Willoughby Book Club (Adults) January 2019 Haul with Unwrapped Book
Overview

Willoughby Book Club | Subscription Overview & Review | Worldwide Shipping

The Willoughby Book Club is a UK-based monthly book subscription for kids and adults who love to discover new books.

Willoughby Book Club (Adults) January 2019 Haul with Wrapped Book

For each subscription, the Willoughby Book Club will donate a new book to Book Aid International, which works to increase library access and improve child literacy around the globe.

This is an overview and review of the Willoughby Book Club subscription. Click here to see our monthly unboxing and review posts.

Please visit our Affiliate Disclosure page for important information about affiliate links, free samples, and site commissions.

Subscription Options

The Willoughby Book Club is a monthly subscription and offers several different subscription options: Bespoke Book Club, Contemporary Book Club, Classic Book Club, Food and Drink Book Club, Gardening Book Club, Natural History Book Club, Wellbeing Book Club, and Non-Fiction Book Club.

The Bespoke, Contemporary, and Classic Book Clubs focus on fiction, and each month includes a different novel from your chosen genre. The Bespoke subscription is for eclectic readers who love to genre-hop, and it will be tailored to your genre preferences. So if you hate romance novels but love mysteries and literary fiction, this is the subscription for you. There is even a Couples option for the Contemporary and Classic Book Clubs, which sends two copies of the same novel so that both partners can read at the same time.

The Food & Drink Book Club focuses on cookbooks, so it’s a great gift option for your favorite chef or foodie.

The Gardening Book Club focuses on how-to guides and other large format books that provide inspiration, tips, and photographs of gardens and yards. Very quaint and British indeed.

The Natural History Book Club includes books that cover the universe, plant and animal life, ecology and other nature-related topics. A perfect gift for the science lover in your life.

The Wellbeing Book Club focuses on health and wellness topics such as yoga, diet, exercise, and meditation. It’s a great option for those looking to practice more self-care, or as a gift for someone who needs a little TLC.

The Non-Fiction Book Club covers biographies, history, and more, and it can be tailored to the specific interests of the recipient. Great for the intellectual or scholarly types in your life.

For children, the book clubs are divided by age range: Baby Book Club (0-12 months), Toddler Book Club (1-3 years), Kids Book Club (4-12 years), and Young Adult Book Club (13+ years).

Each subscription sends one neatly gift-wrapped book per month, along with some “goodies” in the first box (a branded pin, bookmark, and sticker).

Willoughby Book Club (Adults) January 2019 Wrapped Book

Willoughby Book Club (Adults) January 2019 Extras

Each subscriber will receive a different combination of books, so your box selection may differ from those that we receive, even if you pick the same subscription. Willoughby selects your books based on a short survey that you complete during the sign-up process.

Subscription Type

The Willoughby Book Club subscriptions are focused on curation and experience, rather than on retail savings or product discovery. They would make a fabulous gift for a voracious reader, faraway bookworm, or a fan of one of the specific topics covered by the non-fiction subscriptions (cooking, gardening, and natural science).

Cost of Subscription

Each Book Club is priced a bit differently to reflect the average price and weight of the books that the subscription will include.

Bespoke, Contemporary, Classic, Young Adult

The Bespoke, Contemporary, Classic, and Young Adult Book Club subscriptions cost:

  • £13.33 (~$17.40) per box for a 3-month subscription
  • £10.83 (~$14.13) per box for a 6-month subscription
  • £10 (~$13.05) per box for an annual subscription

As you can see, you save $4.35/box or $52.20/year by committing to a full year of boxes. That is a 25% discount, which is on the high end for subscription box discounts. So be sure to sign up for an annual subscription if you can afford it!

Food & Drink, Gardening

The Food & Drink and Gardening subscriptions cost:

  • £16.66 (~$21.74) per box for a 3-month subscription
  • £14.17 (~$18.49) per box for a 6-month subscription
  • £12.08 (~$15.77) per box for an annual subscription

As you can see, you save $5.97/box or $71.64/year by committing to a full year of boxes. That is a 27% discount, which is on the high end for subscription box discounts. So be sure to sign up for an annual subscription if you can afford it!

Natural History

The Natural History subscription costs:

  • £15 (~$19.58) per box for a 3-month subscription
  • £14.17 (~$18.49) per box for a 6-month subscription
  • £12.08 (~$15.77) per box for an annual subscription

As you can see, you save $3.81/box or $45.72/year by committing to a full year of boxes. That is a 19% discount, which is on the higher end for subscription box discounts. So be sure to sign up for an annual subscription if you can afford it!

Wellbeing, Non-Fiction

The Wellbeing & Non-Fiction subscriptions cost:

  • £15 (~$19.58) per box for a 3-month subscription
  • £13.33 (~$17.40) per box for a 6-month subscription
  • £11.67 (~$15.23) per box for an annual subscription

As you can see, you save $4.35/box or $52.20/year by committing to a full year of boxes. That is a 22% discount, which is on the high end for subscription box discounts. So be sure to sign up for an annual subscription if you can afford it!

