Gillette Introduces $.34 Razor… In India

While here in the States — and in many parts of the world — Gillette is known for pricier devices like its Fusion ProGlide razors that will cost you upwards of $10-11 just for the handle and one blade (and replacement blades costing $2-3 each), the company is attempting to go the opposite route in India, where it is now selling a razor that costs the equivalent of $.34, with replacement blades going for only $.11 each.

Procter & Gamble, Gillette’s parent company, says they first figured out what the customers in India were willing to pay for a razor and then aimed to give them the best razor they could get for that price.

So in creating the Gillette Guard, P&G had to ditch most of the bells and whistles associated with their U.S. products. Explains the Wall Street Journal:

To cut costs, P&G eliminated the lubrication strip and colorful handle designs Indian men weren’t willing to pay for. Though most men in the U.S. and Western Europe prefer a heavy razor handle, P&G found Indian men prefer a lighter weight, which also cut costs.

Is this lower-priced product something that we’ll be seeing Stateside anytime soon? Right now, P&G says they are just looking to see how it does in “developing markets,” and that they won’t have an idea of the bigger picture until the next six to 12 months.

Do these razors sound any better than the disposables you can currently buy? Would you be willing to try one just to see how it compares to the pricier Gillette products?

Gillette’s Latest Innovation in Razors: the 11-Cent Blade [WSJ]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Can’t wait until this hits Amazon.com.

    • Fumanchu says:

      I just had the same thought, I can’t wait until that product shows up on one of the many internet distribution stores like amazon. Order 100 for $34…

  2. RyGuy1152 says:

    Yeah, India also gets a $5,000 car and a $35 laptop. It’s all relative.

    • JG2002 says:

      second that. Also many people don’t even make $10/day there. Lot of people are living on $1-2 day salaries.

  3. packcamera says:

    Well they don’t have to go far to get the cheap scrap steel from the beached cruise ships from Alang…

  4. smashedpotats says:

    Classic Safety Razor. Actually, the same one my Great Grandfather used.

    • Veeber says:

      Well classic single sided safety razor. Once you invest in a good handle though ($20-$40) the blades are $0.50 per piece with two cutting edges. Gillette’s just trying to convince them that this disposable cartridge model is the way to go.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Those are some expense blades if you’re paying 50c for each one. If you shop around, you should be able to find some for the ballpark of 10c each (I use Derby Extra).

    • White Speed Receiver says:

      I just bought a Merkur safety razor yesterday. Nice timing to see this story today.

    • Caffinehog says:

      If I could get a shave from these in less than 20 minutes without razor burn, I’d use them. Frankly, if time is money for you, go with the Fusion and use shaving oil.

      • Maximus Pectoralis says:

        IMO, it’s a combination of good materials and good technique. I have it down to under 10 minutes and I haven’t had a cut or razer burn at all in the past ~9 months or so (started using safety razer almost exactly a year ago). I use a Merkur HD razor handle, Personna blades (Israeli version), Best Badger brush and C&E shaving soap. Follow up with C&E cream aftershave. Soap is maybe $10 for a year worth, aftershave $30 for a year worth. Blades are $0.10 and shaving 3-4 times a week I have gone through maybe 50 (usually change blade once a week). Compared to $5+/each for the cartridges I think that’s quite good.

        I have some Feathers on order so hopefully I won’t hit the jugular when I try those, i’ve heard they’re extremely sharp.

  5. davemon says:

    I don’t know. It looks kind of dangerous to me.

  6. William Mize says:

    I’m a Gillette Mach 3 guy, and I get a LOT more use out of my razors by sharpening them on my arm like this guy. I really wish he’d put a shirt on, but the info is solid.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ADaRIqy0Dc

    • Alecto says:

      Yup. Pretty much what you are doing isn’t sharpening it, per se, but honing the blade like you do with kitchen knives.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Absolutely right! I have been doing this with one blade for 11 months now and it is sharp and gives a very smooth shave. When I saw the video last year I did a facepalm – I frequently sharpen woodcarving blades and I never thought of the razor in my bathroom! Saves a LOT of $$$.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        So you only sharpen/hone one side of a double beveled cutting instrument? Because the blades in your cartridges ARE double beveled. Stropping only one side of the blade causes the edge to curl to the opposite side, which you can not reach on a cartridge.

