Due to the enormous pressure by all the people who visit my site and wondered if I yet live, here I am, posting once again, to prove that I am, indeed, alive.
First things first. Wordpress keeps going through updates, and that’s just great. Just… great. Except it keeps getting slower. ZOMG it’s driving me crazy – I’m going to need dedicated hosting just to run WordPress. But whatever, it works and I’m not going to go through yet another migration for the sake of eking out a smidgen of speed. Meh!
Anyway, I ran into something rather interesting tonight. Here we go.
I hate shaving. That’s not true, I don’t really hate shaving – it’s not terrible. I do it in the shower and it works out pretty good. What I hate… what I hate… is paying $22 (or more) for a pack of razors for my Gillette Super Mega Spaceship Lasersword Razor Extreme Fusion 12. To whit – I use my razors way, way longer than I probably should. This causes discomfort while shaving, which in turn means I am less likely to shave, which in turn means I get to sport a sweet beard. This is a win-win-win situation.
But sometimes I dig the shaved look. Takes a few years off (especially now that my chin has gone grey) and it just feels good. But man, those blades… those blades… they’re just so damned expensive.
My recent obsession with economics and efficiency has led me to many, many cool places as I search for more economical methods to do things (read: efficient in cost of resources, both financial and in pure effort). I’m keenly interested in taking a step back and away from this unbelievably ‘disposable’ mentality that we seem to have evolved into. Not really looking at going full survivalist here, but definitely trying to keep my eyes open for opportunities to explore increased self-sufficiency, or at least reduce waste.
So, during one of my weekly forays into the nest of ridiculous memes and self-indulgent status updates that is Facebook, I noted a curious ad for something called the Dollar Shave Club. Instantly my ear (just one) perked up and I made a fox noise (if you don’t know what that sounds like, you need to hear a song…) I clicked on the link and was led to a hilariously hipster website featuring a promo video filled to brimming with irreverent humor and cool retro fonts. I can dig it. Here, take a moment and check it out.
The message? Stop paying all that money for razor blades! For a few dollars a month (as few as 2, and as many as 9) you can have razor blades delivered to your door! What!? That’s just crazy. I pay more than that for Netflix (I think?) and that’s nowhere near as entertaining! Well, whatever, I clearly needed to investigate this, as I’m also a huge believer in the old adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Well, it is. But not for the reasons you think.
The products they offer are, apparently, quite good. From what “the interweb people” say, as good as (or maybe even better than!) those name-brand razors. Cool, right? And cheap – way cheaper than spending $22 (or more!) every month on razors. I thought so too. $9 every month versus $22 (or more!) Great deal. But just like everyone who runs across a great deal, I started doing research. That’s when I ran across a couple of super interesting articles about the Dollar Shave Club… articles that exposed the one thing those guys probably didn’t want everyone to know: Who their supplier is.
Enter Dorco. Aside from having a terrible company name (dork-co? Really?), they provide the exact same product as Dollar Shave Club, and for a fraction of the price. Profit margin? Yup. Check this article out. Now, I checked the math in the article (more or less) and my total came up a little higher than $29 (to the tune of $35) but it’s close enough for government work, and I’m sure Dorco has started jacking up prices now that they’re getting more exposure. Point is, even if you’re not getting ‘wholesale’ or bulk pricing from Dorco (God, I really hate that name) you’re still saving a nice little chunk of change by going straight to the supplier and skipping the profiteering middle-man.
Sorry Dollar Shave Club guy. It’s nothing personal. It’s just that your competitive advantage is that you’ll be sending me blades every month, instead of me having to keep them conveniently located in a box. Hm. And for this I’m paying you more? Nah. A man’s gotta have his lattes, and those things are expensive!
Even Lifehacker mentions the Dollar Shave Club (and Dorco!). Doh! I kinda feel a little bad for the CEO of Dollar Shave Club. He was gonna make millions. I mean, everbody has to shave, right? And soon he’d even offer a ladies’ razor for, you know, the ladies! Man, it was gonna be so awesome.
So that’s cool. Now you can really save on razors an’ stuff, and shave for cheap, and stay all clean-shaven year-round if that’s your thing. Yes! You’re so welcome…
But that’s not all… mwaaahahahahahah! Because then I remembered the straight-razor I bought like, 15 years ago with the intention of shaving my face with it. What’s more economical than using a sweet straight razor to shear the beard? Actually, nothing. But for a tiny, tiny bit more money one can use a double-edge (DE) safety razor to get an equally close shave, and it’s easier to use (i.e. less actual effort and learning, which probably translates to not having to visit the emergency room with a slit throat). Plus it has old-school appeal which, as we all know, is pretty much the reason I do everything. So what’s the deal behind all that? Oh, well, you’ll just have to read all about it when next I post… and hopefully that won’t be in another six months. 😉