is the latest move by Gillette to keep their relevance with all of the competing mens shave clubs. It's a good move that will likely benefit the consumer, but will you really save money by signing up? The short answer is no, so before you sign up you might want to give this a read.
A bit of a history lesson to understand where all of this shaving business started and where it is going today.
The Gillette company has been in the razor business for over 100 years. They transformed the shaving industry by introducing and patenting the first Safety Razor. This was a huge improvement to shaving and when introduced most shaving was done with straight razors. Safety Razors are making a huge comeback today, but that's another article.
In the 1970's Gillette introduced what we know now as the cartridge razor, which is most likely what type of razor you have in your bathroom. Over the past 40 years Gillette has dominated this market and their prices have reflected their domination.
Men and women were paying crazy prices for the cartridge razors and replacement cartridge blades of their most famous razors. These are the Gillette Mach 3 and Gillette Fusion razors.
Mens Shave Club Revolution
A few years back a company called the Dollar Shave Club came along with witty advertisements poking fun at the high cost of razors and convincing customers to switch for a more attractive subscription based model. This new mens shave club model was born. It grew rapidly and I'm sure Gillette felt the hard hit and sinking margins on their business as a result.
It took a little bit 4 years to be exact before Gillette fought back. It's clear with the name Gillette Shave Club they are jumping on the mens shave club band wagon.
Registration Date: 2011-01-18
Registration Date: 2015-04-23
Shave Club Comparison
Let's compare what you get with and without the shave club and see if it makes sense to sign up.
All of the pricing is current as of January 2017 and our focus will be on the Gillette Mach3 plan on their website. We will compare the cost against a few major retailers carrying Gillette products.
It was extremely difficult to do an apples to apples comparison. I'm pretty sure this is not by accident. By creating unique products and different quantities and combinations comparing is not so simple.
Most consumers will not spend the time to do such a comparison, so we did the dirty work and now present you with the shave club comparison.
A few important points to make note of:
Gillette claims that their cartridges last about 1 month each assuming use of 3 to 4 times per week. It translates into 12 blades per year for the average shaver.
Once you have the handle it should last the entire year, so no need to replace it.
Frequency - You can choose monthly, 2, 3, 4, 5, or every 6 months. Shipping is included in the price.
The first shipment you'll receive the following
Mach3 Turbo Razor - $5-6 value
5 Razor blade refills - $11.50 - $15.00 value
1 can of shaving gel- $2.99 value
Total Value = $19.49 - $23.99. Not bad considering the cost is $17.45, but wait there is more
Next month you'll get the refills without the razor or shaving gel. Month 2-6 value = $11.50 - $15.00. It looks like we are paying Gillette back for the Razor and Shaving Gel. The replacement blades are $3.49 each
For the entire year you'll need a total of 12 blades, but since they come in shipments of 5 the math doesn't work out as nice. Initial Shipment - $17.45 that should last for 5 months. Month 6 you'll pay another $17.45 for the next 5 replacement blades. You can't buy just two blades, but we will assume you can just to be nice and pay $3.49 each.
Total annual shaving expenses directly from Gillette - $41.88.
Too many options here and many others listed on the Walmart.com website. I only mentioned the most relevant options, but feel free to go and check for yourself to see what combos you can create.
No subscription box here, so we will just buy everything we need to cover the year.
The best bet on Amazon is the Turbo Mach3 Turbo razor @ $5.69 which includes the razor handle and cartridge blade. We will add on another $28.02 for 12 blades (finally we can buy 12 for the year instead of 15). The only thing left is the shaving gel.
Don't buy the shaving gel on Amazon because the price is crazy, so you'll need to get it at Walmart or use something else. We will keep the retail price here just so we are comparing apples to apples with Gillette @ $2.99.
Drum Roll Please......
The grand total on Amazon is $36.70 making it the cheapest option available.
I created many hypothetical options above, but it was in order to figure out is Gillette Shave club worth it. My conclusion is that if you really want to use Gillette cartridge razors you are better off buying the razor and blades on Amazon and not signing up for any silly subscription box service.
Shaving for 1 year for less than $40 really isn't all that bad.