Inside the Dollar Shave Club

Does a Razor Blade Subscription Save You Money?

Inside the Dollar Shave Club
September 18, 2015

Anyone who shaves knows buying and replacing razor blades can be expensive. Dollar Shave Club provides a monthly razor blade subscription service that claims to make shaving less of a burden on your wallet, but does the “club” really save you money?

How Dollar Shave Club Works

Essentially, Dollar Shave Club takes the guesswork out of when to buy new razors. For the default subscription option, they will ship you a new set of cartridges once a month. Alternatively, if you do not shave as often, you can change your subscription to the Not So Hairy option for which they will ship you a set of cartridges every other month.

Three Cartridges from which to Choose

The company offers three different types of razor cartridges at three different price points. Your first order of any of the cartridges will come with the applicable razor handle and each month after that you will only receive replacement cartridges.

The Cheapest Option

Does the service live up to its name? Can you really take care of all your shaving needs for a dollar a month? In a word, no. The minimal cash outlay gets you a basic two-blade razor call The Humble Twin. Each month, you will receive five replacement cartridges at the advertised cost of just one dollar per month, hence the name Dollar Shave Club. However, the true cost comes in at three dollars per month as you are on the hook for a two-dollar shipping and handling charge. I guess the Three Dollar Shave Club didn’t sound as snappy.

The Mid-Range Option

The next option offers a fancier four-blade razor called The 4X. You will only receive four cartridges per month with this option at a cost of six dollars per month. The good news? Shipping is included. But that’s still twice the price as the cheapest option.

The High-End Option

The ultimate package includes a six-blade razor called The Executive that also features a special trimmer edge. Like the mid-grade plan, you will receive four cartridges per month, but at nine dollars per month, including shipping. That puts you out more than $100 over the course of a year.

These prices are competitive with buying full-price, name-brand razor cartridges at retail stores, but you could do better by buying cheap, no-name razors or shopping the occasional sale. The Club does offer convenience, though; since the service is automatic and they will keep shipping you new cartridges every month until you cancel, you should never run out of razors (unless you go through your monthly allotment too quickly). If you want to maximize your savings, however, better deals do exist to ordering razor blades online.

Dollar Shave Club Alternatives

Dollar Shave Club does not manufacture their razors. In fact, they reportedly buy them from a company called Dorco. You can cut out the middleman and order razors from Dorco yourself and keep the savings.

Surprisingly, there are no savings to keep if you’re a fan of The Humble Twin. To buy a year's worth of cartridges plus a razor handle, you would pay $49.40 through Dorco and only $36.00 through Dollar Shave Club. Unfortunately for Dollar Shave Club, Dorco wins the pricing battle with The 4x and The Executive. The 4x would cost you $72 through Dollar Shave Club and only $61.60 for the first year through Dorco. The Executive would cost you $108 through Dollar Shave Club and only $92.75 through Dorco. In both of these cases, you’d get a few extra blades to boot.

Other Razor Supply Options

Of course, if you consider buying potentially lower-quality products, a quick search on Amazon.com will bring up many cheaper options. Keep in mind that we’re talking about sharp objects in contact with your skin, so perhaps price shouldn’t be the only factor here.

Alternatively, grocery stores and big box stores like Wal-Mart sometimes have deeply discounted razors for a limited time. If you find them on sale, simply stock up on them to save money, since you know you will always need razors for as long as you shave. The good news: razors don’t take up a lot of space.

