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I am the owner/operator of a Doggy DayCamp (daycare for dogs), and I was searching for unusual, but fun toys for two DayCampers having their one-year Birthday. I could have ordered the same toys via Amazon Prime but I decided that I wanted to see what BarkBox was all about. Huge mistake. They are the worst. They took my money and never shipped birthday gifts.
Ask a handful of businesses whether their service that allows the option of subscribing to boxes of goods is a "subscription box service," several will likely explain why they are not. Stitch Fix eschewed the label when marketing its public offering to investors, sources have told CNBC. (Stitch Fix offers customers the chance to buy without a subscription or change the frequency of their subscription.) Amazon similarly contends its Amazon prime wardrobe service is not a subscription box service.
Each plan automatically renews at its original interval (monthly, six months, or yearly), and you can cancel your renewal at any time. But if you really don't like the idea of commitments, rest assured that you can simply "bark in" to customer service and they will cancel your subscription immediately, regardless of your renewal date. They'll also issue a refund for any unused months if you are on the pre-paid plan. I confirmed this via chat, and it's also where I picked up all this doggie-lingo.
After launching in 2011, Barkbox saw more than $1 million in revenues per month after only 2 years in business. By February 2014, they reached $25 million in revenue per year. It’s no wonder so many other monthly dog box companies popped up after Barkbox’s initial (and continuing) success. Here are the features that make Barkbox a winner for you and your pooch:
Almost two years ago we tried and reviewed 7 of the subscription boxes on the market. Since then, we’ve tried boxes from another 6 or 7 companies. We’ve tried a lot of these boxes more than once. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen about 50 subscription boxes from 14 different companies and I’ve written two comprehensive comparison posts. If that doesn’t make us experts on dog subscription boxes, I don’t know what does.
When we went to meet (and ultimately take home) our rescue mini-schnauzer mix Reggie a year and a half ago, we took four things with us: a collar and leash, a small plush hedgehog, and this weblike rubber ball. The plush hedgehog is now a flat hedgehog — like most dogs, Reggie takes great pride in disemboweling his stuffed toys — and the leash and collar are a little worse for wear, but the Hol-ee Roller rubber ball is still going strong. In fact, it looks pretty much new.
For $20 a month, dog owners get a box of predominantly Bark-branded toys, treats and chews. Boxes are arranged around a theme, which run through the choice of treats, toys and package inserts. This month's holiday-themed box had Howliday Spectacular Dancer tug toys and Holly, Jolly, and Gabe squeakers. The boxes have cartoons to entertain pet parents, as well as an insert with a number they can text to buy their favorite items.
Subscriptions seem to be on autorenew. Right now, I pay for a year at a time. I can't remember if there is an option to pay for a month at a time or not. I am thinking not. Subscribers set up an account and from there, you can cancel if you desire. That option appears to be easy to figure out and not hidden like some autoship companies. The one thing I did not like is not getting a notification of when it was time for my yearly subscription rate being charged to my credit card. It's possible there was an e-mail but if there was, I didn't see it. I realize it is my responsibility to keep track of that. I do not know if it is possible to cancel mid-subscription if, heaven forbid, something would happen to my dog. I have to think it's possible as getting a new BarkBox could be painful shortly after losing a pet.
The toys are very good value. They are high quality and most importantly, very unique. I can't find any toys at the store like the ones they put in the box. BarkBox often uses a combination of crinkle paper, squeakers (tube/regular), and rope. The problem with store toys is they are usually only squeaker or only rope, etc. BarkBox will use crinkle paper and a tube squeaker in one toy and maybe even some rope. This is something that is small but seems like a big deal to my dog.
By focusing on a specific task —such as repeatedly returning a ball, Kong, or Frisbee® or playing "hide-and-seek" with treats or toys — your dog can expend pent-up mental and physical energy from boredom in a limited amount of time and space. For young, high-energy and untrained dogs, interactive play also offers an opportunity for socialization and helps them learn about appropriate and inappropriate behavior, such as jumping up or being mouthy.
Hey Blanca and pack! Thanks so much for your kind words and great review! We are so happy to hear that you guys are loving the monthly boxes! We know that every pup is different so we try out best to cater to your pups needs wether it be with more durability or allergy options! Then in the meantime if there is anything that we might be able to help with please don't hesitate to let us know. We are always happy to help at any time.
First, they don’t see themselves as just another subscription box service. They see themselves as a modern concierge service that combines the best of convenience, control, and value. They offer a lot of ways to customize your box including choices for grain-free gourmet treats, options for toys-only or treats-only boxes, the ability to choose toys tailored to your dog’s chewing style, and offer a multi-dog option for larger households.
Total price of items, if bought individually: $42 for "Sniffin Safari" box (Hangry Hangry Hippo, Chewfasa The Lion, Dynamo Beef Chew, Banana Bacon Safari Snacks, Trek Treats); and $53 for "Bark University" box (Lambda Treata Phi Treats, Spirit Stick Pork Chew, Rad Chad, Pup Noodles, Brewery Treats, Shar-Pei Highlicker). All prices sourced from BarkBox's website.
Bark & Co is the New York-based startup that’s dedicated to making dogs and their humans happy. Since launching in 2012 with BarkBox, a monthly box of treats and toys, Bark & Co has shipped more than 30 million products and expanded into creating its own products, experiences and entertainment with BarkShop, BarkLive, and BarkPost. To learn more go to Bark.co.