Dollar Shave Club: Convenient, Not Ultra-Cheap

The Dollar Shave Club, which sends a monthly supply of razors through the post so you never run out, has launched an Australian service. It's a bargain source of razors — but it isn't the cheapest out there.

The name is somewhat deceptive even in the US: once you've paid for postage, you're spending more than $1 a month on blades. In Australia, there are three plans:

  • The Humble Twin, which costs $4 a month with 5 included twin-blade cartridges;
  • The 4X, which costs $7 a month with 4 included four-blade cartridges;
  • The Executive, which costs $10 a month with 3 included four-blade cartridges;

When you sign up, you get the razor itself plus a fixed number of blades: in subsequent months, you only get the blades. (If you switch to a different plan, you'll get a replacement handle as well.) You keep receiving blades until you cancel the subscription, but there's no minimum contract.

$4 a month seems cheap when you contemplate the $20+ price tag you'll often see on replacement blades for big-name razors. But you need to compare like with like. A quick scan of the prices at my local Woolworths suggests plenty of cheaper options at the twin-blade level. A 20-pack of Home Brand disposables is $6.48 (the equivalent quantity of Humble Twin would be $16). Stepping up a notch, a 10-pack of Bic Disposables is $4.12.

The main razors pushed by Schick and Gillette in Australia have 3 and 5 blades, which makes direct comparisons difficult. However, Schick does produce a 4-pack of Quattro blades for around $15, which is notably more expensive than the Dollar Shave Club offering. Prices for the 5-blade options are higher (and you can pay even more for electric options like the Schick Hydro Power 5, but I wasn't very taken with that.) At this level, Dollar Shave Club starts looking competitive — but you do need to test out the razor for yourself. Shaving is a highly personal experience, and what works brilliantly for one bloke is often rubbish with someone else.

As regular readers will know, I'm rocking a beard at the moment, so I'm not going to test Dollar Shave Club for a while. If you do give it a try, tell us about it in the comments.

Dollar Dhave Club [via OzBargain]


Comments

    Want to shave on the cheap? Buy a double edged safety razor and pay just cents for your blades.
    I bought a pack of 200 blades for $20 earlier this year...Each blade lasts 5-6 shaves, at the rate I'm going through them I'll be replenishing sometime in late 2014.

      I tried that a couple of years ago. Honestly, I prefer the five blade razors, I used to use Shick then I switched to a few others. Frankly, for $9 and an Australian company aussieshave.com has got my business.

        I use www.aussieshave.com too and was with them since they appeared on 2gb. I don't get why there is a whole news story that doesn't mention a large Australian company.

        The five blade razor I use is really great. It isn't as pretty as Gillette but shaves the same. Best of all is the delivery as I don't have to buy them any more from Coles. Even the Coles brand is more expensive than www.aussieshave.com

        I'm not sure about the us club. Other than a funny video, why should I change m blade again? Also the fact it is Australian makes me want to stick with them. If they have tens of thousands of subscribers then I'd like to see more reviews. Anyone else a member of www.aussieshave.com

      Definitely! Cheaper and more effective. You do have to change your shaving style though. The quick-clogging multi-blade razors allow you to more or less hack at your face with little chance of harm, but with a DE razor you really need to use light strokes and shave 2-4 times. Yes it takes longer, but still only a few minutes each morning.

      Hutchaye, can you post a link? My barber shaves me with a similar razor I just never knew where to purchase it.

    I think the $10 a month was 3 six bladed cartridges, not 3 four blade

    The bit that stumps me how many blades per month they are offering. 3-5 per month depending on the blade type.

    A standard Gillette Mach3 cartridge lasts me 3 weeks, and a Fusion5 lasts 4 (I have both but only use 1 at a time). Based on their 4x cart they are saying 1 week roughly, and just over that for the Executive.

    The Mach3 8 pack costs $34.71 or $4.34 per cartridge putting me at $6.27 per month. Even the Fusion Proglide are only 7.05 per cartridge which is cheaper than their $10 a month plan.

    Does anyone that gets Gillette brand razors actually change their blades every week?

      I pretty much do, but i shave my head.

      I also don't use shaving cream, so a razor needs to be a tiny bit sharper for my liking.

        This gets a little personal, but why don't you use shaving cream? wouldn't that pull / hurt more? keen on trying if its a better shave or better for skin.

