6 Things I Like About FabFitFun and 2 Things I Don’t
You would think that with all of the boxes and limited edition sets I review for MSA, my subscription addiction would be satiated, right? Guess again! In addition to the boxes I review here, I do have a couple of personal subscriptions that I pay for myself- and FabFitFun is one of them! I was subscribed to this box the entire time I was in law school, then I took a break from due to some box fatigue. When I saw that the Summer 2021 box featured the Summer Fridays CC Me Vitamin C Serum, FabFitFun pulled me back in to sign up for another annual subscription. Due to the length of time I have been a subscriber, especially when money was a lot tighter than it is now, I feel like I have experienced both the highs and lows with this box. Let’s dive into my experience and talk about six things I like about FabFitFun, along with two things I don’t.
6 Things I Like About FabFitFun
1. The Extreme Customization
To my recollection, FabFitFun is really the first box that made personalization a key feature of their subscription. Don’t quote me on that; time-wise, I am not sure when boxes like Ipsy Glam Bag Plus and Alltrue offered their options to pick out a majority of the items in the box, but FabFitFun was definitely the first box I subscribed to that offered such a feature. Thanks to customization, you can really take control of what you want your quarterly box to look like. Love skincare and makeup? You can make a box curated entirely on beauty like Megan did with the Summer 2021 box. Is beauty not your thing? You can avoid them when you’re picking your items. Want a good mix of everything? That’s an option too. Beauty, lifestyle, home items, fitness, and more are options every season, so your subscription gives you a broad range of possibilities with what your box will be. Even if you’re not an annual subscriber, you’re still able to pick multiple items in your box (one of the perks of an annual subscription is that now you can customize every single choice). Plus, FFF has worked to expand their number of options for each choice- the Fall 2019 box only had three options for the first choice, and now the Fall 2021 box has eight.
2. The Prevalence of Well-Known and Luxury Brands
Every season, I can count on recognizing multiple brands that I already know and like, or want to try. As mentioned earlier, the Summer Fridays serum is what prompted me to come back for an annual subscription- I had been wanting to try it, and the serum alone retails for $64 when one seasonal box (before any discounts) is $49.99. The summer box also featured items from Olehenriksen, Murad, African Botanics, Corkcicle, Supergoop, and Ouai. All of those brands are ones I’ve purchased before or at least had a strong brand awareness of, and that is the experience I have come to expect with each quarterly box. In past seasons, I’ve also been really excited to be able to receive products from 111Skin (please don’t hate me, but I do truly love those rose gold sheet masks), Sol de Janerio, Oribe, Free People, Beautyblender, Aromatherapy Associates, and BKR. I may not know every single brand offered in every single box, but I can always count on recognizing some friendly faces, and that adds a lot of personal value to my subscription.
3. The Sheer Number of Items
We are all complex individuals, so even with all of the customization options offered by FabFitFun, there’s always a chance that there’s an item category we aren’t excited about. Luckily, there are six items in every quarterly box, so even if every single option in choice one is a dud for me, the options in choice two, three, four, five, and six make up for it. How it usually breaks down for me is that I will really love two choices, be indifferent to one or two, and not be excited at all about one of them. By the time the actual box arrives though, I am always satisfied. Let’s apply that to the upcoming Fall 2021 box. I’m really excited about Choice 1 (I haven’t decided between the frying pan or the Amika set- or if I’ll pay extra and get both), choice 2 (love the Coach jewelry set!), and Choice 3 (I already use and love Pattern Beauty products, so getting the Curl Gel at a discount when I have paid full price for it before is exciting to me). I’m a little indifferent on Choice 4- I haven’t decided between the Korres or Elemis product, and while I like both brands neither item is particularly exciting to me). Choice 5 is my least favorite; none of the items are ones I need and the brands aren’t calling my name. I’m really wanting the Ren moisturizer or Algenist eye balm from Choice 6, but even with an annual subscription, the options in Choice 6 sell out rather fast. All of that being said, I already know I will be really happy with my box because of what I will be picking from Choice 1, Choice 2, and Choice 3.
