Dollar Shave Club: why didn’t I think of this?

This week I discovered a Santa Monica, CA, based startup called As the company name says, they will send you five swiveling twin-blade aloe-stripped blades every month for one dollar. I have some clients who are trying this out and I’ll get a report back as to how reliable the service is and how good the blades are. Investors have put millions into the company.

I know one thing: their online ad is pretty funny.

I even like the gangsta disco music they used in the ad. Check out the Dollar Shave Club website and let me know what you think.

old Gillette razor blade packageWhat do I think? Maybe Gillette should be worried. Around 1900, a salesman named King Gillette came up with the idea of disposable razor blades. At first, he couldn’t sell the blades for as much money as it cost to make them, but then he had a wacky idea: he would give away the shiny new razor handles. If people wanted to use the free handles, they would have to continually buy the disposable Gillette blades. After a few months of blade sales, the cost of the handle was covered. And King Gillette got rich. That’s Big Razor Money.

gillette fusionNowadays, Gillette’s strategy has continued on. The company is constantly releasing new models along with marketing campaigns geared toward making people with last year’s model feel like they’re no longer, well, on the cutting edge. Gillette’s current top-of-the-line model has five blades; actually, six if you count the extra trimmer blade on the back. And refill blades are $4. Yes, $4 each.

When will the madness end? According to a recent article in The Economist magazine, a mathematical projection predicts that razors with 14 blades will be introduced in 2100. I’d bet it won’t even take that long.

I’m thinking that is what we all need. As DollarShaveClub Mike says, “Stop payin’ for shave tech you don’t need!” Maybe the new money in razors comes a buck at a time…

1 Comment

  1. MikeyApril 3, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Greg – I signed up for the “Humble Twin” blade offer. I got the blades and a nice handle in the mail last week. Blades look very similar to the Gillette twin blade/aloe strip blades I had been using (and even fit the Gillette handle). Blades are definitely good for at least a week.

    It’s nice to know that I can pop in a new blade every Monday of the month and that five more blades will just magically appear in my mailbox. The cost turned out to be $3 per month with shipping but still it looks like a good deal. I’ll end up paying $36 per year for blades and won’t have to make a trip to buy them at Costco any more.

Comments or questions?