03-02-2015, 02:33 PM
#1
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Gents, lately I have seen a few members analyze “value,” of a shaving soap by comparing price per ounce of the product. For me this measure is irrelevant when comparing shaving soaps of different consistencies. Harder soaps tend to use less product per shave, so while they are more expensive per ounce, they may actually last longer. What needs to be looked at is price per shave. This is a better measure of value because you can compare soaps of different consistencies. I’m sure most of you fine gents are able to figure out how to do this on your own, so I won’t get into the logistics of it, but I will recommend using consistency. Same brush, same load time, etc. 

Another thing that is to be considered is whether or not the artisan or soap maker is using natural/organic ingredients or not. I do not know enough about chemistry to comment in great detail, but I can imagine that organic goats milk, etc., is more expensive for the artisan to acquire than synthetic materials. If you value these kind of ingredients, then you may not mind spending more money on these types of soaps. 
 
Last measure of value in a soap for me is whether or not I actually enjoy it. If I buy a soap that I enjoy using every day, then I place a high value on that soap, plain and simple. If I buy something that I don’t look forward to, then it is of low value to me.
 
This subject may not always come up directly, but think about how many times you have seen a thread asking, “Is ___ soap worth it’s price?” This is a question that is best answered individually, and most of the time it is difficult to answer unless the product is actually obtained, used, and given a fair chance.
 
A lot of people initially looked to wet shaving as a way to save money, but as most of us have found out, curiosity gets the best of us and we end up sinking more into the hobby than when we were only using cartridges. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not! We have taken a chore that most people despise and learned how to enjoy it. By enjoying our shaves we have given them much more value than can be measured with any type of number or price tag. 
 

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 03-02-2015, 05:21 PM
#2
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
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Nicely put. I spent more money on cheaper products trying to save money only to invest more later on the MdCs of the world I now will not be without. I have a drawer or two of soaps that I most likely will not use. 

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 03-02-2015, 06:11 PM
#3
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I've been doing this and posting my results on another forum. Yes, the price per oz is completely irrelevant. my testing so far has shown Caties Bubbles to cost $0.15 per use. Provence Sante costs $0.07.

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 03-02-2015, 06:15 PM
#4
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I only use soaps that I enjoy using and look forward to. So my numbers are useful to me. If a soap sucks or smells like junk, I won't use it.

My cost per shave is more for me so I can compare what soap "A" costs per shave versus soap "G". If they both smell equally as enjoyable, both readily available, both lather as easy and give me equal shaves...I use my numbers to see which I may want to repurchase.

There is no way I am going to track which brushes and how long I load, as I rotate brushes. But all my shaves are based on two pass, layer on face during wash up and face lathered. Load time means nothing when I compare two soaps because as you said, some load quicker then others but yield the same amount of usable lather .

It's easy for me to track how many shaves I get from a soap. I shave daily and use soaps from start to finish and always buy new.

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 03-02-2015, 06:36 PM
#5
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I think we over-think something as simple as shaving.  

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 03-02-2015, 07:06 PM
#6
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(03-02-2015, 06:36 PM)CyanideMetal Wrote: I think we over-think something as simple as shaving.  
If we didn't, shave forums wouldn't exist.

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 03-02-2015, 07:09 PM
#7
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I have several that I don't even use, what's the value in that? The value is in the soaps I enjoy regardless of what I paid for them. 
I don't have the patience to count how many times I used them.

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 03-02-2015, 07:16 PM
#8
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(03-02-2015, 02:33 PM)NSmalls Wrote: Gents, lately I have seen a few members analyze “value,” of a shaving soap by comparing price per ounce of the product. For me this measure is irrelevant when comparing shaving soaps of different consistencies. Harder soaps tend to use less product per shave, so while they are more expensive per ounce, they may actually last longer. What needs to be looked at is price per shave. This is a better measure of value because you can compare soaps of different consistencies. I’m sure most of you fine gents are able to figure out how to do this on your own, so I won’t get into the logistics of it, but I will recommend using consistency. Same brush, same load time, etc. 


Another thing that is to be considered is whether or not the artisan or soap maker is using natural/organic ingredients or not. I do not know enough about chemistry to comment in great detail, but I can imagine that organic goats milk, etc., is more expensive for the artisan to acquire than synthetic materials. If you value these kind of ingredients, then you may not mind spending more money on these types of soaps. 

Last measure of value in a soap for me is whether or not I actually enjoy it. If I buy a soap that I enjoy using every day, then I place a high value on that soap, plain and simple. If I buy something that I don’t look forward to, then it is of low value to me.

This subject may not always come up directly, but think about how many times you have seen a thread asking, “Is ___ soap worth it’s price?” This is a question that is best answered individually, and most of the time it is difficult to answer unless the product is actually obtained, used, and given a fair chance.

A lot of people initially looked to wet shaving as a way to save money, but as most of us have found out, curiosity gets the best of us and we end up sinking more into the hobby than when we were only using cartridges. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not! We have taken a chore that most people despise and learned how to enjoy it. By enjoying our shaves we have given them much more value than can be measured with any type of number or price tag. 

