Hey there Diana and pack! Thanks so much for the kind words and for the great review. We are so happy to hear that you and the pups are getting so much joy out of the monthly boxes! Barkbox day is the best day monthly! Then in the meantime if you guys need anything else going forward please don't hesitate to let us know. We are always happy to help at any time.
I was hesitant at first about giving BarkBox a try. There are some pretty negative reviews out there, but I really believe you should experience things yourself and take people's opinions with a grain of salt. I subscribed to BarkBox on 9/16. I used a promo code to get my first box of $10.50. The box shipped incredibly fast! Things typically take longer than expected to get to me in Hawaii but I got my first box on 9/21. The theme is adorable, and the toys are fun. One of my dogs is more rough with toys, so we'll see how well they hold up, ha. I'm more excited about the high-quality treats! I usually spend more than $20 a month on my dogs, so this is a great deal for us.
Fine Print: PupBox can be ordered for adult dogs too, but while PupBox for puppies is customized based on your dog’s size and age, for full-grown dogs, you won’t be age customized. Another cool thing about PupBox is that is customized way beyond just size. Pupbox also asks for information on your dog’s coat length and environment (city vs. country) so that they can really provide a customized experience.
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.
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!
Because of the way people relate to their pets now (about 44 percent of millennials alone consider their pets as “starter children”), Bark is able to captivate two major audiences: dog owners and dog people. “Our audience is just people who love dogs,” said Stacie Grissom, head of content. “We start conversations about dogs and form relationships with people around dogs in general. And 85 percent of our content doesn’t even mention BarkBox specifically.”
The Barkbox team uses product testers like Scout, (That dog is positively adorable!) an 18-month old Miniature Schnauzer to select products. The products are 100% organic and made from highest quality ingredients. (The ingredients and products are a real treat for my dogs and they are unusual too, once we even got a non-alcoholic dog beer called Bowser Beer in our June 2013 box.)
I have been a BarkBox subscriber for 4 years and have previously found them to be mildly inefficient but the billing is accurate, the toys are cute and the packaging is tidy. However, I recently placed a gift order to BarkBox and things have gone badly. I got a delivery eta of a week out. Package not received 2 weeks later, multiple (5) follow-up emails entirely ignored by BarkBox. Response that finally came cited “mass email” to all subscribers (never received, although I continue to receive lots of sales emails from BarkBox) and “ongoing warehouse inventory”, and hopes that the box will ship in the next week or so. There is no mechanism for expediting support requests, and the front line folks appear to working from scripts intended to appease and retain customers, regardless of whether or not the problem can be addressed.
But the data also shows a wide range. The lower bound is under $15, while the upper bound is over $35. This means there is scope for BarkBox to “complicate” their pricing. Consumer products try and keep pricing simple to reduce the friction in the sign-up. This often leads to them leaving money on the table. Here, BarkBox has options at both the premium level and the lower priced level:
“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.”
Funny, I just canceled Barkbox. I repeatedly asked them to upgrade me to the heavy chewers box. The toys sent were WAY undersized for my dog and were destroyed in minutes, a few I would have actually considered choke hazards for my 90 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback (the stuffed raindrops in the ‘cloud’ toy a couple months ago). I’m trying Dapper Dog since they have an EASY to find option for Extra Large dogs and it’s easy to specify a heavy chewer right from the get go.
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:
Running a business that depends on timely deliveries doesn’t come without its challenges, and BarkBox has to maintain a delicate and complex balance of product warehousing, logistics planning, and customer care. “With the word ‘box’ in our name, you can imagine that managing deliveries is central to our business,” says Rob Snowden, BarkBox’s Director of Fulfillment.
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.