Have you heard of the PopSugar Must Have box? I’ve written about it many times, because I was one of their biggest fans. Once a month, they send out a subscription box. To me, receiving a box each month felt like a surprise “care package;” boxes are filled with a curated assortment of full-size, premium goodies. Items vary, but always include a selection of beauty, fashion, food, and lifestyle products.
Typically, there were a few items in each box that I really liked, as well as a few that are just okay, but since I have a tween daughter, nothing in the box ever went unused (and I always had a great supply of stocking stuffers and Easter basket goodies)!
Several times a year, PopSugar releases an indulgent Special Edition box. The cost is high – normally $100 – but the items are normally wow-worthy. I’ve splurged on a couple of Special Edition boxes and have been really happy with the contents, especially since the retail value of the items was always much higher than the price I had paid for the box. Last month, PopSugar released a super-premium box. In partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, this box had a very high price point ($200!) but promised both “coveted brands and emerging designers” as well as a retail value of $600.
The PopSugar CFDA box sold out in two hours. I splurged and got one. You know how much I love fashion…and I figured I could do some thrift-store reselling to make up for the ding in my budget.
I was thrilled to get the box in the mail yesterday, and could hardly wait to see what was inside. I immediately opened it up.
I always love how the items are wrapped – makes the reveal more fun.
The first item was a hardcover book by Diane Von Furstenberg. DVF happens to be one of my favorite designers, but I must admit that I was not expecting a book. A scarf, perhaps, but a book? Not so much. No worries, though. I have kind of a long commute, so I’m always happy for a good read. However, the claimed value was $28…and we all know that’s just not right. But..whatever. I was definitely willing to cut them some slack.
Next up was a lipstick from Anna Sui. Again, not what I was expecting in a Fashion box…and definitely not my color…and with a “value” of $30?? Hmm. The third item was even more disappointing: a Marc by Marc Jacobs bangle that is currently being sold at discounters such as TJ Maxx for $30 (nothing wrong with discount shopping – love the thrill of the hunt! – but this bracelet does not belong in this box). “Value” was listed at $80. This next item – a pair of Maiyet earrings – was the one that caused the most uproar in the subscription box community. PopSugar valued them at $395 (I know)!! As if that weren’t enough, the price listed for the exact same earrings on the Maiyet site was $295. A few upset people took screen shots, and a lot of upset people emailed PopSugar about the discrepancy…and then, mysteriously, the earrings shot up in price on the Maiyet site later in the day to $395 (I know)!!!!
As the story developed, the earrings went back down to $295 on the Maiyet site, but PopSugar stayed mum. Personally, I watched with interest, but held back from the fray (mainly because I was insanely busy at work, and also I figured that I had gambled and lost). However, I’m getting sidetracked here. On to the next item. Sigh. When I unwrapped this, I was mystified. ANOTHER beauty item in said Fashion box? Value $36?? Also – didn’t Rachel Zoe just do this?? The final item was – finally – something that fit the vibe of what I was expecting. This market bag from Apolis and Claire V is useful, fun, and really well-made. I would definitely use it often, since here in Oakland we need to BYO Bags to the store. Value was $68, and while I wouldn’t seek out a $68 market bag, if I got one in a PopSugar fashion box, I would be very happy.Instead, I was super disappointed. $200 is a LOT of money to spend on ANYTHING, let alone not what I was expecting. If the items had all truly been from “coveted brands and emerging designers” as well as had a retail value of anywhere near $600, I would have been happy. But I was not. I was very unhappy.
Until I saw this float through the community:
Apparently the outcry was so huge that PopSugar had to do something about it. I will definitely be returning my box for a refund, and in the future: caveat emptor.
Did any of you get a CFDA box? What do you think about the contents? How about the way PopSugar handled it? I’d love to know!