Soylent Entry Cost


#1

If Soylent is so great, why does it cost 85 bucks to get a sample?

This looks suspiciously like some kind of protein shake scam from dozens of bodybuilding magazines on the market.
Sure, they make millions, selling shakes.  With lots of false promises.


#2

You wouldn’t notice the effect of Soylent after a couple meals. It would take a week at least.


#3

They are selling more than they can ship as is, offering smaller orders would just overwhelm their shipping capabilities with high volume of orders. I think it would be a good idea in the long run to offer a sample kit of a couple bags so that people could try with less of a commitment.


#4

Try mixing up a batch of DIY. You may need to fork over USD$200 for the initial batch of ingredients, which all last varying amounts of time.

Compare the cost of one week of Soylent to one week of traditional food, perhaps with one or two meals at a restaurant depending on your habits. It will not match up perfectly, but I bet if you look at the standard deviation of what people spend on food it is competitive.


#5

That “sample” is really 21 meals, or 7 days worth of meals. I haven’t seen any protein shakes that offer what Soylent offers.

It might, but its also a part of their manufacturing cycle. As such they are only setup to manufacture/ship in week increments due to how their copacker. There was a post about this some time back.


#6

I spent about that much to marry my ex wife: just the marriage license and JoP cost about that adjusted for inflation.

Yet Soylent leaves a far less bitter taste in my mouth…


#7

Of course, but if they chose to ship a smaller qty, I’m sure a smaller box design and a simple change to the manufacturing line could do it. It appears most of the boxing/shipping is a manual process in the current stages. It really comes down to what they need to do as a business, and they really don’t need smaller orders right now.


#8

(long post, but I am agreeing with you)

It appears from the photos and other feedback that each unit shipped is a one week box. Order two months? Get eight boxes. It makes logistics much easier if step one is “pack each box the same” (ignore vegans for now no offense). Next step is “print X shipping labels, put one per box” and step 3 is "throw boxes with shipping labels onto the loading dock for the FedEx semi (lorry for you across the pond) to pick up.

Having spent six years in the USAF working on maintenance, inventory, and logistical computer systems, I have a pretty good idea that something as linguistically simple as “ship some boxes” is ridiculously difficult. To this day I cannot tell you exactly how difficult, I chose the “software engineer” career and not logistics, but it makes pretty good sense to me that “everything is the same” is easier than “everything is different” when packing and shipping. Amazon have spent years perfecting “every box is different” to include robots and advanced inventory systems. Rosa Labs are still relatively new to this idea, hence the shipping delays and desires not to overcomplicate the process. I cannot blame them, I would do the same thing given my background.

It would be great to have a sampler option with two or three bags in it. Sell it at cost or even at a loss, but limit it to avoid exploitation. But I would not risk messing up the current ramp-up and logistical lessons learned to branch out too early.


#9

And four of those one week boxes are bundled together with what appears to be a cardboard partial wrap and some straps to make a “one month” bundle. Each month appears to be getting its own tracking number. I haven’t seen pictures from anyone who ordered anything other than full months and received their stuff, so I’m not sure if they’d similarly wrap three weeks worth (for example) into one bundle or if they’d send each week individually.


#12

I’m skeptical.

The initial cost to get a sample is too high.

I’m not paying 85 bucks to try something out.


#13

@kaizer - If you’re willing to pay the shipping, I’ll mail you a bag (one day/three meals worth) when mine arrives. I’ve “only” got 2 months on order, so it hasn’t shipped yet. PM me if you’re interested.


#14

$85 for a taste would be pricey, indeed. Stick around for a while. Watch what people say as they start to get their Soylent in the mail. You’re going to read experiences from different people from all kinds of backgrounds and circumstances. If at some time Soylent seems like it would be a good fit for you, then $85 will be worth it to experience the same kind of benefits that others are getting from Soylent.


#15

That being said, why not simply utilize “Fulfilled by Amazon” to beat shipping constraints?


#16

I’ll pay for that @gilahacker!


#17

That would be an awesome endpoint to get to, especially if you could get Amazon to handle the international shipping to their hubs around the world and from there to local distribution.

Depends on Rosa Labs’ ability to manufacture Soylent in bulk, which as I understand, they’re still ramping up. Also on how much Amazon would charge for the privilege…


#18

You can ship almost any quantity through FBA actually, not just large quantities. They obviously do have their rules & regs but in general if you can ship a box of it (or palette, etc.) to Amazon, then they’ll sell it. Doesn’t have to be massive quantities at all. If Rosa had an extra month’s worth, they could easily put it up on Amazon just to test the waters. Or for that matter, so could anyone else. From my experience, Amazon requires no proof that you “own” or otherwise have wholesale/reseller’s rights to whatever you sell through them. At least I haven’t had to provide it and have never heard of anyone providing it either.


#19

True, but I’d imagine international shipping is still expensive (so fulfilling from a local depot would be better), and also, if RL were supplying Amazon directly, you could take advantage of Amazon’s subscription service (and Prime delivery!)


#20

They should send out free samples on request.  Limited to one per household.  No fuss in that.
Take my personal information in exchange.  I’m sure they’ll sell it in the end anyway.
If they want to feed entire third world countries, might as as well give to those who request it first.