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Sellout Policies and Procedures (2024)Updated 6 months ago

Sellout Policies and Procedures as of January 2024

Though it has been some time since OwlCrate has been in Sellout Mode, it does happen from time to time, and we anticipate sellouts being common in 2024. To align with the start of 2024, we wanted to re-share our general Sellout Policies and Procedures.

Our monthly books and boxes are always limited in number and due to the hard work of the OC team and our popularity in the community, we have been getting closer to or selling out on all products, including special editions, and it’s something that we anticipate will be happening a lot more in 2024.


Due to the limited amount of spots we have available each month, please ensure your payment details are up to date and your renewal goes through by the 5th of the month. After the 5th we are unable to guarantee your renewal will be for the current month's box. If your renewal goes through after we have sold out, that payment will be for the next month's box. If you are unsure what box you will be receiving, you can email [email protected].

This has been our sellout policy since OwlCrate began and may not be known to newer subscribers. As we offer unlimited skips, there are always more active subscribers than available boxes. Sellouts become an issue when fewer people skip than usual.

When putting together our boxes and choosing our books, we are typically working six months or more in advance. Our book orders go in months before their sale date and as a result, we are unable to increase our numbers at the last minute. The original order number is agreed upon with the publisher/printer and is based on our projected subscriber numbers. As many people skip and cancel on a regular basis, determining this number is not an exact science, but we do our best using historical data and trends. This means, that even if you are an active subscriber, spots are still limited.

Failed Renewals

Renewal day for subscriptions is always on the first of the month. Failed renewals happen for various reasons and our system is set up to automatically try to charge an account the next day, and the day after, and so on. If your renewal fails on the 1st of the month, you will be sent a notification letting you know. This gives you time to make sure your payment details on file are up to date or to make sure there are available funds in your account. We encourage everyone to make sure their payment details are up to date before the 1st of the month. We do send renewal reminders a few days before each renewal day. You can save [email protected] as a contact in your email account to ensure our notifications don’t go to spam.

You can find more information on Failed Renewals HERE.

Skips and Un-Skips

If you skip a renewal during a sellout month, you will not be able to un-skip unless more books/boxes become available. If you do want to un-skip, you can contact customer support but they may not be able to help you right away. You will be put on a shortlist and will be contacted when/if extras become available. We are unable to guarantee you will be able to get a book/box that month but your subscription will still be active for the next month’s renewal.

Cancellations and Reactivations

During times of sellout, a cancelled subscription cannot be reactivated through the customer account and customer support will be unable to reactivate it for you. If you wish to resubscribe, you will need to join the waitlist.

When not in Sellout Mode, reactivating is an option within the customer account. 

That being said, you can try reaching out to customer support after the 5th and, depending on numbers, they may be able to reactivate your subscription for you. This reactivation will be at the discretion of the customer support agent based on the information available to them at that time.

Extra Books and Boxes

When we are not in Sellout Mode, we often have extra books to list in the shop at a later date, however, this is not something we can ever guarantee. We first need to make sure all active subscribers have received their boxes and any damages have been taken care of. We will then reassess our inventory and see what is available.

During sellout months, extra books/boxes will not be listed in the shop. They will be offered as one-time purchases to those on the waitlist for that specific subscription (Young Adult or Adult Fantasy). This will not give those on the waitlist invites to be active subscribers but will offer those on the list first access to extras.

Extra Information

Unlimited Skip Policy

Unlimited skips are not something all subscription box companies offer but we have always made it an option as we never want to force someone to get a book/box they aren’t interested in just because they reached their max skips. As a result, we often have more active subscribers than actual renewing subscribers. An active subscriber is someone whose subscription isn’t in a cancelled state. Skipping is not cancelling.

Skipping affects the renewal numbers. We take these potential actions into consideration when placing our initial book orders (about six months in advance of shipping), based on past renewal evidence and our renewal projections. Determining these numbers is not an exact science but we do our best with the data we have. As we have an unlimited skip policy, repeated skips can skew our projections. If a book is popular, and fewer people skip than usual, we then have an even more limited number of books to work with. This is why our Sellout Policy is in place.

You can find more information on how to skip a box HERE.

Renewals and Failed Renewals

All renewals are automatically processed in a large batch and each renewal does have a timestamp. We determine renewals vs stock based on the timestamps in the system. If it happens too many renew before the 5th, decisions will be made based on timestamps.

Replacement for Lost or Damaged Books/Boxes

In Sellout situations, where we want as many people who have had successful renewals to get that month’s book/box as possible, we will have a smaller buffer for replacing lost shipments or damaged books. We will find solutions to lost and damaged books on a case-by-case basis depending on extra inventory. Replacement solutions will be at the discretion of the customer support team.

Things to remember:

  • Even in a sellout situation, your subscription will still renew as usual as these actions are automated within the system.
  • All subscriptions affected by the sellout will be updated after the 19th of the month, resetting the correct renewal dates.
    • Example: If you renewed during a sellout on December 6th, your renewal date will still show as January 1st. After the 19th, when the site is updated, your renewal date will be pushed to February 1st, as your payment for January was already taken.
  • If you skipped a month during a sellout and then changed your mind, we are unable to unskip for you.
  • It seems there are a few old links leading to checkout but as the site is in sellout mode, any purchases made after the sellout/cut-off date will be looked into and more than likely cancelled. We do strive to keep things as fair as possible. (This mostly applies to waitlist invite situations)
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