I am not a big fan of reinventing the wheel, or undertaking change just for sake of making a change. One thing that will nudge me toward change is the satisfaction of a good shave. Though I tend to be rather frugal, when it comes to shaving, I am willing to spend some money. Something about pressing razor-sharp steel against your face will keep you from settling for cheap. Over the years, I have tried straight razors, safety razors, high-end cartridge razors and disposable razors. I’ve tried razors with anywhere from one to five blades.
After years of shaving, I’ve found that more expensive doesn’t always translate into a better shave. For years these plastic, pivot head, disposable Gillette’s have been my default razors.
The 52-razor pack sells at Costco for about $23, which averages out to about 45¢ a razor.
Defying my own “don’t reinvent the wheel” mantra, I gave into some splashy marketing — and a deep discount coupon — and picked up the Gillette Fusion razor.
The Fusion features five blades and a grippy handle. The initial purchase, which includes the handle and two razors heads, is around $8 — 12, depending on where you shop.
The refills will set you back anywhere from $15 for a 4-pack to $40 for a 12 pack. Yikes!
It’s worth nothing that I could get more shaves, and a better shave, from the Fusion blades than I could from the disposable blades. I shave every other day, and can get two good shaves from a disposable razors. I could get a solid week out of each Fusion blade refill. Here’s how the costs breaks down per week.
Gillette Custom Plus disposable — $1.50
Gillette Fusion — $3.75
Given my frugal ways, it should come as no surprise that I returned to the Custom Plus razors. Even though the Fusion provided a better shave, paying twice as much for a shave just didn’t make sense.
Enter Dollar Shave Club
At the beginning of March, I spotted this video for Dollar Shave Club, which was starting going viral.
This video was so funny that I, honestly, didn’t think it was for real. Nevertheless, I was compelled to check out the company’s website. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Dollar Shave Club was not just a spoof video. It is a real company, selling real razors.
Here are the company’s razor offerings.
I was so entertained by this whole thing, that I thought “What the hell?!” I’m gonna order me up some razors. Though the $1 Humble Twin offering tempted me, I was drawn to the middle bear, The 4X. I signed up for an account and placed an order. As soon as the order when through I was met with a follow-up message on the screen that indicated that shipments were backed up because of the overwhelming response by customers. Understandable. It was somewhat reassuring to know that I wasn’t the only one sucked in by that funny video.
I placed my order on March 15, but was forewarned that I wouldn’t get my first shipment of razors until May. Cool. I had just enough of the Gillette Custom disposable razors to get through the end of April. On May 1, I sent an email to Dollar Shave Club just to make sure that I was still going to receive my razors. Someone responded very promptly with an apology for the delay, and explained that the razors would not ship until May 15. To the company’s credit, they offered me two options — wait for the blades or cancel my membership and receive a refund. Customer service is very important to me, and I was impressed. I opted to wait. When I got home on May 21st and there were no blades in my mailbox, I sent another email. (Admittedly, with a bit more of a WTF tone.) Again, someone from the company responded promptly the next morning. Here is the response.
First of all, thank you for your patience over the last 8 weeks. We’re so grateful that you chose to stick with us while we scale our business to meet demand. We know it’s frustrating, and it means a lot to us.
To give you and idea of what’s happening behind the scenes: we’ve been holding orders to ensure that once an order does in fact ship, we’re able to fulfill subsequent shipments flawlessly and on-time on the monthly anniversary. We’ve also changed fulfillment partners so we can meet the demand of the thousands of orders we’re getting everyday.
Long story short, yes packages were fulfilled starting on the 15th, but due to the amount of orders we had to fulfill on that date, your order wasn’t shipped out on the day we promised. I am so sorry about that! However, your first package was indeed sent to shipping–so keep an eye out for it this week! Moving forward, you’ll never have another delay.
Now, you know I let out a big UGH! about being addressed as Matt, but I read on. Again, I was impressed with the responsiveness. I couldn’t help but think, “We’re just talking about some razors here. Nothing life or death.” When I got home that evening, look what was waiting for me.
I can’t remember being so excited to shave. The next morning I tried out the 4X. I got a nice close shave, comparable to what I would get with the Fusion. The razor handle is nicely weighted and grippy. I got four razor refill heads, which works out to 75¢ week. That is a $3 savings per week over the Fusion Razor. In fact, this initial shipment saved me even more money, if you consider that I got the handle and four razor heads for $6. Hopefully, the shipment delays are behind me, and I’ll get my next shipment in about a week. I’m sold. If you are a regular shaver, I definitely recommend giving Dollar Shave Club a shot. If you’re a Dollar Shave Club member, or tried out the razors, please let me know what you think/thought about the razors.
Full Disclosure: Dollar Shave Club has a referral bonus program. If you click any of the company’s links in this post and place an order, I will earn a free month of shaving for each order. Thanks in advance.