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.”

“When you tell customers when they should expect their shipments, they’re pretty good at holding you accountable to that,” Snowden says. But the homegrown fulfillment solution BarkBox was using made it difficult to communicate with customers when delivery information changed, and nearly impossible to get timely feedback when something went wrong. In the event of a delay, the information might not reach the customer until it was too late, and worse still, the customer would oftentimes reach out to the carrier’s customer support to get help. “The carriers of course do everything they can, but we as a brand lost the control over that experience,” Snowden says.

I thought I'd try BarkBox since they had a Black Friday Special for $5.00. I signed up and received the box fairly quickly, and not even 2 weeks later a $20 charge came out of my account. Wait, what? This is a monthly subscription, not every week and a half subscription! I went to cancel and you can cancel but only after your year subscription is up.
1.5 weeks later I get a plastic puzzle toy in the mail. I'm confused, I thought I was supposed to be getting a plush replacement (my pup LOVES plushes) I feel bad for asking a fourth time, but honestly I pay $25.00 a month for this box. So I ask about the replacement plush, as nicely as possible and am told they don't send out the same types of toys if my dog is just going to destroy them quickly, but they'll send me out a plush anyway, even though they don't usually do that."
Loot Pets is a subscription from Loot Crate. Its focus is on geeky dog toys, treats, and gear! You can expect apparel, accessories, toys, treats (Treats available in the USA only; An item of equal value will be substituted for international orders.) and more. Loot Pets also helps pets in need by donating $1 from each subscription purchase to local and national pet charities.
Bark & Co is the handiwork of Matt Meeker, Henrik Werdelin and Carly Strife. Brought together by their love of all things canine, these three launched Bark & Co’s first product, BarkBox, with little thought as to how popular it was going to be. BarkBox is a subscription e-commerce and content company for dog-lovers. As BarkBox grew, so did their understanding of the loyal dog parents that loved their monthly box of goodies. The success of the box led to the creation of Bark & Co, a company that is dedicated to building products that foster the health and happiness of dogs everywhere.
Thinking that maybe I needed to communicate dog to dog, I had my 4 Goldens and 1 Pyr (all rescues) send a personal plea to please get the box right, because their mom was threatening to cancel their subscription and buy their toys in other places. Again, received a cute email response (not nearly as cute as the email my 5 sent) basically saying we were wrong (really? It takes a month to ship something in the United States? And I have a transcript of the previous chat that specified what my BarkBox was supposed to contain, which it did not?!?)...and promises to make things better. THEN, literally 3 days later, another email was received about the glitch in their distribution center and OH - replacement items are now out of stock!
Emmy dislikes: All the toys were stuffed, which means I knew they'd be dead meat within hours. BUT thats not Barkbox's fault, it's mine — I didn't realize that you can upgrade to a "heavy chewer" box with toys of varying durability for free, or step it up a notch and order a "super chewer" version of the Barkbox for an additional $8–$10 a month, depending on your subscription plan, with extra-durable toys that have been tested on freakin' WOLVES. Regardless, I don't mind giving Tico stuffed toys every so often, because he has a lot of seemingly satisfying fun entertaining himself by pulling them apart, and he's not the kind of dog who eats non-edible things (thank god).
Total price of items, if bought individually: ~$45.96 for Ruggie's box (grain-free turkey jerky chips, mini donut toy, "Puppy's First Bone" toy, pineapple bow tie, snail-hippo toy, aloha-print bandana) and ~$48.98 for Tico's box (grain-free turkey jerky chips, antler chew, AppleBerry Zensations treats, hippo treat-dispensing toy,aloha-print bandana). Prices sourced from Amazon and Dapper Dog's website.
The subscription service has already touted itself as an experience for dogs and their owners, with a new theme to each month’s arrival. Past themes have tapped into holidays (Halloween is a popular one), pop culture (including a whole box dedicated to the ’90s), and other creative ventures that often involve a good pun (including “Secrets of the Rainfurrest”). Many BarkBox subscribers also share these experiences via social media through “unboxing” videos on Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
Facebook in January prioritized user posts over brand and publisher content, leading to increased competition for ad inventory in the feed and causing CPMs to shoot up 122 percent year over year, according to AdStage data reported by Recode. Bark, the company behind BarkBox, is still using pet influencers with organic posts on social media. But it sees traditional media, especially TV, as a better deal than Facebook and a way to expose the company to a wider audience.
“My mother has two medium sized dogs and regularly subscribes to barkbox. I was reluctant as the themes and treats according to me, did not suit my little Bella. My mother said that Barkbox takes the size of the dog into account and urged me to take a look at a few reviews and subscribe. I did and was hugely surprised as Bella’s box had an entirely different theme! She loved everything in the box.”
Last month it took way longer than normal to get our barbox. I didn’t complain about it or anything. It happens. I got an email from barkbox today that said because my last shipment took so long to get to me, they upgraded me to 2 day shipping for the remainder of my membership. I have been completely satisfied with every box we have gotten and am just so impressed with the customer service. Thank you!
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.
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