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  1. #1
    Eruption Ilovevh's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:55 PM
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    Default How to Shave Costs on Razors

    by Neal Templin

    For years, I've felt like a sap whenever I bought razors.

    It killed me to spend $2.50 to $3 a blade for my Gillette Mach 3. Yet the few times when I used cheap disposable razors, it was like shaving with a file.

    Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I bought a serviceable store-brand razor that costs about half the price of the premier brands.

    It shouldn't have come to this. I've used Gillette razors for decades, and I like them. The rub is the cost. In my book, a fair price for refills would be about a buck.

    I'm a believer in markets, but it doesn't seem like the razor-blade market gives me what I want. Instead of competing on price, Gillette and Schick largely seem to be engaged in a silly arms race to improve a product that already works perfectly well. Two blades, three blades, four blades -- when will it stop?

    Not anytime soon, apparently. Schick will soon launch its own five-blade razor, and says that prices for it should be 10% to 20% above the Quattro, its four-blade razor that was introduced in 2003.

    Gillette, a unit of Procter & Gamble (PG), got there first. Its Fusion Power MVP -- an early version of which went on sale in 2006 -- has five spring-mounted blades and battery-powered micropulses to reduce friction "so you barely feel the blades." The Gillette Web site has a video of a mechanic with a giant razor blade on a car lift.

    Razor makers, I have news for you. A razor is not a sports car. It won't make us feel young again or turn women's heads. We don't like shaving, and no matter what you do, we never will. All we want is a razor that will do the job without nicking us, either literally or figuratively.

    But Gillette and Schick have a different view. Gillette is constantly doing research and development to create the perfect shave, says Mike Norton, a spokesman. "It's not the number of blades, it's the science behind the blades that gives you a better shave."

    Jackie Burwitz of Energizer Holdings (ENR), which owns Schick, says, "If you look at the sales data, consumers are willing to pay up for a better-performing razor."

    There you have it. There's more money to be made developing fancier and fancier razors than in keeping the same razors and engaging in a price war. In other words, we American males have only ourselves to blame for the five-blade razor.

    Over the years, I've compensated for the rising prices of razor blades by using less of them. Whereas I once might have changed blades every week or so, I now go two or three weeks before popping in a new one.

    A colleague of mine is married to a thrifty Frenchman who waits at least two months before changing razor blades. He has gone as long as six months. When he does change blades, it feels "like a warm knife through butter," says Jean-Philippe Masson, 36 years old. "If you changed every week, you would not appreciate that pleasure."

    That's the French way. The American way, of course, rarely involves denying ourselves something. Instead, we look for a way to get it cheaper.

    Maybe that's why there's a thriving market out there for after-market razors.

    There are people still selling blades for Gillette Trac II, the two-blade razor I used as a young man. A Web site advertised a 100-pack of after-market refills for $49.99. Alas, I haven't owned a Trac II for many years.

    Instead, I went to my local CVS pharmacy, where the chain was pitching its "three-blade shaving system." I paid $12.50 for a razor and 10 blades, bringing my per-blade cost to $1.25.

    I've been trying out the CVS razor for the past couple of weeks. It was just as comfortable as the three-blade Gillette I've used for several years.

    The Gillette might have given me a slightly closer shave than the CVS razor. I really can't say for sure. I can't tell the difference between a great shave and good one. But I can tell the difference between paying $2.50 and $1.25.

    To be fair to Gillette, I agreed to try out its latest, greatest razor. So Gillette sent me a Fusion ProGlide Power razor, a five-blade razor that hits the market in June. It will have a suggested retail price of $12.99 for a razor and two cartridges. A four-pack of refills will cost $17.99.

    I used the new razor over the weekend before sending it back to Gillette. It was a closer shave. But when I finished, the smooth face I saw peering back in the mirror was still my own, not George Clooney's. And I'd still feel like a sap spending $4.50 each time I changed blades.

    So I'm sticking with the CVS razor. Until I find something cheaper.

    Write to Neal Templin at cheapskate@wsj.com
    My karma just ran over your dogma

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  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    12.12.17 @ 06:31 AM
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    I used to wait as long as possible before changing blades, as well, but as one gets older, the beard grows tougher. Cheap blades take me literally about 5x longer than the "butter" of a new blade. Besides, on the cheap blade route, but I end up spending more because I have to buy a replacement sooner for one reason or another. It's like they come pre-dulled and sometimes even pre-rusted -!
    Last edited by E-roc; 03.19.10 at 05:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Good Enough VH Wahoo's Avatar
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    08.31.15 @ 02:01 PM
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    Ah yes, Gillette. Shavers and blades. This was one of our marketing cases back in grad school. Shavers are the loss leaders, while the blades turn all the profit. Once they get you hooked you have to keep coming back for the refills, and as we all know, the blades ain't cheap! Personally, I still use my trusty 'ol twin-blade Sensor Excel. Why anyone would need four, five blades (or more) is beyond me. I did try one of the newfangled ones a while ago, and hated it. Too hard to maneuver around the mustache area, but maybe that's just me.

  4. #4
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    12.12.17 @ 05:10 PM
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    I get about as much enjoyment paying for car insurance as i do razors. I use those fuckers til that blue strip is completely gone.
    Dealing with it.

  5. #5
    Eruption
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    12.12.17 @ 03:10 PM
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    Count me in as one of those suckers that got hooked on the MachIII. I'm also a cheapass that keeps 1 blade on it until it couldn't shave the fuzz off of a peach.
    Has anyone ever seen that As-Seen-On-TV thing that resharpens blades? I've thought about getting one of those.

  6. #6
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    08.19.10 @ 08:10 AM
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    Well, coming from a woman that shaves EVERY SINGLE DAY, go with disposable razors. The 4 blades work the best, and use a new one after every 4 shaves. That will keep you from nicking yourself and prevents razor irritation. Also, get some razor oil (you can pick it up at any beauty supply store), and instead of leaving the razor in the shower, place it in a cup of the oil. It keeps the blades from rusting, and keeps it sharp. It prolongs the life of the razor, and you'll end up saving money in the long run.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 02:44 PM
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    I hate shaving. My neck always gets irritated and breaks out. If I shave down (with the grain), I don't get a close shave (at all, leaves visible stubble), but as soon as I shave against the grain, I get nicks and major irritation. So I started shaving in the shower (helps if any nicks), using fresh blades more frequently (expensive, as noted), shaving sideways along the grain as an accommodation between irritation and closeness, AND, I started shaving every other day - I don't get super heavy/dark growth. That made it merely tolerable.

    I could never use an electric, I tried a couple of times and it just totally busted up my face.

    Then my wife got me a Braun electric maybe 7-8 years ago that has a cleaning fluid that you house the razor in. HOLY SHIT did that make a difference!!! I'm on my second one now. It doesn't give me as close of a shave as a razor going against the grain, but it's closer than going down or across the grain. It takes me longer to shave as I have to keep going over the same area to get it all, but I get a fraction of the irritation. In fact, when I shave every other day, I get a pretty close shave and NO irritation at all. If I shave every day, I get some irritation, but still way less than shaving every other day with a blade. Shaving is now a pain in the ass because of the time it takes vs. any kind of irritation or anything like that.

    No way I'm ever going back to blades.
    Last edited by jrk5150; 03.19.10 at 09:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimmie5150 View Post
    Well, coming from a woman that shaves EVERY SINGLE DAY, go with disposable razors. The 4 blades work the best, and use a new one after every 4 shaves. That will keep you from nicking yourself and prevents razor irritation. Also, get some razor oil (you can pick it up at any beauty supply store), and instead of leaving the razor in the shower, place it in a cup of the oil. It keeps the blades from rusting, and keeps it sharp. It prolongs the life of the razor, and you'll end up saving money in the long run.
    im not sure if i should be aroused by this or not!!!...lol

    I use Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium blades, they last for ages and imo out perform the Gillette Fusion and Mach III that i had previously, the only problem i find with them is the Price and the availability....theres only a few stores where i can get them and they dont always have them....i did find the disposable versions and discovered you can remove the blades and fit them to the regular version and they cost quite a bit less but dont last quite as long, but they do the job when times are hard!!!
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    when are they going to come out with the home laser kit?
    Stay out of it, dude.


