Sunday, February 7, 2016

Aster Market Subscription Review, February 2016 + 20% Discount Code!

My favorite subscription boxes are those that feel like a close friend put them together just for you. PopSugar is the undisputed queen of that genre but there are some runners up worth mentioning. A new box that fits the "best friend" category comes from Aster Market which sends carefully chosen small batch items from home decor to paper goods to bath products, jewelry and other items. 

At $46.95 per month (somewhat less per month if you pre-pay for a three or six month term), this is not an inexpensive box. The site says that each box will include two or more full size products with a total retail value of $50 or more. Considering what other boxes in this price range offer, that did not inspire a lot of enthusiasm.  But let's see what came in my first box. 

Within a week of placing my order, I received a medium sized white box via USPS Priority mail.  A big logo sticker was wrapped over one side with "The box that complements your everyday!" on one end.

Everything inside was neatly packaged in tissue and tied with string.  (This same type of striped cotton string has oddly appeared in a LOT of sub boxes. The string salesman must be working overtime!)

A card lists the four products in the box on one side and shows the charities they support on the other side. (A word here about charities. When signing up for Aster Market, you are asked to indicate one of six charities that will receive 25% of the net proceeds from your purchase. That might explain the high price of this box. Noble though their philanthropic efforts may be, I don't feel it's the business of a subscription company to allocate MY dollars to charitable causes. I am quite capable of directing my own charitable contributions and would prefer that businesses just stick to providing a product or service. Yes, I am an unapologetic capitalist!) 

Here's an overview of the items in the box; all are clearly artful in some way.

First is a large clear glass mug with the hand lettered inscription "throw kindness around like confetti" written in gold cursive on one side. While I'm not blown away by this mug, I don't have another one like it so it will go into my regular mug rotation. This comes from an Etsy vendor and retails for about $16.

Next is a package of three pencils with "Dream Big, Darling" engraved in gold letters on each one. These are cute but at a retail price of $8, it's hard to take the value seriously.

There are six beautifully packaged greeting cards with hand lettered love messages.   These are from a seller who sells 3 for $10 in her Etsy store so these are worth about $20.  I thought these notes were a very good choice for this box.

They come with pretty pink envelopes and are perfect for Valentine's Day greetings.

The fourth item is a pair of sparkly stud earrings from another Etsy seller.  I've been told by the artisan that they are carved and polished resin made to emulate druzy (a glitter effect), then attached to posts. These are festive and versatile enough to wear for different occasions.

Because I was somewhat underwhelmed with this box, I went back and looked at reviews from several other sources.  This month seems to be quite representative of previous months in terms of the quality and quantity of items that have been included in past Aster Market boxes. I like their mission of sending hand made small batch items but at this price point, there needs to be more value in the box if this company is going to survive.

If you're interested in trying Aster Market, the code FIRSTMONTH20 will get 20% off your first box. Your box will ship during the first week of the month after you sign up. With the discount incentive, I do think this box is worth checking out but after that, you're on your own!

Thanks for reading,


Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased by Lone Star Shopper. Post does not contain referral or affiliate links.

No comments: