Boxed Wholesale – good for the economy?

I’m sure by now, many of you have heard of the online wholesale bulk shopping site called Boxed.

You can also clearly see their massive 250,000 square foot warehouse off Route 78 in Union, NJ as well.

But what exactly is Boxed?

About Boxed

Here’s what they say about themselves:

Boxed’s goal is to take the hassle out of club shopping by delivering big-sized favorites to homes and offices – giving customers their weekend back, and saving time AND money! Boxed provides a curated selection of children’s snacks, diapers, formula, household staples, health and beauty supplies, cleaning supplies, and a wide variety of organic and green products. The company carries your mainstream favorites, along with a wide range of carefully selected premium and up and coming brands.

Boxed enables customers to buy wholesale goods conveniently online at Boxed.com or from its app on any iOS or Android device. The company gives users access to deals typically found at warehouse retailers, but without an annual membership fee, lines or lugging around of bulk goods.”

From what we saw, Boxed sells primarily “mainstream” products (i.e., manufactured by industry behemoths). Stuff that we don’t particularly buy anymore, as we try harder to use alternate products.

They also feature some outlying companies and products, but a minority compared to the rest.

We found their prices to be slightly higher than local area supermarkets. I guess that’s the penalty you pay for the convenience factor? Or the fact that people hate “lugging” paper towels around? Have we become that lazy? What are people doing with the “time” they saved?

Boxed is one of those “good” companies, right?

boxed website shoppingTo us, Boxed is more than just a company looking to profit and grow from selling goods at scale.

  • This relatively new (what amounts to a) “Tech Startup,” has all the modern-day bells and whistles that most companies apparently need in order to survive in today’s business world. A logistics company with hundreds of millions of seed capital to play around with (until they’re bought and “flipped?”)
  • All about positivity and love. Their marketing is nothing but happy, feel-good buzzwords. But very little about how it’s easily provable that their cost value leaves a lot to be desired. One of their buzz-phrases is “delivering joy every day.” How is buying paper towels at an average price considered “joy?” What am I missing?
  • Millennial work environment. They pay for employees kids’ college education, as well as their weddings! What kind of profit is this company enjoying if they have extra money to pay for things like that? All at the expense of the customer that made that possible. Shouldn’t the customers decide whether they want to save money – or pay for some strangers wedding? Sounds like an involuntary charity donation, no?

This whole concept and existence are fascinating to us. We enjoy critical thinking, and something just seems off. Maybe not to most other people, but we cannot comfortably connect the dots as to why this company is successful? I always thought some kind of VALUE advantage had to present itself to get people to change their usual shopping routines? Or is this one of those emotional hooks that sway public opinion?

No “club” membership fees – but then what is Boxed Up?

Oh, we should note – that their original marketing schtick was “club member benefits, without the membership fees!” Yet – now they have a “membership” option called Boxed Up.

It costs $50 a year.

The “benefits” are free shipping on all orders (over $20). (They already give free shipping on all orders over $49, FYI). And you get “2% cash back” as well. Note that to pay for the membership, you’d have to spend $5,000 per year.

Seems like an emotional gimmick to us, quite honestly.

Not trying to be a buzzkill here. If you like shopping there, then have at it!

But when practically every single thing that is on our monthly shopping lists can be had elsewhere for significantly less money (i.e., paper towels, beverages, even baby diapers), then what incentive do we have for giving them our business?

I suppose critical-thinking customers are no longer a force to be reckoned with. The past 15 years of social conditioning via the internet and other fast-moving trends have made it easier to create a hundred-million-dollar company in just a few short years.

In the end, we still enjoy shopping at places like our area supermarkets (ShopRite, Wegmans, etc.) We get to interact with real humans, observe hard-working kids struggle with their first jobs, and physically see the available products without the need for 3D VR Goggles. A true experience, versus a virtual reality one.

Perhaps I’m just miffed that I didn’t think of it first. Who knows.

About the author

NJroute22

NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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