Is the Mint really worth it?

23 Jan

If you’re active in blogland, you no doubt have noticed recently tons of adverts, sponsored posts, recommendations, and reviews of subscription-like online fashion retailers such as StyleMint, JewelMint, ShoeMint, and many others. The appeal of these websites is obvious; they offer a selection of fashion items specifically catered to your personal style that change every month, and they can be yours for just one low price. Sure, I’ve seen products offered by these sites that are trendy and affordable, some I’d even like to purchase. But are these sites really the deal they seem to be, or are they just another way to trick you out of money?

Take StyleMint for instance. For $29.99 each month, you get to pick out one shirt from the website for that same flat price, regardless of color, style, or decoration. (The items are designed by the Olsen twins, btw.) You can skip any month you choose, but chances are that once you see what they’re offering, you’ll be sucked in, thinking “Oh it’s just one.” (And from what I understand, you only have the first 5 days of the month to opt out or they charge you anyway.) Here are some of my current favorites:

The "Hudson"

The "Broadway"

The problem, however, is how easy it is to get sucked in. If you followed the StyleMint plan for a full year, you’d be paying $360 over the course of the year for 12 t-shirts. When looked at from that perspective, it hardly seems worth it or necessary. I for one definitely don’t need 12 new t-shirts, and I can think of other things I would be more willing to spend $350+ on, like a more designer type piece of clothing that will last me much longer than the average life span of a cotton shirt.

JewelMint is a similar service for jewelry, which is designed by Kate Bosworth and her stylist, Cher Coulter. Same $29.99 deal, same opt-out agreement. Here are a few pieces that caught my eye, although even though I think they’re fashionable, I wouldn’t be willing to pay $30 for them rather than finding something similar at Charming Charlie’s or Claire’s for way less.

"Starburst" Ring

"Lucky Charms" pin

ShoeMint, curated by Rachel Bilson, is also the exact same thing, so I won’t bother to explain or show examples, except to mention that your price per pair per month is a whopping $79.98. I understand designer shoes are typically way more than this, but these are pretty much no-name shoes we’re talking about here, so I think any person would be better off shopping around DSW.

Do you use monthly subscription sites like this? What is your opinion of them? Do you feel like you are spending less or more on clothing/accessories because of them? It seems to me like if there’s one piece you really like it might be worth it for one month and then cancel the subscription, but I can’t see myself wanting to commit that much money 12 times a year. What do you think? Worth it or no?

(P.S. totes forgot to mention that the parent company of all these, BeachMint, also owns BeautyMint, fronted by Jessica Simpson. You get the idea….)



7 Responses to “Is the Mint really worth it?”

  1. Catherine F. January 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    I personally love the few pieces of jewelry I have bought from jewelmint but I defiantly cannot justify having a monthly account.

  2. thedemoiselle1 January 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Upon reading this I’m gonna have to go with a no.

  3. Kimberlee January 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    I had an awful experience with JewelMint where they charged me the $29.99 every month whether or not I bought something. They told me I earned a point and if I got to a certain point amount that I’d get a free piece. Um, what? I’m going to fork over $30 a month (jewelry or no jewelry) to buy my way to ONE free piece. It was quite the hassle to cancel my account. I’m too weary to join any of the other Mints, as much as I’d like to try the Rachel Bilson line. I liked your point about how much you’d spend and how you could probably find cuter items for less. I’m not a fan :/

    • Rachel January 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

      Wow, that does sound like a nightmare! When I tried reading the fine print I got really confused on the whole auto-charge situation. It seems really annoying.

  4. two birds January 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    i’m such a thrifter that i probably would never do one of these programs. i don’t think it’s a bad idea, i just know i can find something similar for way less!

    • Rachel January 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

      I completely agree!

  5. Marie February 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    I personally don’t think ShoeMint is worth it — like you said, there are a LOT of cute shoes out there for way cheaper than $80. On the other hand, I do really like many of the tees and jewelry put out by the other sister sites. I use moderation, though — I’ve been known to click “skip month” a few months in a row if I’m not in love with what they have. And if/when I do choose to fork over my 30 bucks that month, I make sure it’s a style that I can’t find better/cheaper elsewhere.

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