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Birchbox Price Changes – Details on the New Tiered Pricing

FYI – Beginning March 25th, Birchbox is updating their pricing structure and improving their box experience. If you are a current subscriber, this change in pricing won’t impact you until June 1st, and if you are an ACE, you keep the $10 a month cost as long as you maintain your ACE status.

Here’s a chart to better explain:

And more details on what’s changing:

Why is the price going up?
We are in year nine of Birchbox and this is the first time we have ever raised our prices. This allows us to offer you an even better experience in a way that’s sustainable for our business. We’re bringing you exciting new samples, more ways to customize your monthly experience (higher-value options for sample choice, more curated boxes, and a brand-new feature called Swap for Points coming in June), plus improved personalization, faster shipping, and special surprises along the way.

I already paid upfront for my subscription. What does this mean for me?
If you’re in the middle of a subscription you’ve already paid for upfront, your new pricing will take effect upon auto-renewal when your subscription is up. You will not owe us the difference.

How does monthly billing work?
Beginning in June, all subscribers will be billed monthly on the 1st, beginning with your subscription renewal. For example, if you have a 6-month subscription that ends in August, you can expect to be billed your new rate on September 1st.

You can still choose 3, 6, or 12 month options, but you’ll be billed incrementally instead of all at once. If you opt in to one of these plans, you can either opt out of auto-renewal or cancel within your last month. Monthly subscriptions can still be canceled at any time.

If I unsubscribe now and then sign up again later, can I still get the lower tier pricing?
You can only get the current subscriber pricing by remaining an active subscriber. If you unsubscribe and resubscribe later, you’ll pay the new subscriber pricing. Aces (current and future) will always pay $10.

FYI – the last day to secure the current pricing is March 24th – so you can sign up for an annual subscription at $110 to lock in the low pricing for a full year.

Check out the letter from Birchbox founder Katia Beauchamp to learn more about the changes.


How do subscribers rate Birchbox?

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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!

Posted in Birchbox News, Subscription Box News| Tags: birchbox | 82 comments

Comments (82)

  1. Looks like a last ditch effort to stay in business from a desperate company. Birchbox has been on a steady free fall downhill. First the points for review went away,then the couple of beta programs they tried that ultimately went away, constantly offering old repeats in the curated box/sample choices. I predict that this sub box will be ending soon although the shop might stay open. I would be very careful about signing up for an annual subscription at this point unless you want a gift card for the shop in a few months when they close up the sub box.

  2. So if I go back to being an ACE after March 25, they will adjust my rate to $10 instead of this increase?

    • Yes

  3. I have never been a Birchbox subscriber so I can’t speak to the quality issues, but I wish that Goodbeing would have done something like this rather than folding with no warning. I would gladly have forked over a couple more bucks a month to keep getting it.

  4. I feel dumb, but what is ACE?

    • People that spend over $300/yr.

  5. This price change doesnt bother me, but it also doesnt effect me either since I am an Ace. I think its a relief that they havent changed their prices in 9 years. I work in the food industry, and know that prices have to be raised to meet cost and and still be able to turn a profit. I did notice that this slight price increase will bring new products for us to test, so that is a good thing. Plus other perks they mentioned, like better curation, passing on boxes to let you collect points for store items. Do I expect more from Ipsy Plus and Boxycharm? Of course. Because their items are full size. But for a box that lets me sample products that I may purchase in the future, I’m okay if I have to pay $2-3 more when my Ace status runs out. Staying optimistic. 🙂

    • Yeah postage rates just went up a lot.

  6. like a few folks here, I’m an annual that started last December so I have a few more months to test out their new business model. But I’m really skeptical as I’ve been around long enough to witness their multiple failed attempts to revitalize their brand (remember the option of those various specific boxes?). then again, i’m also hopeful, so who knows, maybe they will surprise us?

  7. Well, I’m out for a while. Going to try Glossybox with the 30% off code that brings it down to $13 a month for a yearly sub. They look like a great alternative to Birchbox for me, and you get some full sized items and mich bigger samples!

    • My first thought (and I commented like that below yesterday): No.

      Second thought: Well, I could grab the next 12 boxes for $110 and hope that they’ll come through on the customization and better quantities promise.

      Third thought: Kelly’s right. For $13-$14 a month, I could lock the next 12 Glossybox boxes instead of Birchbox, and get much bigger sizes.

