04-16-2012, 08:43 PM
#1
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I was wondering what other people's thoughts are on buying shaving supplies you've never tried before over the Internet.

I am amassing a small collection of items I have purchased from Phil which sadly I am not too fond of. I am slowly moving them into a box for resale or PIFs, but I keep thinking about the money spent on them. Some items, well they sounded good and I loved the smell, but had other issues with them (i.e. speick I can only use once a week or so as it bothers my skin so much). I got Trumper's Lime and the scent of the cream does nothing for me and I don't care for the lather / conditioning properties, and Tabac .... what can I say .... it STINKS. The Tabac and Trumpers I would not have bought had I dealt with the issues of driving into Lincoln Square and heading to Merz Apothecary. The Speick, well I love the scent, my it does not love my skin so I'd have bought that at Merz too.

So the question I have is, how do you guys feel about buying shaving creams, soaps, lotions, ASs you've never tried straight over the Internet.

I realize not everyone is lucky enough to have something like Merz near them, but thanks to them I found Eaton College, Jermyn Street, I Coloniali .... so in person can certainly help.

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 04-16-2012, 08:47 PM
#2
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Unfortunately, my options of buying in person are quite limited -- AoS, VDH at Target, KMF at Whole Foods. If I want anything else, I have to buy online. That said, I try to get samplers when I can, that way I am not out any investment. Things that don't come in samples, I just do my homework, read what others have said, and remember YMMV. That being said, I am waiting to see if we get a travelling box, because I have some SE Razors that are going in there, since I don't like the SE as much as DE.

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 04-16-2012, 08:54 PM
#3
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I have not spent a ton of money on any particular item that I bought blind. I don't worry too much about that. I hedge my bets with samples, and by reading reviews by forum fellows and IRC friends I have come to trust.

More expensive things, like colognes, I haven't bought blind.

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 04-16-2012, 09:54 PM
#4
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i have gotten many items via the internet that i was not very pleased with, but i consider it an adventure with this hobby. i have been very fortunate, or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it, with soaps as i use only the most natural ones with the simplest ingredients. Therefore, i only use two main soaps at the moment, Mystic Water and MJ Soaps; MdC whenever i can get my hands on it, and am looking to try Mike's Natural Soaps, so i have not had any misfortunes with my soaps as they are amazing!
Good luck with the sale.

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 04-16-2012, 11:31 PM
#5
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Seeing as how not buying through the internet would mean using the one shaving cream available from the Body Shop... yeah, all my gear has been bought "blind" but based on recommendations and reviews both in various online forums, blogs and the review section of the online shops themselves. Even so it's with a certain excitement I try new soaps / creams the first time... can't deny that.

I've yet to buy the proverbial cat in the bag, but if/when I do I'll chalk it up to experience, make a note not to buy the product again before I see if someone else might be willing to pay for getting it shipped (may ask for a bit more than shipping if it's an expensive product or if it's something meant to last a lifetime (brush/razor)).

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 04-17-2012, 05:13 AM
#6
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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I do it all the time and live with the risk. Having said that, and perhaps it's stating the obvious, I try to research as much as I can before purchasing - which may lead of course to YMMV!

As you stated, I avoid purchasing fragrances on-line unless I've sampled them or am in a very adventurous mood.

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 04-17-2012, 06:04 AM
#7
  • Java
  • Active Member
  • Warner Robins, Georgia, USA
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My policy has always been to buy from the local guy instead of some internet giant. That way I've done my part to ensure he'll be there, when I need something locally in a hurry. However in this little town when it comes to wet shaving supplies, the "little local guys" are Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Next to them, someone like Phil is not exactly an "internet giant". (yet? Biggrin)
I don't have any alergies, or special sensitivities (is that a word?)so when I order a product that comes highly recommended here, I know it's going to work. It may not end up being my favorite smell, it may not work as well (for me) as my current blade, or my current razor, or my favorite soap, but it is going to work. So far I've not ended up with anything I truely hated. So eventually I'll use it, or it will get handed down. I try to avoid $30 bottles of aftershave or $40 bowls of soap until I've gotten a chance to sample them somehow. If I (when I?)end up with something high-end that I really don't like, I'll see if I can work out a trade here at the Nook.