  Conversation   |   32 Comments

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Leah Gardner | 09.18.15 @ 14:35
Good points. Im always looking for good deals on razors.
Daniel Dohlstrom | 09.18.15 @ 14:36
I have been thinking about looking into the shave club this is a great break down and info
Jackie | 09.18.15 @ 14:36
I've found that by shopping around you can usually purchase razors cheaper than through Dollar Razor Club.
Sarah | 09.18.15 @ 14:37
I should look into this... no, really. I'm not very good at couponing and have missed the most recent free sample razors. Good break down on the prices.
Angie | 09.18.15 @ 14:38
I've done better with the last option - couponing and catching the sales. While it is not as helpful to the environment, it is many times cheaper to buy the full handle and 1 replacement cartridge deal than it is to buy the replacement cartridges as that is usually the promotions that are run.
Zanna | 09.18.15 @ 14:39
Razor blades have gotten ridiculously expensive, so this might be a better option for some, but I would want to try their razor out before joining.
Christina | 09.18.15 @ 14:44
My son is a Dollar Shave Club member and likes it - it's saving him money :)
Elaine | 09.18.15 @ 14:52
I think I will stick to my coupons and catching sales. Seems to be a better option for me.
Bobbie | 09.18.15 @ 14:53
I always stock up when razors are on sale and I have coupons.
Christina | 09.18.15 @ 14:57
Good article.. I use coupons to buy my razors.
Britt | 09.18.15 @ 14:59
I've heard a lot of ups and downs about the company and was curious about trying it
George Middleton | 09.18.15 @ 15:00
I was looking into this.. Thanks for posting..
Kyle | 09.18.15 @ 15:01
I use this company and I honestly love it.
Morgan | 09.18.15 @ 15:03
Lots of interesting points.
Ron | 09.18.15 @ 15:05
I actually use Dollar Shave Club and I love it. I shave about six times a month and the razors last a full week, easy. I can suspend my ordering through the winter as I normally just grow my beard out then, anyway. Plus, they have neat extras here and there like the shave butter. #bigonDSC
Kailie | 09.18.15 @ 15:06
I have a friend who uses this company and loves it.
Sara | 09.18.15 @ 15:06
Great breakdown on info. Though I am sure you can get them even cheaper.
Nancy | 09.18.15 @ 15:07
I prefer hitting sales with coupons in hand and stocking up. I've wondered about Dollar Shave so this article answered a lot of questions
Beverly | 09.18.15 @ 15:07
Replacing blades for my husband is expensive. The Dollar Shave Club sounds like a nice convenience.......if you like the razor choices. Usually, if you have time, shopping around online you can find blades cheaper then in the store., but the convenience of not having to think about it can be worth the cost.
Angie Taylor, Insurance Agent in Montevallo, AL | 09.18.15 @ 15:08
Interesting points. I've been looking into this company but was hesitant.
Meredith L | 09.18.15 @ 15:09
I recently bought a brand new razor with refills because it was cheaper than the refills alone. This is very helpful. I've been looking at this too because I keep seeing the ads all around the internet. Thank you for the information.
Heather | 09.18.15 @ 15:23
I've always wondered about this service so thank you so much for this article. I learned a lot!
Steffanie | 09.18.15 @ 15:35
We tend to hit good sales, so we can get razors cheaper than the club
Irene | 09.18.15 @ 15:48
It's really not worth it to me. I buy online with my other drug store items and get free shipping plus cash back.
Crystal | 09.18.15 @ 15:51
I can't imagine them being cheaper than our good ole' bulk packs from Walmart. :)
Kamie | 09.18.15 @ 16:02
I did this Shave club thing and honestly, the shavers are not that great, they have a funky burnt plastic smell, and the blades dull quickly.
Steven | 09.18.15 @ 16:11
I have thought about switching. But the wife likes to save as much money as possible.... probably why I have not gotten to do the club yet.
Alec | 09.18.15 @ 16:32
I'd actually considered this club for my fiancé because his beard grows back almost instantly. ;) I'd been too lazy to look it up though so it was nice seeing the price breakdown! I think for now I'll stick with the store brand razors we buy since it's a lot cheaper and they still work.
Ambar | 09.18.15 @ 16:33
I didn't know about this kind of services until now. But with so many cheaper options, I don't see the advantages.
Selena Walls | 09.18.15 @ 16:52
Doesn't sound like a good enough deal for me.
Jonathan | 09.18.15 @ 16:58
If you dry out your razor after every use with either a dry towel or a hair dryer, they'll last you crazy longer!
Wiser | 09.21.15 @ 00:20
The simplest money saving strategy for razors is this. Go to Wal-Mart and buy a big bag of disposable razors. . . less time, . . less cost.
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