Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blind Surprise Gift Box Review, December 2014 + 50% Discount Code

Some subscription boxes require a giant leap of faith.  Blind Surprise is at the head of that pack. This subscription is definitely not for those who need to know every detail before committing a penny.  Let me repeat: If you cannot handle uncertainty, do not buy this box!  But for those who like a surprise and can roll with the punches, this company might provide a little mailbox excitement.

The Blind Surprise folks spend their time scouring the Internet for quirky and innovative quality goods.  To use their words, "these are beautifully crafted products from talented expressionists". In this case, I think maybe the difference between an "artist" and an "expressionist" is that the goods are not necessarily hand made but they are artful or unique in some way. The bottom line is that you have no idea what you'll be getting!

One thing I really like about Blind Surprise is that you can order just one month to try them out without further obligation.  Here are the available pricing plans:

One month (try it out) - $25.00

Month to month - $25.00
Three months - $73.00
Six months - $145.00

In addition, there is a flat rate of $6.50 per month for shipping....sorry, that's just the reality.

When you sign up, they do ask a few profile questions that are used to curate your box so that you don't get wildly inappropriate items. You'll be asked what kind of phone you have, if this is for yourself or someone else and your age and gender.  They also ask you to choose three of the following interest categories:  Cooking, Technology, Traveling, Fashion, Surprise Me, Humor, Working Out and Alcohol.  This seems like a narrow range of interests to me but I guess it represents what they have available to send.

Using a 20% discount code that was available at Thanksgiving (see below), I ordered the one time box and it arrived by USPS Priority mail eight days later.

When I opened the box, I was taken aback to see that it was half empty.  (Marketing 101 for sub boxes....create an appearance of being crammed full whether true or not!)  

Inside was a card telling me "this is the most interesting thing in your mailbox today"....uh, I'll be the judge of that.

If I remember right, the categories of interest I chose when signing up were Cooking, Fashion and maybe Surprise Me....I really don't remember the third one I chose. Anyway, I was pleased to see that they took these choices seriously.  I received a cool little gift box from Savory Spice Shop in St. Petersburg, FL.

There are full size bottles of Ground Saigon Cassia Cinnamon, Black Pepper Mint Chocolate Sugar and Dutch Cocoa Powder. Those are charmingly packaged along with a few bay leaves, sticks of cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and a couple of dried peppers.  I was glad that at least two of the spices (cinnamon and cocoa powder) are kitchen staples and not something too weird that I'd never use. The Black Pepper Mint Chocolate Sugar is completely new to me but it contains an intriguing mix of ingredients...sugar, cocoa powder, Mexican vanilla beans, peppermint essential oil, cinnamon and chocolate, peppermint and vanilla extracts.  The label suggests using it to sweeten a dessert, baked goods or breakfast foods.  It can also be used on the rim of an alcoholic beverage or sprinkled on top of a mug of hot chocolate.  I'm going to try it with my next cappuccino!

A brochure for the Savory Spice Shop gives their contact and social media information and says that they carry 400 freshly ground herbs and spices, 140 hand-blended seasonings, gift sets and organic selections.  Inside is a list of recommended seasonings for use with chicken, burgers, seafood, steak, etc.  If you're interested in visiting their site, click here.  Or check them out on Facebook here.

Although the half empty box initially left me less than impressed, I really liked the contents of this box...especially because it specifically reflected one of my preferences. That indicates a level of curation that I wasn't really expecting. This is definitely a gift-worthy item and something I would have chosen for myself.

The downside is that I did not receive great value.  With the discount, I paid $18.70 for this box. (Shipping was extra but reasonable.)  I don't see this exact box on the Savory Spice Shop website but comparable gift boxes sell for $13 to $15. I am really glad I didn't pay the full $25 for this! Of course, I wonder if more would have been included in the box if I had paid the full price.  I'll be reading other reviews to get a feel for that.  The real take-away was the introduction to the Savory Spice Shop's website which has a lot of appeal for me.

There is a very good discount code available if you're interested in checking out Blind Surprise. Use TRYITOUT to get 50% off your first month.  The code gets $12.50 off, so you pay a total of $19.00 ($12.50 + $6.50), a really nice deal.  If that code is not working when you read this, try THANKFUL for 25% off or GREEN for $3.00 off.  

With subscription boxes, it is somewhat unusual to receive less value than what was actually paid. Gourmet and artisan boxes never reach the value multiples that you see in beauty boxes but I think it's reasonable to expect goods that are worth somewhere between what you paid and at least a few dollars more.  Since that wasn't the case with this particular Blind Surprise box but I did like what they sent, I'll keep them on my "Watch" list for now.

Thanks for reading,

Blind Surprise Monthly Gifts

Disclosure:  Views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly my own.  Product discussed in this post was purchased with my own money. Post may contain referral or affiliate links.

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