Though......I'm getting old.
Must use my magnifying glass to read this  Sherlock

But I agree, what started as as value in Dollars/Euro/Kroner now has evolved into value of quality of the shaving cream/soap.

As a cream and soap collector, I do still consider twice before paying Aqua di Parma or Xpec price for a product, but in the often pays the steep price to get what I expect to be a pristine product

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 03-02-2015, 07:41 PM
#9
  • Carson
  • Member
  • Adelaide, Australia
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I don't really worry about how much soap I use per shave (and the cost of it) or how much this blade costs and how many shaves i get out of it etc.
I find it funny that some people keep spreadsheets on this sort of thing.

If something works for me I just use it and enjoy it.  Biggrin

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 03-02-2015, 08:04 PM
#10
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(03-02-2015, 07:06 PM)Bruce Wrote:
(03-02-2015, 06:36 PM)CyanideMetal Wrote: I think we over-think something as simple as shaving.  
If we didn't, shave forums wouldn't exist.

+1

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 03-02-2015, 08:50 PM
#11
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(03-02-2015, 07:06 PM)Bruce Wrote:
(03-02-2015, 06:36 PM)CyanideMetal Wrote: I think we over-think something as simple as shaving.  
If we didn't, shave forums wouldn't exist.

Not true.  You can enjoy something without dissecting every aspect of it into its atomic parts.

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 03-02-2015, 08:51 PM
#12
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(03-02-2015, 07:41 PM)Carson Wrote: I don't really worry about how much soap I use per shave (and the cost of it) or how much this blade costs and how many shaves i get out of it etc.
I find it funny that some people keep spreadsheets on this sort of thing.

If something works for me I just use it and enjoy it.  Biggrin

Bingo.  PBA.

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 03-02-2015, 08:58 PM
#13
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I don't get it. Why do you guys care if people want to discuss how much something like cost per use, per swirl or cost per gram? It's a discussion forum, that's what we do.

If you don't enjoy talking about discussions where people are dissecting values....don't look in the thread. It's as simple as that. I don't care about SOTD discussions or pics, so I avoid those threads.

I fully understand what Nick is saying in terms of measuring the cost per shave and not price per gram in the jar. To measure the cost, you have to use it along with another product you are comparing, similar brushes, extended testing times etc.

But let's make one thing clear, myself and pretty much anyone else who's measuring or charting usage, isn't worrying about it or spending more then 15 seconds a day to mark the soap down on a spreadsheet. It's done out of fun and enjoyment, not because we are pinching pennies. After I finish a soap, it's nice to know how it stacks up against other products in terms of financial costs.

When all is said and done...I worry about performance first and foremost.

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 03-02-2015, 09:19 PM
#14
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Do as you wish, Bruce.  But when you or someone else proposes a system or method, what's the harm in offering an opposing view or opinion as long as it's respectful?  Maybe this is the 100th such thread of its kind and I finally felt like speaking up.  You shouldn't feel threatened because someone took an opposing view.  After all, if we couldn't demonstrate our individuality, we wouldn't need forums, would we?

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 03-02-2015, 10:52 PM
#15
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CyanideMetal, is what you originally posted an "opposing" view? Not sure Brucered would have had an issue if you really made a comment about the post, regardless if you were on one side or the other. So he wasn't threatened by your opinion but I am confused why you even posted. It seems like your post was noting how much detail was unneeded from the thread.

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 03-03-2015, 12:02 AM
#16
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As a new entry into soap making, albeit indirectly since I don't actually manufacture my soap, I can attest that the ingredients definitely make a difference to the price of a soap. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but quality natural ingredients are far more expensive but there are reasons to use them. Of course that figures into the price. It's one of the things a manufacturer absolutely must take into account. Every artisan or manufacturer deliberately makes pricing decisions (including cost to manufacture) long before actually making anything. It's a balancing act. As a manufacturer I knew that making an expensive product, soap in this case, would freeze out some folks and I hated doing it, but I knew I wouldn't be happy making anything down to a price. There is so much more than price factored into a product. Some see that, some don't, and I don't write that disparagingly at all. It just is.

When I first entered into traditional blade shaving I wanted a less expensive shave and that was my personal goal. I was shocked that folks would even consider buying a soap for $20, not to even consider more expensive soaps. Then as I began to actually enjoy shaving I came to enjoy the more expensive soaps and such. Then when I finally realized that shave soap lasts such a long time that the cost differences are miniscule when compared to other expenses I simply didn't worry about it anymore. To get a certain level of performance it costs money on the retail level to get there.

In the end, just do what makes you happy, and understand there are probably very good reasons for the cost of a given soap. I have a cabinet full of soaps, from Arko, to vastly more expensive ones and I still enjoy most of them today. The ones I don't enjoy get used in the shower. But there are soaps for every budget; there was for me when cost was a huge factor and I couldn't see anything else.

I enjoy seeing cost per shave stats, but in the end IMO, that's just one tiny aspect of what a shave soap is. I can't imagine actually doing the studies that produce those results and I marvel at the folks who do, that they have the endurance for that. I couldn't do it.

