Thursday, June 25, 2015

The great shaving ripoff

The Wall Street Journal, yes, the Wall Street Journal, shined a spotlight on the shaving industry and discovered that gasp, using the internet is better and cheaper than following King Gillette.

The online market for razorblades barely existed a few years ago, yet Americans have taken to it quickly: Web sales of men’s shaving gear in the U.S. have nearly doubled in the 12 months through May to $263 million, according to estimates from Slice Intelligence, a market research firm.

That is about 8% of the roughly $3 billion market and a big surprise to people who follow the market.

“It’s kind of incredible that happened all in a year,” said Tim Barrett, analyst at Euromonitor International, a research firm.

The pace continues to quicken. In the first five months of 2015, online sales amounted to $141 million, more than double that a year ago, according to Slice.

The shift in shopping habits has caught market leader Gillette off balance. The brand’s U.S. online sales are rising quickly, but rivals are growing faster. ....

The Procter & Gamble Co. unit commands more than 60% of the much bigger but contracting retail market. In the growing online market, it controls just a fifth of the pie.

The mismatch is forcing a number of adjustments at Gillette. Among them, Gillette is now trying to compete on value, a shift for a business that has long pulled in premium prices for its five-bladed cartridges and swivel-head razors.

The online leader is Dollar Shave Club. Three years ago the company was an untested startup with provocative videos in which CEO Michael Dubin said, “Our blades are f------ great.” But it has built an audience for its monthly mailings of blades in plain cardboard envelopes with the promise that subscribers will save money over the leading brands.....

P&G has responded by ramping up promotion of its Gillette Shave Club’s online subscription plans.

It claims men can spend significantly less on its razorblades—around $5 a month for its priciest Fusion ProGlide blades, compared with $9 a month for Dollar Shave’s top plan, which includes shipments of four cartridges with six blades each.

But Gillette’s math presumes users change cartridges only once a month, with an average of three to four shaves a week. Otherwise, its blades are a lot more expensive—around $5 apiece for its top of the line, five-bladed Fusion ProGlide compared with $2.25 for Dollar Shave Club’s six-bladed Executive....

Rob Springer, a 37-year-old who works for a granite company in Atlanta, said he shaves three or four times a week and used to buy Gillette Fusion five-bladed cartridges before he signed up for a Dollar Shave Club subscription last October.

“The Gillette razors were wonderful, but the problem was that they were around $20 for a pack of four,” he said, adding each blade lasted him only a week. “It’s done in a week, no matter what brand I use,” said Mr. Springer, who sports a beard and shaves his head and neck. He now pays $6 monthly for a set of four cartridges..... Rest of article.

Kingfish note: No kidding.  Use a Merkur safety razor. The classic version is $25.  The razor will last for years- nothing like good German steel.  Merkur or Feather platinum blades are $6 to $7 for a box of ten on and they are better than the Gillette razors that resemble souped-up Sopwith Camels.


Stiptic Pencil said...

So, Brett Favre is right after all!

Anonymous said...

Get a good Norelco (Phillips) electric and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Kingfish plan a couple of years ago and now I kind of enjoy shaving. I paid a little more and got the adjustable Merkur, but could have done the basic version. is my source.

Johnny said...

I tried 'em all many times. Never satisfied. Along came Harry's. Tried it. Love it. Best shave ever. Blades are cathedral cut and honed. Very close shave, no nicks and you don't spend a bundle! Harry's applies the right amount of pressure at the correct angle. Harry's blades last well over 2-3 weeks shaving every day. Also super service. These people are serious about high quality, fast service at a very reasonable cost.

Anonymous said...

I agree....Harry's is the way to go. Great product and service at a very reasonable price.

Anonymous said... has the best DE razors I have used at great prices.
KF, try the Astra Platinum blades. I find they shave far smoother than Feather and last a heck of a lot longer. They are also about 9 bucks per 100 off Flea Bay. Now I'm hoping you are using a good shave soap and brush? Nothing beats Arko shave soap sticks from Turkey!(eBay) Nothing. Paired with a decent brush it's out of this world. I assume you finish off with an alum block and some Clubman Pinot?

Real Men Don't Have These Discussions said...

What will you little boys discuss next? The best bath houses? Pastel underwear? Nail salons?

Anonymous said...

@12:36 Astra Keramic (that is how they were spelled) were even better than the platinum blades, but they no longer make those.

Anonymous said...

I started shaving in 1970. Bought a Wilkinson for $2.50. It had a $3 rebate, so they paid me fifty cents to take it. That was a great little razor. Smooth, no cuts. About 5 years later they stopped making the blades. Don't know why, they were great. Then I paid what seemed like a great sum $8 for a Trac II. Forty years later I still use it every day. The blades cost $1.50/ea and last me about two weeks. Looks like the online thing is taking off because many people were paying too much for blades, but they did not have to. I don't.

Anonymous said...

Did Dollar Shave Club and wasn't impressed, but Harry's is the real deal. Much nicer blades, handle, etc.

Anonymous said...

The Harrys handle I bought is too slippery to use.

Anonymous said...

I saw this on CBS Sunday Morning last year: When you finish saving, rinse the razor thoroughly in hot water, dry it with a towel, then put in back in the holder upside down (blades facing up). Blades will stay sharp for months. Believe it or not, this really works. I have been using the same Gillette Fusion blade since January.

Anonymous said...

Trust me on this: Go to Harry's website and order their $15 special. Blades made in Germany.

And also buy a top-of-the line Braun electric razor with a self-cleaning base. Forget everything else. (I've been shaving for a looong time

P.S. Buy a bottle of Williams' Lectric Shave to use with your electric razor.

Anonymous said...

12:36, you are right! I have about 50 I have ratted away.

REAL men groom with REAL blades and it shows, 8:31 AM. Now go drown your dateless angst in another half gallon of Rocky Road.

Anonymous said...

If you want a better value than Dollar Shave Club, look at ordering directly from Dorco. DSC buys their blades from Dorco, brands them, and sells them at a markup. You can get them absurdly cheap at Dorco and can usually use an online promo code to get them even cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Finally! I think the Dork-Oh post says it all. Men who have nothing more to do than pull their puds and sit in a sauna discussing razors are just right for Belhaven and Fondren.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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