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Dan Gould

Those impossibly expensive disposable razor cartridges

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I did find an old thread about the general topic of shaving but I wanted to ask a specific question:

How aggravated do you get to pay $9 or so for a small package of completely overpriced disposable razor cartridges (Mach3 for me) ... and has anyone gone backwards in time to the old-fashioned safety razor like dear old Dad used?

Before taking the plunge for another 10 weeks worth of "the best a man can get (at a ridiculous price)", I actually found double-edged safety razors at Walgreens, but what good are they if they don't sell razors that hold them? :excited::excited:

Any advice? Should I stick with the over-priced razors because the 'advanced shaving system' really is keeping me from ripping my face open even more often than I do already?

Feel free to submit your price-related rants here, if you're in the same boat I am.

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I read along article (can't recall where) that looked into why men's razors are so expensive. Short answer is that Gillette has a monopoly and can pretty much charge what they want. The article cited a few examples of start-ups trying to challenge that monopoly. Basically they are online services that mail the blades to you. IIRC, Gillette bought out the more successful of these and has squeezed the production capabilities of the others (apparently limited production facilities, and Gillette I think owns the major supplier). Still, you might check around online and see. My response has been to grow a beard, thus requiring less shaving. ^_^

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I'd be interested to see if there are cheaper options online - if the supplier is taking advantage of a monopoly then why offer them at a cheaper price anywhere?

As for the beard option - early in my marriage I took advantage of a trip my wife took to grow a goatee again. She came home and gave me such a look, I knew I had no choice but to shave. Ever since I've thought about the fact that up until shortly before we met, I'd kept a goatee for about five years running. If I hadn't shaved it she'd have probably not given me a second look. :unsure:

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I use an electric razor, but recently saw a sharpening device for old style razor blades in some catalogue, maybe this is available in the US, too.

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Yes it's ridiculously expensive..

Making me rethink whether or not I want to grow back my beard.

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I'd be interested to see if there are cheaper options online - if the supplier is taking advantage of a monopoly then why offer them at a cheaper price anywhere?

As for the beard option - early in my marriage I took advantage of a trip my wife took to grow a goatee again. She came home and gave me such a look, I knew I had no choice but to shave. Ever since I've thought about the fact that up until shortly before we met, I'd kept a goatee for about five years running. If I hadn't shaved it she'd have probably not given me a second look. :unsure:

Gillette is not offering cheaper prices, these start-ups are, and Gillette is trying to squeeze their supply source, either by buying them or making it hard for the start-ups to get adequate supplies, thus keep the prices high. See below.

Take a look at this program. A couple of friends who shave daily use this.

http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/

Yes, this is one of the online sources the article talked about.

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It's expensive, but how expensive really? I recently bought a pack of 10 Gilette Sensor Excel cartridges on Amazon for about $17. I can use each cartridge for at least a month before having to change. So that $17 will last me for almost a year. Doesn't really seem that expensive in the grand scheme of things.

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Yes, that's true at that rate of use. But a pack of ten lasts me only about three months. The individual ones don't last me as long as I'd like. I don't like the shave from an electric though. . . nor do I want to grow a beard, or shave only every three or four days (ouch!) It's a "cost of doing business" I guess.

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It's expensive, but how expensive really? I recently bought a pack of 10 Gilette Sensor Excel cartridges on Amazon for about $17. I can use each cartridge for at least a month before having to change.

Must be nice. My facial hair is thick and grows like crazy. Ideally I should shave in the afternoon, but I don't. I can just make each cartridge last a week, but it is totally shot if I do have to shave over the weekend...

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LOL. A single Gillette Fusion cartridge probably lasts at least five or six months for me.

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I remember the days before these improved cartridges. I spent at least 20 minutes more each morning shaving. These expensive cartridges are among the best new products to be introduced in my lifetime. They have saved me much time and made shaving immensely easier. I don't care what they cost, I want them.

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I'm lucky to have the ability to work from home, so I really shave only when required. The rest of the time, I let my stubble grow until it's almost a beard (or has become a short one) and then "shave" it back down with a Wahl hand-held beard trimmer. I'll use the Fusion for an outline trim when needed, but a full shave is something I don't really do these days as a regular event.

