SprezzaBox In Review 1.0: How Does It Compare To Gentleman's Box?
As you are likely well aware, we’ve been on a mission recently to discover the best subscription box service for men. We have so far taken a look at Gentleman’s Box (1, 2), WatchGang (1), and BirchboxMan (1, 2), and now it’s time to take a look at SprezzaBox.
In terms of positioning, SprezzaBox is most like Gentleman’s Box out of the few services I just listed. It also promises to deliver a handful of style-related items each month, from socks, to ties, to sunglasses, to cologne, etc. You get the idea. In fact, you might think that Gentleman’s Box and SprezzaBox are basically exactly the same thing, and you would be right to be confused as to which one to get. And, indeed, they are very similar. But, there are a few things that separate SprezzaBox from Gentleman’s Box — some good, some not as good.
- SprezzaBox contains 5-6 items, while Gentleman’s Box only ever contains 5.
- SprezzaBox costs $28 while Gentleman’s Box costs $25.
- Gentleman’s Box comes with a free 1 year subscription to GQ magazine, while SprezzaBox does not.
- Gentleman’s Box comes with the “Gentleman’s Post” in each box, which is a mini magazine detailing how you can best use the various items included in that month’s box, along with one or two mini style-related articles. SprezzaBox just comes with a card listing the items in the box.
There are a few other minor differences in the companies, but those are the only ones that matter. Again, if you’d like to know more about Gentleman’s Box, I highly suggest reading our review(s) of it to get a better idea of how that service works as compared to SprezzaBox. Any discussion of one necessitates taking a look at the other. They are that similar.
Alright, so, down to business. Let’s take a look at the September box from SprezzaBox and see what we think about it.
Perry Ellis Green Striped Tie — $45: They called this box “The Perry” because they teamed up with Perry Ellis for the necktie. I do not think this tie is worth anywhere near $45. Perry Ellis is the sort of brand that somehow gets to markup their items way more than they are worth, but, still, it’s a solid enough tie. Not exactly my style, but I suppose it would look nice with a blue blazer. The quality is good, it’s thick, and makes a nice knot. It’s also a 2.75” tie, which is absolutely classic for these sorts of subscription box services. Still waiting to see a 3” tie one day!
Sprezza Blue and Green Pocket Square — $18: Interestingly, SprezzaBox seems to have their own line of pocket squares and other minor men’s accessory items. They get to set their own price on these things, obviously, and while $18 is certainly high for a pocket square, it’s not absurd by any means. I have to say, it’s pretty nice. It’s flow-y and holds nicely in the breast pocket of a suit. It matches the included tie, but would go nicely with a blue and grey blazer in general. Would I pay $18 for it? Probably not. I would rather get one from a more well-known brand. Do I like it anyway? Yessir.
Bryt Green and Blue Socks — $11.66: Somewhat pricey for socks, again. But they are nice enough, and match the rest of the box. No complaints here.
FRESHeTECH Earbuds — $29.95: This sort of item is really nice to see. It’s not strictly speaking a fashion accessory, but it also could be seen as one in many ways. Even if not at all, though, this is still a great item to see in a box like this, and not something I have seen from Gentleman’s Box (yet, anyway). These are actually solid quality, made of metal, feel substantial, have a nice-looking and feeling anti-tangle cord, and sound… good enough. They don’t fit my ears (they are the same sort of design as Apple’s AirPods, to give you an idea), but I gave them to my wife and she enjoys them.
Peter Daniel Leather Bracelet — $10: $10 leather? How can that be any good? Well, it can’t. Feels cheap, and the fastening mechanism gave me a hard time. I should note that I am not much of a bracelet person, so maybe this is all user error. But, there you have it.
English Laundry Cologne — $20: A bit disingenuous here. You are going to tell me that a sample of this cologne is worth $20? Maybe the whole bottle! Anyway, it’s nice to see grooming products included in the box, and this is something that SprezzaBox does almost every month, which I like a lot, and is not something Gentleman’s Box always includes. Personally, I find both the design of the mini spray bottle and the scent of this cologne to be unappealing, but the latter of those two things comes down to personal preference, so your milage may vary.
