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Thread: shavepocalypse now

  1. #1
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    Default shavepocalypse now

    I know that many of us like to accumulate lots of shaving goodies, mainly because we all suffer from severe AD but also because I think some of us have irrational fears regarding the shaving industry and scarcity of product.

    so, do most of you seriously believe in a shavepocalypse scenario caused by finite shaving product (such as razor blades) or are you like me and think that scarcity of product is a direct result of those of us that buy in bulk and/or the many new DE shavers who are discovering wetshaving? I don't even really think product such as razor blades are becoming scarce....I think demand is outweighing supply and a few fortunate companies are having a hard time keeping up. eventually things will balance out and go back to normal but I think there are certainly 'surges' in demand for any given product.

  2. #2
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    To be honest, I prefer the director's cut "Shavepocalypse Now Redux" On a more serious note, I've experienced a similar situation with film photography. However, scarcity is largely due to production cuts instigated by a lack of demand and not through mass purchases. Manufacturers will allocate resources to where there is the most profit. With regards to hoarding, many people hoard because they feel their favourite product will change or not be available in the near to mid-term. Hoarders, generally, make up a minority of the customer base for a product.
    Last edited by DE Shaver; 09-23-2010 at 07:27 PM.
    "I wonder what it's like to shave with Occam's razor."

  3. #3
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    I see what you're getting at here, but I don't agree.

    I simply have two words fo you-

    Re
    Formulation
    One, two! One, two! and through and through...The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
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    I think those are both valid concerns, not necessarily irrational (with reformulation as a special case of finite supply). I am also concerned about the second-order effect of those surges in hoarding. Suppose a rumor should start about a well-regarded soap... let's say it's Cade. We all go buy as much Cade as we can find. The manufacturer notices a surge in demand and ramps up production, or maybe there is already plenty in the warehouse. But after a little while we have all hoarded as much as we can store, and won't buy any more for years. The manufacturer cuts production, and finally discontinues the product because it isn't selling.

    In this scenario, we are our own worst enemies. Our hoarding actually causes products to disappear.
    gear | FAQ | google B&B | vendor search | shaving jazz
    "…the impatience of a man [who] spent only three minutes shaving." — Economist, obituary for A. Suárez

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
    I see what you're getting at here, but I don't agree.

    I simply have two words fo you-

    Re
    Formulation
    Exactly.....take Williams for example, it's the only shave product in the last hundred years IMHO that's actually gotten better with reformulation. Everything else "they" manage to screw up. Better stock up now before Michiganlover beats us to the Williams
    [B][U][FONT="Century Gothic"][SIZE="3"][/SIZE]Brian[/FONT][/U][/B]

    [COLOR="blue"]A teaspoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down :001_tt2:[/COLOR]
    [COLOR="green"][SIZE="3"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][SIZE="4"]Be sure to visit THE NIB for all your pen and ink ADs.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [/SIZE][/COLOR]
    [FONT="Century Gothic"][URL="http://www.info-komen.org/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1120&pxfid=149874"][B][COLOR="Plum"][SIZE="3"]2011 Soap For Hope[/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/URL][/FONT]

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by instpasr View Post
    Exactly.....take Williams for example, it's the only shave product in the last hundred years IMHO that's actually gotten better with reformulation. Everything else "they" manage to screw up. Better stock up now before Michiganlover beats us to the Williams
    I shall not be baited thusly!


    One, two! One, two! and through and through...The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
    I shall not be baited thusly!


    Nuts
    [B][U][FONT="Century Gothic"][SIZE="3"][/SIZE]Brian[/FONT][/U][/B]

    [COLOR="blue"]A teaspoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down :001_tt2:[/COLOR]
    [COLOR="green"][SIZE="3"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][SIZE="4"]Be sure to visit THE NIB for all your pen and ink ADs.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [/SIZE][/COLOR]
    [FONT="Century Gothic"][URL="http://www.info-komen.org/site/TR?pg=fund&fr_id=1120&pxfid=149874"][B][COLOR="Plum"][SIZE="3"]2011 Soap For Hope[/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/URL][/FONT]

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mblakele View Post
    I think those are both valid concerns, not necessarily irrational (with reformulation as a special case of finite supply). I am also concerned about the second-order effect of those surges in hoarding. Suppose a rumor should start about a well-regarded soap... let's say it's Cade. We all go buy as much Cade as we can find. The manufacturer notices a surge in demand and ramps up production, or maybe there is already plenty in the warehouse. But after a little while we have all hoarded as much as we can store, and won't buy any more for years. The manufacturer cuts production, and finally discontinues the product because it isn't selling.

