Why I cancelled my Beauty Box Subscription

October 10, 2012

beauty box south africa glossybox rubybox glambox south africa

I’ve been reviewing beauty boxes since their inception in South Africa. I started with Glambox, then moved to Glossybox and now I am back to the Rubybox/Glambox partnership. If you haven’t come across the Beauty Box concept yet, it’s a service that sends a box containing 4-6 beauty samples every month for a subscription fee. At the moment in South Africa we have two big brands doing this Rubybox and Glossybox. Rubybox costs R100 while Glossybox costs R130.

At first I was ecstatic about the boxes, finally South Africa was getting Birchbox and I compared it to Michelle Phan’s My Glam Bag which is very, very cute and come with a cheap little make-up pouch every month. Those subscriptions are $10 and pounds so our pricing is really comparable. So why my sudden complaints?

1. Too many foil packets – I really feel that 4 foil packets is not worth the subscription cost. If I go to Edgars or Stuttafords, the SA will provide me with those samples anyway. Sometimes they even provide a weeks supply.

2. Perfume samples – Many women love the perfume samples, but I have the a qualm, it really is something I can get myself and well, I have about 20 at home right now. The chances of me choosing one of the random scents over my own perfumes is slim.

3. Poor service – Last month Rubybox sent me two Rubyboxes. I don’t know why. I haven’t checked whether I was debited. I just thought, what the heck.

4. Poor quality of samples – Last month the Rubybox acme with a sample of Camilla Nail polish. I don’t know what this brand is or where I can buy this. I tried the polish out and don’t really want to know.

5. Surplus of unused products and boxes – I have 2 boxes full of samples I don’t use.

6. There is little value in using a product once or twice – How am I able to decide on  a products worth if I can only use it once.

I would rather just save the money every month and out it towards cosmetics I actually would use. So, as of today I am cancelling my Beauty Box Subscriptions and I am only going to sign up for specific months that promise to deliver. It was fun, but I’m on a tight budget and really can’t afford to use it on a box I won’t use.


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  • Reply Melissa October 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I was a faithful Glossybox subscriber for months but their service became shit and I was seeing brand repetition. I’m also more into make up and body products than serums, face products and anti ageing things, and unfortunately I now have boxes full of those unwanted samples. I cancelled two months ago with them after quite a fight and now my very last box is the Kiehl’s Rubybox. After that, I’m done. It isn’t worth it. I could use that R100.00 to get my brows done, buy an eye shadow etc; things that I actually want. The novelty has definitely worn off and it’s a pity the service wasn’t up to scratch.

    • Reply zaamissbowtie October 12, 2012 at 8:21 am

      So true! I think if the service was up to scratch we really would have been willing to continue subscribing.

  • Reply Deslé October 10, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I’m starting to feel the same way. Waiting for my Keihls box to arrive and then I’m cancelling my rubybox subscription. Glossybox is also a waste of money. I only buy it if it’s a big promotional box like the Stuttafords and Sisley boxes. I enjoyed recieving those.

    • Reply zaamissbowtie October 12, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Agreed! I like the limited edition boxes because I generally know beforehand whether they’re going to be worth it.

  • Reply charlene October 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I agree 100%. Every time I received a box, my heart started beating faster with excitement to see what little prezzies I’ve received… only to be dissapointed every time! So no more beauty boxes for me. I do wish I ordered the Keihls box though 🙁

    • Reply zaamissbowtie October 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

      The Kiehl’s box 😛 Keep an eye out on the blog next week and you might be in luck!

  • Reply Sanet Veldtman Odendaal October 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Agree with you. I was also over the moon about my rubybox subscription but end up feeling disappointed most months. I get the impression they include products that don’t really sell in stores and then make a big toodoo about giving us fullsize products. But a palmolive shower gel I can buy myself for R15 at PnP!!! Also, those perfume samples are free at most retailers.

    • Reply zaamissbowtie October 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

      I wish the samples were more ‘luxury’ if the boxes were better I would have no problem continuing my subscription

      • Reply Tanya October 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm

        I think that Glossybox is more luxury? Like the Sisley box and the Stuttafords box?

  • Reply Claire October 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I feel exactly the same. If I hear about a new product, I just pop over to the store and try out their in-store sample. Perfume samples are so easy to come by as well 🙂

    • Reply zaamissbowtie October 12, 2012 at 8:18 am


  • Reply Fatima October 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    i only had the Rubybox for 3 months when it just launched. I didn’t renew my service after that for the same reasons. I really don’t miss it. It was a great concept at first, but I think they needed to add items that were commonly used as well as new products. Perhaps they should have now and then thrown in a full sized product of something we all use – deodorant or lip gloss or hand cream!

    • Reply zaamissbowtie October 12, 2012 at 8:18 am

      Yeah, or at least a full size pampering product. I was disappointed when the full size product in the Rubybox was a Palmolive shower gel!

  • Reply Charlene ♡ October 10, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I am starting to feel very similar about my boxes. I signed up for the Kiehl’s Rubybox because I want the Kiehl’s goodies. Glossybox has great boxes but between the amazing boxes are just ok ones. The latest box is alarming to be honest…red hair extension :-/ I have a post up tomorrow on it.

    • Reply zaamissbowtie October 12, 2012 at 8:17 am

      I guess I just had to speak about it. Just read your post, I have to agree with you as well! I’m feeling pertty bleak about the state of beauty boxes here in SA now.

  • Reply sylvia October 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Hi there, I am one of the founders of rubybox and really am grateful for the feedback. I do think there is always room for improvement (thanks for your suggestions) and ultimately it’s about what the consumer wants. Our core customer sees rubybox as a fun experiential surprise. It’s also interesting for us to see that some consumers love the one box, whilst others don’t. Beauty is all about personal taste, and sometimes the monetary value of the products are not the deciding factor. Please drop me a line on sylvia@rubybox.co.za if you have more feedback for us, we’d love to learn from you – and also would like to have an ongoing conversation.

    • Reply zaamissbowtie October 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

      Hi Sylvia 🙂 Thanks for responding. I do agree with everything you say, but I still do have some points. I will email you 🙂

    • Reply Mary October 17, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Great to see a founder/company who is interested in learning more about their clients and wanting to do something about it without getting defensive! Thanks Sylvia and Rubybox! x

    • Reply Sanet Veldtman Odendaal October 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Impressive response. Yes, I’m still excited by the concept. Just looking for a bit more value in each box.

  • Reply Liezel Thomas October 18, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I totally agree and cancelled mine for the exact same reasons. Well said!

  • Reply Ronel June 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I was interested in subscribing for the Ruby Box, especially after seeing the TV ad, but reading all the comments on this website and other sites, I have decided against it and will rather use the money and buy something that I know I will use.

  • Reply Anna December 17, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I also decided that rubybox is just not worth it. Even their online store is boring. Most of these products can be bought from your local chain stores. How about Rubybox introducing more exciting overseas products? We are way behind in the beauty industry. I emailed them once regarding the lack of great natural haircare products for curly and wavy hair (think Ouidad and Devachan) and asked if they would consider stocking some popular overseas brands. In short the answer was no and I was directed to a website that sells haircare for African ethnic hair. Like hello.. I’m not Black. And even our Black sisters deserve better choices in haircare products than what South Africa currently has.

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