4. The Add-Ons Sale
The add-ons sale each quarter is a big plus for me- as hard as I try, there are usually one or two items I can’t resist adding on to be shipped with my box. FabFitFun gets some truly great discounts that are only available as a FFF subscriber, and often times I can find products I already use and love for a steal during the sale. I can’t tell you how many packs of invisibobble power rings I’ve purchased through the add-ons sale, and I was really stoked to see the newly released Ilia Lip Mask available in the summer 2021 add-on sale (I definitely grabbed it after trying a mini in this Sephora Favorite’s set). FabFitFun will also have quarterly edit sales between each box that offer great deals as well, but I try to only shop during the add-on sales because add-ons ship free with my quarterly box (edit sale items will ship free if you hit a minimum threshold). If you love online shopping and getting a good deal, these sales will most likely be a big perk for you.
5. The Overall Value
There is no denying it- each quarter’s box always has a great value. Looking back at my summer 2021 box and adding everything up, my box had a total value of $307.95. There’s no denying that’s a great deal for a $49.99 box, and it’s an even better deal if you’re an annual subscriber when it breaks down to $45 a box. A box with a high value isn’t going to feel like a great value if you don’t like the products inside, but as I mentioned above, FFF does a great job of including reputable brands and products each quarter. With each box, there will easily be at least one hero item that alone retails for more than the cost of the box (and oftentimes, there are several). A box like this is a really good way to experience luxury and new products at a significant discount, which is great if you’re on a tight budget but want to still treat yourself.
6. The Great Customer Service
I’ve had to contact customer service a few times during my subscription- most recently when a coupon I used to subscribe didn’t apply, and another time when my box was marked as delivered by FedEx but never made it to my doorstep (FedEx and I are *not* getting along right now). Both times I was able to get help using the live chat feature on the website, and I was able to get satisfactory resolutions very quickly. Over the years of subscribing, I can’t really think of an interaction I’ve had with customer service that was unduly burdensome or downright annoying- not all boxes can say the same! In a perfect world, customer service would never be needed, but we live in an imperfect world and I appreciate that when I do reach out, my issues are solved.
Those are six things about my FabFitFun subscription that I like, but that doesn’t mean this is a perfect subscription. Let’s talk about two things I’m not loving when it comes to this box.
…and 2 Things I Don’t.
1. Annual Subscribers Get The Best Benefit
I get that there needs to be perks for an annual subscription to get you to fork up that significant chunk of cash, but sometimes there is a true disparity between the benefits received as an annual subscriber vs. someone who only subscribes quarterly. I appreciate that as an annual subscriber, I get first access to the add-on sales, customization, and box shipping, but I do remember when I couldn’t afford to pay the upfront cost of an annual subscription, and being disappointed when items sold out before I could access them, or my box took a long time to ship. For me, this is the biggest issue when it comes to Choice 6 items. As an annual subscriber, I am able to select my choice, however even when I log in on the same day choice opens, items in this sixth category are sold out. Since seasonal subscribers can’t choose this category at all, it can really be a bummer to get excited about an Olehenriksen mask or Murad serum, but instead receive an ice tray, a lip mask, and a pedicure file. Some of those great deals in the add-on sales sell out too, before quarterly subscribers are able to get access. To get the most out of your subscription, you really need to be an annual subscriber, but that isn’t financially feasible for everyone.
2. Some Item Choices Leave Me Scratching My Head
As much as I love the variety of items subscribers can choose from and the well-known brands frequently featured, not everything can be a winner. And I do think that for FFF to be able to afford to feature some of these brands, offering “filler” items is the sacrifice we all have to make. I don’t love it though- was there anyone who was truly excited about the cactus cup? Especially when the other items were more practical in a body wash and lip mask (and FFF chose this item for everyone- even annual subscribers)? I also don’t love how sometimes, the item we receive in our box will be in different packaging than what is sold on the brand’s website, even if it’s a full-size item (like the Kate Sommerville Goat Milk Moisturizer that came in the Summer 2020 box). I think the difference in packaging is a cost-saving measure that allows a brand to include the item in a subscription box, but it doesn’t give the same experience to me.
There you have it- six things I really like about my FabFitFun subscription and two things that I don’t. I still absolutely recommend this subscription, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. I would love to know more about what your favorite and least favorite parts of subscribing to FabFitFun are- let me know below!