      Fourth thought: Or either company could fold and I’d be out the money I paid for the annual sub.

      Conclusion: I think I’ll do nothing and not sub to either box.

  8. Maybe if they stopped shipping a box inside a box it could save them some money? I hate the waste it creates, and quite frankly, it is a pain to open that shipping box. I much prefer a padded bag like Ipsy, which I can easily reuse.

    • I’ve mentioned that to them before! We don’t need a themed box. Allure did just fine having one box.

    • I actually like the first box. I wish more subs would do it. It protects the nicer box inside and is extra padding for the products. It isn’t so easy for someone to open without being detected and so stuff isn’t stolen as easily. The packaging is my fav thing about BB, but the products are totally meh.

    • BB should get rid of the custom boxes every month and just go plain. Would be sad to see the boxes go though.. the items are much better protected during shipping. I also think the boxes can be reused multiple ways and I doubt most people who subscribe to Ipsy actually reuse their pink mailer. It’s easier to recycle the paper box curbside if you wanted.

    • I agree Abby. I am using the inside of my box as a canvas for mixed media. I will be teaching next month, so I will be able to use the boxes up, but I prefer the mailers 100%.

  9. Well, there seem to be a lot of opinions on a lot of things surrounding Birchbox, so I will just throw mine out there as well.

    First, I’m surprised at the people saying they don’t like the packaging. I mean, yes, it is a little cardboard box, but there are some cute designs and some pretty designs. I know sometimes people swap just for the boxes, not the content. I receive 2 subs per month, and I have been bringing my second one in to work (just the box) and leaving it for coworkers to take home just because I don’t need 2 of the same design.

    Yes, the samples are small, but I got a tiny sample of Sunday Riley eye cream, for instance, and based on the ratio of the sample size to the full size, the sample was valued at over $13. I also often get a full size lippy or eye liner (although, womp, womp, I don’t need eyeliner, and like someone else said, I could draw a line to the moon and back with all my unwanted eyeliners. I think I had 21 of them on my swap page at one time.). Still, I feel like I get a decent value in the box for the $10 I am spending.

    Anything I don’t want I can swap or gift. I guess $10 means different things to different people, but for me, $10 per month is worth the fun and surprise of opening the box to see what’s in there and trying a few new products. I’ll just try to maintain my ACE status so I don’t have to pay the higher price. However, I might let go of my second box which is not on ACE status just because I have too many boxes coming in right now and was thinking of cutting back, anyway.

  10. I have 2 more months on my $96 annual subscription. I am out after that. I have found exactly ONE product that I liked enough to purchase a full size. I just hope Ipsy doesn’t follow this lead. These companies get all this stuff for FREE. They receive perks for featuring the products in their sampler boxes and in the subscription boxes. Ipsy has started to dominate due to how they feature these products on their site. They tell you how to use it and why you will like it. You can tell the founders are a generation younger. I know there is box envy with Ipsy, but I will be keeping this one around. And Allure too.

    • Not only do big boxes like Birchbox get them for free (I’m not sure about always, but I wouldn’t doubt it), but I’ve read quite a few articles over the years from brands that state boxes like Ipsy & Birchbox not only request thousands of free units, but they also charge the company a fee to be featured in the boxes.

  11. I got the yearly sub which evens out to about $8 a box and was already considering canceling, then this happened.

    I am glad I have a few months left to see how they do, but as most ppl have already said, I’m not holding my breath. Sigh.

  12. I’m hoping the customization is flexible. I’d love to see an option for fewer samples if it meant they were slightly larger. I have so many different skincare products and I’d rather have fewer that I can use for longer.

    I only started BB in December, so I’m not even close to subscriber fatigue. I’m interested to see how things shift.

  13. Wow! Birchbox wasnt worth it for $10 definitely not for even more money!! When I subbed to them like a year ago it was lots of repeat products and tiny samples of stuff I wouldn’t use. Hard pass!

  14. IF they are not going to personalize the boxes better, then I see no need to continue my subscription.

    I guess a couple of months into the ” new and improved” Birchbox should provide the answer as to value vs. increased price for the teeniest samples on the planet.

    • They do say in the letter that personalization and sample quality/value will both improve.

