Normally, I’m not a huge souvenir person – but lately, I’d give anything to be wandering the markets of Vietnam, strolling through stalls in Turkey, or negotiating fiercely in Morocco. This has been a tough few years for travelers who love exploring and bringing a bit of that global experience back home after each trip. That’s why I was excited when I learned about GlobeIn, a company that offers a subscription box service filled with hand-made items from around the world.
I decided to try a 3-month GlobeIn subscription over the summer, to bring a little more of the outside world back into my life. After three months of receiving boxes, I wanted to share my experience in a GlobeIn review that will hopefully help you figure out if this is the right purchase for you – or the perfect gift for someone else.
In this review of GlobeIn, I’ll share each of the three boxes I received, my experience with the company, and some pros/cons about my Globein subscription. By the end, you’ll have a good sense of the variety of items you can get in the different GlobeIn Artisan Boxes (their name for each subscription box) and what to expect from your Globein purchase or subscription.
GlobeIn Review: Eternal Box
I chose to signup for GlobeIn because of my first box, the Eternal Box. Inside, it held a small flower press (from India), two brass and glass frames (India), a glass bowl (Mexico), and dried rosebuds (Morocco). The idea is to create something long-lasting from this box (pressed flowers), which I really like since it combines crafting with the items I received.
When my box arrived, I was generally happy with it – though my hand-blown glass bowl doesn’t match the pictures or product page on their site. My guess is that they ordered too many of the color I received and just didn’t care to give me the correct product; in the end, it’s the same product, just different colors.
I actually used several of these products right away, setting up the rosebuds as potpourri in my office and pressing a lily from our garden to display in the larger brass frame.
GlobeIn Review: Drift Box
I want to be clear: I did not choose this box. Due to a technical issue they refused to admit, I never received any reminders about the window of time where I could login to choose my box. (Given that it was only my second box, it’s not like I had a firm memory of their system at this point.) I was very annoyed because frankly: we don’t need any maritime items for our home since we used to live on a freakin’ boat.
After reaching out to customer service, they were able to do literally nothing to help me, so I was resigned to receive the items in this box.
Once it arrived, I was happy with the quality of the items, even if I don’t think they’ll be particularly useful and wouldn’t have chosen them. I particularly like the whale-shaped serving board and will be pulling that out for the holidays. I stuck the lighthouse lantern in with my tiki mugs since I’m not sure what else to do with it.
GlobeIn Review: Bathe Box
You can bet your buttons I set a calendar reminder about logging in to choose my third (and final) box. Automatically, the system assigned me a different box I didn’t want, so I converted it to “Maven Money” and used that store credit to choose a different box.
(In a GlobeIn subscription, if you don’t choose the box automatically assigned to you, you have to take store credit – which can then be spent on a different Artisan Box or on individual items in the Artisan Shop.)
In any case, I chose the Bathe Box. Specifically, I was looking for a box that had items from countries I hadn’t supported yet; part of the point behind GlobeIn is to support artisans around the world – not just in Morocco and India where the majority of items come from.
Once it arrived, I could tell this was definitely the right choice. I love all of the items and am excited to treat myself to a home spa day soon.
Pros & Cons of GlobeIn
Since you want more than a recap of what I bought and where it’s from, the rest of my GlobeIn review is dedicated to the pros and cons of the GlobeIn subscription as I experienced it.
Pro: Support Artisans Around the World
Assuming that GlobeIn is paying fair prices for the products they sell, this is a really cool way to easily purchase products from artisans around the world. This is by far the biggest benefit of a GlobeIn subscription, which makes it easy to receive a variety of items from a variety of craftspeople.
I’ve already used several of the products: the brass frame from India holds my Alaska cross-stitch, the Mexican glass bowl was used for a science experiment growing crystals, and the silk face scrub from Turkey is part of my beauty routine. Knowing each of these items was hand-made and my purchase helped support the maker helps me feel better about the investment in my subscription.
Con: Many Products from the Same Countries
One thing I did notice – both in the boxes and in the Artisan Shop – is that many products come from the same countries, specifically India, Morocco, and Mexico. Additionally, the box auto-assigned to me each month relied heavily on products from these countries and had very little diversity. (Seriously, I was so excited to find items from Togo and Turkey in the Bathe Box.)
