Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Baribox Review - February 2014

Baribox is a relatively new subscription box service dedicated to paper crafters. Items you might receive in your box include stickers, washi tape, stamps, embellishments, pretty much anything a paper crafter would use. Boxes cost $12.99 for the month-to-month plan and are a tad bit cheaper if you subscribe to the 3-, 6-, or 12-month plans (but not by much).

Recently they opened up their online shop. Since it just got up and running a few weeks ago, there aren't too many products in it yet but hopefully that will change in the near future. Maybe it's because the company is still new and trying to find their niche in the sub box world, but nonetheless I have a story to tell before I dive into February's review:

I signed up for Baribox in December and received my first box within a couple weeks. The value wasn't great (about $7 even though I paid over $12 for it) and all the items were from the same brand, but I figured I'd give them a chance since they are a new company and are still probably establishing their connections. So I waited till January to see if it'd improve. According to their website the boxes were supposed to ship on the 5th but I guess there were some problems because they didn't go out until the third week of January. Oh well, no biggie. February rolled around and I still hadn't received a tracking number, and their website said all January boxes had been shipped. Since I'd received my previous box within a week after it shipped, I grew concerned when I didn't receive this one after two weeks. Naturally, I shot them an email asking if I should be worried. (Btw, the Contact form on their site doesn't work. Nobody replied to my message until I sent an email to bariboxx@gmail.com, and then I received a reply within an hour even though it was like 11pm their time.) The customer service rep told me that they had experienced a huge boom in subscriptions the last couple of months and were having issues with outsourcing some of the business. She told me that while they missed me for the January box, they'd extend my subscription one month to make up for the missed month and that they'd include something "extra" in my next box. While I applaud their effort at making up for it, I don't know if I'd recommend starting a new subscription with them until they get everything figured out. I had also received a coupon code in my first box for 20% off a 3-month renewal. Since the rep was so nice about the whole ordeal I figured I'd go ahead and pay for another 3 months. The code was supposedly valid until Feb 15th, but I tried using it on the 14th and got an error message saying it was invalid. Oh well. I'm sure once everything settles down they can focus more on keeping track of their website and subscriber database and establishing relationships with more companies to increase the variety of products in the boxes.

But anyway, fast forward a week. I got an email with tracking info! Yippee! Like the last box I received, this one arrived within a week, really not too bad for a parcel going across the Pacific (they normally come by boat rather than air and that takes forever). First thing that caught my eye - the tape used to seal the box had an adorable dog pattern!


All the contents were neatly wrapped in cute pink polka dot tissue. I'm usually not a fan of polka dots, but for some reason this just works. This month's theme is all about love. The items in February's box can all be used to create love cards and notes for the special someone in your life. It's too bad that these boxes didn't ship out a wee bit earlier so I could use them for Valentine's, but that's okay. An I Love You card is good any time of the year.

February's info card: all about LOVE

Here's what I got in my box:

Amy Tangerine Acrylic Stamps (Value: $3.99)

I keep buying stamps because they're cute and I have the best intentions to use them, but I never do. I think it may be partly due to my laziness and how I don't want to clean all the stamps after using them. The other part is probably due to slim pickings in my ink pad collection. Nonetheless, this is a cute set

Queen & Co. Twinkle Flowers - in Light Pink (Value: $1.99)

These are probably my favorite thing in the box! I'm normally not a pink person, but the metallic sheen of these embellishments is so pretty! Plus they can be used on any type of project for any occasion. I'm definitely going to be using these on my next cardmaking adventure.

Doodle Hearts Washi Tape (Value: $3.50)

I recently started using washi tape on my cards and it's quickly growing on me. Initially I didn't understand what all the hype was about - after all it's just tape. And can't you just use Scotch tape to stick things together instead? Much cheaper. Then I saw the versatility of washi tape - it can be used on cards, gift wrapping, notebooks - pretty much anything you want to dress up. My collection is still puny, and I don't want to grow it too much or else I'll have to find a storage system for it. I try to buy designs that can fit any occasion, and these fun-looking doodle hearts are appropriate for anything from Valentine's Day to birthdays.

Doodlebug Doodle-pops Sweetheart Cardstock Sticker (Value: $1.49)

How cute is this?! I know I will definitely use this on a card project...perhaps Mother's Day? I like stickers, but I love layered accents. They just make cards so much more eye-popping. I decided to browse the Doodlebug Doodle-pops website to see what other designs they offer, AND I WANT TO BUY EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! Here's a little sample of some of their designs:

Too cute!
Image Source: Beach Scrapbooks' Blog

You see why I want to get them all?? And they're all 3-D (some even with glitter or jewels) so that makes it even more appealing.

Life's Little Occasions Foil Alphabet Stickers - in Red (Value: $1.85)

I like using alphabet stickers on my cards because my penmanship sucks, but I really wish they'd give more of each letter - especially vowels + Y. Most sets only come with two of each letter, and when I want to make a card for someone whose name contains a Y, I have to buy two sets or else end up with:

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELODT!" and doctor up the T to make it look like a Y. Or:
"HAPPY VALENTINE'S DVY!" and doctor up the V to look like an A. Or:
"HAPPY VALENTINES DVY M3LODT!" And fix the 3 to look like an E and the T to look like a Y.

And my doctor skills aren't that great, so before you know it I have a Frankenstein card that looks just as horrible as my ugly penmanship in the first place. Oh well I guess that's how sticker companies make their money. And how I end up broke with 6 of the same sticker set with 6 Xs but no Ys.

Me and alphabet stickers have a love-hate relationship.

Me & My Big Ideas Mambi Sticks Chipboard Heart Stickers (Value: $3 ??)

I couldn't find these exact stickers online so I took a guess at its value, but these chipboard stickers are cute and very simple. I'm a fan of chipboard because it adds a semi-3D effect to your projects. They're also very sturdy so they don't rip in half if you're an amateur like me and you accidentally placed it down in the wrong place and have to pull it off the paper.

Studio G Pigment Ink Pad - in Gold (Value: $1.50)

I think this is the extra they put in my box since this is the only thing that doesn't have anything to do with hearts or red or pink. I don't have a gold ink pad, so this will be a welcome addition to my skimpy ink collection and a nice compliment to the silver Studio G ink pad I received in my December box.

Overall I think this box was a vast improvement over the last one I got in December. I received at least $14.32 worth of products (plus the chipboard stickers) which is more than the amount I paid for it, so I am satisfied that I got my money's worth this month. The items were also all from different brands so that added a nice variety. I hope this means Baribox has found its place among subscription boxes. I am pretty sure I can make use of everything, although it may take a while for me to get into the stamping groove. Looking forward to next month!

Note: All reviews are completely my own. I paid for this box with my own money and was not compensated in any way.

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