The shipping with SprezzaBox was a bit of a problem. The tracking never updated beyond telling me that it shipped, and then it jumped straight to “Out For Delivery” well over a week and a half later with no warning. It took long to arrive, and you weren’t even able to track its progress. Also, one of my boxes arrived somewhat crushed. I reached out to Sprezza about this and they promised that they were working to resolve it by switching parcel services. Indeed, this month’s box shipped out with DHL, and it is scheduled to arrive in only 3 days, and has the usual tracking ability. Well done, Sprezza. You saw a problem, and fixed it quickly. Love it.
The other thing of note with SprezzaBox is that there are almost constant deals to get either half off a box (which is right on their website as a pop-up), or to get two boxes for only $10 which comes up on Facebook all the time. Basically, if you want to try them out, it will cost you less than $28 for the first little bit.
In fact, I took advantage of one of these deals, and was able to get two past boxes for just $10 or so, which gave me some larger perspective on the sort of boxes that SprezzaBox delivers. One had a really nice tie and socks, along with a stupid-looking pin and tie clip that both felt pretty cheap. The other box was all-around quite nice, though I don’t usually wear bowties nor do I have use for cheap shoelaces, and I particularly love the hand cream, which works really well and has been thrown into my daily bag to have and be able to use out-and-about. The smaller sample-size products you get are perfect for things like that.
The Thing With These Services
I said it best in my initial review of Gentleman’s Box (my first experience with any of these services), so I will take the liberty to quote it here:
I cannot help but feel a little bit scammed when it comes to all of these new subscription box services. The way that they promise you a value two or three times (or more) of what you paid always seems to rub me the wrong way. Sure, at retail price, you've gotten more than what you paid for. And I understand that they surely worked with these companies to offer these products at such a good deal in exchange for the exposure. And typical reviewers of these boxes always explain that if you get even one or two items that you like, you've come out ahead (as they likely total $25 or more by themselves). But what this all seems to be missing is that what, really, is a box of stuff from companies that no one has ever heard of actually worth? Do you not usually buy things on sale anyway, and thus aren't the sticker prices on these items irrelevant? The retail price of these items is surely more than $25, but you now have a monthly expense that you otherwise would not have had, for a box of unknown items.
Of course, none of this is a secret, it's just important to be aware of. In fact, many people will tell you this is all exactly the point of these boxes: to discover new products from obscure brands that you otherwise never would have had access to, and have them delivered to you neatly in a box without lifting a finger, even if that means some items will sit unused in a drawer somewhere. Maybe I just need to warm up more to this business model. After all, I can say personally that it was a heck of a lot of fun to open up my box of surprises, and I'm very much looking forward to using all the products within it that I actually can get use out of. That's no small thing.
How It Compares & Conclusion
So, now that we took a look at all the items, how does SprezzaBox compare to Gentleman’s Box? Well, for a few dollars more a month, you do, generally, get a slightly more well-rounded box, and a more consistent inclusion of grooming products — not to mention the one more item included than Gentleman’s Box each month.
On the other hand, there is less of a real theme in each box, like Gentleman’s Box does, and SprezzaBox lacks that mini magazine each month, both of which definitely take away a little bit from the excited experience of opening the box each time. Plus, the extra $3 a month adds up over time. Over the course of a year, that’s $36 — a whole extra month of Gentleman’s Box, plus some coffee money left over.
Right now, between the two, it’s really a tough call. And, honestly, a call that I do not yet feel that I can make. We’re going to get a few more of these boxes over the next few months and take a broader look at how these boxes really do in terms of what they deliver every month, and then, hopefully, we will feel more confident in making a call between the two. If you want/need to subscribe to one of these boxes right now, flip a coin. You can’t go wrong with either one if you are in the market for a service like this.