A question/request that I get a lot is to explain just how Birchbox works. In every Birchbox Unboxing I make to mention that you can get 4-5 beauty samples for $10/month. However, when I do my Birchbox Hauls I mention things like points and it can be a bit a confusing. Today I’m answering that “How Does Birchbox Work” question. Complete with Birchbox Plus and Sample Choice!
If you’re not using a referral link and you’re interested in subscribing to Birchbox you’re probably going to start out on the Birchbox website. The first thing you’re going to look for is that button there at the top that says “Subscribe”. Don’t click it! Just hover over it.
As you can see once you hover over “Subscribe”, you have two options the Women’s Box and the Men’s Box. I have never subscribed to the Men’s Birchbox Subscription so we’re not going to go into that today. Instead, we’re going to be focusing on the Women’s Subscription so under Women click “Get Box”
Now you have a decision to make, month-by-month or a full-year. Before you decide I will tell you that Birchbox Points can NOT not be used to lower the cost of a subscription (more on points later) so don’t let that influence your decision. The month-by-month allows you the freedom to cancel at anytime, however, with the one-year you are essentially getting a free box for committing to them for a year. It’s up to you which you decide to do, I will say that for the longest time I was a month-by-month subscriber, which meant that every time I got a crappy box I unsubscribed for a month or so. The last time I came back I decided to bite the bullet and commit to the full-year and I’ve actually been pretty happy with that decision.
Before we move on I should mention that when you subscribe depends on what box you will get. I did not realize this when I resubscribed and wound-up with several boxes (and charges as I was a month-to-month until I could afford the upgrade) all together. I resubscribed at, I think, it was the beginning of the month so I wound up being charged for the previous month’s box on the first and then receiving it on the 14th, I then got charged for the current month’s box on the 15th and then received it around the 22nd, and I then got charge for the next month’s box on the first of that month and received it around the 15th (putting me back on the regular schedule). If you’re not prepared for that it can be a bit ticking off.
Once your subscription starts you can go back to the Birchbox site and once you’re logged in the “Subscribe” button is now a “Your Box” button. Again, don’t click, just hover! As you can see there are multiple options here, if you’re just starting your subscription it may not look this detailed. However, there are two options I want you to notice the “This Month’s Box” and the “Update Your Profile”. We’re going to talk about the profile first but remember the “This Month’s Box” button because we’ll be discussing that in a few.
This is my finished profile, but you can see the kind of questions you’ll answer when completing your profile. You’ll want to fill this out because while I won’t say that your boxes will 100% fit this, you stand a better chance of getting things you CAN use if you do complete it. It doesn’t take that long as there are only like three sections.
If you fill out no other question in your profile you’ll want to make sure you get the one that I marked with a Green Arrow (ha!) in the photo above, especially if you’re not a huge fan of perfume samples. You have two options with this one “Anytime” and “No more than 6 times per year”. There are a few things to note with that second option, first that just because you “6 times per year” it doesn’t mean that you’ll get them every few months, they can send you six-in-a-row if they choose and they’re still fine, as long as they don’t send a 7th one (if they do just send an email to customer support and they’ll get it fixed for you). Secondly, I don’t believe that Sample Choices and Editor’s Boxes fall within this rule. So if you get 3 Editor’s Boxes in a row that have perfume in them, they can still send you six more.
Remember when I told you to remember the “This Month’s Box” under “Your Box earlier? This is where you’re going to need that now. Once you’ve gotten your box and you’ve had a chance to try out the products you can review them for points that you can redeem for free products! Once you’ve hovered over “Your Box” and clicked on “This Month’s Box” you’ll see all the products that you received in that month’s box. Once you click on one you can see under the full-size product information a big button that says “Write Review”. Click on that.
I’m not going to show you the full review because once you click on it the questions are all pretty self-explanatory. However, I do want to point out the section down at the bottom that says “Public Review”. Use to you would have to fill that part in to get your 10 points for reviewing that product, however, now you don’t have to. Once you finish the last multiple choice question you can just click submit and you’ll have 10 points. Go back to “This Month’s Box” and repeat the process for all the products.
To redeem your points you’ll need to wait until you have multiples of 100 (i.e. 100 points is $10 to use in the store, 200 points is $20 to use in the store, but 170 is NOT $17 to use in the store). When you want to shop you just hover over “Women” when on the Birchbox site and click on a category you want to shop in. Once you find the products you want add them to your cart and then click Checkout. After you enter in your Billing and Shipping Information and your Shipping method of choice you’ll get to the Payment section and that is where you’ll cash in your points (not in the cart!). If your cart total is $20 but you only have $10 worth of points, it’ll take the $10 in points off and you’ll need to enter your card information for the remaining $10.
Once you hit 500 points you’ve become an Ace! Ace comes with some great benefits (and some that I still haven’t figured out). Ace’s get free standard shipping on all orders with no minimum and free 2-day shipping with $100 order. Aces also get to choose their Birchbox Plus and Birchbox Sample Choices before non-Aces can. The other items mentioned in the picture above I have no clue about but it doesn’t cost me extra so I’m fine with it.
Birchbox Plus, Sample Choice, and Editor Boxes
First let’s talk about Birchbox Plus. Birchbox Plus is an item that you can add-on to your monthly box for an additional cost. If you’re an Ace you’ll get an email around the 20th inviting you to choose an item, and if you’re not an Ace you’ll get it the next day, chose fast because these sell out FAST! The above picture is from January’s Birchbox Plus Selection. The socks were a $20 value that could be added on to your January box for an additional $15, the tumbler was an $18 value that could be added on to your January box for an additional $15, and the sweater was a $48 value that could be added on for an additional $29.
Sample Choice and Editor’s Boxes are something new that Birchbox started doing, I believe, this year. For the Sample Choice selection you would choose one of the products for that month, if still available, and the other 3-4 items in your box would be completely random. As you can see for the month of March all of the options were hair care products.
The Editor’s Box, on the other hand, is a box of curated products by the guest editor for the month. What you see pictured with that month’s Editor’s Box is what you will get. Do note that you can only choose to do the Editor’s Box, Sample Choice, or neither. It doesn’t cost you any extra to participate in Sample Choice/Editor’s Box, however, if none of the things for that month are your cup of tea you can chose to just get a completely random box for the month.
I hope that covered most of the “How Does Birchbox Work” questions you may have had. If you have any that I did not address here feel free to leave them in the comments below!