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.