  15. For $15 a month, they need to be better than Allure in quality and sample size. I doubt that would happen, since the Allure items are tied to magazine ads and the advertisers want to do a hard push. Birchbox just forces the brands to give them free samples if they want the Birchbox shop to carry their items.

    I’d consider $15 a month for Birchbox fair IF THEY OFFERED A “NO HAIRCARE ITEMS EVER AT ALL WE PROMISE” OPTION.

    • The hair care items are the reason I subscribe to this box.

      • I also love getting hair products to try. It would be nice if people could opt out of certain categories if they choose to. It seems to work well for Ipsy, though I have not personally opted out of anything.

  16. I have been with Birchbox a long time with multiple subscriptions in the beginning. I am down to one, but was not planning to renew once this current subscription runs out.

    I will continue to purchase through the shop. I have found some of my favorite products through Birchbox. I have been an Ace forever and I don’t see that changing. I love their sales and Limited Edition boxes. Plus their customer service is one of the best around.

  17. I have a paid yr sub. I haven’t been wowed at all. If I had the option to cancel- I would have alrdy. Im guessing… Bb has been running constant promos & discounts with not much success that now they have to raise their rates. Simply put, too many other options Bb can’t compete.

  18. I was a faithful Birchbox subscriber for several years and stopped about a year or two ago. I discovered some awesome products through BB, but I felt that the sample sizes were getting smaller and smaller, and the brands were feeling very repetitive.

    I stuck around for a while after they stopped giving rewards points for reviews but eventually decided it was no longer worth the money to me when there were so many other competitive options doing more for their subscribers.

    When I unsubscribed, there was little fanfare on their end. I was surprised they didn’t have some kind of personalized outreach program in place. I received an automated goodbye email and that was that. I still buy their limited edition boxes and some full-size products from the Birchbox shop here and there, but I can’t imagine subscribing again … especially with this news … though Birchbox will always have a special place in my heart — it was my v. first sub box!

  19. Not sure if this is their new their strategy but it seems they are losing too much business from competitors and need to reorganize their business. Allure is now dominating the subs by their high end offerings like SR. And Ipsy is killing it with their high end boxes too, plus customization. It’s not longer viably to offer tiny samples. BB was my first sub until I discovered MSA and then I got smart and subbed different boxes that give me more bang for my buck.

  20. I cancelled right when I heard the news. I just hope Ipsy doesn’t jump on that bandwagon…

  21. Hard pass on this. I get that they’re a business and trying to make money but I was rarely impressed with what they sent.

  22. Time for me 2 cancel. I have enough black eyeliners to draw a line from here to the moon. Also tired of repeat products.

    • Black eyeliners and highlighter/bronzer! I hear you. Plus, February’s box contained drugstore brand shampoo and conditioner as two of my samples. I’m stuck until my subscription runs out in October, and I wish I could leave sooner.

  23. I sent BB an email about the increase. I’ve been a loyal subscriber since May 2012 and used to be an Ace every year until they did away with the points system. Being an Ace doesn’t really have much perks – free shipping and a few $5 thrown your way. I still review products even though I don’t get any points and I still buy yearly subscriptions. But my price will go up to $12. My sub is up at the beginning of May and I may be not be renewing.

    • For me, the perk of being an Ace is sometimes you get 25% off the shop around the holidays (used to be 30%), and sometimes you get an extra % off their sale items (e.g. everyone else gets 30% off, Aces get 40%).

  24. I liked the $10 a month for BB Man. Might switch to Dollar Shave Club and since they now have multiple grooming products and I can have it shipped when I want.

    • Birchbox Man is actually staying $10!

      • Oh cool thx

  25. As much as no one likes price increase news…at least they’re letting everyone know in advance. I can appreciate that. It does seem like this company is struggling to stay afloat, though…they messed up the point system now they’re doing this. For the price, I’m happier with Allure than Birchbox. It won’t surprise me if a year from now the announcement is “Birchbox is discontinuing subscriptions…”

    • They are raising the price in order to offer an improved box. Everyone seems to be missing that. You can’t really judge what box you like better right now because you haven’t seen their boxes at the new price point.

  26. Is the box pictured above an upcoming curated box?

    I guess I am in the minority. I’m kind of excited about this. I’m an ACE and I get to continue to pay $10 for what sounds like better boxes. I would even pay $12 for 6 samples and better samples. I will admit that lately the boxes I had been receiving were boring me, but March was really good so if this is the direction they are going they will keep me subscribed.

