Butcherbox is an online delivery service for meat. Butcherbox operates by subscription and doesn’t allow one off orders.
How Butcherbox Works
A recurring subscription is required. Canceling the subscription takes a lot of work (I recall at least 4 screens to go through) and it’s quite confusing. You can delay next order of the box as well. Their user interface is not very friendly; even after I cancelled, some parts of their website asks me to restart the subscription, other parts says next box will be shipping in X days.
Types of Box Subscriptions
Custom Box – Choose X items of what you want from their selection
A Classic box costs $149 for a regular and $270 for a large box. The difference the sizes is you can choose 6 items for a classic and 12 items for a big size.
You can choose mixed, beef+chicken, beef+pork, or all beef curated boxes. This means they will send you a selection based on those preferences but you can’t choose the specific items.
The price is $129 for a regular box and $238 for a large size box. Assuming the amount of meat you get is the same, then the curated boxes are cheaper per pound. However, not being able to pick means you may end up with less expensive types of meat.
I ordered the custom box through a Groupon along with their extra bonus of ribs, steak, and ground beef.
Their shipping time, which isn’t obvious before ordering, says that the initial box should ship within 2-3 days, with delivery 3-5 days after that. 4 days pass, and no delivery email. Not looking good so far.
I contact support to inquire what’s going on. Kristina from support said that since I canceled my subscription shortly after my order, my initial order didn’t go through. Nowhere did it say that you need to keep your subscription active for a set amount of time for your order to go through (and to this day, I still don’t know how long that period is).
Butcherbox Missing Items
When Butcherbox finally delivered my box, it was missing a pack of New York Strip steak (2x10oz or 20oz). They refuse to deliver it or provide a refund, saying the only way is to order another box and they’ll ship it then. So essentially they’re asking me as a customer to buy more from them in order to get what they were supposed to deliver in the first place.
Now what if second box also missed the item? Then they’d ask me to buy a third box to get that item? That’s such a joke.
Is Butcherbox worth it?
If you choose the custom box, you’ll notice that some of the items are worth more expensive than the others. Given that it’s a flat rate no matter what items you choose, you’ll want to choose the more expensive options to get the best bang for your buck. However, even if you optimize for the more expensive items, it’s still pricey compared to Costco and other butcher shops.
If you choose the pre-selected box, you don’t know what they’ll send and I have a feeling it won’t be just the high end stuff.
Butcherbox vs Costco
Costco has similar cuts of beef at $10/lbs. For steak, Butcherbox gives 20oz per pack x 6 packs for $149, or $149 per 7.5 lbs. This is $20 per pound or roughly double the price at Costco.
Butcherbox vs Traders’ Joe
If you live somewhere without good access to meat or you really don’t want to go outside, then Butcherbox delivery can be worth it. Otherwise, your local grocery store or Costco is better. I hope this Butcherbox review will help you determine whether or not Butcherbox is worth a try for you.
Given that Butcherbox sometimes misses items (their other Groupon reviews also state this so it’s not a one-off), it’s not worth the risk since you might get less than what you’ve paid for. That’s on top of it being more expensive than other grocers.