General Question

WayToGo's avatar

Why did the price of razor blades go up so much?

Asked by WayToGo (99 points ) January 14th, 2009

I buy Gillette Fusion blades at Costco 2–3 times a year. I recently bought another 16 pack for $39. Back in the summer I only paid $32. I noticed they are higher at my corner drugstore too. What gives?

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8 Answers

Grisson's avatar

It is probably the cost of oil. Although we are seeing a drop now, the effect will lag in manufactured products. So it’s probably the delayed cost of last summer’s oil used in the manufacturing process (at least of the plastic).

Or perhaps the sharp cartel is cutting back production.

Harp's avatar

Just speculating here, but I think the price increases are going into R&D.

The two main razor manufacturers are engaged in a cut-throat (pardon the expression) battle for market share. They always have, of course, but the battle used to be fought on the publicity front, since they all used essentially the same technologies to manufacture blades. No more.

The battle is now being fought on the technology front, with each company investing huge sums in new manufacturing processes and product design innovations. Back in the 90s, for instance, Gillette spent $1 billion on R&D to go from their 2-blade cartridges to their new 3-blade system. And, as we all know, that was only the beginning of the escalation. To understand the intricacy if the manufacturing technologies involved, take a glance at this article which deals with just one tiny cleaning step in the process

The R&D costs of developing new products are partially financed, of course, out of current sales, so I figure that the increases reflect the company’s investment in developing some new 6-blade monstrosity more than an increase in their cost of materials.

Honestly guys, wasn’t 3 blades enough?

btko's avatar

I can’t wait until the Moch-14

As for the question: I worked at this drug store for a few months and the aisle that made the most profit was the shaving aisle. It’s marked up by 300% or something along those lines.

Lightlyseared's avatar

What you need to do is escape the Gillete treadmill and go old school. Get your self an old fashioned double edge razor and then you could get 200 blades for what you paid for 16. Also you’d get a better shave and less iritation.

Alternatively you could also just be thankful you don’t live in the UK where 8 Gillete Fusion blades cost £20ish which is about $30.

WayToGo's avatar

Actually, I was thinking even older school and going with a straight blade like my father use to have. Get a leather strap and keep that baby sharp. And I will never have to buy a Fusion disposable again.

WayToGo's avatar

I love how the Amazon ad pops up on the right for Gillette Fusion Razor Blades.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Straight razor is good, I just went with DE safety razor as it is harder to kill yourself with.

TomMcG's avatar

It is my belief that Gillette product prices have increased so much because P &G needs to pay off the debt they took on in acquiring the business. I was flabbergasted when I last went to purchase replacement blades. Their razors are good but certainly not the be all end all. I refuse to pay their price so I purchased an Edge razor and about a year or more supply of cartridges for less than half the pice. It works just fine. Since other companies are able to sell razors for so much less, there is obviously not a manufacturing cost issue. Gillette, or P & G, must think they can charge more and get away with it. It’s time to let them know they’re wrong.

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