Bella Box July 2012…and Some Discontent

July 24, 2012
By

Here’s a look at what’s inside the Bella Box I received this month.

July 2012: Around the World

With an ‘around the world’ theme, the box contains products from different countries.

In it are:

  • A Bellabox pen in the shape of a lipstick
  • A Jimmy Choo Eau de Toilette miniature bottle
  • A Skinmiso Pore Beauty Nose Pack sample
  • Twistband in neon orange
  • Deluxe-sized Organix Shampoo and Conditioner in Brazillian Keratin Therapy
  • SK-II skincare samples

There is also an S$80 Kim Robinson voucher to offset certain hair services at the high-end hair salon. Edited to add: The company has since told me that the voucher was a packing mistake; I was not meant to have it.

Unlike many of the past boxes, there aren’t any full-sized items inside, though I’m pretty pleased with the Twistband (which technically could be considered full-sized, I suppose but meagre on its own) and SK-II samples.

However, I’m not sure if the contents of this month’s box are entirely well-assigned. Disturbingly, I’ve heard rumblings online about the disparity between what bloggers (as well as other online influencers) have been given and what regular subscribers have received. To be fair, some in the latter group have received similar boxes to mine but I know of a handful of people who have been sent a dismal box filled with mainly flyers and small samples. My friend Farah received a Legere cleansing oil sample, a mini OPI Chip Skip, a Twistband, the same Jimmy Choo fragrance vial, the Skinmiso blackhead mask and the Bella Box pen (badly-scratched, according to her). There was no voucher in her box. At first glance, her box seems comparable but it is quite a disappointment, considering that several bloggers – including myself – have received a more generous box with substantial haircare products and SKII skincare samples. I understand the random/luck-of-the-draw concept of such subscription boxes but the value of the contents shouldn’t vary much. I can’t help but feel that Farah’s box is scant. This is underscored by the fact that the Bella Box price has recently increased from S$15 to S$19.95.

I’m not sure if the allocation of this month’s products was random or by design but I can imagine the ire and dissatisfaction of paying customers when they receive a box of lesser value, compared to the ones they’re seeing online, especially the ones sent gratis for review consideration. It might be an oversight on the company’s part; surely favouring bloggers would only be to their detriment? After all, current customers would end up feeling disgruntled or worse, immediately unsubscribe because of the perception of unfair treatment. Potential subscribers might be deterred from signing on too. It’s a pity that this month’s box has generated a wave of displeasure as previous Bella Boxes were quite substantial. A good example is the bountiful June 2012 box whose generous contents prompted many to subscribe. (For the record, I declined to receive this particular box as I already own full-sized versions of many of the items inside.)

Bella Box has since promised Farah a replacement box after she wrote in to complain about the scarcity of its contents. I’ll update when I have the details. Bella Box has had a fairly good reputation since it set up business here and the BB boxes have brought joy to many. As such, I look forward to a reasonable explanation for the unhappy subscribers and hope that the situation is resolved amicably.


Posted in: bella box | makeup mail

20 Responses to Bella Box July 2012…and Some Discontent

  1. July 24, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I was also very disappointed with this month’s bellabox and immediately cancelled my subscription.! I feel that the quality has been falling since it started – from a sizable box to a puny one, and from 1 full size product to no full size product.

    I used to be ok with the tiny samples, but since they raised the prices it was just not reasonable anymore. I also subscribe to vanitytrove which is more expensive, but I feel is so much better in quality and quantity. Now that the price difference has reduced, I feel like there’s really nothing to go for Bellabox…

  2. July 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I got an opporunity to actually subscribe to Bella Box for $5 for the first month. July was my first box and I actually received the same items as you did, except for the shampoo and conditioner. I received a L’egere BB Cream instead. It’s $5 for me, so I would say it is okay for the price, but to pay $19.95 for this box? Not worth it at all, imo.

    • July 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      Btw, I looked through your previous posts of Bellabox and just realised that the L’egere BB Cream I received this month was already in the March 2012 box! To recycle items from previous months, and not to mention just 3 months ago is just plain sneaky and wrong! I actually cancelled my subscription just last weekend and I am now so glad I did.

