To celebrate the man of the apartment’s birthday, I gifted him with a three-month subscription to Birchbox Man. Unlike many of my friends, I’ve never used Birchbox — so the experience, from signup to delivery, was new to me. Here are my thoughts.
The gifting process is fairly smooth, which is saying something for a product that’s so personalized, and therefore potentially tricky to order for someone else. I filled out the required information and received a certificate with a code for him to claim the gift and fill out his grooming profile. There’s something kind of lame-o about giving someone a piece of printer paper for a birthday present — but what can you do, in this case? Besides spend an egregious amount at J. Crew to compensate with an additional, physical gift. Mmhm.
The questionnaire made me laugh (e.g., Q: “Why did you sign up for Birchbox?” A: “My significant other made me.”). I also never really realized how different male grooming is from female. Who knew there was such a thing as beard oil? Filling out the profile took only about 5 minutes, and the address and requested delivery date was already in the Birchbox system.
About a week later, I received the following email from the Birchbox team:
"Unfortunately due to unforeseen inventory issues, we were unable to ship your gift recipient’s Welcome Box out on the selected date of Friday, May 17. Please know this does not meet our service standards. We have credited your Birchbox Account with 100 Birchbox Points for the inconvenience. 100 Birchbox Points is equal to $10 toward any full-size product in the Birchbox Shop."
Huzzah! Check mark in the customer service category.
Once the box arrived last night, the first of the three-month subscription, it was a lot smaller than I expected it to be. That’s probably because I’m a millennial — unrealistic expectations and all that. Right, Joel Stein?
Here’s what it contained, in addition to an info card with each sample product’s full-size price:
- Atelier Cologne sample
- 2 pairs of Richer Poorer sicks (clearly, socks qualify as grooming products)
- Old Spice soap
- Marvis toothpaste (who the hell spends $10.50 on a tube of toothpaste?)
- Billy Jealousy facial scrub
Time (i.e., a day) will tell if the man wants to order the full-size version of any of these products from the Birchbox site, which is how they make their money. But it’s undeniably fun to get a monthly delivery of goodness, and I think Birchbox does a great job of man-ifying a very female service.
I’m not yet convinced I’ll jump on board for my own subscription, since I’m sort of stuck in my ways with my small handful of grooming products — I’m one of those girls who gets ready to go in about 5 minutes (run a brush through the hair, swipe on some eyeliner, spritz some perfume, and let’s boogy). But with another of those extravagant gestures of customer service, who knows? Your move, Birchbox.