    I’m wondering of they will still have gift subscriptions available to purchase. Can MSA find out for us?

    • Yeah I am in thr minority as well. What rrally excites me is having multiple curated boxes to choose from.

    • I will reach out and ask!

  27. Interesting. BB is now in some Walgreens, where you can pick 5 items and its $15. Makes me wonder if there are a lot of people doing that, so they think this is a good financial move for them – raising the sub cost. (Although at Walgreens you get to PICK your samples)

    I’ve never subbed to them, as it just hasn’t interested me with what they offer and the tiny sizes. I will be watching to see how this goes though.
    Get the popcorn!

    • The brand Air Repair is now selling full-size products at those same Walgreens too! I thought that was pretty interesting. I wonder what other Birchbox-type brands will starting selling their full lines there too.

    • Oh good to know – thanks for the info!!!

  28. It will be interesting to see if there is still great ($ off) subscription coupons- – that’s what always drug me back. We’ll see. Thankfully I have eight more months on my current (Black Friday deal) subscription. sad I love love love Birchbox for the amazing deals.

  29. I was a Birchbox subscriber for such a long time, but when they dropped the points for monthly reviews, they lost me. I maintained Ace status for a year after, because I had bought pretty much all my beauty and skincare there (using reward points to help). Loved the samples, though I thought $10 was steep, love their customer service and limited edition boxes, too. I’ve thought about going back to try over and over but each month I check the sample choice and curated box and it still doesn’t pull me in more than Allure.

  30. Promise of new features isn’t enough to keep me subbed.

    I fear this is the beginning of the end for Birchbox, which I will be sad about even though I was only an intermittent subscriber. I still used their shop for the sale prices every so often.

    • I think it’s the middle of the end, the beginning of the end was when they altered the point system. I’m honestly still shocked that didn’t immediately take them down. I picked up a box this month for the free Bombas promo and when I opened it I found the same tiny samples and same boring repetitive brands they were sending when I left. In an ideal world I would happily pay $15 for an Allure level box from them because they do have good customer service and ease of managing your own account but their boxes are just not as on trend, generous, or as exciting as Allure’s, and as much as I’d like to do most of my beauty shopping with them due to their good GWPs and loyalty system they just don’t carry a lot of the products I love and they stock so few shades that I have to do most of my shopping elsewhere. It’s a bummer, I’d like to see them thrive, but they’re making weird choices and it doesn’t seem to be working for them.

  31. For anyone who’s interested in getting a sub now, the code DOUBLEFUN will give you a free mystery box with your first box.

  32. I don’t think this sub is worth $15 a month. At least with Allure you usually get a full size item and the samples tend to be larger. I have six boxes remaining between the birchbox man and regular birchbox and I’m going to cancel. I hope everything works out.

  33. They tried this a while back with a beta test. And I thought it failed. This just seems desperate. They got rid of the good points structure and now want more money. No thank you. Hard pass for me.

  34. I like that they’ll be charging on a monthly basis for prepaid subs like Lookfantastic does rather than all the $$$ up front. I wonder though if this means that they’ll never have discounts on their subs, particularly prepaids with this type of model. Maybe they’ll just be offering free products or a mystery/curated box upon sign up? I’m excited to see what changes they bring.

    • I’m curious as well. I also wonder what it means about the future. Not wanting to bill for prepayment seems like a red flag.

  35. Yeah….. for $15/month, i’m gonna need at least one guaranteed full size product. Allure is killing the game rn for the $15/month range of boxes. BB really dug their hole (and lost me) when they stopped offering points for rewards.. at least then I could justify the poo-poo samples I received most of the time. I have ipsy and boxycharm right now, but i’ll alternate with ipsy and allure. Very satisfied with all three. Unless birchbox DRASTICALLY steps their game up with their samples, they will continue to be off my radar.

  36. Birchbox still hasn’t shipped a subscription order I made on Feb 24. Why would I be willing to pay more if they can’t even ship in a timely manner? I think this is the beginning of the end for them.

    • Contact customer service. They’ve switched shipping companies since then.

      • Are they using the new shipping company now? As of last week, the site said that standard shipping takes up to 10 business days (and if I receive my order this Thursday per the tracking email, that will be 9 business days, so they really mean it). I was hoping that would improve.