    • Portlandia says:

      Agreed, consumerist.com did an article on this in March.

      http://consumerist.com/2010/03/make-your-disposable-razor-blade-last-for-20-months.html

      I’ve been doing it since then and it works amazing! I can see myself down to 1 or 2 razors a year rather than 1 every two or three weeks.

    • sonneillon says:

      Yeah works alright on the mach 3. Still I change out the blades about ever other month because they get kind of funky, which is better than twice a month before.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Please explain how stropping, which is what you are doing, one side of a blade makes it stay sharp. What you are actually doing is folding the edge of the blade over onto the side you can not access. Try just sharpening/honing one side of your blade, and watch how badly it cuts. I suspect you have never had a real good shave, and the “smooth” shave you are getting after stropping one side of the blade is because there is almost no edge exposed on your blade(s).

      • palfas says:

        Chill out, we get it, you’re too cool for disposables. If you think about it, you only ever cut one direction with the blade, and with the same side facing out. Therefore I suspect that honing the one side will suffice, besides a half honed blade is better then not at all.

    • sp00nix says:

      Iv’e been doing that since i started to shave, but i do it to get the hairs out of it (i shave in the shower). So i guess thats why i buy so few blades. I never understood the weekly replacements, but now i do.

  7. knoxblox says:

    I could do without most of the bells and whistles…the lubrication strip is usually gone after a couple of shaves anyway, and I don’t really care how heavy it is, or what color.
    However, I’ve really enjoyed having at least three blades. It really leaves my face feeling clean and smooth compared to two blades, or even one.

  8. zekebullseye says:

    You can get a Gillette Pro Glide plus 3 refills this week at Cvs for $3. It’s marked down to $9.99 and you get 5 “extra bucks” (sort of a rebate you can use like money for your next
    purchase. There is a $2 off coupon in last Sunday’s circulars which make the the price $3. I got myself a new razor this week. Paying full price for toiletries is something I never do anymore.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Next week Schick is free with $4 coupon and 5 ECB return.

    • Snaptastic says:

      THIS. Except my brother and I shop this way at Walgreens. Find the coupons, wait for the right sales, then go in on 15% military discount day and let ‘er rip. We have so many quality razors that we got for dirt cheap or free that we give them away.

  9. robphelan says:

    i’ve been using a dual edge (classic safety) razor for the past couple of years.. i’ll never go back to these rip off cartridge razors again.

    replacement blades can be bought for as little as $.10 each. I get a great, close shave – closer than with my old razors.

    here’s an example – http://www.amazon.com/Parker-Safety-Razor-Heavyweight-Double/dp/B001AKFXN8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1285960779&sr=1-1

    • dangermike says:

      When I can find blades, I use an injection blade razor that my dad bought me when I was in college. It’s similar to that, but the blades come in a cartridge with a tine that spreads open the blade retainer and a slider than inserts the new blade. I get the closest shaves ever with that thing. And the 10 cent blades last for like 2-3 weeks. It’s not forgiving to hasty technique, though. One 1/4″ lateral slip and the thing might as well be a scalpel. =D

      When I don’t have blades for that, Whatever cheap disposables I find at the pharmacy are fine. I don’t care about whatever multitude of blades they put in and i am quite averse to those lubrication strips (I call them bacteria strips. That might be unfounded.) Every razor I’ve tried with one of those strips has ended up feeling like sand paper after 2 or 3 uses, prompting me to discard them quite a bit more frequently than the old school blades.

  10. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    This really isn’t anything new. Gillette still sells double edge safety blades in most of their non-US markets. You can get them online for around 10 – 20 cents each.

    I really don’t see the need to spend any serious money on razor blades — I know guys who spend $1 or $2/blade and still cut their faces up. Any of the mass market blade makers are decent enough to provide a good shave. Technique (lather and prep) play a much bigger roll than the equipment.

  11. AllanG54 says:

    Electric…buy once, use for years. Don’t have to buy razors, blades, shaving cream and don’t have to worry about nicks and cuts. What more does one need?

