With such an incredible surplus of options out there for art subscription services, it can be challenging to keep track of them all. There are dozens of choices, focusing on separate mediums, practices, art forms, and any other characteristic you can think of. With so many, one can struggle to pick and choose which one best fills their needs. With so many options, why pick SketchBox over its competitors? Thankfully, there are plenty of SketchBox review pieces for us to make an informed decision.
In this SketchBox review, there are plenty of criteria to focus on.
What makes the box unique? Is it usable by everyone, or is it geared towards a specific audience? Am I getting enough metaphorical bang for my literal buck?
More than anything, how does SketchBox stick out amongst its competitors in the wide world of craft subscription boxes?
What Is SketchBox?
SketchBox is a monthly delivery service that ships premium art supplies to you, including a unique art piece. Each box contains between four and six pieces, such as art pencils, stencils, guides, notebooks, and other such materials.
Additionally, SketchBox features a new artist every delivery to help inspire customers into creating art.
SketchBox focuses on, of course, the sketching style of art. Because of this, the most common materials will be in line with that art style. SketchBox warns on their website that their boxes will never contain 3D mediums, such as clay or sculpting supplies.
Customers pick between a basic or premium box, which cost $25 and $35 per month, respectively. The difference between the two is simply listed as premium boxes having “premium supplies,” such as Copic brand products. Because of this, the basic box is for beginners, or those trying out the service for the first time.
SketchBox Review: What to Expect
Once customers pick a box, they pick how long they would like to have their subscription last. The following four options are available:
- Month to month
- 3-month prepay
- 6-month prepay
- 12-month prepay
The longer the subscription, the more expensive it is up front while being cheaper overall than if you pay month to month.
For example, the basic box is $25 per month, but ordering three months provides a $5 discount to $70. That is helpful for those that might be struggling on deciding how much of a commitment they want to make when trying a new service.
Those attempting to see if monthly art subscriptions are right for them may want to sign up for the three-month, as it ensures you have a good idea of the product rather than just receiving one fantastic (or terrible!) box in a single month.
SketchBox’s boxes are typically cheaper than the retail price of the supplies you’ll be receiving. An incredibly useful source to check out is SketchBox’s past boxes, where they list what previous months’ boxes have included. That can give an excellent grasp on what they’ll be sending.
If you’re familiar with box-style subscription services, you know that each month is quite different. Some months you may get everything you want and more, and some may leave you wishing you hadn’t subscribed in the first place.
The best thing to do is to research their previous offerings and see if it’s something that you’d be interested in.
Overall, a Sketch Box typically has some great supplies in there. Premium boxes award higher quality pieces, but basic boxes still offer fantastic options as well. Both come with unique art and exclusive how-to videos to help inspire artists to keep on creating!
So what does the world say with their own SketchBox review?
It’s important to check out the reviews of any product, and this is best done by journeying to other platforms that aren’t affiliated with SketchBox.
Their website, of course, lists hundreds of incredibly satisfied customers, but one would expect them to be a bit biased towards positive reviews. Thankfully, one doesn’t have to look far to find a SketchBox review, as it’s a popular product.
Customers on Mysubscriptionaddiction.com have listed Sketchbox as average.
Furthermore, their “customer service” and “ease of canceling” categories are considerably below average. Within these reviews, the only thing that customers gave more than 2.5 stars is the shipping, and that’s the only part that doesn’t really affect your art much.
Many bloggers have cited the retail value of the crates to be lower than desired, especially those that don’t live in the United States, as the conversion of currency can sometimes lead to underwhelming results. That is especially true when shipping to countries far from the States, such as Australia or East Asia.
More review information
Despite this, there are plenty of bloggers and art reviewers around the internet that have had great experiences with the product.
It’s especially popular among those that are teaching others physical art, and they applaud the themed aspect of the boxes as they give a guaranteed subject. More than anything, customers enjoy having their horizons broadened by art they wouldn’t have otherwise interacted with.
In short, the customer reviews vary depending on the desires of those using it but are generally average. Some art bloggers mourn that the month’s topic isn’t one they were interested in, while others are excited by this.
