I’d used my razor blades for too long and were long overdue for replacing. Yesterday at the supermarket here I noticed something interesting about the pricing of razors that I hadn’t quite noticed or paid attention to before. Nothing groundbreaking, but it just got me thinking and I thought I’d share…
Look at the picture which I captured at the supermarket (below). Notice the price of a new Gillette Mach 3 Turbo razor (top part) and then notice the price of a new set of razor blades (bottom part) – the set of blades are 1,000 Won more.
Prima facie you’d think that the razor itself should be costlier – more material, larger, has advertising costs built in, etc. There’s two reasons I can think of, off hand. Firstly, much of the innovation (and by extension, costs) clearly goes into developing newer better razor blades, while the actual razor (handle, etc) is pretty standard with only basic innovations to style and ergonomics. If you’ve seen a Gillette advert lately you’ll notice that it’s trying to sell you a sharper and cleaner but smoother and comfier shave. That lies almost entirely with innovations to blades and not the rest of the razor. The second reason has little to do with cost but rather opportunity. We all know the useful life of a razor handle is much much longer than that of a blade. So Gillette knows that it won’t make much money from selling more razors to people but from selling new blades when they come up for replacement. So it has to cash in on that and so, prices the blades at a premium.
Do share your thoughts if you think of any other interesting reasons!