Popsugar: December 2015 & A Promotion Fail

Okay so I have this love/hate relationship with Popsugar. I love their monthly boxes but I hate the way they treat their existing customers. Popsugar never offers coupons or discounts to existing customers, so cue my excitement when I see an amazing deal from Popsugar posted all over social media and nowhere does it explicitly say “new customers only”. I rejoiced and immediately upped my monthly subscription to a 6 month pre-paid. Guess what happened next? Even though my account had said my December box had shipped I suddenly get another email saying an additional December Popsugar box has shipped. Say What? I email Popsugar frantically thinking this is a mistake because I’ve added on pre-paid months to my sub before and it’s never duplicated a month. Well Popsugar got a lot of people freaking out and when I searched social media, I see that the offer was once again for “new customers only” and would start in the month you purchased rather than just continue your subscription. Cue many, many angry people- particularly those who already had a pre-paid option and would get duplicate boxes for several months. When I logged into my account to make my 6 month purchase it clearly stated my December box had already shipped and nowhere did it say I would receive another December. It simply added “credits” to my account. So I ended up with two of the boxes you are going to see.

Now to add insult to injury, this month I see a charge for Popsugar, why? I checked my account, I have prepaid for months- it lists credits! I contact customer service and according to Popsugar I still had my monthly sub – even though nowhere did it show clearly that I had two subs! Popsugar had updated their account interface awhile back and it just doesn’t clearly show any of this information. How on earth were customers supposed to know that adding on a prepaid option for their existing monthly would create two subscriptions? Particularly when they list “credits” which makes it appear like it’s a credit to your account. Popsugar opted to make an “exception” this time and send me a pre-paid return label so I can get a refund for my duplicate January box. Typically Popsugar only makes “exceptions” when they know they’ve screwed up royally (for reference see the CFDA box fiasco that bordered on fraud). Popsugar is a great box, but every other company – subscription or not, offers specials deals to their longtime customers and Popsugar needs to do the same. They also need to be clearer on their promotions and cleaning up the messes that get made after the smoke clears.

Now sorry for the long rant, let’s get into the box – well boxes, since I got two of everything.
BoxOpen Box

Bracelet
Luv AJ The Rose Gold Ombré Bracelet
(Suggested Retail: $65.00)
Description: “This Must-Have designed ombré bracelet will be an eye-catching addition to your wristwear rotation. The mix of silver, rose gold and gold plating blends effortlessly together for a unique ombré effect.”
Verdict: Hit! & Gift
This was designed for Popsugar, so I linked to a similar bracelet. I love that this included Rose Gold and that it took a standard bracelet and gave it a twist (with the Ombre). I obviously don’t need two of these so I added the extra to someone’s Christmas Gift.

Stow Away
Stowaway Costmetics Créme Lipstick Trio
(Suggested Retail: $30.00)
Description: ”Stowaway Cosmetics’ #rightsize lipstick trio was designed for the girl on the go. Lisa Sugar handpicked these dreamy hues, perfect for holiday parties and small enough to fit in the smallest of clutches.”
Verdict:
Gifts
I think this is a cute addition to a holiday box. They are just the right size to slip into a fancy tiny bag and they offer a nice trio of shades. Unfortunately I have a ton of lipsticks and I’m not much of a party girl, so I’m adding both sets I received to some Christmas gifts.

Stopper
Nima Oberoi Lunares Geo Stopper
(Suggested Retail: $24.00)
Description: ”Wine drinkers will love this exclusive geo stopper. San Francisco designer Nima Oberoi handcrafted this bottle stopper to not tarnish or break, so you can reuse it time and time again.”
Verdict: Okay/Gift
I like that this is another exclusive design for this box, but I find it a bit Meh. I linked to the wine accessories and thought there were a lot more interesting wine toppers available from Nima Oberoi. I opted to keep one for my little cocktail/bar collection and add the other to my gift stash.

