It’s been a while since I’ve done an unboxing, mostly because I haven’t been receiving my Topbox in a very timely manner and there are already great reviews out there by the time I receive my box. However, this month I opted in to the company’s $10 “Beauty Surprise”, so I thought I’d share how that went for me.
First and foremost, I received the Benefit privé box this month. My understanding is that this is very similar to the collection of products that shipped in the February 2013 Chinese New Year Box. I received a 0.1 oz sample of POREfessional (valued at $4.80), a primer that I have received in other beauty boxes before. I have not seen a visible improvement in the look of my pores when using this product in the past. I also received a 0.08 oz sample of the classic lip and cheek stain, Benetint. The sample is valued at $6.85. Not having used this product in the past (how is that possible?) I’m looking forward to trying it. The next sample was 0.3 oz of Total Moisture Facial Cream, which is worth about $2.40. I’ll toss this into my gym bag. The 0.14 oz sample of Bad Gal lash is valued at $12, and I was impressed by the drama it added to my lashes when I tried it out yesterday. Finally, there was a teeny-tiny 0.002 oz swatch of Fakeup concealer. I would use a light concealer and this was sent in medium, so it’s a waste of forty-eight cents worth of makeup. The total value of the box is about $26.
Next, the $10 “Beauty Surprise”. I’ve got to say that I was a little worried when I checked out the Topbox Facebook page in the days before my surprise arrived. I saw that some girls were receiving low-end beauty products from Pari Cosmetics (which appears to be a cheap white label brand, though if anyone wants to correct me I’m happy to receive evidence disproving my theory!), packages of lip balm and even a single sponge-tip shadow applicator, while others were receiving much nicer products like sets of five Essie nail polishes and bottles of high-end perfume. Topbox advertises that products will be discounted by 20-90%, however I don’t think many customers realized that that variance would exist from customer to customer in the same month. You could get a product valued at $12.50 while your best friend gets one valued at $100! On January 17th one of their representatives even posted on Facebook and said, “Naturally, some people will get better surprises than others.” I would love to see the company identify which surprises are the “better” ones!
So, on to my “Beauty Surprise”. I received a tube of Pangea Organics hand cream. I’ve never heard of Pangea Organics and it seems that they are not sold in any stores in my area. Were I to buy the hand cream from their online store it would retail for $14, meaning I received a 29% discount. It’s disappointing to be a loyal Topbox customer and receive a product at the absolute bottom of the promised discount range when I know full well that other girls received luxury items. (Of course there is also the fact that I would never buy this hand cream online because I already have a life-changing hand cream, but that’s not Topbox’s problem.)
I don’t know if I would sign up for the $10 Beauty Surprise again. If it truly is random then I might receive more cheap products, but my hope is that they take prior surprises into account when selecting which customers receive high-end items. From a business perspective I would also be interested in knowing how the cheaper brands feel about being sent out at the same time as expensive brands, and whether or not the increased exposure is worth it when social media blows up with complaints about the comparative value of their products. Any marketing experts out there?