A Tale of 3 Razors Part 2: Harry’s Shave Company

Try this: Go over to my Twitter page. After you’ve followed me, type “Harrys Shave” into the search bar. If you are in the same demographic as me, a promoted tweet from Gillette will launch, probably because Gillette is terrified of what companies like Harry’s are doing: Offering a better product cheaper and more conveniently. Rather than innovate or compete on pricing, they are investing in a campaign aimed at getting you to think yo udon’t spend much on razors so that you won’t consider a (potentially better) alternative. Just how good are these alternative brands? That’s what I decided out to find out in this three part series. a few weeks ago, I reviewed another company’s product and service that was designed to slash your razor budget, and now we’re back with part two: Harry’s Shave



On marketting, Harry’s is a relatively small compa
ny that beats out larger competitors. While rivals like Dollar Shave Club use viral marketing and fun videos to make their product look sexy and savvy, Harry’s website truly focuses on only two things: Their products, which include razors and creams. I find their focus on this aspect of the business refreshing and favorable.

On Pricing,  Harry’s is at a razor-thin disadvantage: Startup costs with Harry’s are slightly more than Dollar Shave Club complete systems: $15 with Harry’s will get you a razor handle, three 4-blade cartridges and one 3.4 ounce cream, while DSC will send you their handle, four 4-blade cartridges and a larger 6-ounce cream for a dollar less. For refills, however, pricing is near identical: Harry’s cheapest blades come in at $1.50/cartridge for a 16 pack, the same price as monthly delivery from Dollar Shave Club. In my book, these minor price differences mean Harry’s needs only beat Dollar Shave Club slightly to be considered the better option.

Product Offerings are certainly a weakpoint of Harry’s: They offer only one razor type, and do not currently offer an aftershave.

Aesthetics is where Harry’s advantage becomes obvious, however. Eschewing the standard “razors come in clear plastic cartridges” idea, and likely saying “shipping costs be damned” while they are at it, Harry’s has truly given thought to their packaging. Their shipments come in dark-teal boxes which are organized with foam separators, giving the package a “wow” factor upon opening. For this reason alone, Harry’s wins in one important shaving category: Gifting.

Initial Shave Quality with the Harry’s system is another slight performance edge, one that I attribute to their blades. The shaving cream Harry’s supplies is a traditional style cream, which lathers pleasingly in your fingers, and lavishly with a brush. The cream bears an aroma of licorice which is a nice contrast to Dr. Carver’s semi-chemical nose. (As it turns out, using Dr. Carver’s shave butter with a brush works nicely as well, despite a lack of lathering.) But Harry’s blades perform admirably regardless of cream used, and close examination of the blades reveals a two differences which may account for that: The blades are spaced tighter, and are made from longer sheets of metal. Longer metal on the blade may mean the blades can be shaped differently from other razor blades: A cut they call the “Gothic Arch.” Whether thats true or not, I can’t argue with the result: the blade cuts hair perfectly, although it takes a few extra moments to clean.

As for longevity, I used Harry’s blades for another 5 shaves after the first try. No more than 48 hours between shaves. The blades show no sign of getting worse as yet: Still no blade drag or razor burn, which means they beat Dollar Shave Club for longevity. I would keep using this blade for another few shaves, but I believe Part 3: Gillette’s Mach Three shouldn’t wait much longer.

In Summary, Harry’s certainly has it’s advantages over Dollar Shave Club: Aesthetics and shave cream quality chief among them. In terms of razor quality and price, I consider them comparable with Dollar Shave, with a slight edge on performance and longevity, and a slight loss on affordability. The affordability difference becomes more pronounced when you consider buying in bulk: Harry’s best deal (16 ct) is $1.50/cartridge, while you can order the same blades used by Dollar Shave Club in bulk (24 ct) for $1.16/cartridge from the manufacturer. But ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the decision: Is Harry’s worth a bit more than the competition? One thing’s for sure: Whether you choose Harry’s or Dollar Shave Club, you won’t be sacrificing shave quality in order to save a sizable chunk of change, but I’ll get more into that in Part 3: Return of the Gillette.

-Mash

6 thoughts on “A Tale of 3 Razors Part 2: Harry’s Shave Company”

  1. Hi Mash,

    I enjoyed reading your articles! For the most part you are dead-on.

    The problem that both Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club can’t overcome is quality. The same way the best knives in the world come from Switzerland, holds true for razors. The best razors are made in the USA, that is why Gillette and Shick have a combined 85% worldwide market share, because they sell the best razors! The problem is that everyone hates being ripped off on razors.

    800razors.com is the only Internet company that sells a made in USA razor! Our factory is more than 100 years old and our quality is leaps and bounds ahead of our competitors. We are the only company that can say our 5-blade razors compares to Fusion.

    Also, 800razors.com is the only company that sells a women’s razor! Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club only sell razor’s for men. Our 5-blade women’s razor compares to Venus!

    Unlike our competitors that raised insane amounts of VC money and try to develop a business model as they go, we have taken a measured aproach to building our business and are more profitable than them on a per order basis. And we did this with under $1 million, not $136.5 million like Harry’s or $40 million like Dollar Shave Club, both companies i believe will go the way of Pets.com

    Our business model is so good that in February John Sculley, former CEO of Apple and Pepsi (and the person credited for the Pepsi challenge) and his brother David Sculley, former Predisent of Heinz USA became our largest investors and advisors.

    Can you let me send you a sample of our products so you can see what a real shave should be?

    Hope to hear from you!

    Steven Krane, Co-founder
    800razors.com

  2. I was initially impressed with Harry’s razors.
    The 1st cart rage lasted over a week without signs of wear, and gave a decent shave.

    However, when I tried to use the 2nd one, I was cut far worse than I’ve ever been cut before in 35 years of shaving (if you’ve ever peeled a potato, let that be your visual example of what happened).
    I will have a scar for the rest of my life.

    Upon inspection, I found that the bottom blade was not positioned correctly, thus causing the injury.
    Searching for reviews, I found that I am not the only one that this has happened to. Quite a few others have reported similar incidents with Harry’s razors.

    Learn from my misfortune and steer away from Harry’s.

    1. This also happened to me 10 day ago when trying to use it to shave my legs! I shaved off a slice of skin like I was peeling a cucumber. I am now battling a staph infection and on oral antibiotics. I’m trying to warn everyone I can to stay away from Harry’s.

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