I've always wanted to try a subscription for my pups but I'm a bit ashamed that this was my first experience. BarkBox was good but had major hits and misses. I have giant, playful, strong dogs and though this was indicated, I don't feel as though any size consideration is evaluated when selecting toys for the boxes. I do like that they always came with two toys because it meant each dog had 15 minutes of play time before I had to wrestle their jaws open to dig out the stuffing and bits of squeakers they were about to ingest. The treats have been great! They especially loved the apple cider treats that started to ferment when left in a cookie jar and made all their other treats reek of beer. As a consumer that willingly signed up for the box and entered my debit card information freely, I should have read more in-depth. I did not know that when you terminate your subscription that you will continue to be charged until you reach the year mark of signing up. For me it meant 9 more months of money that was to be taken out of my account had I not caught it. I like true month to month boxes where a cancellation is immediate and I wish they had made their rather off-kilter ways of charging and processing more visible. I can think of some major changes that they could make but ultimately some of the blame rests on me for not reading better. I know my pups will be sad as they've grown accustomed to their box but I can buy more durable and healthy big dog treats for just a little more money and I know it would be more worth it.
I really love the BarkBoxes that come to the door. It really has good treats and cute toys for our fur babies. There is two things I would change. 1. Months with holidays given the option to choose holiday toys or regular. Like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, 4th of July... etc. I would choose the holiday every time. 2. On the birthday months, you sent out a email asking about the birthday cake treat. I wished it would have arrived before the birthday, instead of 5 days later. It was disappointing.
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.
I was so excited to love BarkBox. First box, first toy, my pup pops the seam in less then 5 minutes (tug o' war with another dog). I request a replacement and was told "Not to worry, I am going to go ahead and send you out that replacement! I went ahead and marked you down for our more durable plush option at no extra cost, since you said she loves her plush toys. I know you said you wanted to test out a puzzle toy so I am going to go ahead and send you one right now:) Please tell Tonks it should arrive within 3-5 business days!"
Claire dislikes: Tbh, I was mildly exasperated by this box. They sent three of the same kind of toy, which was so disappointing because for the same gagging/choking hazard reasons I couldn't give Ruggie the lion toy from the BarkBox, I couldn't give these "iBalls" to her either. The antler I received was so, so small, and while I know Ruggie's a tiny beeb, she still goes to town on her chew toys and was worried she'd swallow it accidentally or something.
I first signed up for back box 4 months ago when they were running a special. I signed up for the 6-month bark box and did not read the VERY small, fine print that they had on the sign up which I was under the impression I would get a bark box every 6 months, and pay for them every six months when they ship it. Unfortunately, the small print stated that it was 1 box every month for 6 months and that the price would increase after the first month.
The page is designed to get you signed up for six months, paying now. The “most popular” banner and the clear signal of how much it costs (“$138 billed today”) draw the eye to that option. This is a great example of pricing page design. With just two simple elements, BarkBox can get customers signed up for at least six months and get that cash in advance.
As a direct result of that feedback, BarkBox has implemented a new shipping upgrade program, which gives at-risk customers special incentives to put them back in the green. For every poor rating or dissatisfied review they receive, the BarkBox Happy Team reaches out directly to see how they can improve future deliveries for the customer. “Now it’s within our power to do something when customers are dissatisfied, whereas before we were essentially in the dark,” Snowden says. “It’s another touchpoint with our customers that we didn’t have before.”
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Oh the themes are really cute with BarkBox, but with over a year of BarkBox deliveries, I think that not one was delivered at a consistent time. I would get notice that my account was billed (so I paid for the toys) and sometimes, three or four weeks later, I'd wonder where the box was. We contacted Barkbox several times, and while the emails were cute, they made promises they never kept. Oh my gosh, the number of times I received an email saying that they knew they had messed up so they were upgrading us to faster delivery! Is one month from the date they take my money faster delivery?
“It’s a fun surprise for me and the pups,” said owner Seton. “There’s always something for both my dogs. Walter goes through a toy a week, so the new toys that come every month are always a big hit. And Lily gets to enjoy the treats. It keeps my treat supply well stocked; I think I’m out of treats and then remember I have some in the pantry squirreled away from last month’s box.”
BarkBox implemented Narvar to give customers clear, precise, and timely updates about their deliveries in a way that simplified the process for the team. Instead of deciphering a wide variety of different statuses from different carriers—each meaning something slightly different—now customers receive one of just three options: just shipped, on its way, or delivered. “Narvar puts everything into one universal template, which makes it much easier for customers to digest and deal with the information,” Snowden says about the current experience. “It removes a lot of the noise.”
In November, Bark released its first major TV spot; airing on more than 25 networks including Animal Planet, Freeform and Lifetime, the 30-second spot was largely inspired by the user generated content that appears on social media feeds. The shoot took about 12 hours, while the shoot for a recent two-minute comedic video about dog moms during the holidays took about four days. The new sketch touches on what BarkBox videos often encompass: the weird dogs we live with and the funny things they do.
I’m super impressed with how far BarkBox has come since our first time trying it in 2012, They were founded in 2011 (they were the first subscription box I ever heard of) and have the longest time, out of all of the boxes available, to perfect their box just for your dog. And that they did. As they put it, “Having shipped over 50 million toys and treats so far, we’ve learned a ton about what engages dogs.”
The box contains only healthy treats and chews made in the United States and Canada with just high-quality ingredients. All the ingredients are free from wheat, corn, and soy. On top of that, you have the option of allergy-friendly boxes when you order for them. Just the low cost makes Barkbox worth it and a great idea. You positively get more than the worth of your money in your monthly BarkBox with some bonus toys included. You get hidden balls or smaller toys inside the toy as soon as the original toy is destroyed.
But as much as this is a place for dogs, it is clearly also meant to be a space for their human companions to enjoy well, tapping into the documented trend among consumers looking to spend more on experiences—especially those that photograph for Instagram well—these days. The park will be putting on a number of events, at least twice weekly, including “Downward Dog Yoga” and “Okto-Bark-Fest.” The park will also host some of Bark’s existing programming already held routinely in other cities, such as the Open Bark Night comedy show.