A couple of weeks ago, something interesting popped up on my Facebook feed. It was a company called “Dollar Shave Club” offering razors direct to my door for $4 a month. How can a company afford to do that? Would the razors suck worse than Aldi razors?
The razors didn’t show up. I contacted the company. How they handled it shows why traditional retailers should be terrified.
We’ll get back to that in a minute.
Australia’s retail scene is pretty crap. Our products typically cost a lot more than the US, Europe, and most other places you could name. Online shopping here is often a poor joke. I ordered online (with a pickup option) from Target last Christmas. They failed to have the product ready for pickup. Good thing I had a backup plan, or I would have had one disappointed kid! Target tried to make me drive 20km to pick it up when it did arrive 3 weeks after Christmas. They wouldn’t let me swap it, and tried to worm their way out of a refund. They only relented when I started ringing managers and hassling them.
Target are a special kind of stupid, but our other retailers are not much better. For the most part their online stores are a begrudgingly tacked on afterthought. On top of that, you have dear old Gerry Harvey from Harvey Norman continually bleating about the plight of the poor Aussie retailers. Can’t we just change some laws so he can hire people from overseas for $2 an hour? Do you know how hard things are for him? His chain only made $142,000,000 last year.
###Dollar Shave Club###
Back to Dollar Shave Club. They are American, and like most Americans they are loud, disruptive, and pretty awesome. They promised cheap razors with fast delivery. I ordered my razors 8 days ago - so they were running a bit late. I quickly flicked an email to them before I left for work.
I honestly didn’t expect a response for a day or two. A couple of hours later, Adam B replied. He apologised, gave me a free month of razors, and confirmed my address (for context, I asked if they’d sent it to the right country)….
Adam B. (Dollar Shave Club) Apr 13 19:48
Thanks for replying mate, I’m on my way to the post office right now to ship out your Humble twin blades and handle.
Haha yep - all our orders are sent out from our Distribution Centre in Sydney.
Shave On Adam
When I got home from work at 6pm, I had a package from Dollar Shave club. How the hell did they ship it 1000km in one afternoon? I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they had someone in Brisbane personally hand deliver it.
If it was an Australian retailer, they would respond in on the of following ways:
- blame Australia Post
- tell me to wait another week
- ask me to file a missing item report with Australia post
- claim they never got my order
In contrast these guys treated me so well that I’m going to tell everyone I know. That is how you make your customer happy. Don’t make excuses. Just fix it.
This is what I received:
The package contained…
- a friendly welcome card
- a razor
- 5 blades
This the cheapest razor they offer. They do have some more expensive options, but I figured I’d give the bargain basement version a try first.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect much. The worst razors I have ever used were purchased from Aldi. To get an idea of how those feel, go smack your face down on some asphalt… maintain that position… and use your legs to propel your body forward. That was what I expected from these razors.
I progressed from Aldi razors to some Gilette Mach 5000 sooper duper 5/6/7 blade razor. That was ok, but the cost of blades bordered on extortion. I’ve tried old school safety razors, but found I cut myself more often and it had little to no benefit over a dual blade Schick FX disposable.
Well, I can happily report that these are the best razors I have ever used - and they only cost 4 bucks! You can quote me on that:
Well, I can happily report that these are the best razors I have ever used - and they only cost 4 bucks!
They were smooth on my skin, shaved close without cutting, and followed the contours of my oddly shaped face. They are great.
So, to summarise:
- great razors
- $4 a month for the cheapest option, with higher spec’d razors from there
- great service
If you want to give them a try, go here: The Dollar Shave Club Disclosure note - that link has a referral. If you sign up, I get a free razor. Here is the same link without the referral: The Dollar Shave Club