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Verizon trials Stitch Fix-like mystery box service to sell gadgets

Verizon trials Stitch Fix-like mystery box service to sell gadgets

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Photo: Verizon

Verizon has launched a mystery box service that delivers gadgets to customers’ homes, lets them try the gadgets for two weeks, and then charges them for what they choose not to return. The service, called Tech Pack, was announced today through emails sent out to select customers. Verizon is limiting how many people can sign up to start and expects to run out of slots by the end of the weekend.

The service works like Stitch Fix or any number of other mystery box delivery services. When signing up, you take a short quiz about what kind of things you like, and Verizon uses that information to choose which gadgets it’ll send you. Verizon will mail out a box of three tech products every so often, and you can keep or return as many as you’d like. If you don’t return a product within 14 days, you’ll be charged for it.

Discounts are given if you buy multiple products

Verizon says customers can expect to receive gadgets like a Google Home Mini, a Mophie battery pack, Canary’s Flex camera, LG’s Tone Pro neckbuds, Ryze’s Tello Mini Drone, and a Belkin car charger. You won’t know what you’re getting until the box arrives. Once you’ve received them, Verizon says you’ll get free demos, tutorials, and tech support while you try them out. The boxes include a prepaid shipping label for returns.

There’s no subscription fee to sign up. Verizon wouldn’t tell us the exact prices it’ll be charging for the gadgets, but a spokesperson indicated they would be similar to what Verizon already sells them for. Customers will get discounts on the products based on how many they keep from each box.

For now, Verizon isn’t saying how often boxes will be delivered. Most mystery box services deliver products on a monthly basis, but Verizon says Tech Pack is a “trial” and that it’s still exploring how often to send stuff out.

The service is meant to give customers a way to test out gadgets before committing to them. But it also seems like a potentially very expensive twist on a mystery box. Canary’s Flex camera sells for $180 through Verizon, which is a lot of money to decide to spend because a product suddenly showed up at your house. Verizon also sells Google’s Home Mini sells for $50, which would be a bad price to pay since it’s constantly on sale for closer to $30.