Jewelry Box 2Jewelry Box Open
Swing Design Nova Blue Mist Jewelry Box
(Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Description: “If you’re like us, there’s no such thing as too many accessories. This Must Have-exclusive offers a stylish storage solution with its stitched blue leatherette and suede interior, so you can give your jewels a proper home.”
Verdict: Mine, all mine!
I love this box. The shade is a favorite of mine and matches the duvet in my bedroom. I already have a jewelry box, but I kept both of these and put them on the nightstands on either side of my bed. I keep my glasses and lip balms in the one my side and use one on the other side for my boyfriend’s plethora of chargers and cables. This is also another exclusive so I’ve linked to the other boxes Swing Design offers in this fabrication.

DSC_0312
My Cup of Cake Classic Belgian Chocolate
(Suggested Retail: $5.99)
Description: “In just three minutes, satisfy any sweet tooth with this gourmet soufflé. It uses the finest dark, silky Belgian chocolate and all-natural ingredients, so your guests will never know it was sucah a piece of cake!”
Verdict: Hit!
These were tasty and I kept both for myself. (No surprise there).

Glitter TapeGlitter Tape 2
Meri Meri Silver Stars on White Glitter Tape
(Suggested Retail: $4.00)
Description: “When you have the perfect gift, every detail matters. Meri Meri’s festive white glitter tape will add the finishing touch with an added element of sparkle.”
Verdict: Hit
I like to craft and instead of using this really pretty tape for gift wrapping that will just end up in the trash, I’m going to hoard the two rolls for other projects. I didn’t see this particular one on the Meri Meri site so I linked to a similar one.

Special Extras
Labels Labels 2

Tiny Prints Gift Tag Stickers + $20 Promo Card
Description: “These delightful heart gift tag stickers, designed by Lisa Sugar, are such a sweet way to seal your gifts. If you want even more form Tiny Prints, enjoy $20 off your purchase with this card.”
Verdict:
Like
I like that we actually got an item along with the gift card. These labels are simple and not Christmas-y so they can work all year round. I’m going to add them to my wrapping stash

OVERALL:
Popsugar December 2015
Verdict:
Love the Box, Hate the Drama

I paid $42.75 for my monthly box and my extra box ended up costing me about $24.91. The value on this box totaled $164.99. I actually really loved the contents and thankfully I could gift or use the duplicate items. I really really REALLY want Popsugar to step up to the plate and be better with their promotions and their customer service. I’d gladly prepay a year long subscription if they’d offer a decent discount and be transparent in their account management.

What did you think of the December box? Would you want two of them? And if you were one of the unlucky folks who got screwed, confused by the Popsugar promotion, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

THE BACKSTORY
Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.

In addition to Popsugar’s monthly must have boxes, they have some seasonal special edition boxes that contain uber luxe items.  The price tag on these boxes is higher, but the products you receive are high end.

Popsugar Pricing:
Monthly – $39.95
3 Months – $109.85
6 Months – $214.70
12 Months – $404.40

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off site wide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription

Popsugar Must Have: November 2014

So with all the holiday fuss, I of course have gotten behind on my reviews and now it’s time to catch up. Today I’ve got my review of the Popsugar November box. I’ve been on the outs with Popsugar since their customer service shenanigans and lackluster Neiman Marcus box so I’ve been slowly letting them woo me back.

Box

Now let’s get to the goods.

Cookbook
The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel
(Suggested Retail: $20.47)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Great for both novice and experienced bakers – or a pretty addition to your coffee table –The Secret Recipes explores never-before-seen recipes from Dominique Ansel, the pastry chef behind the Cronut..”
Verdict: On the fence
Okay to start, has anyone in the history of ever, stated “You know what I need? More coffee table books.” Yeah, I didn’t think so. Maybe sub boxes could start taking note of that.  At first I was thrilled with this – I love cookbooks, especially ones with cool stuff for entertaining, but these recipes seem unnecessarily complicated and  not that appealing to the average baker. It does have nice pictures and the idea of a baking cookbook around the holidays was a good one, but I just don’t think this particular choice was a good one.

