Friday, July 8, 2011

Where's the Real Savings Here?

Like many people, I am mesmerized at the extreme couponers on the TV who buy 92 bags of croutons for less than a dollar. Inspired by these daring acts of bravery, we (and by "we" I really mean my wife, with sometimes help from one or more of the kids) are entering the couponing club. Now, we haven't been able to buy 100 tubes of toothpaste for a nickel yet, nor do we think we ever will, but we have seen notable savings on things we would have bought anyway.

This week, Target had these Schick hydro-five blade razors on sale for $6.49 each, and if you bought two of them, you'd get a $5.00 Target gift card. And we had two coupons for $4.00 off one of these exact razors. With a little thinking, it became evident that it would make these razors $2.49 each, and the purchase of two of them would cost $4.98, plus we'd get a $5.00 Target gift card, basically making these razors free of cost.

What an amazing bargain! But oh, no! Our local Target was all sold out! Luckily, there is a Target near my office, and two more between that one and home.

So I stopped at these three Targets on my way home earlier this week, only to see that those silly razors that were on sale were all sold out there also. Happily, I noticed at each stop that the refills for these razors (also on sale) were $10.99 for four measly blade refills! For that price, one could buy at least 8 disposable razors.

This is an horrible dilemma. On one hand, I appreciate the reduced consumption of replacing only the blades, but on the other hand, it's bloody highway robbery to have the blades themselves priced so much higher than the disposable razors that perform the same job.

Granted, the disposables were "triple blade" and the replacement blades were "quintuple hydroblades," but really, how much better can razors get? It's not like I want to slice off the top layer of my face!

So our current conclusion to this story is that we'll stick with the disposable razors that cost less and do about the same job. The "free razors" would have been nice, but the replacement of the blades would have cost much, much more in the long run.

This is a prime example of the gimmick that was pioneered by the razor companies themselves- give away the product and make money on the replacement parts that predictably wear out after repeated use. Well, as a consumer, I strongly dislike this gimmick.

Particularly vile is that these companies also produce the same disposable razors that sell for so much less than the fancy razor blade refills that they also make!

Makes me want to grow a ZZ Top beard in protest is what it does!


  1. Similar hijinx afoot in clinical labs thru-out the US... Give free analyzers away. Charge $50 for a container of that analyzer's reagent, which cost $2 to make!

  2. Where's the real SHAVINGS here? HAH!