    In this scenario, we are our own worst enemies. Our hoarding actually causes products to disappear.
    Very interesting.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mblakele View Post
    I am also concerned about the second-order effect of those surges in hoarding. Suppose a rumor should start about a well-regarded soap... let's say it's Cade. We all go buy as much Cade as we can find. The manufacturer notices a surge in demand and ramps up production, or maybe there is already plenty in the warehouse. But after a little while we have all hoarded as much as we can store, and won't buy any more for years. The manufacturer cuts production, and finally discontinues the product because it isn't selling.

    In this scenario, we are our own worst enemies. Our hoarding actually causes products to disappear.
    agreed. I don't know if this would hold true with razor blades, but I can certainly see that being the case with soaps or creams. i've only recently started buying more razor blades, mainly because when I try to stock up they always seem to be out of stock. I keep thinking that I might as well order in bulk so that the next guy doesn't buy everything up. i'm a little more forgiving with soaps and creams because this stuff has a shelf-life and there's only so much of it I can use in a year, so I never buy a lot of the same product.

  10. #10
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    Either way, this is my new excuse to buy anything shave related...
    "I used to jog, but the ice kept falling out of my glass..."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaseousclay View Post
    agreed. I don't know if this would hold true with razor blades, but I can certainly see that being the case with soaps or creams. i've only recently started buying more razor blades, mainly because when I try to stock up they always seem to be out of stock. I keep thinking that I might as well order in bulk so that the next guy doesn't buy everything up. i'm a little more forgiving with soaps and creams because this stuff has a shelf-life and there's only so much of it I can use in a year, so I never buy a lot of the same product.

    Tell that to vintage yardley. The scent may dissipate, but the performance still shines through.
    ~Joe~

  12. #12
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    I tend to accumulate gear because it is so scarce here in Aus, so either I order multiple quantities from o/s to make shipping worthwhile, or I buy multiples when I do stumble across a good product
    Brendan

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaseousclay View Post
    so, do most of you seriously believe in a shavepocalypse scenario caused by finite shaving product (such as razor blades)...
    I think it's a possibility. I don't worry so much about things like soaps and brushes, because even if all the big name shaving brands stop producing shaving soaps, we still have artisan soap makers to see us through. And brushes can be custom made as long as the knots can be ordered.

    Razor blades, on the other hand, aren't things that could be easily produced by an individual, and it's conceivable that there may be a time when we won't be able to acquire them anymore. DE shaving is largely unheard of in America and much of Europe, and Gillette is already trying to push its multi-bladed monstrosities in places like India. Also, the financial difficulties faced by American Safety Razor has had some worried about the possible extinction of SE blades.

    And as for straights, that's a niche market even by the standards of traditional wetshaving. Blades that last a lifetime aren't bringing in very much profit for the companies that make them (buy once and you're done, unless you're an AD-stricken B&B member), and there are a finite number of vintage straights. You could order a custom straight, though, but those are fairly expensive and present a high barrier to entry for new potential straight shavers.

    So... while I don't think a blade-pocalypse is looming just overhead, I do think it's possible that one day we may simply have to switch to carts, simply because nothing else will be available.

