Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Breaking Through the Razor-Blade Scam: Harry's Is Now My Go-To Blade Provider

My recent online razor purchase from Harry's.
I'm not the kind of guy who chooses to order most things online because it pretty much removes customer service from the equation whether that service is good or bad. No, I order things online because they are often less expensive if you do your homework, I am lazy and can place orders sitting in my underwear in the security of my home, and packages showing up at my doorstep makes me happy. Customer service doesn't usually enter into my decision making.

I have Amazon Prime; so, most things I buy online arrive within two days – sometimes in one day because there is an Amazon distribution center 30 miles from my house – and shipping is free. The stuff I order on Amazon isn't always less expensive than buying locally at a brick-and-mortar store, but I don't have to leave the house. I like that. When drones begin dropping orders in my front yard, I'm really going to like that!

About 10 years ago, replacement razor blades apparently became a highly prized commodity: rare as an elephant tusk. Either they were displayed in thick, plexiglass lock boxes requiring a store manager and key to liberate a five-blade pack, or they disappeared from store shelves entirely. Where that is the case, purchasing a pack of razor blades entails approaching the checkout station, requesting the specific brand and count of the blades desired and watching as the clerk or an assistant manager disappears into the bowels of the store where the requested blades are retrieved from a vault. The store employee eventually returns to the checkout station cradling the package of blades in outstretched, cupped hands like the Hope Diamond. Of course, at $3 or $4 a blade, a $15 or $20 five-blade package represents a serious investment in personal grooming.

They are just razor blades for the love of Pete!

Two or three weeks ago I realized I needed some blades. When I'm not on the road, I typically only shave on days when I am going to go out for the evening. Otherwise, I don't bother. On the road, I use disposable razors. I don't pay much attention to my blade stash until the blade currently in my razor dulls to the point it just isn't providing even a moderately close shave. That's where I was at a few weeks ago.

I pondered the whole razor blade-buying experience facing me with some trepidation. There must be a more convenient, less-expensive alternative. I hopped online and searched “razor blades.” I found

A Harry's eight pack.
Investigating the Harry's Web site, I discovered that, at $1.88, replacement blades for its shaving system ran at least a full dollar less than brand-name blades at the drug store. And, orders of $10 or more ship free. As you have probably determined, I like free shipping. Hmmm....

A new Harry's razor handle – brilliantly contoured to fit a hand – with one blade cost me $10. Eight replacement blades rang the register at another $15. So, for far less than the $33 an eight-blade pack of Gillette Fusion Proglide blades cost, I bought a new razor and nine blades. Bargain!

My Harry's care package arrived in the mail about four days later. I was thrilled with the razor handle. I was thrilled with the blades. I was thrilled with the shave I got. And, I was thrilled with the economics of the experience. This is what free enterprise is all about!

Harry's sells shaving kits and offers a shaving club, too.
Here's the kicker....About a week later, I received an e-mail from Katie. Katie is a customer service specialist at Harry's. Now, Katie may really be Deepak, but who cares? I doubt that's the case anyway because in the e-mail she supplied her phone number, offering to act as my Harry's liaison. I should feel free to call or e-mail her, she assured me, with any shaving needs I might have. It was a very nice note also welcoming me to the Harry's family.

I was surprised to say the least. How often do we encounter this sort of customer service, particularly from an online retailer? I fired off a response, telling Katie how impressed I was with the level of customer service blah, blah, blah. The following day I had a reply from Katie thanking me for my encouragement and reaffirming her availability to answer any questions I might have, as well as facilitate any following orders.

Harry's has me hooked. I'll never buy blades in a store again.

1 comment:

  1. Late last year I bought a razor and blades you see advertised on TV by the host of a well-known History Channel show (hint: it rhymes with lawn shop) and the first batch got sent to the wrong address. I should have quit there. The replacement batch arrived and I did nothing but hack up my face for 2 or 3 weeks (I have tender skin, don't you know) before my wife bought me an electric razor for Christmas. The shave is not quite as close as probably what you get form Harry's, but it's close enough. And there is no danger of bleeding to death.