Subscription services and surprises have become an ever-evolving, trending, and booming market, with excellent availabilities for subscriptions to different food service delivery services and clothing services growing in popularity and presenting at reasonable costs for value of product. But what if you want a mix, or assortment, of products sent you every so often? General lifestyle products, perhaps mixed with beauty products, knick knacks, fitness, wellness and home products thrown in to one specific box and tailored to individual specifications? That’s where seasonal (4 times per year) subscription service FabFitFun comes in, proving an all-in-one solution and more complete compilation of goodies on a subscription-service model, and goods are a bit broader rather than limited to one specific category. You’d imagine in a crowded market the differentiation factor would lie in the specificity itself, but FabFitFun has managed to stand out in the space by offering a slightly broader, while still highly customizable option. Additional benefits include full sized products, access to other sales and deals with membership, and the ability to either select your own products or have the company surprise you based on the initial profile. The app even allows users access to hundreds of on demand wellness and workout videos (hence the “fit” part of the name).
At first it seems a bit pricier than other competitors in the beauty subscription market, but in calculating the metrics, the value evens out, not considering any special sales or the fitness element. For $49.99 per box, at 4 times per year, you’re receiving about a $200 product value per box, again less any sales. Members are sent a large box with a variety of full sized products, including cosmetics, skincare, tote bags, mugs, wrap blankets, scarves, jewelry, and more. Members can opt to buy other products from third party vendors at a rate of 70% off, on average. The company boosts a community and network of strong women, dedicated to providing a connected community based around strength and fun. The offering is geared towards beauty, skincare, lifestyle, health, and fashion. Also, fun, but that was determined within the course of the review. In a tight space with so many available options how does FFF compare to it’s competition? Is it worth it? As with any similar service, certain items are misses, but with the ability to pre-screen if you don’t want a surprise, that becomes less frequent with the app. I also loved the addition of special member features, like the health option app and videos. It’s the first time I’ve seen a beauty box delivery box company present pretty interesting features that would be traditionally very much outside of the scope of the original offering. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun service with plenty of full-sized products, seeking great customer service, and looking for a variety of products within the lifestyle category together.
The Main Features
FFF works on the same subscription service model we’ve become accustomed to by now, with a seasonal rate of 49.99 or an annual rate of 179.99, the latter being for an $800 product value. Membership may be canceled at any time. They seem to cater to a subset of the market that most competitors do not, with added lifestyle, accessory, health, and home options. Usually most of the box is cosmetics or skincare, but members can expect to find items for the house, cozy scarves, tech gadgets, and an array of other diverse products of value thrown into the mix. The most recent box came supplied with the FabFitFun Magazine (usually topics include beauty trends and information about brands supplied in box), a beauty blender (typically worth $20), post-yoga detox bath, Luna protein bars, an alpine rose Skin&Co shower gel, full-sized glam glow sheet masks, Wireless bluetooth earbuds, an organic anti-aging day cream, a night moisturizer for dry skin, guest towels (of great quality), a french press coffee maker, and even a set of 6 makeup brushes. The quality, size, and value of every product compared to the subscription cost is nothing short of amazing! Members can expect to get hundreds in value for their business, which makes this a justifiable cost, particularly compared to other similar services that only provide travel sized items and have a more singular focus.
Positives and Negatives
With almost any subscription service and as this model grows in popularity, there will be dissenting opinions. A lot of the negatives are based in perception of value, general annual price, and potential dissatisfaction with items (as you may not know what you are getting without annual membership). Some services have attempted to remedy this with the ability to send back items and keep ones you enjoy, such as leading fashion service provider, Stitch Fix. Others offer highly customized options. With FFF, you don’t have an ability to return product, however, the customer service is incredible and the company will work with you to ensure full satisfaction. Here are some key positives and negatives:
- Excellent value in comparison to service cost, with product values ranging $20 and up per individual full-sized item
- Using discount code “Amaze,” new customers will receive $20 off the first box (you can typically always find codes to discount subscription rates)
- The company offers excellent customer service, with 24/7 hour support, they will refund or replace any missing item or anything you’re not satisfied with
- Every product is full size, no samples or travel sizes
- Lifestyle box that offers products aside from just cosmetics, and can suit a variety of tastes
- Parts of the proceeds of every box are donated to various charitable organizations
- Excellent magazine included in the box every shipment
- The online community and forums for members make it possible to connect and discuss with other customers, and even buy or trade stock
- Members receive access to sales and valid coupon codes for other sites
- Add on options provide heavily discounted items, members can expect to pay about 30% retail value for any products they select to add to the box for a season
- Members have access to FFF fitness videos and workout options, available for free streaming and download
- Users with per-box, or seasonal subscription options cannot customize options (this is reserved for annual customers), so they will be surprised by the box contents every quarter
- Box is only 4 times per year, with other competitors offering smaller but more frequent options
- Heavily discounted add on items can lead to spending more money than initially anticipated or desired
- With exchange rates, some Canadian customers have expressed frustration about paying more and not receiving items promoted in the box, or the same ones customers in the U.S. receive
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, in a highly saturated market, FFF stands out with some key factors of differentiation and has a business model founded on a specific, yet somewhat more broadly appealing category, as well as additional features that promote health and community. I enjoyed using community features and forums to discuss products with others, connect about products, and use the app for fitness videos and free downloads. Even though it’s a quarterly service provider, you can still remain connected and using features during membership, even daily. Special add ons can add up, but at an average discount price of 70% off, some products are a steal, perhaps items you would have needed to purchase anyways (and these are all selected by the member in advance). Downsides include the lack of ability to select items without an annual membership, which can seem intimidating for new members, and overall price objections, which can add up using any service. This box is great for anyone seeking a lifestyle service, including beauty, fashion, and fitness, and the additional benefit of features to connect and stay healthy- outside of the box!