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I use Mach 3s and definitely find them to be expensive, although as someone noted if you do the math it's probably not too bad. Always seems to stand out when you do a small shop/just grab a few things: i do a double take/"i didn't get that much stuff" at the check out counter and then remember "oh yeah, i picked up some razor cartridges, that'll be it."

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I used to buy Mach 3 cartridges at Costco, as they used to have the best deal going of any retailer, but they kept raising the price until I finally decided it was time to look elsewhere. Since then I've been getting them on eBay. The last time I got some was almost two years ago (I think I'm going to need to replenish the supply soon). I got 40 cartridges for $69.99, and a cursory search there just now revealed that even better deals can be had.

I've been curious about the Dollar Shave Club as well - I saw an infomercial touting them late one night, and was intrigued enough to do some further online research. It looks like a good deal if you are (or can get used to) using an old-style single-edge safety razor.

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I remember the days before these improved cartridges. I spent at least 20 minutes more each morning shaving. These expensive cartridges are among the best new products to be introduced in my lifetime. They have saved me much time and made shaving immensely easier. I don't care what they cost, I want them.

My experience as well. The old single blade design made me bleed almost every time. In those days everyone had a styptic pencil in their shaving kit. I welcome the "expense".

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Thanks GA, and everybody else. It seems maybe part of the problem is that I do tend to buy the replacements in the smallest package when at the very least I should go ahead and get the biggest size, or maybe even check out ebay as a source.

Not at all convinced on the dollar shave site - 4 cartridges a month is double what I need, I can usually go two weeks on a new one, and that makes their mid-range price of $6 a month more expensive than the cartridges I am complaining about.

Even if my face is better off with the new technology it still ticks me off that something that can't have a unit wholesale cost much more than a penny, if that, can be so expensive.

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I haven't actually explored the site, but I do notice there is an option for once every other month. Seems like a very low risk deal. Regardless, I'm not a customer...

I never upgraded past the dual blade cartridge, but I can see how $36/yr for the cartridges you use could seem expensive.

WHAT IF I DONT SHAVE VERY OFTEN?

You can adjust your membership frequency by switching to our Not So Hairy plan. Then we simply bill and ship your razors every other month. You can access this feature from your account page.

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Dan, the Dollar Shave Club uses Dorco blades from Korea. You can save money by buying from Dorco direct.

http://dorcousa.refr.cc/68X8JVK

In my view, the biggest problem with the Dollar Shave Club is that half of what you are spending goes for postage rather than shaving gear.

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I see and have bought cheap razor blades at flea markets here in the US, where the vendor is selling new goods. Sometimes the blades are from another country (Germany or another European country), but I believe they are the same product and just as good. They are usually about $2.50 a blade, so $10 for a pack of 4 vs the $25 at Target, Walmart, etc.

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I remember the days before these improved cartridges. I spent at least 20 minutes more each morning shaving. These expensive cartridges are among the best new products to be introduced in my lifetime. They have saved me much time and made shaving immensely easier. I don't care what they cost, I want them.

My experience as well. The old single blade design made me bleed almost every time. In those days everyone had a styptic pencil in their shaving kit. I welcome the "expense".

Add me to the list. It's been thirty-five years since anyone asked me why I had bits of toilet paper stuck to my face, and I don't intend to ever go back.

I see and have bought cheap razor blades at flea markets here in the US, where the vendor is selling new goods. Sometimes the blades are from another country (Germany or another European country), but I believe they are the same product and just as good. They are usually about $2.50 a blade, so $10 for a pack of 4 vs the $25 at Target, Walmart, etc.

If by "new" you mean "stolen", yes, you can pick up blades cheap at flea markets.

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Ah, didn't know they were stolen. Even those from Germany, Sweden, etc?

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I read an article a while back that nearly all of the "Gillette" blades being sold on Amazon & eBay are counterfeits. I once gave an Amazon seller a try and the results were not pretty. I hacked my face up pretty bad. I went back to Walmart-sourced blades and things are fine again.

BTW, I use Gillette Sensor blades. I avoid the Sensor Excel blades (the ones with the rubber strip) because they catch on parts of my chin and leave divots.

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