Guapbox Review: The Latest Men's Subscription Box from Ties.com + Comparison to Gentleman's Box & SprezzaBox
Well, welcome everyone to the latest entry into the market of men’s subscription boxes: Guapbox, from Ties.com. It’s $35 a month, and it is marketed as an accessory box, so it is in the same realm as Gentleman’s Box or SprezzaBox, as opposed to Bespoke Post or GQ’s new box which are more “lifestyle” boxes. What that means then is, before even getting into the review, that it’s really a competition here between Guapbox, Gentleman’s Box, and SprezzaBox. You’re only going to want one of these services, since they all essentially offer the same thing (though you might very reasonably also want something like Bespoke Post in addition, as that is quite different). It’s just a question of which one is the best, a question to which we now attempt to begin to answer...
To get your Guapbox (a name which I hate; couldn’t resist just pointing that out), you just head over to Ties.com’s section of the site for it. You then take a short quiz about the sort of items you would like to receive, which items you would not like to receive, some style preferences, and so on. This already differentiates it quite a bit from SprezzaBox or Gentleman’s Box, as they do not offer any level of box customization. With those two services, every single person gets the same box of items (more or less; sometimes colors differ). With Guapbox, the box is more tailored to you. If you want shaving products, you can get that if you do not have a beard. If you want camping or outdoors items, you can request that too. If you want to, say, avoid bowties since you do not wear them (like myself), you can specify that as well. Get this: You can even specify the width of the ties you would like to receive! I have forever complained that these boxes only ever send very skinny ties, and that I would love to see more 3.00” or 3.25” inch ties — and that is actually an option on the Guapbox quiz! Although, sadly, you can pick either 2-2.5” or 3.25-3.5”, the latter of which is a bit too wide, I think. Not sure why they skip over 3.00”… But still, this is a step in the right direction!
Other than that, the process is fairly typical. You place your order, and a few weeks later, your first box arrives. Every subsequent month you will get another box, until you cancel your subscription.
One thing I did not like: There was never a shipping email sent to me. Half of the fun of these boxes is the anticipation, and I enjoy tracking the boxes and seeing when they are set to arrive. Guapbox just showed up one day, without warning. It makes it seem just a bit unprofessional when there is no shipping email sent. This is an easy fix, and one I hope Ties.com implements soon.
Okay, now let’s get down to the good stuff. After specifying my preferences in the quiz, how did Guapbox do?
Purple dotted tie from Ties.com: This is a 100% silk tie from, you guessed it, Ties.com. And, best of all, it’s 3.00” wide, my preferred width! It feels very nice, ties a very nice knot, and I would genuinely be quite happy with this at a retail price of about $20-$30, which is almost the full cost of the box alone. Plus, the color is super versatile, and goes with literally just about any suit you can throw at it.
Floral socks from Sock Genius: These are a cotton/spandex/nylon blend. They look pretty nice, and feel nice as well, though they did shrink pretty seriously after being dried. Despite being a bit too loud for my taste, I can see wearing them on occasion, or perhaps in the coming warmer, summer months. They are a solid pair of socks though, and do not feel cheap.
Moleskine mini notebook: This was a bit of a surprise to me. I didn’t see it hiding on the bottom of the box until my second look-through, plus, when I saw that it was not some no-name notebook, but instead from Moleskine, I got pretty excited. It’s quite nice, in all honesty. Seems pretty strong, has a card slot on the inside, and is the perfect thing to throw in your bag or briefcase so that you know you will always have somewhere to write something down should you need it. This is the sort of item that I most appreciate these subscription boxes for (as I have previously discussed on this blog): The ones that you would not have necessarily bought on your own, but are happy to have and incorporate into your life once they are sent to you anyway.
Tie bar from Ties.com: Pretty straightforward tie bar. Has a nice weight to it, and I like the subtle design. I haven’t been very into wearing tie bars in the last year or so, but it’s nice to have it in my accessories collection.
Unbranded pocket square: No idea where this guy is from (see below), but it’s a decent grey patterned pocket square. Nice with darker grey suits, or black suits, both of which I happen to wear a lot of. Maybe leans a bit more on the casual side, and does not feel like the highest quality pocket square in the world, but I couldn’t tell you what it is made of if I wanted to, as there is no tag nor any brand marking whatsoever on this thing.
And that’s it! All in all, a pretty good collection of items.
Now, you might be wondering why I did not include the original prices for all these items. Well, that’s because I have no clue what they are. Unlike all the other services we have reviewed on this blog, Guapbox does not include any kind of card (beyond a generic one) detailing the items that you are receiving in your box. It is literally just a box with your items inside surrounded by some tissue paper. Gentleman’s Box goes above and beyond, for instance, and includes a whole styling guide. Guapbox doesn’t even list the items, much less the prices or a styling guide. This makes it feel somewhat shady and cheap, plus, it detracts from the fun of seeing how much you (somewhat allegedly, as we have discussed before) saved by getting the box.
Comparison to SprezzaBox & Gentleman’s Box
As you might know, as far as we are concerned around this site, we think SprezzaBox has the edge over Gentleman’s Box. I don’t think you would go terribly wrong with either, but Sprezza took the win for us. That was due to the fact that, despite costing a few dollars more ($28 versus $25), they shipped more items per box and better quality items, and the types of items they sent were more likely to be a hit, or something we would actually use and enjoy.
Compared to Gentleman’s Box, then, Guapbox also wins. You get higher quality items, and, so far at least, the items seem to be more likely to be liked by you, as you fill out a quiz, and Guapbox seems to do a good job at sending items you’ll actually then want to use. While SprezzaBox does this by their own curation, Guapbox does it by asking you. It’s the easiest way for them to be sure you are getting items that you’ll actually want, and they seem to do a good job at this. Yes, it’s $10 more a month than Gentleman’s Box, and you are still only getting five items, but you are actually getting items that you’ll want to use, and actually will use. What’s the point of spending less on things you won’t use? We once again see it being worth it here to spend a bit more and get something better.
Now, when it comes to SprezzaBox, it’s a bit of a different story. Sprezza costs only $28 a month, still a ways less than $35, but they send typically six items in each box. Plus, they manage to get the variety spot on even without the quiz, and the quality in each item is there too. So, the jury is still out on this one. It could well be that Guapbox will hit the nail on the head even more than Sprezza due to their quiz; could be it end up being the same, in which case the cheaper price of SprezzaBox would give it the win. We shall have to wait and see as we test it for a few more months.
Price, Value, and Conclusion
Guapbox will run you $35 per month, but you get your first box at 50% off, and I have even seen ads that will give it to you for $9 the first month (that is what I paid). At that price, you’re getting solid items, and items that you will like given that you fill out a quiz when you first sign up for the service. Still, it’s missing polish, like an included card with your items listed, and a shipping email. If they can tweak these things, and nail it all down, then it could well be worth the premium in price over its competitors. Either way, it remains to be seen. It’s only been one month, and the service is still young. We’ll be reviewing Guapbox for the next few months, so make sure to keep an eye out for that. Eventually, we will pick a winner for you gentlemen.