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Razor Blade Prices Growing Faster Than Whiskers

What is up with the price of razor blades? 

There are few cheap plastic items as horribly expensive as razor blades.

It’s insane! Gentleman, where is your outrage? If these prices keep rising the length of women’s skirts and dresses will have to fall. It’s time for consumers to ask some pointed questions of companies like Gillette and Schick?

By some estimates the simple act of shaving our face can cost as much as a dollar per shave. I have been shopping for Gillette Mach 3 blades but can’t bring myself to cough up $24 bucks for eight cartridges. I went shopping again today and was shocked when I saw the unit price for them is $291 per hundred. The 4 blade Fusion cartridges are $180 more per hundred, or $469.75/ hundred.

I started looking around on the internet and discovered that the prices of these stupid plastic razors has been soaring everywhere, even in the United Kingdom. By one account on a British Website the cost of razor blades has climbed by 99% three years to as much as £3.49 (or $5.59 US) per cartridge. According to that article in costs Gillette less than 10p (about 16 cents) to make. (see below)

If you listen to business analysts or industry spokes persons it is either brand loyalty or the high cost of shaving research and marketing expences that is driving up the cost. I don’t believe it. I suspect something akin to price fixing is behind it all. I think it is time for someone to investigate the shaving industry to see why the costs are skyrocketing.

The great razor rip off: Prices of blades soar by up to 99% in just three years

By SEAN POULTER

PUBLISHED: 18:26 EST, 27 April 2012

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2136440/The-great-razor-rip-Prices-blades-soar-99-just-years.html#ixzz2kJ3Yy3wM
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

The price of razor blade cartridges has surged by as much as 99 per cent in just three years – driving many men to adopt designer stubble. The cartridges cost less than 10p to make, but shoppers are being charged as much as £3.49 each. The biggest player, Gillette, has imposed a stealth price rise by cutting the number of replacement cartridges in its Mach3 Turbo packs from five to four. [snip]

 

Allure Man Asks: Why Are Razor Blades So Damn Expensive?

If you, like me, can remember a time before razor blades were kept behind the drugstore counter along with the cigarettes and other controlled substances, then you probably also share my amazement at just how much they cost. A four-pack of Gillette Fusion Power razor cartridges retails for $19.49 at Walgreens. That’s, what, $4.87 for a week’s worth of shaves? Outrageous!

I put this question to Jeff Raider, a cofounder of Harry’s, a new online retailer that offers shaving supplies similar in quality to the major brands but at half the price: How did razor blades become fetish objects? All of the good ones, he says, are made from similar high-grade steel, which is then precision-milled to produce a blade that’s thick at the bottom, where it’s anchored to the plastic cartridge that clips onto your razor, yet thin as a single hair at the top, where it mows down morning stubble. “The steel is a very expensive product, but the real magic of a fine razor blade is how it’s ground,” says Raider.[snip]

Good Question: Why Are Razor Blades So Expensive?

October 21, 2013
http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/10/21/good-question-why-are-razor-blades-so-expensive-2/

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It can cost us anywhere between $20 and $30 dollars just to shave the hair from our faces or legs. Sometimes, the price of the razor blades is more expensive than the razors themselves.

So, why are razor blades so expensive? Good Question. [snip] Erin Lash is a senior equity analyst at Morningstar, anindependent investment research firm. She covers Gillette (owned by Proctor & Gamble), one of the the two dominant players in the razor market.  Schick (owned by Energizer Holdings, Inc.) is the other company.

Lash says part of the reason razor blades are so expensive is because consumers are loyal to the brand.

“Once you buy a particular razor, there’s no substitution for the razor blade,” she said. “Companies have a great ability to charge up for the blade once you’re locked into the actual product,” she said.[snip

Why Are Razors So Darn Expensive?

Because shaving is a science.

By  | Hub Health | August 9, 2013
[snip] “The complexity, length of time, and the cost of the [research and development] process is what factors into cost,” Vanoosthuyze says. “It looks so simple and so intuitive, yet it is so complex in its design and development process. The small details and dimensions go far beyond what the naked eye can see. For the ProGlide, to give you an idea of the scale of consumer testing that we do, 30,000 guys were involved in testing the innovation process,” she says.

So let’s do the math. In the photo above, a women’s package of razors costs $18.79 for five cartridges. If each cartridge lasts about a week, that comes out to about 54 cents a shave. Seems pricey, but what exactly goes into making a razor? Those stainless steel blades that you see are only a small part of the final product. [snip]

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4 Comments

  1. avwalters says:

    I’ve been laughing about razor technology for years. I’m old enough to have used the old flip open top safety razors (and had relatives who swore by (and sometimes at) straight blades. I remember the Track II revolution–two blades to cut for a super close shave. Then, Track III. In the store recently I noticed they’re still multiplying efficiency with multiple blades. I don’t follow the issue, I’m not very hairy and too old to care much. I think the vertical marketing argument–captive audience to a particular blade fit–best explains the gouge. It your brand doesn’t make the cut–there are always beards.

  2. Valy says:

    Have you ever considered anddig more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out! I love what you guys are always up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information.. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.

  3. Frank says:

    I was absolutely flabbergasted to find out how much razor blades cost now. For the last 25 years I’ve used a Norelco Triple Head electric razor. Gone through four of them. When the rotating cutting blades finally start yanking more rather than cutting, it’s always been cheaper just to buy a new one rather than replacement cutting heads! And get this, the price has stayed the same for the lowest-end model with the pop up sideburn trimmer for that 25-year period — $39.95!!! And the last one I got a month ago is a corded and rechargeable one.

    Holy cow, I remember when tennis player John MacEnroe started hawking the Bic disposable single-blade razor. They were incredibly cheap! Then the Gillette Trac II came out. Cost more than the Bic but they were still cheap!

    I’ve heard the radio commercials about shave clubs where you buy razor blades direct from Germany and wondered what that was all about. Then I saw the current prices of razor blades!

    Seriously, anyone still shaving with blades has a major hole in their heads!!!

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