Okay, I totally know that it’s July. I promise I didn’t procrastinate that much! Snailbox recently reached out to me to ask if I could review one of their past boxes and since I adore all things paper, I was ecstatic!
Snailbox is a monthly stationery subscription box that brings you a curated collection of greeting cards each month. Many of the cards are sourced from independent artists and are not the kind of blah designs you would find in a typical Hallmark-lined aisle.
Snailbox offers three different subscription options. Snailbox Lite is $10/month, which includes 2 greeting cards with matching envelopes and 2 envelope seals. Snailbox Classic is $19/month and includes 4 greeting cards with matching envelopes, 4 envelope seals, and 4 USPS Forever stamps. Snailbox Premium is $29/month and includes 5 greeting cards with matching envelopes, 5 envelope seals, 5 USPS Forever stamps, and 2 stationery items. All subscriptions include free shipping. Today I’ll be reviewing the March 2016 Premium box option.
Sending snail mail is one of my favorite ways to keep in touch with my friends. There’s nothing like going to the mailbox and getting a handwritten letter or card from a friend! It’s a nice break from bills, that’s for sure. Since I love stationery so much and go through it pretty quickly, I like the concept of getting a selection of cards with stamps to use each month. It seems really convenient and fun, and gives you exposure to a variety of brands and products.
I like that each artist/card company gets a little blurb each month. It’s so much fun for me to discover new brands to follow and I like learning about how each company got started.
Lovely presentation! Love that they took the time to tie everything in baker’s twine.
Studio Oh! Thank You Card | $1.62
I like the classic design of this card and thank you cards are something that I always need more of. I also really like floral illustrations, so I know I will definitely use this. However, I’m a little disappointed that the illustration is from Shutterstock. With so many great artists making cute cards with their own original artwork, I wouldn’t choose to buy this if I were in a stationery boutique store. The quality is also pretty average. It’s your typical boxed card quality, so the paper is a little less substantial than a standalone card would be.
Idlewild Co. Birthday Card | $4.50
Okay, I love this card so much. I’ve already sent it to a friend of mine for her birthday and she loved it as well. Flamingos are really having a moment right now–I’m seeing flamingo print everywhere I go! Paired with the hand lettering it makes for a striking birthday card. Idlewild Co. makes some seriously gorgeous products. I’ve purchased their cards in the past and am completely in love with their illustration style. Great quality paper and printing as well.
Laura Berger Birthday Card | $5.00
I like the quirky illustration style and sense of humor in this card! I already know exactly who I am sending this to. In addition to creating cards, Laura is also a fine artist who works with ceramics and creates animations. I haven’t seen her work before so I’m pleased to have discovered a new artist to buy from. I have lots of friends who would just love her cards and sense of humor!
Meri Meri Lemon Note Card | $1.25
Perfect for summer, right? If I hadn’t known this was the March box I would say it’s a perfect summer selection of cards! Between this one and the flamingo card it really feels appropriate right now.
I think it’s so cute that the card opens up to create a lemon slice. Meri Meri always makes the cutest things. They have adorable baking supplies and other party goods as well! I used to buy their cupcake liners through Birchbox and they’re always such a hit at parties. Again, I’m a little disappointed that this is from a boxed set. But I do like how versatile this card is–it can be used for almost any occasion and the shape/design is very unique.
Calligraphuck Fantastic Card | $1.25
It’s hard to tell from my photo, but this is a gold foil stamped card! I love all of Calligraphuck’s work–it’s stunningly beautiful calligraphy paired with curse words. Basically my cup of tea. My boss is a girly girl who has the mouth of a sailor, so I already know this card is going to her at some point. Even though this is another boxed set card, I give it points for being foil stamped and feeling substantial enough to pass as a standalone single card. I also just love the phrasing.
Envelope Seals | $1.00 (?)
Guessing on the value here since these are obviously made exclusively for Snailbox. I wish they had included a better mix of seals, since 4 out of 5 are essentially advertising for the subscription. I wouldn’t use them on my cards to my friends.
USPS Forever Stamps | $2.35
I did receive 5 stamps, the Sweet Corn one has another stamp on the other side. I like the selection of stamps that I received and think it’s fun to get to mix and match with your cards as you please. I don’t think anyone enjoys going to the post office to buy stamps, so this takes the hassle out of it. No more excuses for not mailing out any cards!
Sharpie Highlighter | $1.44
This is one of my “premium stationery” items that comes in the Snailmail Premium box. While practical for my desk, it does seem a little random. I have never used highlighters when writing cards to my friends. It’s sort of a pocket sized highlighter and has a cool tip design, but otherwise it’s just a pink highlighter.
I’m not sure if I was supposed to receive a second “premium stationery” item or not, but I know regular subscribers are supposed to get 2 in each Premium box.
Overall, I’m a little let down. I hate to write a negative review for a subscription that I really like the concept for. And it’s not like I disliked the cards. I actually genuinely liked everything that I received. But for me, the value just isn’t there. The overall retail value comes out to $18.41. Now I know that’s based off of boxed card prices, which are a little unrealistic since you can’t just buy a single card from a boxed set in any store. But a boxed set of cards usually doesn’t have the same quality as a single card sold individually. It’s a lower price for a reason.
Having worked in a letterpress printing studio during my college days, I’m pretty sympathetic to small stationery businesses. It’s a niche business that has a low profit margin. And I also know that for a subscription box like this, retail value isn’t the main draw. It’s never going to be a 300% increased value of the cost or something crazy like that. But I expect to at least get an equal value for what I am paying. The subscription cost is $29.00. Usually I see good quality cards selling for anywhere between $4.00 to $6.00. I could go to Paper Source (or a local boutique shop) and easily purchase 5 high quality single cards for the price of this subscription, with money left over for stamps.
I do see value in having a curated collection shipped directly to your mailbox, and also in discovering new brands. But in terms of the uniqueness of the brands, I’ve seen 4 out of the 5 card brands in large stores like Paper Source. Laura Berger is the only discovery for me in this box. Again, since the cost of the subscription is $29.00 and the value comes out to $18.41, I wouldn’t consider the discovery of one artist worth $10.59.
But if this looks like something you’re interested in, take 20% off your first box with the code snailmail20! I don’t know how consistent their month to month boxes are, since they could have made significant improvements since this March shipment. Let me know what you get, I would love to hear from you!