Monday, April 27, 2015

Sudsy Box Review: April 2015

As much as I have enjoyed several of my subscription boxes, there are things I don't like. In particular, I don't have very positive feelings about the way that people market their products. I especially am not a fan of sending out boxes early for review in order to get more customers. The greatest difference between just shopping and signing up for a subscription box is not convenience but surprise. I can buy brands I like that are ethical and natural for less, and I can also set up recurring orders on Amazon and elsewhere. It's much easier to manage than an account with a subscription box, especially since many of these companies make you email and hope they get it in time if you don't want to be charged. So essentially what I am paying for in these subscriptions is twofold - exposure to new brands that I may not have found on my own and the element of surprise. 

So with all that said, I was subscribing to Sudsy Box because I like natural soaps. It's not really a big surprise what's in the box, beyond the fourth item and the scents, but I figured I liked the enjoyment of the unexpected box every few months. I already subscribe to Wholly Hemp, who don't operate the same way with deliveries. You get your box the same time every month based on when you sign up and they're usually based on their current stock, so surprise is inevitable. Wholly Hemp also doesn't do a ton of marketing. 

I received my last Sudsy Box about a week ago. Sadly it's my last because certain people, and those who don't feel like they need to pay $20 every two months, got theirs almost a month earlier. I'm done with this as a customer. If you want my business, and you want my money, then you simply need to prioritize customers over marketing. Sudsy Box doesn't want to do that, so I will stick to the companies who do, I suppose. (To be clear, it's not that they send boxes out to reviewers. Bloggers get things for free and that's part of the deal, but it's the fact that the marketing strategy of revealing items well before the people who bought them get them - or even have boxes in the mail - feels so greedy.)

The bars in this box are Lemon Delight, Tropical Delight, and Eucalyptus Lavender Silk. They smell wonderful and this is fabulous soap. For $10 a month essentially, it's an amazing deal, and I'm sad I feel that I can't subscribe anymore. However, from a personal standpoint, I simply do not make enough money to justify certain corporate models. Most of my career has been in nonprofits or small businesses. It's tough because I can empathize with the need to get the word out and it's not like Sudsy Box is a giant company. However, this is just something that bothers me a great deal. There's way too much nepotism and a serious lack of integrity in pretty much most business now. I have to make choices to fill my life with as many positive companies and things as I can, and I've been even more actively ridding my life of the things that make me feel icky. For me, this marketing strategy is one of them.


  1. I don't think I completely understand why this "marketing tactic" bothers you so much? I never really thought of it as marketing or in a negative way, but I can be naive... :)

    Not sure if you heard but Sudsy has decided not to do subscription boxes anymore - just going to focus on their main business - so that just further confirms for me that they weren't trying to do anything negative or sneaky or not customer friendly by sending early boxes.

    As a matter of fact, I just found out about Sudsy a month ago but really didn't want a bi-monthly box of scents and items chosen for me so I placed my first order a few weeks ago for a products that I wanted to try. I spent about $25 including shipping and they threw in 2 great little bonus items in my order! I was so surprised and appreciative... great customer experience for me!

    Just wanted to add my 2 cents, thank you. (P.S. I love this blog and check it almost every day!)

    1. I did hear that and may buy some soaps from them directly, because I do love the product.

      As far as marketing, I am just not a fan of the idea that bloggers are somehow better than people or should be treated differently than paying customers. I don't support companies who send different quality items to bloggers, send them early, etc., because as a blogger, it's on me to represent what customers should expect from spending their money. If I spend the money and my product is not released at the same time as the one released to bloggers, I feel that is a clear statement that some people are more valuable to the company and with my limited income, I will not 1. personally continue to send it to such companies and 2. hide my reasons for not continuing.

      There are bloggers who do this for income, but neither of us does that. We simply maintain this site for our own sake. While I have no issue with people offering free boxes for review, and in fact, I have sent plenty of my own products to customers free for review, for me, the customer MUST take precedence over bloggers or any kind of promotion. That's just a personal ethics standpoint, but I am honest about why I canceled my sub.

      We've been told we were blogging "the wrong way" as we don't prioritize free reviews or affiliate marketing or income generation, but this is a personal blog for us and it was just our way to keep track of things for ourselves and share a different perspective. And honestly, even Crafty wouldn't likely care as much as I do, but I have very strong standards for myself and for products I buy. Like I said, it's personal, but I also feel it's important to be transparent about my own reviews.

  2. Thank you for the explanation. I HATE when bloggers get higher quality / value items - that's dishonest, "bait & switch" and I appreciate that you wouldn't support that type of company.

    I do sometimes like when bloggers get an early box but only if that box is still available... b/c it helps me decide if I want to spend my money on it. :) Some boxes / price-points I like to be surprised, but for others I prefer to know what I'm getting before buying.

    Thank you again for your wonderful blog, your honesty, and for blogging "the wrong way"!