  3. Pris
    July 24, 2012 at 11:21 am

    hi Mag, mine is similar to yours but w/o the $80 KR voucher but Organix $2 off voucher from Watsons I think, which I’ve discarded. the new pricing at $19.95 is a little steep IMO. double-standards are definitely no-nos, be it sponsored or subscribed! http://t.co/8zKK1Bck I ordered mine with UOB credit card $5 promotion hence the box is worthwhile but not at $19.95.

  4. Mei
    July 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Hello. I did not get the voucher as well and my perfume was empty! I got mine with the UOB $5 promo and with the quality of products, I’m not sure if I want to continue.

  5. Mel
    July 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Mag, I was once fascinated with receiving samples in a box, so I got my first Bellabox in April. My subscription lasted for 3 months, and I terminated it after being notified of the price increase from $15 to $19.95. For me, the June box was the best. That box prompted one friend to buy it, and another friend to get her first BB in July.

    After hearing about the preferential treatment towards bloggers, I am rather appalled. I am glad to have ended my subscription last month on a high, with many samples (even if not full-sized products) and good experience from the new courier service.

    This is not my first ‘surprise’ from Bellabox. As I first got the monthly subscription in April, I was under the impression that I would be able to simply order when I wanted. However, in May I received an email that Bellabox had deducted $15 from my Paypal account for May’s box. I was not informed that money for the monthly subscription would be automatically deducted! For those to want to adopt a wait-and-see attitude before purchase, this is a very unfair.

  6. July 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks for the post! I am so so disappointed and feel mistreated as a blogger that I don’t have much of the product you mention. I thought of getting it from them right after this sponsorship but I have 2nd thoughts now and am still thinking to post review on it or not. Sigh! :(

  7. Karen
    July 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    First, I was surprised that bloggers got better boxes. I don’t doubt it’s a better box, no matter what BellaBox had to say. Perhaps it’s to entice blog readers to subscribe.

    But I don’t like the fact that what I see is not what I get. Of course, a nice surprise in the box is welcomed but seeing that things are lesser than what I read about, that’s not nice. And since I’m a paying customer, I feel cheated (I was looking forward to shampoo and conditioner to bring on my trip!).

    And I don’t get this beauty profile thing. That’s just an excuse and it’s lame.

  8. Chocfull
    July 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Mag, I never believed in paying for random items I will end up tossing away. Took me forever to subscribe & when I did, boy…was I disappointed!!! I wrote to the team to ask if boxes are random members to members. They said YES! They also mentioned I was sent the wrong box & will remedy it by sending me another. Let’s hope the replacement turns up soon. It is a lot to pay for a box of random samples/mini items. Intention of the box is to gain access to new products or products to try before one decide to purchase yeah? This box is like a lost in translation piece.

  9. July 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Oh wow! I hope they pick up their act. I know of friends who’ve been very happy with their boxes and I did think it was quite substantial. I think more than anything its the recent price hike that’s also scattered the seeds of discontent. Oh and differentiating bloggers from paying customers? Not cool! Will be awaiting your update on this situation & good on ya for bringing it to light :)

  10. Yvonne
    July 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Hello! I’m a subscriber who’s been getting boxes from Jan ’12. My box this month is similar to yours, except my shampoo and conditioner were replaced with L’egere skin conditioner and L’egere cream base. I also don’t have the voucher you mentioned, but instead an SKII voucher for use on a 2nd time purchase (which is quite pointless).

    Although I didn’t think it was such a big difference for me, I can definitely feel for some of you who did. So far, they have not sent me a repeat of items though (the L’egere item I got in Mar was the BB cream), so I think they did quite well on that end.

    They could possibly be spreading themselves too thin, with all that promotion on UOB, increase in price and increase in sales. Hope they clean up their act soon…

  11. July 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    What I dislike about Bellabox is receiving shampoo/conditioner samples of brands I can buy from Watsons or Guardian… I think the point of subscription boxes is to get to know brands which are new to Singapore or are less accessible, and Essential and Organix definitely do not fall into those categories. I was a paying customer from March to July, and was definitely pleased with June’s box, but I cancelled my subscription as none of the other boxes impressed me.

  12. July 24, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Mine doesn’t have the Organix Shampoo. I do feel so sore… …

  13. July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I cancelled my subscription after 4 months…mainly because the May box was such a major disappointment (hello Kao Essential shampoo!??! Sally Hansen anyone?) and I don’t see the point in paying close to $20 for a box of samples which are inconsistent among the subscribers & bloggers.