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 04-17-2012, 06:08 AM
#8
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It's a luck of the draw sometimes when you buy products online without being able to try them first. I try to buy products with natural ingredients so that I don't suffer any adverse reactions skinwise like burning or redness. The products that I don't like scentwise I either give away or resell, or trade.

Clayton

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 04-17-2012, 07:21 AM
#9
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(04-16-2012, 08:43 PM)wingdo Wrote: I was wondering what other people's thoughts are on buying shaving supplies you've never tried before over the Internet.

I am amassing a small collection of items I have purchased from Phil which sadly I am not too fond of. I am slowly moving them into a box for resale or PIFs, but I keep thinking about the money spent on them. Some items, well they sounded good and I loved the smell, but had other issues with them (i.e. speick I can only use once a week or so as it bothers my skin so much). I got Trumper's Lime and the scent of the cream does nothing for me and I don't care for the lather / conditioning properties, and Tabac .... what can I say .... it STINKS. The Tabac and Trumpers I would not have bought had I dealt with the issues of driving into Lincoln Square and heading to Merz Apothecary. The Speick, well I love the scent, my it does not love my skin so I'd have bought that at Merz too.

So the question I have is, how do you guys feel about buying shaving creams, soaps, lotions, ASs you've never tried straight over the Internet.

I realize not everyone is lucky enough to have something like Merz near them, but thanks to them I found Eaton College, Jermyn Street, I Coloniali .... so in person can certainly help.

I hear ya wingdo. I have a few creams that I just do not like sitting around not being used.

But what I usually do is to look around and see if there are any reviews done on the product that I am considering that will aid me in my decision. Will also make a post on several shave sites for opinions from others who have use the product.

In other cases I will see if the mfg has samples. That is how I decided on which T&H cream to buy. 1805 by the way. Bought the sample pack and made my choice.

Also found that most of the vendors like Phil will be more than happy to answer your questions about a product.

I think that reviews and comments by other shavers who have used the product as well as vendor comments are the best way to do when purchasing on the web.

Funny you should mention Merz Apothecary. Made me look to see where you were from. Chicago, great city to visit for sure. My daughter and her family live there and I have made several trips to the Lincoln Park store. Great place but my one gripe is that they do not always have "tester" items so I can check out the scent of what I might purchase. Also most of the gals who work there do not know that much about men's shaving stuff. Need to talk to one of the guys on duty. Still a great place to visit.

By the way, I will be in Chicagoland in late June, maybe we can meet at Merz for a chat and maybe some purchases.

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 04-18-2012, 11:28 PM
#10
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(04-16-2012, 08:43 PM)wingdo Wrote: So the question I have is, how do you guys feel about buying shaving creams, soaps, lotions, ASs you've never tried straight over the Internet.

Well, before I bought any shaving items in a store I had not tried them either. I don't see how buying over the Internet is any different in that respect. Perhaps for aftershaves or colognes you can smell in some of the high-end shops. For the most part, it seems wetshavers roll the dice and hope for the best.

Quote:I realize not everyone is lucky enough to have something like Merz near them, but thanks to them I found Eaton College, Jermyn Street, I Coloniali .... so in person can certainly help.

Hmmm... Then I guess I am lucky. There is a small cutlery shop near me that has been selling brushes, shave soap and razors for over 60 years. There are also The Art of Shaving, Bath & Body Works, L'Occitane, The Body Shop, Whole Foods, Walgreens and CVS stores. There is even a place that sells Penhaligon's products. All are within easy walking distance. There used to be a Crabtree & Evelyn, too, but they moved about 15 miles away. Darn. They have nice shaving cream and used to sell beautiful transferware scuttles. All are within easy walking distance for a lot of you folks, too - just walk to your mailbox to pick up your online orders once they arrive. You are also lucky. Cool

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 04-19-2012, 04:07 AM
#11
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If it wasn't for the internet I would be using a Schick Hydro.
Outside of the inet my options are very limited.
Williams or VDH soap and Bigelow cream.
My blade choices would be limited to the paint department of a hardware store.
My brush would be either a VDH or Burmashave.
AS, the common brands available everywhere.

Let us all stop for a moment to thank Al Gore.

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 04-19-2012, 06:34 AM
#12
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I just bought everything that looked interesting Biggrin

When I switched from Fusion and Edge gel in 2009, I went in with the idea of one razor, one brush, one soap, and one aftershave to save money Confused

At one point in the not too distant past, I had 29 lathering products, 6 brushes and 16 aftershave splashes. It got a little out of hand, for me anyway. There are many guys who have way more.