          I shave as soon as i get out of the shower, lathering up your head is a pain and doesn't really make a difference. I really just got used to it after i moved to shaving oil, yes it is less comfortable but it is way faster. As the blades get more blunt and the lubricant strip wears out I will use some shaving oil to make it a bit better.

          I still use oil if I am shaving without a shower first.

        Yeah seriously dude, the cream is to lubricate the blade. Makes it much, much easier and less painful.

      No not me, I have a fusion and I basically wait until it's blunt. Once it hurts to shave, I change the blades. I have to shave about twice a week, maybe 3 times if I'm trying to look spiffy and they last me about 6 weeks to 2 months a blade.

      I'm not the hairiest person though.

      I actually have to shave every day which is odd considering, but the website does have an option to get the blades every second month instead of every month, its all personal, i've decided to give it a go and see how it is, i mean no point judging it straight off since no one has tried it. no lock in contracts so its not like i cant leave whenever

      $6.27 a month, that is crazy. It costs me $1.20 a month with a safety razor that takes DE blades. Less irritation, cleaner smoother shave and a lot cheaper.

      @lutomes - yes, I actually have to change my Gillette Fusion blade about every 5 days. I do shave my face, chest/belly, and of course the family jewels (almost every day). I've been intrigued by the dollar shave club for a while now, but haven't pulled the trigger just yet. Wanted to read some real life opinions of the quality of the shave. What concerns me is that my skin happens to get irritated fairly easily with blades that are a week old, and after reading blogs on the Dollar Shave Club's blade performance, I am not convinced their blades are on par with Gillette. Kinda sucks, I was looking forward to a cheaper-equal shave, as the Dollar Shave Club claims.

    This is just a copy of the Australian site www.aussieshave.com. I saw them on Today Tonight and have been subscribing for a few months. I buy the $9 six-blade razor and it is just as good as Gillette. It isn't a new idea

    They offer a blade for $1 which is called the 'Bloke" and a three blade razor the Triple X too.

    I got this email in the morning for a discount if anyone wants to use the discount code:

    We are now open for business throughout Australia – its simple to join the revolution!

    1. Go to www.aussieshave.com
    2. Choose your Quality Razor and register on the site.
    3. When you ‘review’ your order in the delivery comments box enter the discount code: Aussie

    and receive your loyalty bonus valid until December 14th at 5pm EST.

      No, it isn't a new idea -- but in this instance it would be appear to be AussieShave.com doing the copying. That site was registered in July 2012; Dollar Shave Club has been running in the US since July 2011.

        You can't be too careful, you know how sneaky those fancy american razor resellers are, with their fancy time machines to swipe your idea before you ever swiped it from them in the first place.

        Not to mention - I'm sure as hell not buying anything from a company that sees fit to buy and/or feature in a Today Tonight puff piece.

        Edit - In fact, weren't they called OzDollarShave before? And they had an advertisement that was not only pretty clearly a rip-off of the American advertisements, and all but directly accused the American Dollar Shave Club of stealing their idea, despite the US site starting earlier? I recall reading that they changed the name "as so to prevent confusion with Dollar shave club", but I strongly suspect that someone got some legal nastygrams about that one.

        Also, Bruce, you creep me out a little, man. You have that stilted, ever-so-slightly-off manner of writing that reminds me of marketing, since marketers generally a)Have to hit a series of points like price, discounts, product names, so on, and the fake testimonial is an extraordinarily common tactic and b)Have been steeped in marketing bollocks so long that they have no longer have any idea how normal human beings actually talk.

        Last edited 06/12/12 2:15 pm

          I read in the Australian that aussieshave.com actually cloned razwar.com a European site. It seems dollarshaveclub copied razwar too.

            Yes, Bruce, that may be true, but Dollar shave club didn't start out as USArazwar, with an identical advert, all but outright accusing the competition of swiping their idea in said advert. At least they had some class and a bit of unique style about it.

            There's no "Too" about it, Bruce. And that re-edit of the Today Tonight puff piece is downright clumsy, but I suppose they have to do the best with what they have.

            To be honest, even if it was a...oh, I'll be nice, a very strong homage to the original dollar shave club ad, it would have been better to re-edit that, rather than using the TT bit as an advertisement. As much as it was...very clearly inspired by the original, at least it had a spark of soul and wit, rather than a soulless puff piece by a pack of notorious liars and fraud-promoters.