  14. #14
    Sydney Guy

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaseousclay View Post
    so, do most of you seriously believe in a shavepocalypse scenario caused by finite shaving product (such as razor blades) or are you like me and think that scarcity of product is a direct result of those of us that buy in bulk and/or the many new DE shavers who are discovering wetshaving? I don't even really think product such as razor blades are becoming scarce....I think demand is outweighing supply and a few fortunate companies are having a hard time keeping up. eventually things will balance out and go back to normal but I think there are certainly 'surges' in demand for any given product.
    There isn't a surge in demand for wetshaving product - if there was the major chains wouldn't be dropping traditional products from the store shelves. To some extent we shavegeeks are accelerating the process because we buy all our supplies over the internet and not at the local store, but we are still a minority of the wetshaving population. For every DE or SE convert, there are 2 or more who are dropping away, either because the old guys are dying off (literally) or people are switching to carts because their local stores no longer carry DE blades and shaving soap. The attrition rate is not being balanced by recruitment of new shavers because the younger generation have mostly been brainwashed that a Fusion is "The best a man can get".

    As demand drops, manufacturers of mass-market products discontinue their manufacture once sales drop below profitable levels or major retail stores will not provide shelf space. Just think of the products that have already been discontinued - Gillette Swedes, Astra Keramiks, Palmolive Lather Cream (in the US), ProRaso Red, P160, Old Spice shaving soap, the list goes on and on. Consequently, it is not irrational to stockpile your favourite product, though admittedly some of us take it to extremes.

    The Shavepocalypse is just a humorous way of us justifying our various ADs, since there'll be enough DE shavers in China and India to ensure that DE blades will be available in our lifetimes. Whether they will still be available in our grandchildrens' is another question. However, the probability that your favourite product will be discontinued is very real.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
    Razor blades, on the other hand, aren't things that could be easily produced by an individual, and it's conceivable that there may be a time when we won't be able to acquire them anymore. DE shaving is largely unheard of in America and much of Europe, and Gillette is already trying to push its multi-bladed monstrosities in places like India. Also, the financial difficulties faced by American Safety Razor has had some worried about the possible extinction of SE blades.

    And as for straights, that's a niche market even by the standards of traditional wetshaving. Blades that last a lifetime aren't bringing in very much profit for the companies that make them (buy once and you're done, unless you're an AD-stricken B&B member), and there are a finite number of vintage straights. You could order a custom straight, though, but those are fairly expensive and present a high barrier to entry for new potential straight shavers.

    So... while I don't think a blade-pocalypse is looming just overhead, I do think it's possible that one day we may simply have to switch to carts, simply because nothing else will be available.
    I am currently 41, nearly 42, years old. I change my blade every three days. Giving myself a generous 50 years remaining on this good earth, I would require 6,100 blades.

    That number of blades can be relatively easily stocked, no?

    The only question, then, would be: "Would a Derby Extra purchased in 2010/11 still be sharp in 2060?

    -Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greglam View Post
    I am currently 41, nearly 42, years old. I change my blade every three days. Giving myself a generous 50 years remaining on this good earth, I would require 6,100 blades.

    That number of blades can be relatively easily stocked, no?
    Depends on the blade. Given the supply problems with Iridiums, I've been sorely tempted to buy a few thousand whenever I can, but that would run into money...the eight or nine thousand required to insure a supply for the remainder of my mortal life could easily run $1800-3060, which, while not much in the big scheme of things, is still a lot to drop on a shaving purchase.

    The only question, then, would be: "Would a Derby Extra purchased in 2010/11 still be sharp in 2060?
    If stored in a cool, dry environment, I don't see why it wouldn't be. Guys are shaving with vintage Gillette blades, so surely modern stainless blades should last as well.
    Last edited by Shavely Manden; 09-24-2010 at 06:56 AM. Reason: fixed tags

  17. #17

    Default I must be an old timer

    There was a time--not that long ago actually, when you could not buy Tabac shaving soap in the United States. Those of us who lived through those dark days have a natural tendency to stock up on products they know they will need. Fortunately, I now have a ten year supply of shaving soap, and can buy acceptable creams just a couple of blocks from my office, but it was not always like this. So I will keep accumulating.

  18. #18

    Default

    I think it all boils down to blades.

    No DE/SE/Injector blades, no DE/SE/Injector shaving.

  19. #19
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    Only thing I'm worried about is a shortage of good blades.
    -Matt-

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    I figure if the blade-apocalypse occurs it'll give me that needed kick in the butt to start straight-shaving.

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