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I’m going to wade into some murky water here and share some opinions on what’s been going on recently with Carmine & Glossy Box.

The UK-I market was simply never big enough for more than one subscripion service – FACT. And that’s why it’s no surpise to me that Carmine have gone out of business & stolen from their customers, it would also appear that GB have been somewhat complicit in this from what I’ve read. Carmine, by coming in further fragmented the already small base from which GB can buy/get beauty samples for the boxes so if each box has five products a year with 12 boxes & bear in mind there are about 3 other beauty boxes operating in the UK-I market that’s 300 products to sample per year multiplied how ever many boxes are being shipped so that could be hundreds of thousands of products.

Cosmetic companies barely make samples to give to loyal customers who frequent beauty counters so how was all this going to work for GB and 4 other sampling companies to have enough for 12 boxes a year? GB need to make a profit too lets not forget so the whole thing wasn’t going to work if there were 5 box services operating in one very small market causing serious issues for the operators because there was an invariable dearth of samples to be had.

Carmine has had the writing on the wall for a while, there have been mysterious delays & it’s been clear they were struggling to fill the boxes for quite some time so it’s no surpirise to me as I said to see them dissapearing from the market. Over at Glossy Box – the customer service is atrocious& they’ve flat out lied to me and some friends a number of times due to which I can only assume are similar problems to Carmine combined with those of a start-up business in a recession.

Glossy Box is the largest, the most successful and the longest standing of these services, I sincerely advise people if you do wish to take out a subscription service to go with GB for the moment as it’s the safest bet & has had the longest time to develop relationships with the PR & marketing companies who can provide the samples to them.

I really hope Glossy Box take this opportunity now, with one less player in the market to straighten up it’s act & use Carmine’s demise to their advantage by taking over their vendor relationships & improving the quality of the boxes.