Have you ever picked up your race packet and goodie bag and gone through all of those samples? Stash the butt’r, bullfrog and icy-hot sample for later and maybe check out the rest after the race. It’s almost like Christmas for the triathlete. You never know what you will get and sometimes you get a lump of coal, diamond in the rough or nothing at all (with today’s virtual race bags).
If you find yourself jilted by not getting any samples or goodie bag, or wanting more, then there’s an option for you.
Bulu Box (www.BuluBox.com) contacted us here at EMT labs (Kansas City division) to review their novel concept of vitamin and supplement subscription sample box. Basically for $10 per month, you get a sample box shipped to your front door to try out the latest and greatest on the market. When you receive your sample, for the most part the amount of product per shipment exceeds the value of the $10 you paid to get the sample box. Consumers shouldn’t have to worry that they are getting shorted for their money.
There might be a little trepidation when it comes to the energy capsules, which seemed to make up a large portion of this shipment. If you come from the stance that the less chemicals you put in your body, the better, these supplements might not be for you. That’s not to say the next shipment may contain more energy or protein bars that may be more appealing. That’s a little of the gamble with Bulu Box.
They do offer exposure to products that most triathletes will never see or experience. You may find that niche company that doesn’t have the horsepower to advertise at a national level, but they can get in with Bulu Box to reach a new customer base. There may be more opportunities to find that little guy amongst the giants that may be just as good, but a little more obscure.
They have 2 options for the Bulu Box. They have the standard Bulu Box that includes a sampling of vitamins and supplements that help in all areas of health. Each box contains 4 to 5 premium samples plus lifestyle extras from time to time. Bulu Box Weight Loss was designed with the specific goal of weight loss in mind. Each box contains 4 to 5 premium weight loss items such as vitamin and supplement samples, fitness gear and healthy eating tools. It’s good to have options, but maybe in the future they could go even further and have the Bulu Box protein bar sampler, recovery powder sampler or energy chews sampler. Maybe a better fit is for consumers to have a little more control over what comes in their monthly sampler box.
For this review, only one sample box was shipped. Unless there’s a sophisticated tracking system, there might be the opportunity for doubling up of samples per month. If you are not interested in a particular sample and get it in another shipment, it might be frustrating to have products you don’t want to use.
In addition to the sample box, they have a entire storefront dedicated to the full size containers or the samples they provide. The theory is that you find a sample you really like, so you order the full size amount through their site. It’s like a try it before you buy it, sample version. They carry some not-so well known brands in addition to items from CLIF Bar, GU and more. It’s not just a wacky supplement site.
Bulu Box is a novel concept. It’s all the fun of samples without the signing up for races. When RD’s are going to virtual race bags to control trash and samples going right into the trash, it’s nice for triathletes to have an option.
The pros and cons of the service almost come to a draw for this reviewer. About one third of the samples in this particular shipment were viable options for what we would use on a daily or race basis. There is a higher risk that a sample shipment may be a bust for the subscriber depending on what they want and expect. But, Bulu Box offers a service that’s pretty rare at the moment and there’s also the opportunity to receive products that people have never heard of and didn’t know existed. There may be that rare gem in a shipment that cures that ache or scratches that itch that no other product would. It’s a bit of a gamble, but we appreciate Bulu Box’s efforts and will monitor their maturation into this market to see how they develop and utilize the potential that sits in front of them.
* Writer’s note - Bulu Box supplied a one-shipment sample box for this review and in no way influenced this review.
Ryan Falkenrath is a married father of two young kids, owner of two dogs and trying to balance life, work and multisport. He writes the blog falkeetriathlon.blogspot.com, Endurance Sports Examiner and runs the Man Vs Triathlon project while participating in multisport events since 2001 from 5k's to Half Ironmans (soon to be Ironman distance in 2013). Contact Ryan at: email@example.com or follow him on @TriJayhawkRyan.