My guess is that this is the result of bulk ordering and price arbitrage. After all, GlobeIn is a business and needs to make money, so they make huge orders from some makers who produce at a low price, then put these items in many of the boxes.
The way to counteract this is by choosing your own box/products each month. Spend the time shopping and comparing boxes so that your subscription dollars are spread out across orders made to craftspeople around the world.
Pro: Beautiful, Quality Items to Display and Use
Wherever the products in each GlobeIn box are from, they’re all beautiful and nice, hand-made quality. Don’t get me wrong: some items have quirks, blemishes, and imperfections – but that is part of the charm of supporting local people who don’t use huge factories and warehouses.
GlobeIn items are the kind that will draw attention and maybe a question when guests see them in your home.
Con: Pricing Policies & Customer Service are Terrible
Throughout my three-month subscription, I had nothing but problems with GlobeIn as a company – despite the fact that I was generally happy with the boxes and products I received in the end.
In particular, I had the following issues:
- The day after I subscribed, a sale started. I asked for a refund so I could take advantage of the sale but this was a huge issue since “they don’t offer refunds.” Literally – never. You can never get your money back once you pay them. In the end, they worked it out so I was able to get a partial refund for the difference and take advantage of the sale price, but it was a very frustrating process.
- As I mentioned, I wasn’t receiving all of the emails, so I had no notice/warning about choosing my second box. When I received the email confirming my box “choice” – but about a week before the box was due to ship – they offered me no solution. Literally, once your order is confirmed, you get whatever you’ve agreed (or not agreed) to receive.
Broadly speaking, my feedback is this: be very aware of their pricing practices and the timelines for shipping each box. I’ve never met a company that has such strict and customer un-friendly policies; as long as you’re aware of them, you won’t be disappointed.
Con: The Whole System is Confusing
The timeline with so many important dates, the Artisan Fair vs the Artisan Box, Maven Money (which changed names partway through my subscription)… On the whole, I think GlobeIn has made their system a bit too complicated, and it takes a few months before you might fully understand how the system works. (Especially if they don’t send you emails!)
My advice here is to make sure you read all of the onboarding emails and spend time in the dashboard if you sign up for a GlobeIn subscription. Add calendar reminders for important dates, too, so you don’t miss the chance to customize your box if you want to do that.
Pro: GlobeIn is a Great Gift – or Treat for Yourself
If you choose to purchase a GlobeIn Artisan Box or subscription as a gift for yourself or someone else, and your goal is just to receive (or give) cool items from around the world, GlobeIn is probably the best subscription box of its kind. I’ve never heard of another box like it with such a diversity of items and high-quality themed boxes.
Though it isn’t cheap – starting from $35/box depending on your payment plan – GlobeIn brings the world into your home. After almost two years of not having much of the outside world in our lives, this is a welcome delivery every month.
Other GlobeIn FAQ
Here are a few other questions people commonly have about signing up for GlobeIn.
- Are there GlobeIn spoilers released each month? No – GlobeIn doesn’t release spoilers. They do send teaser emails to affiliates (like me), so if you’re curious about the latest teaser comment below and I’ll let you know what they have sent me recently.
- Are GlobeIn past boxes available? Unlike some subscription box services – yes! Most past boxes are available in the Artisan Box section of the Artisan Fair. All three of the boxes I bought are still available as of publishing my GlobeIn review.
- Is GlobeIn legitimate? Is GlobeIn a scam? Yes; no. GlobeIn is a legitimate company that fulfills its agreement by sending you boxes or items each month.
- Is GlobeIn worth it? Generally, I think GlobeIn is worth it. I’m sure they have HUGE margins because they purchase items from countries with low costs, but they don’t seem to over-price or over-value the products they sell.
Ready to try GlobeIn?
If you’re interested in trying GlobeIn, now’s the time! Don’t forget: you can save 50% on your first box for any 3+ month subscription using code TRYUS50; click here to sign up now.
Have any questions after reading my GlobeIn review? Let me know in the comments!