For the non-bearded among us, shaving is a daily event. With this comes constant depletion of supplies, including the most expensive component for most men: razers. Dollar Shave Club claims to save us money while still providing a great shave, but does it? Is Dollar Shave Club worth it?
Dollar Shave Club is a company that sells razors and other shaving supplies. The company was founded at the beginning of 2011, and in that time has maintained an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau. Despite some slower shipping times in the early years, the service has very few complaints and has garnered a loyal fan base of regular users. Its structure and development were ground-breaking in 2011, and have proven effective in the years since.
Rather than support unnecessary infrastructure, the company opted for a primarily online presence, building its structure around optimizing efficiency and keeping overhead as low as possible. To accomplish this, the company delivers directly to its customers, rather than basing its sales in a physical retail space.
To stabilize cash flow and increase the predictability of manufacturing needs, they adopted a subscription model. This has the added benefit of automating the reorder process, so customers receive replacement supplies according to pre-arranged schedules, without having to do anything further. The status quo is repeated purchases.
A side effect of the subscription model, strengthened by the “Club” component of the company name, is that users seem to develop an unusually high degree of loyalty to the company. These customers see themselves as part of a movement – not just consumers of a product. By taking part in an efficient, innovative system of production, exchange, and consumption, the club members reduce waste, reduce their carbon footprint, and do so at a great price, and without compromising on quality. Or at least that is the theory.
Before we look at some Dollar Shave Club reviews – and do a review of our own – let’s take a look at how the system works, and what is available for purchase from the company.
The company itself claims that it will send you “high-quality razors, right to your door”, “for a dollar per month”. Considering the price of razors in a retail store, this is a claim that would make even the most trusting soul a bit skeptical. The company was designed from the ground up to be efficient, though, so it’s worth taking a look at it and seeing if the claims have merit.
The system works like this. You choose a starter set which contains samples of the products you may want to try. The company then sends a box of full-sized products, at a regular interval, to replenish your supply.
You can alter the order as well, removing anything that you don’t care for, and adding any other products you’d like to try or continue to use on a regular basis. You can choose how much of each product you receive, and how often you receive an order. You can choose to have them send a smaller shipment as often as once a month, a larger one twice a year, or something in between – whichever amount and schedule suits you best.
Rather than lock customers into a contract or long-term commitment, Dollar Shave Club has an easy method of canceling membership. It takes a few clicks on the website, and it’s done. Any upcoming shipments could be canceled with no fees or penalties.
The company seems to stand behind its products and services well, offering a 100% money-back guarantee “for any reason”. With that kind of confidence on the part of the company, it’s difficult to think of a reason not to give it a try.
Dollar Shave Club also offers a selection of inexpensive starter sets to allow prospective customers to give the products a try without having to pay for a full sized set of products. The Shave Starter Set costs only $5, ships right away (for free), and includes a razor handle, a four-pack of razor cartridges, and a 3 oz. tube of Shave Butter. If you’re happy with the products, you can continue with a monthly shipment of one of the regular boxes.
It’s time, though, to address the big hairy elephant in the room: Do we get this for a dollar a month? No, not really, and the company seems to be moving away from that claim as inflation creeps up on us and makes $1 a month less tenable. There is the possibility to order the bare minimum, of the cheapest available product, and come close to this, but for most customers, the bill will be higher. That said, it is still going to be considerably lower – for what you get – than trying to buy similar products in a regular retail environment, or even online through a different company.
By the time you add up the cost of your razors, razor handles, shaving cream, and your choice of the several other personal care products the company offers (body washes, soaps, oral care products, hair styling products, wipes, skin care, and even a travel case), you will likely be paying considerably more than $1 per month… but you’ll also be getting a lot more than a cheap disposable razor. If you’d be buying these products elsewhere anyway, it’s worth exploring whether Dollar Shave Club can save you money, and possibly increase the quality of what you’re using too.
Setting aside the whole range of available products for a moment, let’s take a look at what comes in each of the trial kits and standard boxes.
Each box is customizable, but to get an idea of what you might want in yours, consider some of the most popular products that others have in their boxes.
For shaving needs, you can choose between the four-blade “4X” model and the six-blade “Executive.” Complement this with Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter.
Additional skin care products include Big Cloud Good Shake Hand Cream, Hydrating Daily Face Cleanser, and Wanderer Calming Body Cleanser or Hydrating Body Bar.
For hair care, you may want to include Wanderers Hydrating Shampoo and Hydrating Conditioner, or perhaps Boogie’s Pacific Hair Pomade, Bold Hair Gel, or Smart Hair Paste.
There are other popular products, including toothpaste and brushes, cologne, One Wipe Charlies, and even a travel case.
There are a lot of benefits to this system, both financially, with regard to your schedule and stress levels, and even to your level of personal care.
The Dollar Shave Club will shave dollars from your personal care expenses, and will do so in a no-fuss, no-bother way. Once you zero in on the amount of product you use, and the frequency with which you need more, it becomes a carefree process, removing unnecessary stress from this daily chore.
Increase the quality of the products you use, and you might even turn a daily chore into a personal care ritual. You’ll feel better, fresher, and more ready to meet the challenges of your day.
Dollar Shave Club is for men and women, and isn’t overloaded with hype, either. It’s simply a good set of products at a good price – conveniently delivered.
The cons are there, but for the most part they’re temporary.
First of all, it may take some time to find your favorite products. The starter kits help, but you may go through a few products that you decide to discontinue, before you find those that really work for you.
Second, it can take some time to figure out how much product you need, and how often. You don’t want to run out before the new box arrives, but you also don’t want a pile of tubes or blades stacking up that you don’t need yet. In time, though, you’ll fine tune this and reap all of the benefits of the subscription model.
Finally, the number of products available is limited. For most people, there are choices that work well for their needs, but if you have very specific needs or tastes, you may not find what you’re looking for in the current product offering.
I am very mindful that this is a review of the Dollar Shave Club, and I tried really hard to find a balance between the positives and negatives of using the service. In the end, though, there is a lot more weight on the positive side of the scales than on the negative.
The negatives, though real, are mostly temporary, or true of any other service or company too, so it is difficult to take them seriously. It boils down to a simple factor: do you like the products on offer? If you do – and they are quality products – then there is little to criticize.
The upside of the service is strong and clear to see. Dollar Shave Club provides a simple, automated service that brings your regularly-used personal care products right to your door, as often as you need them, and does so at an extremely competitive price. The products are of good quality, and there is a reasonable selection – though within a narrow range of brands.
So in short, what is the answer to the question “Is Dollar Shave Club worth it”?
In our opinion, “Absolutely”.