            Last edited 06/12/12 3:07 pm

              Churba you don't work for dollarshaveclub do you? You really do seem to hate aussieshave.com. I have nothing to do with aussieshave, I only subscribe to their $9 shaver and it is good quality. They got a lot of publicity about 6 months ago and I bought their product and like it a lot. I'm an Australian and I like Australian companies. They did really well and are doing very well in Australia as I think they said they had around 40,000 subscribers in the last email newsletter I got. All they said was that razor blades are too expensive and did a funny video. I think DollarShaveClub got into the game here too late.

                Nah, Bruce. You just strike me as a marketer, or to use a more impolite term, a spammer - It's you as I've encountered you here(you might be quite nice elsewhere, I presume you are) that I'm not exactly warming to. You're pushing them just a hair too hard to be just an average joe bloggs, and that first post read like every other bit of "subtle" testimonial marketing I come across in my work.

                Maybe I'm wrong, fair enough but tell me seriously that if someone with the same name as the company mascot showed up, who signed up to make that post, talking like an advertisement, and repeating the old "Nah they're a rip-off of us!" line the company used to use in their advert(from before you heard about them), tell me you wouldn't be suspicious at the least. And I'm pretty sure that "Funny Video" was pulled before the Today Tonight story went to air, and you sure do know a lot about the place, if you just buy razors from them.

                Frankly, though, if someone had showed up from the company and said "Hey, I'm from Aussieshave, we do the same thing but we're an Australian company, check us out sometime or ask me about it if you want." I'd people would probably respond to that better.

                I don't work for dollar shave club(don't expect you to be convinced, and I personally don't use or enjoy their stuff. Other than that, I don't particularly feel anything about Aussieshave.com or Dollarshaveclub - I use a straight razor, which naturally doesn't need replacement blades, and a safety razor for traveling, which neither service offers, rendering it a moot point.

                Dollar Shave club isn't exactly getting my business now or in the future(even a future where I switch to disposable razors) either. I don't like their gimmicky style, I don't like their razors on the few occasions I've used one - nor Aussie Shave razors, but that's just personal preference. Not to mention, my current occupation is trivially available with a little google-fu. Swing and a miss for turning that on me, dude, but it wasn't a bad idea. You even played the patriotism card, which wasn't the strongest one you could play, but not a bad choice.

                Literally the only reason I would choose to give my business to dollar shave club over Aussieshave, is because Aussieshave are associated with Today Tonight. It's hardly an industry secret that TT isn't the most forthcoming about their motivations for certain pieces, nor why they don't officially classify themselves as a Journalistic outlet. If the company is comfortable being shilled by such people, who are notorious for shilling scam products, then clearly they're not a company I can trust with my business. They went with ACA, too, whom are exactly as bad as TT.

                For what it's worth, though - DollarShaveClub was a little too slow on getting here, we agree on that much. If there's a viable market here, and they clearly saw it well enough to keep an eye on the space (Still not really believing that it's not OzDollarShave just because they want to "clear up confusion") and went for that market, they should have stepped up their game and moved faster if they didn't want any strong competition in the "reselling cheap razors" department.

                Dubious about either company's razors being Australian products, too, despite one being an Australian company - Not that I can sling mud about that, my Straight razor is English and I use Mekur blades for my safety.

                TL:DR - I don't hate Aussieshave. I don't like DollarShaveClub. But what I do hate, is marketing bollocks.

                Last edited 06/12/12 5:05 pm

                  I heard that aussieshave.com has around 50,000 customers, whatever you say it will be hard for one dollar shave to enter the market here.

          I'm sure as hell not buying anything from a company that sees fit to buy and/or feature in a Today Tonight puff piece.

          Whoops, better not buy anything from Coles/woolies/harvey norman then...

        aussieshave started business in 2011 too. The story said they copied razwar.com but I have only been a customer from august when I saw them on today tonight.

          The Whois data is clear that the current domain was registered in 2012. From other comments, I think it's clear that arguing that they're the first company ever to explore this model is a difficult case to make.

            Whois data shows Current domain for Aussieshave was registered in July, 2012. Whois data for OzDollarShave - the previous name for the company - shows the domain registered in March, 2012. I couldn't find anything of substance about either company formally existing or trading before 2012. Admittedly, this is purely for personal amusement, so I might have missed something.

            As a complete side note, the former was owned by Makeout Pty Ltd, which have a similar model with cosmetics. All three share a design company. Makeout tried to gain the trademarks in Australia for Not only OzDollarShave, but also Dollarshave and Dollar Shave Club.

