Last fall, two of our editors tried Stitch Fix and gave their totally honest reviews about their experience (one liked it, one didn’t). This month a new twist on the popular shopping service trend launched, but this time it’s for kids. Intrigued? Yes. Sold? Well, maybe. There were some obvious pros (hello, massive time saver for busy parents!) but also some cons (which I’ll get to in a minute).
I tried out Kidbox to see how it worked for a mom on a budget and an 8-year-old girl with, let’s just say, strong opinions about her clothes. Here’s what I found out.
Similar to other personal shopper services, KidBox starts by asking you to set up a simple profile for your child — their age, their sizes. They also ask two style questions (yep, just two): to describe your kid’s overall look, and any colors to avoid. There was also an option to select your favorite brands, but I wasn’t sure whether this info would be enough for them to really “get” my daughter’s style.
But, a week or so later, her box arrived and she mostly liked what was included. There were 10 items in total — ranging from a $60 pair of 7 for all Mankind jeans to some cotton t-shirts. The value of the box was $170, and the cost was (and is always) just $98. And you pay no fee for the service itself. So, a really good deal on new brand-name items.
After you look through your box, you can make returns, exchange sizes, and give feedback on their picks. That way, they’ll know a little more about your taste for your next box — which comes seasonally, not every month. For me, that timing is a huge plus, because I definitely don’t spend $100 per month, per kid, on clothes.
If you keep all of the items in the box, you get to choose which one of Kidbox’s featured causes you’d like to donate one outfit to (we chose children living in foster care), which is an easy way to teach your kids a little about giving back.
That said, you are under no obligation to keep anything in your box. You can return the whole thing if you want, with free shipping both ways. But — and this is a BIG but — if you return any item, everything jumps up to full price. With my daughter’s box, it actually cost less to keep the whole box, including the pieces she didn’t like or need, than to keep only the few pieces she loved and be charged more for them.
So, what’s my verdict on Kidbox?
The pros: This can be a massive time-saver for parents who don’t like to go shopping — in stores or online. You get new designer pieces at a huge discount if you keep the whole box. And, of course, the ever-exciting element of surprise! Plus, I love that they donate clothing to important causes.
The cons: If you’re not prepared to buy the whole box, you may be setting yourself up for a battle with a child who’s fallen in love with everything in it. Maybe keep an eye out for the delivery so you can look through the box first and filter what you show them. While it may be cheaper to keep the whole box than just the items you or your child wants, I don’t really like the idea of consuming just because it’s cheap. So you’ll probably want a strategy in place for what to do with those “freebie” items. I’d suggest finding a local charity or even a friend or neighbor to pass them on to. No sense in taking up unnecessary closet space…you have another box coming, soon.
You can get started by setting up a profile at the Kidbox website. Right now, they’re shipping clothes sizes 4–14, but toddler boxes are coming soon!
Thanks, Kidbox, for giving us a sample box to try out. My daughter loves my job.