I have almost stopped buying everything.

Through PIF's, BST sales, using up what I have, and scrapping a few items, I'm slowing whittling it down to a more manageable level.
It did help me find out what I liked and didn't like, and ID some terrific products I otherwise never would have come across that made my shave better and more enjoyable.

I've come to the realization that I'll never be able to have one razor, one brush and one soap and one aftershave, but a smaller rotation of 5 or so combos will be best for me.

That's the goal anyway. Biggrin

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 04-19-2012, 11:49 AM
#13
  • njpaddy
  • Member
  • Central New Jersey
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I buy everything blind. I am having better luck finding quality soaps than I did with creams. And I won't mention all the money spent on brushes that have come and gone.

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 04-19-2012, 12:41 PM
#14
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The first thing I do is look on the message boards and see if a member wants to get rid of something I want to try. It recoups part of the seller's investment and allows me to try something at a little less than market value. If nothing is available from a member I shop online.

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 04-19-2012, 12:46 PM
#15
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(04-19-2012, 12:41 PM)CaliforniaCajun Wrote: The first thing I do is look on the message boards and see if a member wants to get rid of something I want to try. It recoups part of the seller's investment and allows me to try something at a little less than market value. If nothing is available from a member I shop online.

+1 on this John, I do the same thing.

Clayton

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 04-19-2012, 02:24 PM
#16
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Slim pickins if I had to buy purely local, so I do what research I can regarding an item before dropping the hammer. Some items were PIFed to me to try, I bought some samples whose retail products I never bought. Blades, I don't even listen to others picks; but I will try a blade if someone tells me it's smooth and sharp. I also had a bunch of test blades PIFed to me to try by a few gents.

90% of my products are from the 'net; all of my blades; all of my favorite razors. 3 out of 18 soaps are local, and I could easily live with 2 of those as my everyday soaps.

Colognes I don't use, I made/make my aftershave to my specs, and before that I used witch hazel which anyone can buy locally.

If the internet disappeared tomorrow it wouldn't affect me very much because I have enough to see me through to the grave (soaps? maybe not), but the 'net definitely figured prominently in my product acquisition in key areas.

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 04-20-2012, 11:16 AM
#17
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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I'm in the same boat as most others. There are not that many products locally I can find. About all I can test in this area is AoS at Sephora and CO Bigelow & select Trumpers products at the CO Bigelow store. Also, Crabtree and Evelyn but I'm not the most impressed with their creams. Other than that, it's all a crap shoot. What I do try to do is read as many reviews as I can and make the best possible decision from there. Luckily, there is not anything that irritates my skin (that I know of now) so I'm safe there and so far have been lucky enough to find things I only like.

I most worry about brushes - they are the most expensive thing to get wrong on. I can take a $15 hit on a soap and PIF it but it's much more difficult on $150+ brush. That's why my collection is currently small and full of relatively inexpensive brushes. The BST on different forums is there but no guarantee you'll be able to offload it and not lose a good chunk of change.

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 04-20-2012, 11:27 AM
#18
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I had to stop and think about this a minute and the bottom line is I buy everything on the internet when it comes to shaving.

I try to read all the reviews I can before trying a new soap/cream/after shave, but sometimes I purchase something that just does not set well with me for whatever reason.

In that case, I either put it on B/S/T or just pif it to someone. Experimenting is fun but if you put a gun to my head and said you can only have one, I would just use MWF and Floid Blue along with my Schick Razors and be happy for the rest of my life.

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 04-20-2012, 02:01 PM
#19
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With soaps and creams, I generally like what I buy even if I end up with some things that work better than others. Unless the soap/cream is a total dud, it will work it's way into an occasional rotation. Maybe one day I'll work my way down to a smaller arsenal of lather products but for now I like the variety.

Now with brushes, if I bought one that ended up being too scritchy I would have to sell it off. Did that recently with a horse hair brush.

For razors, not really an issue since I don't like changing up razors all the time and generally stick to one safety razor with one back up.

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 04-26-2012, 01:34 PM
#20
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I buy all my shaving supplies through the internet. My locale offers very, very limited shaving items and none of my favorite supplies. Occasionally, I end up with items that are not my favorites and I usually sell, or trade them with other shaving aficionados.

eric.

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