Although I've done Blind Surprise reviews for the past couple of months, I thought I'd go ahead and do a quick review of March's box since it does signal a strategy shift.
My two months of experience with Blind Surprise have been pretty much hit or miss with one "good" month and one "not so good". The Blind Surprise folks have recently expressed their intention to move towards handmade artisan items with a focus on Etsy vendors. That is welcome news, especially after receiving a box that contained three mass produced items last month, two of which were silicone and "Made in China".
You may remember that Blind Surprise sends a monthly box of random items based on interest categories that you choose. Currently, those are cooking, technology, fashion, traveling, Surprise Me!, humor, working out and alcohol.
So, let's see some of that positive change. Here's a group photo of the items in my March box which arrived packaged in red tissue paper.
The box contained two cards, two bead bracelets, a bar of soap and a package of hair ties.
There were two cards, the standard "Surprise!" card that comes in every box and a card telling about the roll-on bracelets from Nepal in this box.
These are traditional Nepalese bracelets that are hand crocheted with different colored seed beads. I usually don't care for beaded bracelets but these are very well made and the colors are attractive. I think they would also layer well with other simple bracelets.
Next is a package of five handmade hair ties in various animal prints. I'm not sure how this fits in any of the interest categories I initially selected (which I think were cooking, traveling and maybe fashion). They might be considered a fashion item but since I have short hair, I have no use for them. So these will be gifted to a niece who has beautiful long hair.
There is a fine line between acceptable and just plain cheap eco-friendly packaging. A handmade bar of soap wrapped in Dilbert comics? Surely, the price I paid could have bought something a bit more original! It's a good thing there's a nice artisan soap inside. Fortunately, it is wrapped in plastic so the newsprint didn't rub off on it. This soap is a pale mint green color and it has a subtle peppermint scent. The label calls it a shampoo bar; seems like it would be awkward to use in your hair but I might give it a try.
Whether or not this box is worth the price paid depends a lot on which pricing plan was chosen and what discounts were used. But perception is reality in the subscription box world and for me, it's pretty hard to justify the full monthly cost ($25.00 + $6.50) for what I received. Using full blown retail prices, the value may be there but the bottom line is that I'm once again underwhelmed.
For those who want to take the gamble, I strongly recommend that you choose your interest categories carefully when signing up. (I wouldn't choose "Surprise Me" until their track record improves!) Also, do your due diligence and look for discounts when you sign up for the first time. A couple that seem to be working right now are THANKFUL for 25% off or GREEN for a $3.00 discount.
In case you can't tell, I'm very much on the fence about this one. I'm happy with the bracelets and the soap but I consider them a bare minimum. Blind Surprise has a great concept but they will need to provide better box value and consistently good product sourcing if they are to survive.
If you're a risk taker who likes surprises, check them out!
Disclosure: Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own. Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone Star Shopper. Post may contain referral or affiliate links.