Although I previously swore of subscription boxes, I subscribed to FabFitFun for five seasons. Unlike my previous subscription box experiences, FabFitFun doesn’t just flood you with a half dozen mini or sample size items on a quarterly basis; nay. You get full size product across a range of categories, a degree of customization, and sometimes other neat things that aren’t product (if you don’t opt out). The value of the items DOES exceed the price you’re paying for the box.
I’ve heard some feedback that people were offput due to the higher price ($50/box), but considering that it is quarterly, it ends up being right around $16.67 per month; not bad in the scheme of things.
When you subscribe, you complete a survey about your preferences. For example, I opted into necklaces, makeup, and skincare – but out of snacks and bracelets, and I rated fragrances as low interest. These preferences are ranked from a Love\Like\Neutral\Meh\DO NOT WANT perspective, so you can rank without being black-and-white.
Per box, there’s an element of customization available in each box for members. You keep an eye on your email for a message from FabFitFun on when your window is open, then go in and make your choices. If you don’t, you get what you get.
They feature an elevated tier ($$) in which you can pay a bit more and have more control.
FabFitFun also features the ability to add on certain products to your box for an additional fee. I never did this because the add-on options didn’t call to me, but that’s quite subjective. There were definitely products in the add-on solicitations that I think people would find valuable.
In addition to the subscription, FabFitFun has a shop that you can order other items from seemingly whenever. I also did not utilize this feature, but for those of you that appreciate the thrill of the hunt.
Over the course of the year, anywhere from a third of the products were a miss for me. FabFitFun claims that the items I received were worth a combined total of $1468.95; I paid $250 over the course of five boxes. I would strongly challenge some of their value assessments but I understand that that is based on what the brand valued the product at, not necessarily FabFitFun. When you think about how a lot of sub boxes work, many (not ALL, but MANY) items are either cast-offs from a brand, overstock, or items made specifically for a box collaboration.
Let’s do the math – with each box billing at $50 (I didn’t prepay for a year so I could cancel if I was sorely disappointed). If we evenly divide value, that means $16.50-$25 was basically things I didn’t give a damn about. That’s $66-100 over the course of a year that wasn’t doing much for me.
All said and done, I did get more value out of the items I liked than the overall $250 spent – but still. I’d rather mindfully choose the destination of my dollars than gamble. I did get quite a lot out of the subscription (like an introduction to Frank Body, which I <3), and I’d argue that the favorable items I got from it did prevent the subscription from being a waste. It is worth it, but item roulette just doesn’t appeal to me.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, I canceled, because I’m a control freak and not a gambler. As I age, I am also gravitating more towards a smaller subset of hardworking products than trying a zillion things. Call it a tinge of KonMari influence, being fiscally responsible/min-maxing my beauty budget, or just being boring. I’d rather mindfully choose the destination of my dollars rather than leave it to chance like this.
If, however, you are comfortable with surprises and like to have new things offered to you to try without having to look into them, I’d rate FabFitFun as one of the better options out there even with the higher price tag.