    The best was definitely the June box.

  14. ris
    July 27, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Hi,

    In fairness, I’d like to say that I’m just a subscriber and I’m very happy with what I’ve got. I don’t think Bellabox differentiated between bloggers and subscribers else I wouldn’t have gotten the box I had. I didn’t receive the Kim Robinsons vouchers or any special vouchers at all, only got little pamphlets.

    However, I think that when we signed up, we were already all aware that there would be differences between the boxes. I got similar items and I’m pretty happy with my box. :)

  15. makeupmag
    July 30, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Hi everyone,

    Here is Bella Box’s response:

    HI Mag,

    Firstly thanks for your post about bellabox, I appreciate your time to blog about our little business.

    We do read all blogs very carefully and we really appreciate when any blogger writes about our business. It has been a pleasure to get to know the bloggers and work with them, such as you!

    We are always open to feedback, and we’ve taken great pleasure in building a bellabox community over the last few months. All feedback good and bad helps us to grow the business and react to the beauty needs of our customers.

    I’d love the opportunity to respond to the comments on your post:

    Each month our customers receive a box with 4-6 beauty ‘surprises’ in, tailored to their personal profile which takes into account their shopping habits, age and preferences. We work with our brand partners to ensure everyone receives a great box each month, and we take great pleasure in some of the feedback we get. Whilst we really value the power of the beauty bloggers and the great work that you do, I’m afraid we don’t send preferential boxes to bloggers as we have to make sure that we service the needs of our paying customers first.

    We always try to make the boxes as evenly valued as possible, dependent on the brand partners that we are working with each month. We recognise this a concern that has been highlighted by your post and I can assure that is something we are constantly reviewing and evaluating with the brands, to ensure customers all receive the same value. While this is a work in progress, all of our boxes always have a perceived product value over and above $19.95 and we are very strict on this. What we can not control is personal brand preference, each month is a surprise, and if you don’t receive a premium sample based on your profile one month, you may very well get something you do covet the next month, that is the sampling joy of the concept.

    We do understand that your friend Farah received the wrong box this month based on her profile. It was absolutely a mistake on our part, and we really do thank you for bringing it to our attention as we have been addressing the issue. We have now sent Farah a new box.

    As I said we do always value our customer feedback and whenever someone is unhappy with a sample in their box in some way, we always respond and offer them a choice of samples that we have here at head office. It’s important to us as a business to uphold our relationships with our customers.

    Each month we send out a new selection of products and never use leftover products from the month previously, in fact we’re lucky enough to always sell out now so this would be hard to do. If you see repeat product it is because we are continuing a relationship with a brand, but we always ensure we don’t repeat sample the same person twice. The Jimmy Choo Eau de Toilette sample you mentioned was only available in a miniature bottle size (not a vile), so everyone would have received that sample.

    I hope that does help allay any concerns that you may have. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to contact me, and as I said it would be great to meet up in the future.

    Thanks so much.

    Emily

    Emily Hamilton
    Managing Director
    Bellabox

    • July 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      This absolutely sound like BS.

      Dear MD Emily Hamilton here is just trying to cover up the smoke from the fire. Politically correct, but saying absolutely NoThInG.

      What feedback and read all blogs very carefully, and evenly valued.

      Dear MD seem to think the paying customers are plain stupid.

  16. makeupmag
    July 30, 2012 at 1:15 am

    And here’s Farah’s replacement box:



  17. August 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Hi, I’m a subscriber to bella box and for July, all products I got are in sampling sizes, the only consolation is I also got the $80 KR voucher. Instead of the deluxe size shampoo you received, mine is the Shu Uemura Art of Hair shampoo/conditioner and also Legere’s cleanser. I didnt get the twistband though. What I don’t understand is why the company informed you that you are not supposed to be receiving the voucher when in fact you already got it from them physically? So what now? You can’t use it?

  18. Sam
    August 5, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    That’s disappointing. I don’t think bloggers should be treated differently (whether they buy the box themselves or receive it as part of PR). I receive Bellabox in Australia and I’m really happy with it so far. Another company, not so much.

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