Other customers feel they’ve gotten excellent quality and variation in their items, while others find the retail value to be sub-par.
More than anything, customers should be wary and understanding of any international shipping fees. These can jack the price up quite heavily and can lead to the box being worth less than what people pay for.
However, this isn’t a SketchBox-specific issue and you can apply it to all mailing services.
Why Pick SketchBox?
It’s essential in this SketchBox review to present the alternatives as well. As I’ve said, there are so many options for art subscription boxes that it’s tough to pick. So out of all of them, how does SketchBox compare to the rest of them?
Without getting too in-depth on the services offered by competitors (that could fill an article all its own!), here are a few of SketchBox’s biggest competitors, and how they compare.
Pros and cons of SketchBox
In terms of pros, we have the following:
- Flexible pricing
- Decent quality
- Varying themes
- Reputable and well-known
- Exclusive offerings
Whereas in terms of cons, we then have this following:
- Varying themes may be uninteresting to some
- Pricing is only moderately flexible
- Quality varies from pack to pack
- Customer service generally found lacking
- Offers little that a competitor doesn’t also offer
SketchBox Review: The Competition
Check out the competition below:
Smart Art is more expensive than SketchBox — twice as expensive as SketchBox’s basic box at $50 per month. While they offer alternate subscription lengths, they only offer one box price.
In fact, their 6-month option is more expensive than SketchBox’s 12-month basic option. That makes SketchBox the obvious choice for those that might be creating on a budget, or simply wanting to try out a subscription service.
To compensate for the higher price, Smart Art will send you more items than SketchBox. Typically, these items will also be larger, such as sizable sketch pads, canvases, and the like.
They’ve posted reviews on their website, but only 4 and 5 star reviews, and only 40 of them in the last year, so that may be hard to trust. Blogger reviews show that, like with all box services, some have positive and some have negative experiences.
This option offers three different pricing solutions, all three of which are cheaper than SketchBox’s premium offering. This makes it the victor for the frugal artist, but does sacrificing price mean sacrificing quality?
Not necessarily. The goodies that customers receive here are primarily painting or pastel based, similar to SketchBox’s focus on sketching.
Typically, Paletteful Packs boxes tend to have more items than their competitors, but each individual item is cheaper on average. This isn’t because of lower quality, but because paintbrushes and paint are relatively cheaper than high-quality sketching utensils.
Artsnacks is the final competitor to list for this SketchBox review. The most important thing setting this competitor apart is that it’s great for all ages. It is useful for customers that may be buying the monthly subscription for their child, whereas SketchBox could send sharp or dangerous utensils not meant for children to handle.
Pricewise, ArtSnacks offers a basic and premium option as well. The basic is cheaper than SketchBox’s, while the premium is more expensive. Assuming you get the premium option, you’ll get five to six “full-size, premium art supplies,” including a working surface, free shipping in the ArtSnacks shop, and a few other perks.
Where Does That Leave SketchBox?
Again, there are so many more options to consider, from art subscriptions that send you expensive and exquisite art gear to cheap options that mail you coloring books, so don’t take this as an extensive list by any means.
But if it proves anything, it’s that SketchBox is no better or worse than its competitors; it’s different.
SketchBox isn’t the cheapest, nor most expensive. It offers different plans, as others do. It mails you supplies that may be useful or incredibly useless, and it can help you get into a new medium or style that you haven’t been exposed to.
When compared to its competitors, SketchBox simply competes without outshining or being outshined by other options.
But with that said, SketchBox does still find itself in a position exactly shown by that description; it doesn’t outshine or be outshined. It’s no better or worse, and that makes it average. With so many competitors, why would consumers want to settle for average?
SketchBox Review: Final Ruling
SketchBox is a more than valid choice for those that are looking to get into the world of art subscription boxes. It may be preferred by those that have tried one of the lower-priced options and found the product wanting while enjoying the premise.
It’s a solid choice that lands in the middle of the road of most metrics and deserves to be considered among the rest of its competition when discussing arts and crafts boxes. Customers and professional art bloggers generally find SketchBox to be a product worth having.
Do you use any of the subscriptions we have mentioned? Let us know in the comment section below!