Couples (Classic or Contemporary)

The Couples Book Club subscription costs:

  • £16.66 (~$21.74) per box for a 3-month subscription
  • £15 (~$19.57) per box for a 6-month subscription
  • £12.50 (~$16.31) per box for an annual subscription

As you can see, you save $5.43/box or $65.16/year by committing to a full year of boxes. That is a 25% discount, which is on the high end for subscription box discounts. So be sure to sign up for an annual subscription if you can afford it!

Baby, Toddler, Kids

The Bespoke, Contemporary, Classic, and Young Adult Book Club subscriptions cost:

  • £11.66 (~$15.22) per box for a 3-month subscription
  • £10 (~$13.05) per box for a 6-month subscription
  • £9.17 (~$11.97) per box for an annual subscription

As you can see, you save $3.25/box or $39/year by committing to a full year of boxes. That is a 21% discount, which is on the higher end for subscription box discounts. So be sure to sign up for an annual subscription if you can afford it!

Renewals

Subscriptions do not renew automatically. If you would like to continue your subscription beyond the end of your term, you will need to purchase a new subscription.

International Shipping

Shipping Rates

For all subscription types, UK shipping is FREE and international shipping to other locations in Europe costs £4 (~$5.22) per box. International shipping for all other countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, costs £5.33 (~$6.95) per box.

Therefore, the total cost of an annual subscription (billed annually) shipped to Tokyo is:

  • Bespoke, Contemporary, Classic, and Young Adult Book Clubs: £183.98 (~$240.04), or £15.33 (~$20) per box
  • Food & Drink, Gardening, and Natural History Book Clubs: £208.98 (~$272.64), or £17.41 (~$22.71) per box
  • Wellbeing and Non-Fiction Book Clubs: £203.98 (~$266.12), or £17 (~$22.18) per box
  • Couples (Classic or Contemporary) Book Club: £213.98 (~$279.16), or £17.83 (~$23.26) per box
  • Baby, Toddler, and Kids Book Clubs: £173.98 (~$226.96), or £14.50 (~$18.92) per box

These shipping fees are on the cheaper side for subscription boxes that offer worldwide shipping, and this may be an especially good deal for subscribers who live in locations that are not serviced effectively by Amazon.

However, given that each book already costs somewhere around the standard retail price, the month-to-month cost may be higher than it would have been to just purchase the book separately, especially for the subscriptions that send novels and children’s books. Therefore, this subscription is really best for those who would like a curated surprise, or else a good gift for a loved one who is living abroad.

Damaged Items & Refund Policy

Willoughby Book Club does not maintain a clear damage resolution policy. Fortunately, I haven’t yet had to deal with any damaged items, and my books are always packaged in a way that protects them from bending and damage. But let us know in the comments if you have an experience to share!

Tracking

Willoughby Book Club packages are shipped via Royal Mail out of the United Kingdom. Shipments are not tracked, but you will receive an email when your book ships.

Average time from shipment to delivery: 21 days (as of January 2020). Click to learn more about average delivery times on Expat Box Life.

Overall

International shipping rating: 3/5. Middle of the road pricing. No tracking. No clear damage resolution process.

Packaging

Willoughby Book Club packages ship in a strong cardboard box that hugs the wrapped book tightly and keeps it safe.

All books are wrapped in pretty navy tissue paper and sealed with a branded sticker. It feels like Christmas every month.

Willoughby Book Club (Adults) February 2019 Wrapped Package with Sticker

Packaging Rating: 5/5. Books are well-protected from damage. Beautiful wrapping job.

Customer Experience

After subscribing to The Willoughby Book Club, you will receive a standard order confirmation email. You will also receive a separate acknowledgment letter, which is a nice personal touch.

Subscription Management

The Willoughby Book Club uses the Cratejoy platform with a branded UI for subscription management, but if you subscribe on their website rather than through Cratejoy, it is not possible to edit your subscription details. With most other subscriptions, you can log into your customer dashboard at any time to review and edit your billing information, address, renewal date, shipping address or payment information without contacting customer service.

Customer Experience Rating: 2/5. Cannot edit current subscription online. Low communication with customers.

Allergy & Accessibility Issues

Expat Box Life aims to provide reviews that cover accessibility issues for health needs, allergies, dietary preferences, and disabilities.

Let us know in the comments if there are any accessibility needs that you would like us to address for the Willoughby Book Club subscriptions!

Charitable Giving

For every subscription sold, Willoughby Book Club will donate a new book to Book Aid International, which works to increase library access and improve child literacy around the globe.

Charity Rating: 4/5. Charitable donation with every box sold. Percent donated not disclosed, but it can be estimated based on the average value of a book.

What do you think?

Do you have a Willoughby Book Club subscription? If so, let us know if you love your subscription box in the comments. Also, please drop a line to let us know if you agree with our review!

If you don’t have a subscription, are you thinking about subscribing? If so, stay tuned for our Willoughby Book Club subscription reviews and unboxing posts!

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