    I am Van Halen.

  10. #10
    Future's in the past....
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Was using blades even since I shaved the beard and mustache off last year but finally broke down and bought an electric like I used to have before I had started growing the beard and haven't looked back. No more irritation like I was getting even from the most expensive of blades.
    11/05/78 Hollywood Sportatorium
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    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    I've got dreams in hidden places and extra smiles for when I'm blue.

  11. #11
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    08.19.10 @ 08:10 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    im not sure if i should be aroused by this or not!!!...lol

    I use Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium blades, they last for ages and imo out perform the Gillette Fusion and Mach III that i had previously, the only problem i find with them is the Price and the availability....theres only a few stores where i can get them and they dont always have them....i did find the disposable versions and discovered you can remove the blades and fit them to the regular version and they cost quite a bit less but dont last quite as long, but they do the job when times are hard!!!

    HA! Well, ya know us women have GOT to keep our legs and pits soft and silky.

    I CANNOT STAND ANY stubble. It drives me CRAZY!


    Oh, and there is NOTHING WORSE than kissing a man with stubble....It LOOKS sexy as hell, but HURTS and tears your face UP!
    Last edited by Kimmie5150; 03.19.10 at 10:37 AM.

  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
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    I shave as little as is humanly possible without joining a southern country rock band.

    When I do, I take disposable razors, a bottle of beer and an ashtray into the bathroom.

    Colllateral damage is to be expected.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

    My blog at http://tollins.blogspot.de/

  13. #13
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    I shave as little as is humanly possible without joining a southern country rock band.

    When I do, I take disposable razors, a bottle of beer and an ashtray into the bathroom.

    Colllateral damage is to be expected.
    i imagined you as more of a BFK (big fu**in knife) kinda guy!
    http://www.facebook.com/Tommywho5150

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's


    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  14. #14
    Eruption nicholas_kudochop's Avatar
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    08.08.17 @ 07:08 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrk5150 View Post
    I hate shaving. My neck always gets irritated and breaks out. If I shave down (with the grain), I don't get a close shave (at all, leaves visible stubble), but as soon as I shave against the grain, I get nicks and major irritation. So I started shaving in the shower (helps if any nicks), using fresh blades more frequently (expensive, as noted), shaving sideways along the grain as an accommodation between irritation and closeness, AND, I started shaving every other day - I don't get super heavy/dark growth. That made it merely tolerable.

    I could never use an electric, I tried a couple of times and it just totally busted up my face.

    Then my wife got me a Braun electric maybe 7-8 years ago that has a cleaning fluid that you house the razor in. HOLY SHIT did that make a difference!!! I'm on my second one now. It doesn't give me as close of a shave as a razor going against the grain, but it's closer than going down or across the grain. It takes me longer to shave as I have to keep going over the same area to get it all, but I get a fraction of the irritation. In fact, when I shave every other day, I get a pretty close shave and NO irritation at all. If I shave every day, I get some irritation, but still way less than shaving every other day with a blade. Shaving is now a pain in the ass because of the time it takes vs. any kind of irritation or anything like that.

    No way I'm ever going back to blades.

    I also use an electric...I have no clue why somebody would waste the time and cash on blades. Buy a good quality electric and you'll save time and money in the long run...Yeah, your face will have to adjust to it...but it's worth a shot instead of being a sucker for the marketing and price of the blades.

  15. #15
    5150 LudwigVonDrumCrazy's Avatar
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    08.29.14 @ 12:33 PM
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    I started shaving my head about 6 months ago and I use the Mach 3. Its the best out there for head shaving. BUT....

    jesus, the cost is killing me. I thought I would actually save money not having to use shampoo anymore, but the cost of these razors is out of control.

    5 blades? Thats seems like overkill...

    I think there was a skit on SNL years back about a razor that had like 15 blades. It was hilarious.
    If cleanliness were next to Godliness, then that would make you the devil...(CLUTCH)...

 

 

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