Sunday, August 24, 2014

Q Box Review, Products from Japan and South Korea, August 2014

And now for something completely different!  Q Box may not appeal to your mature side but their boxes definitely contain what they say they will...hand selected cute items in beauty, fashion, accessories and home. Q Boxes contain 5 to 7 full size products and premium items valued at over $60.  Every box includes at least one piece of jewelry. Most of the brands are from Japan or South Korea. (By the way, of all the Asian countries, South Korea seems to have jumped on the subscription box bandwagon the most enthusiastically!)

The Q Box is shipped from Canada which means the shipping cost may be higher than most U.S. buyers are accustomed to paying. The cost for sending my first Q Box to my zip code was $5.01. However, when I checked the site before doing this review, I noticed that the shipping charge for me has now increased to $7.50...a 50% increase in one month!  For three months, the shipping is $22.50.
Shipping aside, Q Box is a non recurring service but there is a discount available if you sign up for three months or more. Unlike other subscription companies, the discounts do not increase after three months.  So unless you are really committed, you'll get just as good a deal with a three month subscription as with a full year subscription.

One month - $24.95
Three months - $68.85 (22.95 per mo.)
Six months - $137.70 (22.95 per mo.)
Twelve months - $275.40 (22.95 per mo.)

My August Q Box came in a good sized branded white cardboard box with a red ribbon design that weighs a little under a pound. 

Inside the contents are neatly wrapped in pink tissue sealed with a sticker and tied with pink twine.

There are eight items and a tri-fold color informational brochure.

The explanatory leaflet shows pictures of everything in this month's box and gives retail values.  

The largest and most useful item in the box is a pretty floral lunch bag from Cath Kidston Japan.  Although the size is petite, this bag opens out to be surprisingly wide with a pocket inside.  It's made of a washable vinyl and I can think of a number of uses for it besides carrying lunch...but it would be great for that too! Retail $28

Next is a package containing a set of noise isolating earphones from Rilakuma, a Korean company.  The earbuds are in cute little bear shapes.  Anybody could use this of course but seems to me that it would make a fun gift for a little boy.  Retail $15

There is a box of "Cereal Choco" by Lotte from Korea.  Through subscription boxes and Amazon, I have come to really enjoy Lotte products.  These are very tasty little pillow shaped squares (the size of Wheat Chex) filled with chocolate cream.  Retail $2

A set of six adorable cat themed post cards caught my eye because the one on top SO reminds me of my long gone kitty. Spooky was a gorgeous white cat with one blue eye and one green eye.  He won a regional cat show which netted us a trip for two (plus a hefty cash prize and all the cat food he could consume) to show him at Madison Square Gardens in NYC many years ago. But that's a story for another time! Spooky is in heaven now which is why the white kitty with wings reminds me of him. Retail $4-5

Next is a big tube of full cover concealer by 3 Concept of Korea.  This is a light hued concealer which almost perfectly matches my skin tone.  I tested this; it's nice quality and works it's a hit with me!  Retail $20  

The two jewelry items in the August box are very cute but probably best suited to a young girl.  One is a very delicate gold necklace with a tiny strawberry pendant and the other is a pair of white bunny rabbit stud earrings.  Both are from the brand Jouetie of Japan. Total retail $23

And now...drum roll please....for the absolute weirdest item I have ever received in a subscription box. Ladies and gentlemen, we have the "Happy Wing Toilet Seat Handle" from Korea!  I have no clue as to why such an item (however useful it might be) would be included in a subscription box geared towards women and girls...but include it they did! Draw your own conclusions.  Retail $6  

So that's it for the August Q Box!  Do you need ANY of this stuff?  No. Is it a fun box to go through? Absolutely.  I'm guessing that most buyers will find something tasty, wacky, slightly useful and perhaps a decent cosmetic in these boxes. There are definitely several items that will appeal to teenage girls or children so it helps if you have a few around to whom some of these items can be gifted.  

However dubious the practicality and/or value of many of these items, the fact is that Q Boxes are popular and sell out quickly.  The September boxes are already out of stock so sign up soon if you're interested in receiving the October box. U.S. residents definitely should take the cost of shipping into consideration.

Just my snarky personal opinion here but if you're not getting a further discount for a six or twelve month purchase, I don't see an advantage in signing up for more than three months. There really doesn't seem to be a loyalty incentive (beyond three months) for those who commit, which is somewhat of a transgression in the Subscription Box Rule Book...ha!

If you've tried Q Box, please comment below.  I'd love to know what you thought!


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