Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shaving for Less: Not That Hard

Short-short version: Dorco = Dollar Shave Club for a lot less.

Lately, there have been a lot of people telling me I should switch to dollar shave club to save money on razors. When I thought about this proposal, it didn't overwhelm me. I have been using the same disposable razors for about 10 years. Whenever I start to run low, I wait for a good deal online or at my local store and I stock up. I never thought too hard about how much each razor was costing until now.

I decided to examine the cost of shaving a little more closely. I know that in the checkout-isle, there's usually a small package of razor blades with a really high markup intended to catch would-be buyers who forgot to put razor blades on their shopping list only to remember they need some while waiting in line. Ignoring these obviously bad deals, how much does the average replacement cost? Using amazon as a baseline price I found that the popular Gillette, Schick, and knock-off Personna replacements are all around $1-2 per cartridge (you can double check my work with the links below). This is without looking for coupons or seeking out the best deals. Looking into my own buying history I found that the last time I purchased replacements I paid $11.99 for 16 3-blade cartridges (about 75 cents per replacement).
Pretty nifty razor.

At the time of writing, these three options were the top result for each brand and were between $1 and $2 per cartridge.

So how much does dollar shave cost in comparison? From their website, you get three options which I'll refer to as low, mid, and high for the low-end 2-blade option, the mid-range 4-blade option, and the high-end 6-blade option. For low, you get 5 cartridges for under $3 (I found from other sources that $1+s/h is about $3; I don't know for sure without logging in). For mid you get 4 for $6, and for high you get 3 for $9.
this works out to be $0.60 for low, $1.50 for mid, and $3 for high.

The low option seems to be the only money-saving option and not much of a savings really when you consider that they will ship you 5 replacements a month - more than I ever use in a month, for sure. Additionally, the low option is for a 2-blade razor and you can find 12-pack of twin-blade Bic razors for about $0.30 each.

More or less, the mid and high are on par with the quality you get from any name brand razor. So it really comes down to preference. But, if you do prefer the dollar shave razors over the others, you might consider going to the source: Dorco. Below you can see the Dorco brand razors on the left and the dollar shave razors on the right.

Notice how similar they are? It's almost as if you are getting the same thing. Maybe its because you are.

If you want either of these options sold by dollar shave, you can pick them up for a significant discount by ordering them on amazon or direct from Dorco. I found the high model for as little as $0.68 per cartridge on the Dorco website. That's basically a years supply for what you would pay in 3 months from dollar shave!

In conclusion, dollar shave club will not save you money unless you are the type of person that always forgets to buy razors and foolishly pick up the pack in the checkout line.

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