Over the past few months I have received suggestions from people whom I otherwise consider sensible to join the “Dollar Shave Club.” You know, this thing:
Yes, hilarious video. Thanks shavebro, I am thoroughly entertained. I’m sure you and your buds had a great time putting this business idea together in between keg stands, but before I lay down my hard-earned cash, does ordering my razor blades by mail even make sense? Seems like we should clamvestigate, donnit? To the Clammobile!
Yes, I mean my Subaru. No, I don’t know where we’re going. OK, let’s just go back inside and look at the Internet…Sorry.
Here are the three “deals” offered by Dollar Shave Club according to their webzone:
THE HUMBLE TWIN
Five 3-blade cartridges per month
1$/month plus $2 shipping and handling which when added together becomes the symbol known to mathematicians as “3” meaning I have to actually pay $3 dollars per month.
Five 3-blade cartridges a month
$6/month (ships free)
Four 6-Blade cartridges per month
$9/month (ships free)
Wow. What a deal! In comparison, for $7.99 a month you can get access to over 13,000 titles on Nexflix and for $10 a month access to over 20 million songs on Spotify (but no Taylor Swift- feature or bug? Discuss). I’m just not feeling the same greenfield thrill with the razor plan for some reason, but maybe that’s just my digital to physical bias. I’m sure it’s a great value. So let’s compare to the plan I use:
The Market Basket Shave Club for Men and Anyone Else Who Shaves A Lot We Don’t Judge
$1.49/Package of five 3-blade razors sitting on a shelf whenever I want them three miles from my house
Shipping is free because I’m already there buying Cheetos and pushing little old ladies out of the way for the day-old baked goods
Hmm. It would seem I’ve already paid off my investment in the handle, which comes with 2 cartridges, in less than eight weeks. But, come now. Three blades? What kind of man in the 21st century only uses a three-blade razor? It’s akin to saying, “leave me a voicemail” or faxing a Chinese food order over to Midori’s. Actually, that would be pretty funny to see if they even got it, considering they still have a fax # on their menu (side note: How long until it’s hipster to fax stuff? Soon, right?)
So let’s compare plan “C” of the Dollar Shave Club, their “Executive” plan to the high-end plan at The Basket. Let’s call it the:
Shave Club For Guys Who Could Probably Shop at Stop and Shop but Refuse to Put on Actual Pants
$4.39 handle- comes with 2 cartridges of six blade razors
$4.29 per-package with 4 cartridges each.
This is nowhere near $9/month. In fact, it’s twenty bucks cheaper per year than Dollar Shave’s four blade option. And the quality of the MB and Dollar Shave razors seem not only equivalent, but the exact same equipment- I believe the same unit manufactured in Korea by the Dorco corporation of Seocho-dong, Korea. Yes, you read that right: Dorko of Seocho-dong. Magnificent.
Thus if you opt for the “executive” plan you get the privilege of paying over $50 more for the exact same stuff. I guess that is a lot like many “executives” I’ve worked with in the past, spending 1/3 more than necessary because someone made a flashy video. Maybe they could develop a “C-Suite plan” where the razors are endorsed by famous golfers and they advertise in airports next to the expensive watches and “personal wealth managers.” They could charge five times more, would be tax-free and foreign workers would do the actual shaving for pennies on the dollar. SOCIAL COMMENTARY IN THE SHAVING POST- YEAH DAWG!
Look, I understood the concept of wanting access to cheap razors back when the pricing cabal of Schick and Gillette were doing that shitty thing of selling you a handle for three dollars and then charging 11 dollars per package for the blades. Remember when they used to lock them behind the glass at CVS alongside the Sudafed? You could steal either one and then go on to resell the phenylephrine to lowlife meth producers or the blades to the even lower-life kind of person who fences razor blades. Where are you in the criminal hierarchy when you deal in hot disposable grooming products? Do you get the lamest underworld nickname ever like “IN-Grone” or “Folik-L”?
Also by just purchasing razors at the grocery store when I need them I can manage demand. If I have a high need for shaving, say I’m trying to introduce a Bonobo ape to clients as an employee to increase billings, then I’ll need more razors. If I decide to go with the insane wild mountain man look so big with the Leonardos these days, then I’ll need fewer. And thanks to the “Going to Market Basket whenever I feel like it because there is free coffee and Anna in the bakery is cool” system, I can let the demand decide how often I purchase razors not just having them mailed to me on some kind of schedule with no adjustability for my natural or desired hirsuteitude.
Conclusion: Someone help me out here, what am I getting for the extra four dollars a month ahead of the MB plan? I’m perplexed by this whole category, to be honest. What is the benefit of doing this by mail? Not cost, as shown. I’m in Market Basket about once a week anyway, so it’s not access. Do I just do what bros online tell me to do, like wear Birkenstocks and a backwards visor with Vineyard Vines shorts? (Answer: I do not) Is there some critical math or benefit I’m missing? Can I start the “Dorko Dong Shave Club?” and compete with the guys just by buying razors at the Basket and selling them behind the Maplewood 7/11 after having the the word “STUBBL” tattooed on my abdomen in those impossible to read cursive letters?
REALLY, WHY DOES THIS BUSINESS EXIST, I’M AT A TOTAL LOSS.