May 30, 2017

Memebox Is No Longer in Business Kind Of

You likely heard already that Memebox is no longer in business. Well, they kind of went out of business but not really? It’s a little bit of a confusing situation right now but here’s how things are going down at Memebox.

Memebox launched stateside back in 2014, it was actually incubated in Y Combinator which is pretty uncommon for a seed company that typically grooms tech start ups (and the occasional smoothie maker). CEO, Dino Ha has said that some US customers have spent more than $10,000 on the Memebox site in a six month period. Gasp! If you aren’t in the known Memebox would launch themed beauty boxes which would range from $19.99 to $39.99 and include six to twelve full-size Korean beauty picks from skincare to makeup and more. K-Beauty is a huge business at the moment here in the US but Memebox is somewhat of a pioneer in the area and gathered quite the cult following. There was a certain pokemon mentality when it came to snatching up the latest beauty boxes from Memebox plus there was no monthly commitment. It wasn’t a monthly service and it allowed you to choose which boxes you wanted to purchase unlike competitors such as Birchbox. Memebox also offered a variety of skincare and makeup purchases as individual purchases. It was pretty much a great go to spot for Korean Beauty.

During the Holidays, Memebox started clearancing out a lot of their items and in March we were alerted that the company would be redesigning their current business model. So, technically Memebox isn’t out of business completely but they have now redesigned their website and hope to become your source for K-Beauty in a different way. What way is that? The site now offers reviews, ingredients lists, how to use products, and where to buy them. Where to buy them you ask? Well, this is where things get tricky as Memebox is using affiliate links to point you over to Amazon which in turns gets them a small commission off the purchase you make. Technically, you really don’t need Memebox to shop Amazon and this is where things get a little fuzzy!

Depending how you feel about Memebox you might wish to purchase products via their affiliate links and support them in their growth to become a source for K-Beauty reviews. However, personally, Memebox is a bit de-funked for me. I can easily locate K-Beauty products elsewhere or shop Amazon myself without the help of Memebox’s links (remember, you aren’t purchasing these items from them but secondary sellers). Their reviews are unbiased ones from customers but most are short and not detailed. So, depending how you like your reviews this might be great or not so great depending how much detail you want about a product reviews (I personally like a good deal of info and not two sentences saying, “This is great! Buy it now!”). One key point of their site is they do have a helpful section which shows you how to use products. This can be priceless as many Korean skincare products don’t have instructions and ingredients in English. I found this portion of the site very helpful!

So, sadly Memebox is out of the Korean beauty business sales portion but they are still around and active as a source of information and reviews for your favorite K-Beauty brands.

How do you feel about the new Memebox?

Do share your thoughts!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Sarah

    I haven’t bought a Memebox in years – probably 2015 I bought my last one – but I remember how much I loved ordering a box and not having to commit. It’s sad Memebox is gone kind of sort of, but at the same time it was so hard to keep up with all the different boxes and subscriptions. I let it lapse.

    I love K-beauty, but I would rather look up reviews (like yours!) than buy items in boxes again, haha!

  • kjh

    . Never used Memebox for the boxes, as too many reactions or allergies. BUT, their ingredient lists were impeccable, as were their explanations of ingredients and usage instructions. For stuff that might not be up on Cosdna yet. Might have bought a meh, but never anything that inflamed my face or dropped my temp. And that, sadly, is going some. They introduced me to Cosrx, that really agrees with me, and other HGs, like Mizon snail gel cream. Those are fairly readily available, (Cosrx on Ulta thanks to ME, no shit.)but they also had some unique stuff. First tried a couple of non skincare there, too. Like the Beauty People pencils in the cranky Snow White tin. Now, that’s kawaii! We’re in the K-desert, and online is pretty mandatory. Memeboxes prices were fair, and I’m not such a maven that I’d go for a buying service. Thanks for the full skinny. They will be missed.

  • Agona

    I was confused when they did this too because I just discovered them recently and enjoyed them as my US source of K Beauty (vs the long wait time shopping from sites in Korea). So I did some digging and it turns out their US sales are minuscule compared to their Korean and Chinese sales and they wanted to focus on growing in China. Additionally, they still have their web sales in Asia but also brick and mortar stores (which I don’t think they ever did here other than temporary pop ups in Cali). Apparently, they felt the market here needed too much education so that’s why they re-focused. As an American, I’m a little insulted but as an Asian kid, I kind of get it because there’s some skin care concepts that were instilled in me as a kid that I thought my mom was just being perticular about until I realized it was in-grained in the culture. (Example, my home made homemade sheet masks by laying 1 ply tissue paper over her homemade masks 30 years ago).

  • Lindsay

    This is so so tragic to me!!! I loved loved loved their boxes – I’m a sucker for themed boxes but add K beauty to the mix and ….forget about it, just take my money! Lol
    Anyway, this is the end of an era and I’m so sad. I wonder why they stopped or had to stop? It definitely seemed like people were buying those boxes so fast – I didn’t get one of the princess themed boxes I wanted a couple years back and it still haunts me. Ha ha

    • Isabella Muse

      I wonder the same! It seemed like it was going really well!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lindsay

    Agh Muse- I just saw you DID get the Snow White Box that I missed! Seriously Jealous! Ha ha! Good for you, girl, good for you.

    • Isabella Muse

      they had a few different “princess” ones ;-D Good that you missed out! Money saved as I was like OMG NEED THEM ALL at the time haha!

  • Kayla

    Ah man! At first I thought you were talking about FaceTory, which I’ve been meaning to try once my current stash of face masks dies down. A sigh of relief there but I’m still sad to hear about Memebox. I had no clue they were going out in the first place. I’m the kind of person that reads numerous reviews and will still wait to buy a product for reasons unknown, so their new business approach may be useful for me!

  • Kimmwc03

    I was wondering what had happened to them since I hadn’t received any emails or news from them. Too bad; I have no interest in them now.

  • Renu

    They began AH-mazingly. I was one of those who spent an eye-watering amount on those boxes back in 2014 and early 2015 – to the point where my bank had called me up several times to confirm my credit card transactions. It was Memebox that introduced me to the nuances of K-beauty, and paved the way for my becoming a skincare junkie. But when they stopped shipping worldwide in 2015, I knew it was a matter of time before they folded. Basically everyone was posting their own affiliate links everywhere and buying off them, so they probably had to pay off a tonne of people. Plus, brands discovered they could sell directly in the US/Sephora/other places rather than via Memebox. Sad, but I’ve moved my K-beauty needs to Rose Rose Shop or W2Beauty and haven’t really missed Memebox since 2015.

    • Isabella Muse

      haha likewise! It was just that pokemon disease that had us clamouring to buy all da boxes 😀

    • Agona

      Thanks for the site recommendations; I’ve been using Style Korean but was curious about other sites.

      • Isabella Muse

        Just a note about Rose Rose Shop, be careful with certain skincare products a lot of items from Skin Food are expired :-/

          • Isabella Muse

            just a heads up with my personal experience with them! They also mess up order sometimes. I order one thing they send another or the item is missing!

  • Paol Trenny

    Actually, I hate their new business model. For me, it serves no purpose whatsoever and seems more like a sales push for Amazon.

  • Gabriela

    I only managed to get one order in before the stopped shipping the EU directly but i loved it! . I was always hoping it would go the opposite way and expand their delivery again. 🙁