    • EarlNowak says:

      If your facial hair grows in curls, an electric will basically tear the hairs out of your face instead of cutting them. Not only is it painful as hell, it basically shreds the top layer of skin.

      Yeah I’ll stick to razors.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        My hair is curly, and I could never use a blade razor without bleeding profusely. The electric, though not doing as good a job on curly hair, prevents me from bleeding.

        The problem lies within the fact when cutting with a blade against the grain of the hair, you’re going to bleed. And since the hair is curly, the grain is in every direction.

    • edison234 says:

      Electricity?

      • The Twilight Clone says:

        The things use about five watts to charge, which, for newer shavers, is about every 2-3 weeks. It is a negligible amount of electricity.

        • watch me boogie says:

          Well, in context of this story, lots of people in India have no, or intermittent, electricity.

          • Portlandia says:

            Nor the ability to scrape together the $30 or $40 dollars to buy an electric razor. This is a country where they sell laundry detergent in penny packages because sometimes that’s all people can afford.

    • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

      Uh,… Electricity.. :)

    • Thespian says:

      No matter which brand/model of electric I’ve tried, not one of them has ever given me a completely smooth shave (like I get with my trusty Mach 3). From entry level Norelcos to $100-plus Brauns, they always leave stubble.

    • bigTrue says:

      If this works for you, awesome. Those of us with half greasy WOP and half hairy Slovak blood grow hair that almost needs a weed wacker to take down. I tried an 80 dollar Norelco three head electric the last time I went for one, thinking this same thing. It didn’t work. I’d have a smooth five o clock shadow on my face, but it didn’t look clean and it wasn’t baby smooth like when I go with and against the grain of hair on my face with a decent disposable.

  12. Blueskylaw says:

    Warren Buffet once said he bought Gillette because there’s nothing simpler than sharpened pieces of steel that take whiskers off a man’s face. Yet a box of blades now costs roughly $30!! Warren, what is going on here??

    • HowardJV says:

      Amazon is offering 100 double edge safety razor blades for under $16.00.

      I suspect that is how Buffett does it.

  13. Megladon says:

    You know what American men prefer, anything cheaper then 4$ a razor that cost you 15 cents to make. At the store lastnight my wife picked up a pack of 4 blades that cost 17$. I said oh hell no and we did a quick return before we even left the store. I bought a beard trimmer for myself for 20$ 3 years ago thats worked great and only recently had to replace it with another 20$ model. The money i’m saving is likely ungodly.

  14. jessjj347 says:

    Use a $5 coupon and wait until it’s on sale, and you to can pay next to nothing for a proglide razor.

  15. Mowens says:

    I do a saftey razor too, bought it on amazon. The blades are like 20 cents a pop… I am against paying 70 dollars for replacement blades….

  16. vastrightwing says:

    eBay will fix this problem.

    • evnmorlo says:

      The Supreme Court is hearing a case soon to determine whether that type of resale can be made illegal. Most likely they will approve, and ebay will take down those auctions.

  17. Portlandia says:

    I started using the trick consumerist mentioned a few months ago in this article:

    http://consumerist.com/2010/03/make-your-disposable-razor-blade-last-for-20-months.html

    I have used the same razor for about 5 months now and it works great (even nicked my nose this morning) and I don’t see any signs of it slowing down. I also started honing it on the back of my hand instead of my forearm and that seems to work the best.

    Suddenly spending $2 per razor doesn’t seem like such a bad idea now.

  18. Erika'sPowerMinute says:

    While on vacation in Indonesia a few years ago, I bought some OFF bug spray–made in the USA!–for the equivalent of about 85 cents. It worked incredibly well and I was pondering both what kind of illegal-for-sale-in-the-US chemicals made it so effective, and why it’s nearly 10 times as much in the States…???

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      It may well be the same stuff that the US has. It’s all about supply and demand. If American consumer’s are willing to pay $8.50 for a bottle of OFF, and the maker’s of off are willing to sell it to them for that, its going to be $8.50.

      In other countries, people might be willing to pay 85 cents. If OFF is willing to sell it for that much, they will.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Perhaps the chemicals are made there, and there is no shipping them halfway around the world to make our version.

