Subscription Boxes – Are They Worth It?
Subscription Boxes – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly?
I got on the hype train about 2 years ago, by watching Tradechat’s Loot Crate un-boxing videos.
I tend to be a somewhat savvy shopper, and I thoroughly do research into something if I’m about to throw money at it. I will compare options, look at competitors and just generally make sure I’m not about to waste my hard earned cash.
So I narrowed my choices down to three companies.
My Geek Box
Lootcrate and Geek Fuel are the two more well known subscription box companies, and My Geek Box is UK based, because I wanted to give someone ‘local’ a try as well.
I ordered one box from all three, and waited to see what all the hype was about.
What happened with the Subscription Boxes?
Lootcrate was the first to arrive, and exceeded my expectations. The shipping process was easy, and they notified me up to the point where the box left the US – at which point it could no longer be tracked. However it arrived during the time frame they estimated and I was pleased with most of the contents.
Geek Fuel was delayed by several days and ended up arriving nearly 2 weeks after Lootcrate. However the contents were in my opinion, a bit better than Lootcrate, and I still use that Wonder Woman glass as my drinking container of choice for all my gaming sessions.
My Geek Box on the other hand…never arrived. One month passed and I was billed a second time for the following months crate, when the first one had never even arrived. I contacted the company (which was practically impossible since they didn’t have any contact details accessible on the site, and being a UK company I had expected at the very least, a simple phone number. I eventually managed to get a response via email – where they informed me that “Oh sorry, the first crate couldn’t be shipped because we ran out of products”, and they promised to refund me. To this day, they have only ever refunded 1 month instead of the 2 that I am owed, and have never delivered a single box. So, if my experience is anything to go by? Avoid.
Which of the Subscription Boxes was the best?
At this point I felt Lootcrate was the better choice of the three companies, so I decided to ditch the other two.
After 6 months of boxes, they began to diversify into LootGaming, LootAnime etc and the contents of the original crate were more miss than hit, and the quality really quite bad. Instead of receiving 4 great items and 1 ‘silly’ (cheap plastic rubbish) – I kept finding myself opening the crates holding up 2-3 items and going – WTF is THIS? What a waste.
Upgrade or Ditch?
I considered upgrading to the LootGaming crate, but didn’t like the increased price point, considering that I had to factor in shipping to the UK as well.
Why did I order Subscription Boxes?
My reasoning behind ordering subscription boxes in the first place was for a variety of reasons:
- I ordered to get cool, geeky useful items, so I gave myself first dibs on anything special in the box. My favourite items are useful, i.e. CSGO USB drive, Hearthstone stress ball, WonderWoman Drinking Glass, Dr Who Spork etc. Stuff that I can use, that has the geek factor.
- I wanted to be able to put away small items for my minions Christmas Stockings that were unique and nerdy, and that their eleventy billion other mates might not have. Pop Vinyl figures, Cute but Deadly Mini-figures are always a huge hit. It is also an excellent source of last minute gifts for the crazy amount of kids parties that kids attend from the ages of 8-12.
- The monthly t-shirt I always order in a Men Small – so that I can alternate between my minions and each one would get a new T-shirt every other month, saving me the hassle of dealing with busy shops and UGH…PEOPLE. Plus, the unique geeky factor of the shirts is a bonus.
So after about 6-10 months of crates, I quit. Deciding instead to set the money aside till later, and see if things changed.
Can’t believe this actually happened
A few months ago, I was contacted by Geek Fuel, and asked if I would be interested in reviewing one of their subscription boxes for free. I was under no obligation to provide a favourable review, just a fair and honest opinion, and they would send me a free subscription box for 1 month in order to do so. Of course I said yes.
I’m currently not a Geek Fuel affiliate, and gain nothing by doing this (other than that 1 free subscription box) and I was excited to see when it would arrive and what would be inside…
Remember what it felt like as a kid on Christmas morning? Subscription boxes do that for you as an adult…
Everything is beautifully packaged. Now, if you’re a Lootcrate subscriber, then you’ll notice that the inside of the Geek Fuel box is plain. Now, while I’ve always liked the ingenuity of Lootcrate’s boxes that can be turned into something else, it always made it harder to part with them for recycling…I’ve only kept the one that turned into an Overwatch Loot Box – which will be filled with goodies for Minion 2’s birthday. (TLDR: Geek Fuel boxes are easy to send off to be recycled and, you know, save the planet).
Plus points to Geek Fuel Subscription Boxes for having their magazine right at the top so that you can immediately see what you’re getting. Plus points on this particular box for having 2 of my favourite brands represented, Guardians of the Galaxy and Futurama!
T-Shirt! Mugs! (Useful!) Packed to the Brim!
The minions may not yet know of the delights of Futurama (remember that episode where there were aliens invading, but they invaded like an old school 8 bit 2D arcade game? Loved that episode) but they will soon, and this exclusive T shirt will go down a treat.
A pair of mugs, so the hubby and I won’t have to share…Batman and Wonder Woman.
Rear view of the mug pair.
Now…what could this be? Must be Chris Pratt’s (Starlord’s) epic mix?
Is that a PAIR of socks? Nope it’s actually 3 individual socks that match one another with a Guardians of the Galaxy theme. Perfect for when you inevitably lose one…
In the end, I have to say, that despite the slightly unpredictable shipping times – and that you are likely to have the contents spoilered by other YouTubers if your box does get delayed – that Geek Fuel actually wins on the Subscription Box front.
Occasionally, I will still order a LootGaming crate, if I know ahead of time that there is likely to be a Blizzard game item in it (i.e. case in point, I ordered to get the Tracer and Pharah mini-pop-figures).
But if I weigh up the contents, and the reasons why I order subscription boxes in the first place, then Geek Fuel is definitely the better match for me.
How do you guys feel about subscription boxes? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Summary Geek Fuel vs Loot Crate - Are subscription boxes worth it?