Saturday, April 01, 2006

eBay and Economical Razor Blades

Adam from San Francisco sent me an email that I'm sure many of you will find interesting.

I want to share a technique that's working well for me in buying razor blades.

Buying blades on eBay is by far the most economical way to buy razor blades with anything from Gillette Mach 3, Mach 3 Turbo, Mach 3 Power (m3power), Fusion, Schick Quatto, Quattro Power, etc.

There are always many factory sealed blades being sold on eBay.

Before I was purchasing blades on eBay, I was buying through razorsdirect.com . While razorsdirect.com offers competitive prices and offers free shipping, one can save between 25% to 50% using eBay, including the addded shipping expense.

The process is as follows:

1) Compare price to Razorsdirect.com

Suppose you wish to purchase 24 Mach 3 Turbo blades.

Razors Direct sells 24 Mach 3 Blades for $38.99 (say $39).

2) Multiply the price above by 0.75 (to enable a 25% minimum discount).

39 x 0.75 = $29.25

3) Find someone selling 24 Mach 3 Turbo blades on eBay.

4) Determine the "Maximum Bid" price.

Subtract the shipping cost from the 25% discounted price (since razorsdirect.com offers free shipping and eBay generally does now).

Suppose shipping is $4.99:

$29.25 - $4.99 = $24.26 = Maximum Bid

5) Enter the Maximum Bid (which will be kept private from both the seller and other potential buyers) for the item and wait.

You can usually find some pretty good deals well below the Maximum Bid price.

Using this method, I recently purchased, including shipping costs:

16 Quattro Power cartriges for $19.01 (including shipping)
(42% savings over razorsdirct)

24 Shick Quattro cartriges for $20.08 (including shipping)
(47% savings over razorsdirct)

If you get out-bid, over the calculated Maximum Bid price, that simply means the winner paid too much for the blades and bid on the next item.

Be careful and wait for one auction to close before bidding on another or you may be stuck with winning more than you desire.

For non-exact number of blades, go up to the next largest quantity and calculate the unit cost per blade. For example, if someone is selling 20 blades, find the cost on razorsdirect for 24, divide the razorsdirect by 24, and multiply by 20. Subtract the shipping cost on the eBay item to calculate the Maximum Bid.

Normally, I search on eBay first for a good deal. Next, I compare the price to razorsdirect. Finally, I calculate the Maximum Bid to be entered.

Using this method, most blades can be purchased between a 25% to 50% discount over razorsdirect.

It may be a good idea to enter the maximum bid during the last hour of the auction, or as close to the end as possible. In many cases, the razors will be purchased well below your maximum bid.
That's a very well-thought-out plan for economical razor acquisition if I've ever read one. Razor blades are pretty expensive these days, especially if you're picking them up from your local supermarket (as I usually do); Adam's technique sounds like it would be a great way to consistently save a good amount of cash on one of a headshaver's most common purchases.

Thanks, Adam!

2 comments:

Adam said...

Dennis,

Here's some unit cost per blade information from razorsdirect.com -with no sales tax or shipping charges - for eBay comparisons:

48 blades - 4 blades

Mach3 - $1.42 - $1.87
M3Tur - $1.56 - $2.00
m3pow - $1.87 - $2.25
FusPw - $2.29 - $3.50

Quatt - $1.56 - $2.00
QuaPw - $1.92 - $2.25

Yes, you are certainly correct about paying more at the supermarket as retail is not only higher in price, but adds sales tax as well.

Thanks for posting my eBay comparison analysis.

-Adam

Anonymous said...

fyi - the blades sold on ebay are usually stolen from places like cvs/walgreen's/etc. If you try to buy razors now the lock cases in stores are harder and harder to make a simple purcase from. However, they still get "wiped out" (stolen in mass quantities) and posted on ebay