Is Aardvark Book Club Worth the Hype?
Move over, Book of the Month Club– there is a new book subscription service in town. It seemed like news of Aardvark Book Club appeared overnight. BOTM’s fan groups went wild speculating about the new company. As they approached their launch last fall, the hype reached unreal levels, probably due in part to their gorgeous branding and amazing Instagram presence. Now, a few months into their selections, Aardvark continues to build their brand.
When they first launched, I was one of several overseas military spouses to email them and asked if they ship to APO/FPO addresses. They replied that they hoped to add APO/FPO shipping in the future, but it was not ready for their initial launch. Disappointed, I decided to remain in their fan groups and spy on their selections.
Then, December hit. I LOVED their December selections! At the time, I had JUST finished an advanced reader’s copy of Meredith, Alone when Aardvark announced it as a pick. Not only did I love that book (you can check out my review here), but I was interested in all five of their selections. I can’t remember the last time I wanted all five BOTM selections. So, I decided to reach out to Aardvark again and ask if they had a timeline for their APO/FPO rollout.
Before I continue, let me brag on Aardvark for just a second. Their customer service is amazing! Both times I have emailed their company, they have gotten back to me within 24 hours. When I emailed them for the second time, they told me that their app was currently not set up for APO/FPO addresses. However, they offered to add in my address manually so I could join the club. That’s right, folks, AARDVARK BOOK CLUB NOW SHIPS TO APO/FPO– you just have to email customer service and ask them.
When I emailed them back with my address, I gave them a suggestion that I have given BOTM again….and again….and again. This requires a little education on your part, dear reader. When mail is sent to an APO/FPO address, everything gets routed through USPS. All first-class and Priority Mail is sent via airplane. It usually takes about 10 days for one of those packages to travel from the United States to Japan. However, USPS Media Mail is sent by ship. Instead of 10 days, it takes about 1.25 MONTHS for those packages to get to us. Guess which shipping method BOTM uses? There’s nothing worse than picking my BOTM selection and having to wait over a month to get it! It’s currently January 16, and I still haven’t received my December BOTM book. But, I digress.
When I emailed Aardvark back, I explained this shipping issue to them and suggested (read: pleaded) that they PLEASE let us pay a little extra for Priority Shipping. All my book subscription box friends in Japan would HAPPILY pay a little extra so that we could cut down our shipping time by over a month. Aardvark’s response?
“Regarding your suggestion, this is actually something we’ve been considering ever since the idea came up. Your thoughts also confirm our suspicions that Media Mail is just not a suitable form of transport to APO addresses. It can take months for your box to arrive, have an increased chance of getting damaged on the ship and you’ll be missing all the fun of reading the same set of books at the same time with the rest of North America.
For these reasons, we’ll be shipping your box (and your friends’ if they decide to join) on Priority Mail with no additional charges, so you can enjoy a little taste of home all the way in Japan. So, do let them know and we’d be more than happy to assist them getting their initial address set up ❤ We can call this a “soft launch” of our shipments to APO addresses 😉”
WOW! True to their word, my December box made it to Japan in eight days.
So far, I have nothing but good things to say about Aardvark Book Club. They do not have a referral program (yet), but you can check out their company by clicking here. In the meantime, stay tuned for Aardvark prediction posts in the future!
4 Comments Add yours
Aardvark has been incredible with their customer support and responses in basically every format (dm, email, etc). I really hope they can maintain that moving forward as they continue to grow. They obviously have their book selections on point and their little peripherals are lovely too with the bookmarks and cards, so if they can keep it up I think they’ll do great!
I’ve been loving them since they started, and like you said, every month there’s been at LEAST one book I’ve been interested in if not more. Meanwhile, I skipped 6/12 months of BOTM last year and 2 months I forced myself to pick something so I could get the BFF freebies. And honestly, I still don’t think it was worth it.
So glad you’re able to get the books! Now I’m interested in hearing what you thought of Aesthetica, because I’m really struggling to get into it despite my initial excitement. It’s just… weird, and sometimes kind icky for me.
Canadian here so I’m new to both Aardvark and BOTM. For customer service I agree with you. Their customer service is amazing. It’s fast and they are really helpful. Shipping is super quick even when it comes from the US. BOTM takes twice as long for shipping with boxes getting lost and their customer service isn’t great. I do prefer the book selections of BOTM more though. Aardvark is just starting out though so I’m giving them some grace and trying out new authors I wouldn’t normally, which has been hit or miss, but worth it for the hit. I hope more people will give them the chance. Great post.
This is amazing! That’s awesome that they made it a priority to get your package to you quickly.