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August 16, 2019
Over five years ago I tried the nerd/geek subscription box, Loot Crate, and found it to be a poor value, and I also found the company to have questionable ethics when it came to billing. You can read that review HERE. Basically Loot Crate was a monthly surprise box filled with T-shirts, comics, toys and trinkets. I thought it was overpriced. Currently the price is 25 bucks a month, plus shipping, if you don’t go with one of their slightly cheaper plans that you have to pay for months in advance.
I will give them credit. They managed to milk that lousy value and awful customer service way longer than I thought they would. Loot Crate has been in serious financial trouble for at least three years now, defaulting on loans and stiffing more than a few suppliers, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that the wheels began to fall off completely.
The boxes were arriving later and later, and as I write this, they don’t seem to have sent any out since May. Reportedly they owe customers over twenty million dollars worth of late subscription boxes.
Last year Loot Crate started re-using items from earlier boxes that they’d over-ordered. They also sold tens of thousands of “exclusive Loot Crate T-shirts” to Ollie’s the discount liquidator chain, who sold them for five bucks each or less. Loot Crate had apparently been over-ordering items for their boxes for a few years.
At one point it was believed that Loot Crate had half a million subscribers who were paying twenty-five bucks or so a month for their monthly surprise box of nerd culture items. Evidently, the number has actually been abut half of that for some time. Unfortunately for Loot Crate, they kept buying inventory to fill way more boxes.
My advice for Loot Crate customers: If you haven’t already, cancel your subscription immediately and dispute the charges for the boxes you haven’t received yet. Otherwise you could lose any money that you’ve already sent them. Chances are that, if they do send out the boxes they owe you, they’ll be filled with leftover stuff that you may already have.
That is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for all our regular features.