seem to nail the whole on time thing, well, I canceled PSMH last year when they couldn’t get their boxes out on time. But I resubbed a few days later. I just love their boxes too much to cancel. I sincerely hope that my first foray into Quarterly with a new curator has me feeling the same way. Meh. It’s a risk I was Wil-ling to take.

  36. 🙁 The Wil Wheaton was supposed to ship in February but of course it’s not yet. Wonder if this would be considered our loyalty credit or the next one… Grrr!

  37. I also think its shady how they keep adding these huge changes small at the bottom of emails. This email subject just said and the newest curator is – often times I end of deleting these without really looking. This should have been its own email that said shipping changes like the no return policy should have been yet it was buried too.

    • That’s exactly it. I feel like they’re underestimating me as a consumer.

      I would take this messaging a lot more seriously if they broke the information to us, and THEN said – but hey, we’re worth sticking around, check out these new curators and here are some spoilers!

  38. Wow. I cancelled all my Quarterly boxes in disgust because they were never remotely worth even what I paid for them and they were never delivered less than a month overdue. Never. On top of that, all boxes used to be $25, then they doubled or quadrupled the prices. I wasn’t getting my money’s worth before, so no way would I pay twice as much! (Liz, I never subscribed to the MSA box). Now they’re charging more?

    I complained to them repeatedly with no response, but I raised the roof when Mark Freuenfelder sent $8-10 worth of Japanese candy for my $25. Quarterly gave me a credit. I used it much later to subscribe to what they were then calling the Toys and Collectibles box, based on how they described it. I was very careful and read everything because I had been burned so many times. When it arrived, it was obscure art figures I had no use for. I thought I could maybe sell them on ebay, but there were tons listed with no buyers, and asking prices far less than retail values. Greeeaaaat.

    So I ask again: now they want more money? Quarterly, I’ve got a nice, juicy raspberry here for you, but it’s not the kind you eat. To everyone else: run away, run away…!

  39. As far as I’m concerned, if they couldn’t hang onto the MSA Box, they aren’t doing things right!

  40. Wow. I waited so long to be able to afford Bianca’s box and Quarterly is just trying to get me to cancel my subscription with everything they are changing!! I love Bianca’s box (even though I only received one so far!!) so will def need to think about this one hard after I receive my next box.. Quarterly is just trying to push everybody out. They had a fantastic thing going and are slowing changing everything that made them great!

  41. Do they have some kind of race going to see how quickly they can lose every subscriber? What a bummer!

  42. What do they mean by free shipping on next box? Is it a single free shipping credit, or free shopping on all next subscriptions if we are subscribed to multiple boxes?

    • I assume it’s only one box, and if it is only one box credit per email then i will have to be more selective and cancel a few :/

  43. Thanks, just signed up for Bianca Jade box!

  44. I think that is the final nail in the coffin for Quarterly for me.

    • Agreed!

  45. When I saw this I felt irritated. Most the boxes the values dont seem that great, now ad shipping to this and no returns. Not excited at all. I might sign up for 1 more box before march then cancel all the other boxes after my boxes ship. I dont like the idea of low value boxes + paying for shipping. Rather just stick with the higher value limited edition popsugar boxes even if I might not like all the items in it.

    • I did just that. Cancelled Fathom and got the popsugar Resort Box. How irritating. After tolerating the endless delays and and now this. I also cancelled Rosario. I really do not care for posters or pictures of her included counting as an item in the box and it will probably feature another fabric bag. I may just stick with Bianca and only for the next box and then cancel everything and unsubscribe from their mailing list.

      • I too am thinking of cancelling both my remaining Quarterly box especially in light of what a great job Little lace box, Yogi surprise, Oui please, causebox and fabfitfun are doing at curating their boxes. I am currently signed up for Rosario and Arianna Huffington but this may just do me in too. I already had signed up for and then unsubbed for DesignSponge, Fathom and Nina Garcia because of the return policy issue and the lack of good spoilers. I can see them losing a lot of people over this.

        By the way,whatever happened to that multiple box discount they talked about in the email where they also took away the ability to return bad boxes? Guess that never materialized. Liz, you obviously made the right decision breaking with this company.

      • Well that made my decision for Fathom. Was hesitant to order based on Quarterly’s history, but am a HUGE fan of travel accessories. This was the final nail in the coffin for me. No Fathom box – but PopSugar resort it mine 🙂

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