Sunset “Best of the West: Premium Edition” Box Review – Spring 2022 (“Celebrate Spring!”)

I ordered one of Sunset Magazine’s “Celebrate Spring” Best of the West premium boxes (https://thesunsetbox.com/) during a January promotion. The spring theme is gardening. There is a mix of items, weighted toward outdoor-friendly products. There is definitely cross-marketing of products featured in the magazine. That has an upside, as it reflects editors’ quality standards and the magazine’s southwest theme.

When I ordered the box, I was thinking forward to planting season, and in particular to getting something my urban homesteader son-in-law would use and/or that their young family could use together. Everything in the box fit the bill.

This is what I received:

  1. Japanese-Style gardening knife from Bare Bones Living. This is the Hori Hori Classic (retailing at $30 (Hori Hori Classic | Barebones). According to Bare Bones, this multifunction tool is good for scooping, digging, pulling weeds – and the twine cutter doubles as a bottle opener. The product is made in China, but Bare Bones emphasizes that it is a Certified B Corporation. This will go to my son-in-law.

  2. Sonoran Popcorn from Tucson’s Popped Artisan Popcorn. The Mesquite Smoked Mezcal Caramel is one of two reserve flavors sold four-packs for $39.99, so the average retail price is $9.99. (Mesquite Smoked Mezcal Caramel — [POPPED] Artisan Popcorn) It goes well with the outdoor / southwest theme. According to the website, it is non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, and nut-free.

  3. Floral dish towels from Diaspora Co. This bright, cheery set of three dish towels is made of organic cotton is $30 on the company website. (https://www.diasporaco.com/products/spicy-dish-towel-trio.) They look like they will make a great kitchen addition for the warmer months.

  4. Shirley Poppy Amazing Gray Seeds from Plantgem were the most interesting thing in the box. I’ve never seen this color poppy, and I would love to see it in person. A tube of 50 seeds retails for $6.00. (Shirley Poppy Amazing Grey Summer Annual Flower Seeds | PlantGem – Plantgem They look like a great spring planting project.

  5. Wellness salve from Kelly Schoger / Apothekelly Wellness. Created for Sunset, the 1 oz. salve is made of olive oil, emu oil, beeswax, calendula, arnica, lavender, and frankincense and retails for $15.(https://www.apothekellywellness.com/product-page/soothe-all-purpose-skin-salve.) The box includes a 15% discount coupon for future purchases.

  6. Lavender hand soap from Los Poblanos. This 12-ounce bottle retails for $19.00 (Los Poblanos Lavender Hand Soap – Los Poblanos Farm Shop). According to the Los Poblanos site, it is made in New Mexico using essential oil from certified organic Grosso Lavender grown on the Los Poblanos farm. I love essential oil products, and this is definitely giftable, and great for anyone with an outdoor sink.

  7. Gardening Apron from Nature Supply Company. The “A Little Dirt Never Hurt” adult waist apron retails for $20.99 on their site. This one is the cream color. It looks sturdy and functional – and as one reviewer on the site notes, it will hold a phone as well as tools and gloves. (Dirt Never Hurt - Adult Waist Apron - Nature Supply Co).

  8. P.F. Candle Co. “Swell” (black current, tuberose, and sea moss) soy candle (P.F. Candle Co. Swell Sunset 10 oz Scented Soy Wax Candle | Made in LA – P. F. Candle Co.). I have a bit of candle fatigue, but this mild scent is extremely pleasant, and the tin holder is good for outdoor use. The retail is $24, and the candle is made in California.

  9. New York Puzzle Company Sunset Puzzle (see attached photo). This 1000-piece puzzle has a reproduction of Sunset’s March 1935 cover. It is definitely giftable. It is not yet on sale on the New York Puzzle website, but other 1,000-piece puzzles appear to be about $22.

The price: The Sunset Box is not a bargain-hunter’s box. Rather, it is pretty clear Sunset uses it to market products featured in the magazine. With a coupon, my total price (including the $9.99 shipping fee) was $122.49. However, the usual one-time purchase price for a premium box is $149.99. With shipping, it looks like it is $159.98. Adding up the stated or estimated retail prices for the spring box contents, I get about $177 (not including separate shipping charges). So, if you are buying at the regular quarterly price, there is not much of a discount off of retail.

For annual subscribers, the quarterly price is $134.99 – or $539.96 (plus shipping). As there are no “choice” items, that is more than I would want to commit to. However, this is a good one-time treat or gift.

I do not know what is in the regular box ($69.99 quarterly or $239.95 annually), so I cannot speak to the value of that package. However, one thing that stands out for me is that this box did not have any “filler” items of the kind that seem to languish in cabinets and/or on retail or swap sites. So, if I were going to re-up, it might be at that level – depending on what I learn about the regular box contents.

Shipping schedule: Sunset said the box would ship in March. I got my shipping notification on February 25th, and the box arrived today, March 6th. Where other companies sometimes send a shipping notice when they have only created a label, Sunset sent the shipping notification after it had given the box to the shipping company.

Lastly – the packaging is economical and eco-friendly.

So – I am pleased with this one-time purchase.

Does anyone else have feedback on this box or the regular box?

3 Likes

Thank you so much for sharing this! I couldn’t pull the trigger on the price point, at the time. I love seeing everything though! :heart: What would you say is your favorite item in the box?

Ha! Oddly enough, it’s the seeds, as that flower is new to me. I also really like the towels’ vibrant colors. I haven’t opened the soap, I have high hopes my daughter will enjoy it. There was nothing I didn’t like in the box.

I’m late reading this, but thank you for reviewing this new-to-me box!! It’s definitely luxury pricing, but every item looks lovely. I’m going to explore their site now. :slight_smile: Happy gardening!

Thank You for the review!!

Wow! Thanks for such a thorough breakdown! I loved reading this :slight_smile:

This is amazing. Great review, @Bambi!!

1 Like