This month I decided to try the Wantable Accessories subscription service. This box costs $36/month (or $40 for one box) and includes accessories like jewelry, sunglasses, watches, scarves, and hair accessories. While you can't pick the items you'll receive, you are able to customize it somewhat by filling in a questionnaire that specifies what you "love," "like," and "dislike." You'll never receive products in your "dislike" section.
I came across this box late last year. A bunch of Youtubers started posting Wantable Accessories unboxing videos, and although they varied on whether the items were their style, they seemed to consistently applaud the quality of the items. They also seemed inordinately excited about the quality of the black bags the items came in.
All in all, everyone said this was a great deal, because they typically got items worth much more than they paid for the box.
What can I say? I caved in. I love jewelry, and I love the statement jewelry trend.
However, I was apprehensive to get this box for a number of reasons. First, I'm allergic to anything nickel or lead based, which is what cheaper jewelry is typically made of. My skin is very sensitive and will break out in a rash if I wear these metals. Moreover, earrings in those metals can make the pierced holes in my ears bleed. Not cute. Second, I have a high standard for jewelry. While my parents are and have been mainly employed as scientists, they did dabble in the jewelry business for a number of years. I've spent many days manning our jewelry booth at gem and mineral shows, hearing my father cut gems, seeing my mother select strands of real pearls, and I've been to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (the largest in the world) many, many times. My family also personally knows a lot of talented jewelers.
Now, I know Wantable wouldn't be able to send high end jewelry for only $36. I'm not out of touch with reality. I had been wanting to try the statement trend for a while and was looking to find statement pieces that, although they were costume jewelry, didn't look too cheap/cheesey.
So I signed up for a box and limited my "loves" and "likes" to statement pieces, sunglasses, and scarves. According to Wantable, the retail value of my box was $80. Here's what I got...
Emily Necklace: Retail Value $24
This was my favorite piece out of the box. I like wearing longer necklaces with lightweight sweaters, and this one has some sparkle. It's my style.
However, I don't like the color of the chain. In this picture, the lighting makes the chain look more gold than it really is. In real life, this is more of a brown bronze color and is quite dull. However, while I wouldn't pay $24 for this necklace, the quality is around that price point (I'd pay $10-15 for it). Close enough - I'm happy.
I wore this around for a day and I didn't break out in a rash. So... win!
Sasha Earrings Gold: Retail Value $18
I usually like more classic style earrings, but I was open to these. However, the plastic is a bit duller than I expected for earrings that cost $18. I don't know, these are made of plastic and probably glass or plastic rhinestones, which are pretty cheap and easy to make reflective or shiny. In artificial light (which is all I get in law school), the main plastic "gems" don't reflect any light at all or have any vibrancy of color. So I'd actually pay $5-7 for these.
To make matters worse, there's a plastic backing, which usually signals that I'm going to be allergic to the earrings (because plastic backings usually go on the cheapest of earrings). Sure enough, after I put these in my ear, my ear holes started to itch. I know that feeling. It usually ends in bleeding ears. I took them off right away.
So these, unfortunately, are earrings I cannot wear. :( If I get another box, I'll have to put earrings in the "dislike" section.
Macy Sunglasses Gold: Retail Value $14
These are just not my style. They're a bit old lady for me. And they dwarf. my. face.
Gracie Necklace: Retail Value $24
I ordered a Wantable box just to get more statement necklaces. This was the piece I was waiting for...
But, again, it feels so cheap. The plastic is dull, the chain is that dull brown bronze color, and the plastic wasn't even glued carefully. I would never pay $24 for this. Maybe $10 tops.
I don't know... was I expecting too much? I don't understand how everyone and their dog raves about the quality of the jewelry. It's nothing special to me.
Except for the sunglasses, this box was my style. Most of the pieces fit within my "loves" section, and I didn't receive anything in my "dislike" section. The customization is very good in that respect.
But was this box worth the price? Yes, I think it is, but you get what you pay for.
I think I was hoping that somehow Wantable, buying items in bulk and not acting so much as a retail store, would be able to pass on their savings to us. But like many things in life, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
And I'm not sure where the Youtubers are coming from. Perhaps they buy their jewelry from Forever 21? The quality definitely beats Forever 21, but that's... not really hard to do. Also, the travel jewelry bags did not live up to the hype (not that I care about them... but I sometimes wonder if Youtubers follow the same script and just repeat what other Youtubers say).
I've placed my March box on hold. I may give Wantable another chance, but I'm trying another jewelry service for around the same price. It'll be interesting to compare the two boxes.