Bag
Sorial Saffiano Wallet on a Chain
(Suggested Retail: $49.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “As chic as your favorite clutch but way more functional, this wallet on a chain fits all your essentials for a hands-free night on the town or an easy-to-find item in your large everyday bag.”
Verdict:
Gift
Oh, *another* tiny blue bag from Popsugar. I’ve lost count at this point as to how many we received in 2014. This isn’t a bad bag, but in the context of this sub we have received so many items with similar styling and color that it’s just redundant. It is a cute bag so I was able to gift it. I could no longer find it available for regular retail sale so I used the Popsugar suggested price. I believe that $49 is quite high since, in December, I found one on sale at TJ Maxx for less than half that.

Cream
K. Hall Simpatico Ambergris Shea Butter Cream (Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “For smooth and delightfully fragrant skin, lather this shea butter cream freely and enjoy the sweet musky scent and intense moisturizing qualities.”
Verdict: Hit/Gift!
Come winter time in the northeast you can always find a place for extra moisturizer. I love, love the packaging of this. As much as I wanted to hoard it for myself, I thought it would be a fabulous addition to a Christmas gift I was putting together so I reluctantly let it go.

Notes
Tiny Prints Thoughtful Heart Stationary
(Suggested Retail: $15.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Designed by Lisa Sugar and Tiny Prints, this watercolor design gives you aonther reason to write your loved one something special. In addition, enjoy this $25 gift card for more spectacular stationery perfect for any occasion.”
Verdict: Like
I’m torn because normally I really like stationery but I’m just not wild about this print. Maybe it’s because this royal blue color pervades Popsugar boxes or the heart makes it feel a little young, but I would have preferred a different design. I’m sure I’ll get some use out of it though, so it’s not a terrible addition, even if it’s a bit boring.

Pens
Wine Glass Writer
(Retail: $9.95)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Made exclusively for Popsugar Must Have, these fast-drying, nontoxic glass writers ensure you’ll never lose your wineglass again.”
Verdict: Hit!
At first I thought I’d use these as a gift, since I live in a small apartment and therefore don’t typically throw parties where people lose track of their wine glasses, but when I checked out the website I realized these can be used in more ways. You can write on ceramics or glass and then just wash them off. I think I’ll have some fun using these for decorating during my next get together.

Popcorn
G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popped Corn
(Suggested Retail: $3.69)
Category: Must Have Food
Description: “With so much flavor and deliciousness in one bite, you’ll be amazed this caramel and cheddar cheese corn mix is all natural, non-GMO, and gluten free!”
Verdict: Hit!
You know that horrible feeling when you can’t decide if you want cheese popcorn or caramel? Well this bag totally fixes that problem because it gives you both. This snack was really delicious and my boyfriend and I finished it off pretty quickly. I’d definitely buy this again if I came across it in a grocery store.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Verdict:
Like

This box cost me $42.95 and I received $120.11 worth of product along with a $25 coupon for Tiny Prints. While I didn’t love everything, I understood most of the logic with the curation and I could use some of the items as gifts.  I do want to see Popsugar move away from the same shades of blue though.  I’d love to see some red show up in 2015.

While I’m continuing with my regular Popsugar subscription, I did opt out of their holiday box because of my unhappiness with their Neiman Marcus box and their level of customer service the last few months. If you picked up a Holiday box I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

THE BACKSTORY

Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.

In addition to Popsugar’s monthly must have boxes, they have some seasonal special edition boxes that contain uber luxe items.  The price tag on these boxes is higher, but the products you receive are high end.

Popsugar Pricing:
Monthly – $39.95
3 Months – $109.85
6 Months – $214.70
12 Months – $404.40

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off site wide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription