To be perfectly honest, I don’t usually subscribe to book boxes. I haven’t tried enough to commit to one of them. I just can’t do it right now because I’m a recent college grad and money is tight. Most of the books I’m reading at the moment are the books I already own, arcs from publishers or giveaways, and a few books from thriftbooks.

Oh, and I do have a coupon code for thriftbooks. You can get 15% off your order (no minimum fee required) and free shipping for books over $10.

Click here for a discount code.

How did I afford all these boxes? I saved some money and sold most of my books on eBay (feel free to browse/make offers). I’m still trying to add more books almost everyday. I don’t even remember how many books I’ve sold because I can only view the items I sold in the last 60 days.

For this blog post, I’m going to comment on the affordability of each box, as well as the exclusivity and the quality of the items within each of the four boxes. Finally, I’d give my opinion on whether I would recommend them (or not).


Anyway, here are my thoughts for each of them:

      1. Owlcrate

        Affordability
        It’s slightly expensive. However, with the number of items you’re receiving, the price can be worth it. Shipping is what mostly makes the box expensive.
        Quality
        It depends on the items you’re getting based on the theme. My favorite was definitely the Peter Pan beanie. Not so much on the other stuff. They just weren’t for me. But they all the items looked nice!
        Exclusivity
        The Peter Pan beanie was exclusive to the box. It seems like a quality item and definitely not what I was expecting to get in this box.
        Do I recommend it?
        I recommend Owlcrate because they provide a theme/hint every month. The price is also reasonable for those living in the U.S.
        owl
        Theme: Once Upon a Dream
        This book box was released on 2016. It had fewer items, most likely because of the beanie. I also want to point out that this happens to be my first subscription box. I didn’t have any difficulties ordering the box. The Owlcrate website is safe and easy to use. Since Owlcrate didn’t offer one time purchases, I was also able to easily cancel my subscription without any hassle. I definitely recommend this box for those who want to receive a couple of items in their subscription box. Owlcrate seems to be popular in instagram and I’m not even surprised about it. If you’ve never tried any book subscription, this is a good place to start!


      2. Fairyloot

        Affordability
        I spent almost $50 because I currently live in the US. I was a college student so this box wasn’t ideal for me.
        Quality
        I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of items I received in this box. It made me want to actively subscribe to their boxes.
        Exclusivity
        There’s a candle in this box that you can still get from Geeky Cauldron in a different name (same scent, different name). However, Fairyloot included a scarf on here and I believe it was an exclusive item for the anniversary box.
        fairy
        I think this was their Dreams of Gods and Monsters (anniversary box). I’d recommend Fairyloot in a heart beat because I’ve seen people’s unboxings on various social media sites. Everything looked aesthetically pleasing. I don’t think I’ve seen any unboxing that didn’t appeal to me. Most of the items I’ve seen were useful and it didn’t stray from the theme. The Fairyloot team had put the thought and effort in curating the box. If only I live in the UK…

        While I wasn’t happy with the shipping company, all the frustration was worth the wait. I was glad that it was easy to contact someone from Fairyloot despite the timezone. The best part is that you can purchase a one time box.


      3. Fanmail box (Warcross edition)

        Affordability
        The next day shipping lead me to pay around $60 for a box. It was an absolute disappointment. It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t pick the shipping speed. The box wasn’t worth the cost.
        Quality
        The notebook (phoenix riders) had a tear on the first page. Fanmail did reach out and offered a replacement (good customer service). The book plate was also slightly bigger in width so I didn’t use it for my book. However, I think it was the publisher’s decision to use a longer bookplate.
        Exclusivity
        Some of these items are not exclusive to the box. Fanmail claimed that the some items were from the publisher and are exclusive to this box. Again, disappointment! The #PlayWarcross bookmark and the Warcross keychain, for instance, had been given to book bloggers and book sellers. I don’t think it’s exclusive. Exclusive, meaning: YOU CAN’T GET IT ANYWHERE ELSE, unless you purchase this box. Clearly, these bookmarks had been recycled. For a box nearing $50 (not including shipping), I expected a lot more than what I received. Fortunately, Marie Lu’s drawing of Emika with her signature is really cute. I also liked the Emika bookmark, Phoenix Riders candle, and the bangle from The Colorful Geek.
        warcross
        I would not recommend this limited edition box. However, I do recommend the regular fanmail box. It’s cheaper, and the items were better compared to the items in the Warcross box. I haven’t purchased a regular fanmail box myself but I’ve seen a lot of instagram unboxings. In a nutshell: order the regular Fanmail box. Not their limited edition boxes.

        I also think they had left overs that they sold in a cheaper price ($19?!). I wished I had done that. It doesn’t seem limited.


      4. Uppercase

        Affordability
        For a signed book, this is probably the cheapest one out there. It’s almost the same price as purchasing a signed book. Readers have the option to choose between two different plans. I chose the expert plan so that it would include other items besides the signed book.
        Quality
        The condition of the book solely depends on how the delivery man/post office handles your mail. Ironically, your book isn’t inside a box.
        Exclusivity
        Sometimes you can still purchase other items from past subscription boxes. They are add-on items to your subscription. The downside is that the items you receive from the box don’t seem to have a unifying theme. I guess it makes sense because this book subscription box doesn’t have a theme. The book you get is supposed to be a surprise.

        The only complaint I have is their website. Their website showed that I wasn’t subscribed to Uppercase even if I was still subscribed in their system. The alarming thing was the fact that I didn’t receive an email saying I was going to get the December box (on the 1st of December). That’s why I assumed I didn’t have to do anything, like inform Uppercase I’m unsubscribing. I was aware of my December subscription because I was charged for it.

        It was very disappointing because I wasn’t able to cancel. I was planning to unsubscribe for December because I didn’t like any of the books this month. There had been a delay when communicating with their support team. My order was shipped on the same day the support team responded to my email. They emailed me on 8:38am and I responded back at 8:52am. I guess it was my fault for not reaching out to them on the first of December (I mean, my uppercase account says I’m not subscribed, so…) and it was also my fault for not checking my bank account on that same day.

        Also, Uppercase did apologize and they did get back to me to see the best course of action for my situation. Unfortunately, I won’t be subscribing again because this experience stressed me out. I guess you can’t just easily cancel anytime.

        Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 10.42.09 AM

        They process orders the 5th of every month but boxes are shipped on the 15th. I wish this piece information had been in their FAQ. And if this information was in their FAQ, I wished it had been stressed out to potential subscribers. When is it too late to cancel, for instance? Definitely not days before the shipping date, but when is the cut off date? When is it too late to cancel?

        Anyway, if you want to try an affordable book subscription box, then Uppercase is for you. Just make sure to check up with them if you’re unsure about the status of your subscription in their website.


    Am I being too harsh?

    First of all, I’ve always been critical! Some people tell me I’m way too hard on myself and I’m also difficult to please. Again, I’m not attacking anyone or any business owners. I’m sorry if I sound negative. I don’t sugar coat things and say that it’s a great box when I am not satisfied with a product. I always give an honest review especially when I payed for a product. The purpose of this blog post was to share my experience/s with these popular book subscription services.

    What other subscription boxes should I try?

[Finally, I did post a book review yesterday. Click here to check it out.]

 

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8 thoughts on “I’m reviewing four book subscription services

  1. I love subscription boxes but i have never personally bought one! I just watch loads of unboxing videos and wish for them, but i have decided in the new year to get a fairyloot box and i am so excited! Really liked this post, it’s great for anyone who wants to get a box but is having a hard time deciding!

    Liked by 1 person

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