  37. I love Birchbox for their limited
    Edition and sampler kit boxes, their rewards points, and their customer service. Plus they have great sales and gifts with purchase. I hope they don’t go out of business. Maybe they can end their subscription service and just go to being a regular online store because yeah…their subscription boxes are only great once in a while.

    • I agree with you…love the limited edition boxes, sales, GWP, points for purchases but I no longer get the monthly boxes. BB introduced me to many brands that I continue to purchase in their shop. I’ve maintained my Ace status for over 5 years. Also, their CS is great!!!

  38. Interesting. If their sample sizes were bigger or you got full sized products it might be worth $15. But Birchbox samples are TINY! And before I canceled my sub I was always getting hair products and perfume samples I didn’t want. I have thick curly hair and would get hair samples for fine, thin hair. They don’t “personalize” products. Ipsy is waaaaay better for $10/month.

  39. I don’t think they should be asking people to commit to a longer term sub now in order to pay less. I would need to see the changes come out first.
    They want you to lock yourself in now, or pay more later. That seems like manipulation. Lock yourself in for a promise of a better subscription. but they should ask you to do that after the changes have rolled out, not before.

  40. I’m already an Ace so I’m not too worried about resubbing in order to lock in pricing. But I wonder what the price for the curated boxes available in the shop will be now…and if Aces will get a price break on those. I often snagged one of the curated boxes that way if I wasn’t subbed at the time.

  41. Next box is my last after a 12 month and a 6 month subscription. Although there were some good samples, I don’t feel that I found any products that I would want to buy full sized. Most of the tiny samples were not personalized enough. A perfume or a mascara every other month. No option to opt out. I’m going to give IPSY another try.

  42. So do any current subscribers think it’s worthwhile to buy a longer subscription this week to lock in the lower prices?

    • I’m a current subscriber and I’m going to say no.

      • Thanks Catherine. This is one I had been eyeing, but I am going to cross it off my list and spend my money elsewhere.

    • No way! They need to prove themselves first, and the pic in this article is not a good indication to me that it will be worth it. If you do go for it, only make it 6 months.

  43. Wow, this might be what brings the axe down on this sub for me. I will give them two months and if the samples arent SIGNIFICANTLY better it’s going to dropped. I was on the fence anyway.. There is absolutely nothing special about this sub. Low end products, teensy sizes… even the packaging is blah. (Compared to say, Glossybox who’s boxing is beautiful) Their article claims we will be getting a sixth sample like it’s some great perk but we ARE paying more……so……ya…Whoop-de-doo

    • Yes, $3 more for on tiny sample… oh joy! Bye bye Birchbox

  44. Their last curated box was pretty good, so I’m going to give it a wait-and-see approach. I’m curious about the more personalized options and higher value sample choices. We shall see!

  45. It wasn’t worth $10. They dug themselves into a hole when they stopped giving points for reviews.

    I dropped them then and never regretted it. No FOMO tiny samples, missing samples, and nonexistent personalization.

    Nice try though. Charging more just makes it even less worth the $$

    • Same here. I dropped them when they dropped the points. I was spending quite a few dollars in the shop because of the points system. My $$ went elsewhere once they changed it. I still get a limited edition box here and there when they are on sale but no subs. I used to have two subs and subbed to the men’s box at one point too!

  46. Lol, nice try birchbox, but you weren’t even worth it at $10.

  47. What really bums me out is that I don’t think the box is worth $10 a month at this point – you can get the Allure box for a few dollars more and there are full sized products and the value is through the roof. For $10, ipsy and Sephora are serving up more high-end products per month than Birchbox, as well. Even though Birchbox was my gateway box, there’s no way I can justify the price increase – the items in my boxes don’t feel customized or worth it. What do you guys think?

    • I agree %100, like you said look at Ipsy who is managing to maintain a $10 price tag and still blow birchbox out of the water. They were my gateway box too, but they just never compared in value to Ipsy or allure. I will keep my eyes open though and see if they up their game along with their price.

  48. Does Birchbox really think they’re on the same level as Allure, which will send full-size luxe products among samples?

    • I’m still waiting on my February box from Allure…received my March one yesterday, but no sign of February. I feel like Allure pushes to have luxe and full-sized products, but has a hard time fulfilling orders when they flood in.

      • Try ordering through amazon. The perks aren’t as nice but the cancellation is never a hassle and their fulfillment is timely.

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