Well, we are back from our vacation in Europe to the Baltic countries; we had a truly amazing trip. I was surprised by the lack of DE products in stores even in Russia and Estonia. I saw the most stuff in some convenience stores in Germany. But, I did pick up a tube of Arko Sensitive with Cyrillic writing in Russia.
I met with my manufacturer yesterday and picked up a prototype of the next razor model we will be releasing. I have received a lot of inquiries for a more standard DE razor, and in response it is a solid bar variation that shaves milder than our OC and provides a bit more of an intuitive shave. Again, the razor is fully machined stainless steel made here in the USA, is denoted model SB for solid bar, and will have serial numbers starting with where the last batch stopped. We should start shipping the SB razors around Labor Day. I have posted a photo of the prototype below. I have been reading all of the feedback on this and other shaving forums and appreciate all of the comments folks have been making. Although I cannot respond to them all, please know we are listening to all that you have been saying.
Thanks to the wonderful support of the wet shaving community the only folks with any of our first production run remaining are Phil at Bullgoose Shaving and John at West Coast Shaving and I am not sure how low their inventories may be. In reviewing pricing with the factory it looks like we ran quite a bit over budget on the first run and there will be a retail price increase on the razors going forward. So, if you want to get in on the current pricing contact John or Phil before they run out of the first batch.
As part of my commitment to try and keep costs as low as possible while still manufacturing the razor here in the USA, I am also going to be dropping the expensive large plastic case in favor of more conventional packaging. One option we are considering is a steel tin with a clear plastic window and a foam insert. A mock-up photo without a Tradere label on the window is below, but the packaging decision is not final. What do you folks think?
We are still working on the slant variation, but the geometry is relatively complex, so it will likely still be a few more months until I have a prototype in hand to share with you. So far, it is mostly CAD drawings I have been looking at. We have not delayed this effort at all, but the introduction of a solid bar was relatively easy and given the large number of inquiries I have received for a razor with a more standard level of aggression and a somewhat easier shave, it seemed like a good idea just to get that done.
At this point I am still investing all of the funds that have come in into Tradere and product development. My plan is before the end of the year to have three razor models available for delivery, the OC, the SB, and the slant.
Again, please remember vendors may only post in this forum once per day. So, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments at [email protected] or via PM.