              I think they had a different name and changed it to www.aussieshave.com. www.razwar (which both copied) was around in 2008.

    King of Shaves for me.

      I used to use King of Shaves but it was too expensive, seriously for $9 I can get a 6 blade aussieshave razor that is perfectly good. Men like cheap.

        I tend to not shave a lot. I find their gel or oil lasts a bloody long time and is very good.

          Where can I get their oil? I used to use them in the UK, are they now in Australia?

            Yeah same here. I buy online now from http://www.kingofshaves.com.au however I did find their oil in a supermarket... http://www.kingofshaves.com.au/where-to-buy/index.php it's usually impossible to spot the tiny shelf space they have.

        Lol at the banter came to check out feed back as not only men use razors and im the one that shops most of the time. And bruce99 not all men like cheap most want comfort and quality as well as economical

    I like the ad, its pretty funny!

    I'm Asian, so I only shave once every week and a half to two weeks. So I will stay out of this conversation, as I am no expert. :-)

      I shave my pubes and other bits regularly and all of these blades on the market cause some serious rashes if one isn't careful not to mention little nicks here and there .... what does everybody else use to keep the buff look down under?

    Try Aldi's 5 blade cartridge. About $7 for a pack of 4. They are just as good as Gillette.

    Nonsense. The blades aren't as good as the fusion. But they let you cancel at anytime - right? WRONG. Below is their "cancellation" policy:

    WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

    You can cancel your account at any time by logging into your account, clicking Membership Settings, and choosing Cancel My Account. We don't want to see you go, so please let us know if you are experiencing issues and we will do our best to help you.

    Sounds good. Where to I find the "Membership Settings"? Below is where their website tells you can cancel:

    WHERE ARE MY MEMBERSHIP SETTINGS?

    A "Membership Settings" link will appear on your account page as soon as your first order ships. This link allows you to cancel your membership at any time. If you need to cancel before your first order ships, please contact us.

    NONSENSE! My first order shipped in February and tried to cancel on March 9. There is no "Membership Setting" link! As of today my account still does not have that link. So I sent them an email requesting that my account be cancelled. I got the following email in response:

    Cassie, Mar 11 05:29 pm (PDT):

    Hey Kevin,

    We're so sorry to hear you don't want to be a member of the club anymore! I can't find your account under this email address. What is your shipping address?

    We're a young company and are always looking for ways to improve our service and products. Do you have any feedback for us? It would be very helpful moving forward.

    We miss you already,
    Cassie

    Did this solve the problem? NO - I received my second shipment and they hit my credit card a second time and have not responded to four subsequent emails to credit my account! Funny video - crap web site - crap product - crap company.

    KFM

    Same 6 blade cartridge & handle are sold @ K-Mart,....Same Korean Manufacturer. The blades cost $8.99. I purchased 2 containers of cartridges & received 50% off the second container.

    Absolutely NOT worth it.

    Look, I can make a Gillette Fusion or Schick Quattro Titanium cartridge last for many many months.

    (1) Swish your razor briefly in rubbing alcohol when you're finished. This gets rid of hard water deposits
    (2) ~ once a week, or whenever you remember, strop the razor on an old pair of jeans.
    [10-20 times up a leg, 10-20 times down a leg] This keeps it sharp.

    Using this method, you can easily extend the life of a cartridge for 4-6 months. Yes, many people have been doing this and it actually works. This is based on shaving every day with 1-2 passes.

    Or, you can try the DE safety razor method. Those blades typically run for about 5 shaves and cost ~ 0.02 / 0.03 cents per shave when the blades are purchased in bulk.

    So, once again. This Dollar Shave Club is ....bulls***.
    Save your money. It's likely a company started by MBA graduates who thought they could rake in a few bucks. Pure speculation on my part, but there you have it. You'll be losing money.

    At $9.50 a month (Canadian) for the 'Executive' handle + 4 blades, you'll barely be getting a shave that even comes close to the quality of a Fusion or Titanium, yet at a considerably higher cost.

    If you go out right now, today and buy a 4-pack of Quattro Titanium, that's $12.00 Canadian, or $3.00 per cartridge. Each cartridge is going to last a minimum of 1 month for those that barely even care for it. Closer to 3-6 mths. if you actually want to extend the life of your blades.

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