Razor blade subscriptions—are they worth it?

With all of my blog posts discussing how my writing progress is coming along or whining about how I’m not progressing with writing, I figured I would delve into the “mundane life stuff” category that it turns out that some people actually like me doing.* This time I’m going to review razor blades and a couple of services that I’ve used to deliver blades to my mailbox.

As I’m reviewing products I was hoping that I could take some pictures so I could fancy this blog up a bit. Unfortunately, I still can’t get my digital camera and this new laptop on speaking terms, and any pictures taken with my phone only look good on my phone. So, here’s a generic picture of shaving that you can pretend is me testing the blades.

I was sucked in by the promise of the Dollar Shave Club a while back. Delivering products to the home, including razors, isn’t new. Subscription services aren’t new. However, delivering razor blades to the home on a regular basis is still an intriguing idea for somebody lazy like me. But it wasn’t primarily the convenience that got to me. For years I used to use Gillette Mach 3 (usually, though not exclusively Turbo) blades all the time. They worked great but they were starting to get real expensive. The supposedly comparable cartridges from the DSC were only a few bucks a month for a pack of four. Why not try it?

I like the way the company presents itself. I really like the environmentally packaging that the cartridges come in. And they always have a cute little magazine each time to read in the bathroom. Unfortunately, the blades don’t work nearly as well as the Mach 3’s. They even have one more blade in each cartridge, but it didn’t make a difference. The quantity of the blades didn’t make up for the quality. At worst I was cutting my skin more often than before. At best I just wasn’t getting a good shave.

The other problem I had was that the pack of four wasn’t quite enough for monthly shipments. Even if I stuck to a blade a week that’s not quite enough for each week of the month, and that’s counting on when the blades were actually delivered on time. Sure, I could have ordered an extra pack of four, but then I would play the game of trying to even out cartridges with monthly shipments and it would just get to be a hassle.

Still, there was the cost. Whereas the cheapest I found for Gillette blades in stores hovers around ten dollars (and that is the really cheap end of things), the DSC blades were six. And that low price for the Gillette was at the closeout store where I work, on the random occasions that we actually had any in stock. Couldn’t I find a better alternative to DSC?

I ended up finding a better deal on Amazon. They offer ten packs of Gillette Mach 3 blades as one of their “Subscribe & Save” items. Not only is the cost cheaper than buying the blades in stores, it actually comes out to be less per cartridge than those offered by the DSC. Plus, they come in packs of ten, which I can set to receive every two months. As a result, I get better blades for less and for as often as I need them. Not only that, but they’re delivered first class, which guarantees that I get them on time. I’m not trying to be an Amazon fanboy—I cancelled my Prime free trial**—but this seemed like a no-brainer.

I like the idea of the DSC but I was dissatisfied with how it turned out. I haven’t bothered trying Harry’s. But that’s okay. I can still shave with my preferred blades and for less.

*That, and I still haven’t finished reading the book for this week’s review. I hope the expectations of it aren’t getting higher as the week goes on.

**And then I had to cancel the membership after that. It turns out that even by cancelling the free trial, I didn’t cancel my membership starting after the thirty day trial period. There was a separate box that I had to check. At least I was able to catch it in time to get a full refund of the hundred bucks. Still, that’s a pretty stupid setup.


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