  19. parliboy says:

    The increasing prices in shaving supplies was a legitimate factor in my decision to finally grow a beard.

    Occasional beard trimming > Daily shaving

    Ladies, I’m sorry that societal norms leave you screwed.

    • dangermike says:

      beards that aren’t maintained daily can leave a very bad social impression. (and fwiw, I wear a beard)

  20. jiarby says:

    looks like the kind they give you in prison!

  21. crugg says:

    It still cost me lest than 10 for each of my razor blades. And it is more environmentally friendly with no plastic waste created only metal to be recycled. Hopefully this does not catch on. But what do I know most people have no idea that using a regular safety razor is probably better for them and less expensive.

  22. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    It’s always annoyed me that adding another 2-cent piece of steel quadruples the price of a razor blade. I went to Amazon.com and bought an Atra handle that was manufactured for export. It’s still easy to find Atra and Trac II blades for cheap. I’ve got better things to do than spend $4 for a razor blade.

  23. xredgambit says:

    I got a safety razor for free. Well 3 actually. They are pretty heavy duty and work great. Before that i purchased like 10 or more Fusion razors from a flea market for pretty cheap. With the fusion I was “sharpening” then on the back of my arm and I also was letting them sit in baby oil to make the shave smooth. I could use 1 blade until the rubber peice fell off after a couple of months. The only downside to using one of the fusions many times was that hair and stuff would get stuck in between the blades. I would try to clean it out with a tooth pick, but I think cleaning it in the shower would help.

  24. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    I’m guessing everything’s relative. Considering the fact India’s GDP/capita is $3,400 compared to the US’s $46,000, a 34¢ razor seems rather pricey.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      Oops. $3,400 s/b $3,100. Dumb me should look at the keyboard and stop using the numpad. And also beg for a post-edit button!

  25. buzz86us says:

    Electric razors suck in the fact that none are truly electric. Is there any razor that plugs into the electric directly without the need for recharging extremely weak built in rechargeable cells? The batteries are what killed 80% of the electric razors I have owned the razor would work perfect then all of a sudden the battery doesn’t hold a charge. That said I have been using straight razors for years now.

    • Max5695 says:

      Norelco makes several models that you can plug into the wall. The one that I use also has a rechargeable battery. It works really well. Many of the Norelco models on Amazon are similar to the one I own.

  26. bon13 says:

    How is this even remotely news? I love the “…in India” above – is someone in any way upset that this is not the price in the US? Do you not understand basic economics?

    • JustARandomThought says:

      Well actually prices need to be equal or there would be arbitrage until they are equal – transaction costs. The issue is the product is not the same, a similar product here is about the same price. I personally pay 30 cents a piece for disposable razors from my wholesale club.

  27. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Every lubrication strip ever made just gives me pimples.

    But, although I really liked the Slim Twin in college, which I’m not sure they make blades for anymore, I’ve been using an electric since before I got out of college anyway. Way more better.

  28. Justinh6 says:

    I live in New York. My absolute favorite razor blade is $1.89 for 12 disposable blades. It is made by Gillette and found in the ladies razor section. It comes with a blue handle. I use it once, and throw it away. The only place I can find this razor is in Walmart stores, I can’t use the Bic razors they rip up my face.

  29. Foot_Note says:

    the “lubricating” strip == way to show razor is “gone”… me thinks the strip is just there for marketing reasons… they go on me in a few days… but the cheap disposibles last a long time with the arm trick

  30. joetan says:

    It’s WAY better than BIC. Very light weight. Not that bad for 11cents

  31. emptyV says:

    so, India is Americas new lab rat?

  32. momtimestwo says:

    I would rather not shave at all. My skin gets all irritated and feels funny no matter what I use to shave. But society demands that I shave my legs and underarms. Since I have to do it, I’d rather, blades are way to expensive and I’d be more then happy to use cheaper ones shown here.

  33. rdldr1 says:

    I’m a new double edge safety razor user, and I will never go back to the expensive cartridge system.

    My brand of razor handle, Parker, is apparently an Indian company.

  34. cameronl says:

    I use a safety razor and buy 5-packs of blades for a buck at the local discount store. They’re imported from India, I think. They work great.

    I won’t drink Gillette’s razor Kool-ade.