Boxes · For Bloggers

Was It Worth It? | How To Evaluate Your Subscription Boxes

So the majority of my posts are beauty box related, and you guys already know I do a battle of the boxes, but I’ve got a not so secret system to analyze everything and make the OCD part of my brain happy: I’ve got a spreadsheet. Or actually 3. I’m going to share 2 with you.

This, is my month-to-month overview:

delivery date

Except it really looks like this:

beauty boxes unhidden

It looks like this, because I want to see what boxes I’ve prepaid for and have a very easy visual. Here’s the schematics:

  • Each subscription (or account, in the case of Birchbox) has its own color.
  • If a box is prepaid, the total is in parenthesis.
    • If a long term subscription was discounted, the total for the sub duration including any necessary shipping is divided to show the total paid per box.
  • The “ordered” date is the date that I paid for the sub,
    • or the date the payment will be taken.
  • I keep the date it shipped and the date I received it so I can estimate turn around times for each subscription, and know when something’s taking a long time, as well as somewhat roughly map out blog posts in a schedule for the month.
  • TGG is That Geeky Girlfriend, and is checked once I posted the unboxing here.
  • I keep track of the retail value of the samples, vs what the value I’d have potentially paid for each item in the box is. This is one one of the more objective ways I’ve found to rate a box.
  • I note down the amount of samples of each size: full, deluxe sample, or foil/one use.
  • I tally up any rewards points I earn to remember the added value.
  • And finally I have a column for items I gave away out of each box, so I can have a representation of how fitted to my tastes and needs each subscription is.
  • The shipping column is not up to date because I’m deciding whether to count business days or all days in the delivery time.

But where do I get the numbers from for each total? This sheet here:

product log

BUT… this isn’t just subscription boxes. This, has EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT in my makeup collection. Why? Because I can. And because I wanted to have a rating for the other items I use and have all the information for projects like Project Pan.

The logic behind it?

  • Date: the date that I received the product, not the date it was ordered.
  • Where / How: The subscription and theme/month that I got it in.
    • For purchases, this will say ‘Amazon’ or the store name.
    • For items I already owned, this says ‘OWNED’.
  • Brand: I wanted to be able to see the brands clearly and sort to see if there’s a pattern for brands that work for me.
  • What: The actual product and shade or variation if applicable.
  • Size: The size received. I try to write ‘full’ if it’s full sized, and then put the full size details in the next column, otherwise it’s the sample in ounces or # of items.
  • Full Size: The size in ounces or count of the items in the package that sells. I didn’t originally have this included, but it’s easier for sample value calculations.
  • Full / Small / Foil: aka Full, Deluxe Sample, Foil/One Time Use. This is the easiest way to quick glance and count how many of each size were included.
  • Money Details:
    • Sample: the value based on the per oz cost of the full size product. (TIP: You can highlight the value of each of these to have it auto count the total box value)
    • Mine: how much I would personally have paid for this retail. I’m cheap.
    • Full: how much the full size product retails for (at the brand store, if found).
  • Rating: How many stars I’d rate it on a scale of 0-5, in 0.5 increments. I love sorting by 4.5 and 5 star products so I can see my favorites for a given month.
    (You can highlight these too to find the average star rating)
  • Status: Open (kept & using), Trash (empty or thrown away), Saved (backup or saved for my guy), Gave Away (things I gave to my family), Sell (things up for swap/sale because I don’t like or don’t need), and Kept (for things that aren’t used up like brushes).
  • Category: each product type. I can sort to see how many blushes I have, perfumes, eyeliners, etc. This also helps with figuring out what to destash.
    (It also helps for noticing if you misplaced something you wanted to be using).
  • (not shown) Notes: this just contains the reason for the status. If I got rid of something because it was a duplicate of something I had, a scent I didn’t like, it got empty, or I’m saving it until after I use up something else, or just wont use.
  • and (not shown) Expires: either the date on the package, or the date estimated out from when I opened it to how long makeup is good for. Also sortable. YES.

So to inventory my entire makeup collection… all I have to do is go to Status, and deselect Gave Away, Trash, and Sell. To find out what’s open, I can deselect everything except ‘open’ and know what I’m trying to use up.

I know this post was super long, but hopefully it helps some of my fellow makeup addicts or beauty box subscribers with ways to keep their own stash organized and helps you know what to use up first.

Let me know if you guys like these types of posts, I’m an OCD organization addict and these aren’t even the only spreadsheets I have if we’re being honest.

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4 thoughts on “Was It Worth It? | How To Evaluate Your Subscription Boxes

  1. I really really likes this post. I just made my own sheet in G drive.
    I think this would be a great freebie for your subscribers 😉


    1. I have commitment issues with rating things and can’t ever remember what I liked if it’s not in eyesight, so once I commit to a number I mark it down so I can actually remember for my monthly favorites post 😂.


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