Review: OliveBox

by Wendy Copley on May 16, 2013

Review: OliveBox -- a monthly box for paper lovers

Though this post contains affiliate links, I haven’t received compensation or product in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

A couple months ago I mentioned my love for my OliveBox subscription. Now that I’ve received my last shipment I thought it would be a good time to do a full review. OliveBox bills itself as “a delightful box of paper & lifestyle products delivered to your front door each month” and I feel like it’s a pretty apt description. Each box contains a variety of items that revolve around a central theme and they are usually delightful. Each box contains a larger item — most often a book — and between one and four stationary items like  greeting cards, notepads and fun office supplies.

The boxes cost $25 per month and you can buy them individually or in 3, 6 and 12 month subscriptions. Shipping is steep at $7.95 per month, but that cost is waived if you purchase a 6 or 12 month subscription.

May Olive Box

What I Liked About OliveBox

Overall, I really liked my subscription to OliveBox. When I first discovered the kit during a late night Pinterest binge, I was incredibly excited and I really, really wanted to sign up right then and there. The cost was a little high for my budget though and at that time the kit was quite new so there were only a couple sample boxes out in the world to give me an idea of what I would receive with my subscription. I decided to wait a bit before making a purchase but then a few weeks later I completed the first draft of my book. I decided I wanted to celebrate by giving myself a treat, so I took the plunge on a six month subscription.

The themes for the boxes are just right. My six boxes centered around organization, love, Paris, spring, flowers and snail mail and I thought they were really good. Of those my favorite boxes were the ones pictured in this post — Paris, snail mail and love.

The items the boxes contain are fun and are of great quality. I have a nice stack of ridiculously pretty letterpress cards now along with fun things I can use for my work.  Almost everything in the boxes is useful, but they are also just frivolous enough that I wouldn’t normally buy them for myself. For example, one of the items in the Paris kit was a set of decorated Post-it notes. Do I need Post-its? Yes I do, and I use them frequently. Do I need my Post-its to have pictures of the Eiffel Tower and domestic animals wearing berets on them? No, I do not — but I sure do like having them.

Finally, I think the OliveBox team does a great job of keeping the contents of the boxes secret until they arrive on my doorstep. I’ve found that many companies drop broad hints about their monthly boxes or publish the contents on their blogs the second they mail them out. I know that some people can’t wait to see what they’re getting, but part of the reason I like to subscribe to monthly kits is for the surprise! I like getting excited when I spot a package on my front porch and appreciate the feeling that I’m getting an unexpected gift (even if I gave it to myself).

I made this video after I received my May OliveBox this morning, and I think it conveys how much fun I have discovering what treasures are inside:

What I Didn’t Like As Much

January Olive Box

OK, so all that being said, I didn’t think OliveBox was totally perfect. The main problem I had was that the number if items in the boxes is inconsistent. Most boxes had fou or five items, a couple had three and one box — the December box — only had two.  I understand why this is — if the largest item is expensive it takes up more of the purchasing budget — but I was still a little let down when my boxes looked a little sparse. And when I wasn’t in love with the stuff in the box that disappointment was compounded further. For example, the December box had a book about decorating (Decorate Workshop by Holly Becker). The book was lovely but as a renter with a tight household budget I can’t do a lot of redecorating right now so it didn’t capture my interest. The only other item in that box was a roll of washi tape. Again, it was pretty but I have piles of washi tape already so it didn’t excite me much. The boxes with more items had a few items I didn’t love as much too, but because there were lots of other things I did love I didn’t mind as much. Again, this is just a quibble — overall I really liked this subscription!

In summary:

  • OliveBox is $25/month
  • It’s full of cute swag
  • I love it (mostly)

If you’d like to check it out for yourself, please visit the OliveBox site for my information!

What about you? Do you love cards and books and cute office supplies?

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