Monday, November 11, 2013

Razor Blade Prices Growing Faster Than Whiskers. What's Up?

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. That's a 345% mark up. (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

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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?

Why Are Razors So Darn Expensive?

Because shaving is a science.

By  | Hub Health | 

[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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