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Jeff Parrott
Jeff Parrott is a reporter who covers business issues for The Elkhart Truth. When he's not looking for ways to make your dollar stretch further, he enjoys his time with his wife Kristi, a teacher, and their children, Drew, 11 and Emily, 10.

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Reporter Jeff Parrott writes about business issues for the Elkhart Truth.

Shaving should not be this expensive

Are you kidding -- $16 for four razors?

Posted on Feb. 18, 2014 at 1:48 p.m.

It's something that has always made me chafe.

But the other day I felt especially irritated. I was grocery shopping and needed some more cartridges for my Gillette Fusion razor, and I couldn't believe the price: $15.99 for a pack of four. This wasn't a convenience store price. I was at a supermarket.

Why do these things need to cost so much? And have they gotten even more expensive lately?

For an article headlined "Why are razors so darned expensive?" Gillette scientist Kristina Vanoosthuyze in August told Boston magazine that the cost factors in all of the science behind razor development. 

“It looks so simple and so intuitive, yet it is so complex in its design and development process," she said. "The small details and dimensions go far beyond what the naked eye can see. For the ProGlide, to give you an idea of the scale of consumer testing that we do, 30,000 guys were involved in testing the innovation process."

Still, come on. $4 a cartridge? Apparently I'm not alone in my indignation because when I captured an image of the pricetag with my iPhone while shopping, and shared it on Facebook (which made me feel a little better), friends were quick with suggested alternatives. A friend in St. Louis recommended dollarshaveclub.com, which sends you four cartridges a month for about $6. He says they work great.

Another friend in Detroit urged me to "go old school" as he had done by buying a safety or "double-edge" razor. The blades are only $1.29 for five. Initial outlay is about $50 to $60 for a good razor, brush and holder on Amazon, but you recoup that in about six to seven months and save in the long run, my friend said.

I started Googling and found another option, www.harrys.com, which offers cartridges for its own razor handles that cost half of what you pay in a store.

So I'm not sure what I'll do once I use these four new over-priced cartridges, but I'll keep you posted on how it works out.


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