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 03-03-2015, 01:12 AM
#17
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(03-03-2015, 12:02 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: As a new entry into soap making, albeit indirectly since I don't actually manufacture my soap, I can attest that the ingredients definitely make a difference to the price of a soap. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but quality natural ingredients are far more expensive but there are reasons to use them. Of course that figures into the price. It's one of the things a manufacturer absolutely must take into account. Every artisan or manufacturer deliberately makes pricing decisions (including cost to manufacture) long before actually making anything. It's a balancing act. As a manufacturer I knew that making an expensive product, soap in this case, would freeze out some folks and I hated doing it, but I knew I wouldn't be happy making anything down to a price. There is so much more than price factored into a product. Some see that, some don't, and I don't write that disparagingly at all. It just is.

When I first entered into traditional blade shaving I wanted a less expensive shave and that was my personal goal. I was shocked that folks would even consider buying a soap for $20, not to even consider more expensive soaps. Then as I began to actually enjoy shaving I came to enjoy the more expensive soaps and such. Then when I finally realized that shave soap lasts such a long time that the cost differences are miniscule when compared to other expenses I simply didn't worry about it anymore. To get a certain level of performance it costs money on the retail level to get there.

In the end, just do what makes you happy, and understand there are probably very good reasons for the cost of a given soap. I have a cabinet full of soaps, from Arko, to vastly more expensive ones and I still enjoy most of them today. The ones I don't enjoy get used in the shower. But there are soaps for every budget; there was for me when cost was a huge factor and I couldn't see anything else.

I enjoy seeing cost per shave stats, but in the end IMO, that's just one tiny aspect of what a shave soap is. I can't imagine actually doing the studies that produce those results and I marvel at the folks who do, that they have the endurance for that. I couldn't do it.
Very well said Brian. I agree.

From my Tab through the Tap

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 03-03-2015, 02:04 AM
#18
  • SRNewb
  • Senior Member
  • No. Va, USA
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(03-02-2015, 02:33 PM)NSmalls Wrote: Gents, lately I have seen a few members analyze “value,” of a shaving soap by comparing price per ounce of the product. For me this measure is irrelevant when comparing shaving soaps of different consistencies. Harder soaps tend to use less product per shave, so while they are more expensive per ounce, they may actually last longer. What needs to be looked at is price per shave. This is a better measure of value because you can compare soaps of different consistencies. I’m sure most of you fine gents are able to figure out how to do this on your own, so I won’t get into the logistics of it, but I will recommend using consistency. Same brush, same load time, etc. 


Another thing that is to be considered is whether or not the artisan or soap maker is using natural/organic ingredients or not. I do not know enough about chemistry to comment in great detail, but I can imagine that organic goats milk, etc., is more expensive for the artisan to acquire than synthetic materials. If you value these kind of ingredients, then you may not mind spending more money on these types of soaps. 

Last measure of value in a soap for me is whether or not I actually enjoy it. If I buy a soap that I enjoy using every day, then I place a high value on that soap, plain and simple. If I buy something that I don’t look forward to, then it is of low value to me.

This subject may not always come up directly, but think about how many times you have seen a thread asking, “Is ___ soap worth it’s price?” This is a question that is best answered individually, and most of the time it is difficult to answer unless the product is actually obtained, used, and given a fair chance.

A lot of people initially looked to wet shaving as a way to save money, but as most of us have found out, curiosity gets the best of us and we end up sinking more into the hobby than when we were only using cartridges. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not! We have taken a chore that most people despise and learned how to enjoy it. By enjoying our shaves we have given them much more value than can be measured with any type of number or price tag. 

I literally cannot read this post because the font is so small. Just throwing that out there.

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 03-03-2015, 05:08 AM
#19
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(03-03-2015, 02:04 AM)SRNewb Wrote: I literally cannot read this post because the font is so small. Just throwing that out there.

It is hard to read on the PC....I thought my eyes were giving out.

Easier on Tapatalk, but it displays all the format codes and difficult as well.

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 03-03-2015, 05:42 AM
#20
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(03-03-2015, 12:02 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I enjoy seeing cost per shave stats, but in the end IMO, that's just one tiny aspect of what a shave soap is. I can't imagine actually doing the studies that produce those results and I marvel at the folks who do, that they have the endurance for that. I couldn't do it.

I agree with everything you said, but want to touch on this point. 

Yes, it's a very small aspect and one some number/statistic type people enjoy tracking.  It's a very simple process for me and this is my method.  I weight the soap out of the container and transplant it in my bowl of choice (a ceramic soap dish).  I use it from start to finish and when I'm done, I know exactly how many shaves I used it for and it now weighs 0g.  There are only so many times that members who have been around a few years, can answer the same questions over and over and discuss the same things over and over.   Tracking the data is interesting to me, it doesn't harm anyone, I don't force it on anyone and do it for fun....which is why we are all here.

Being in the industry, you probably know that there are weight variations in products even if they are identical.  I've had soaps weight 90g and the same order and same soap one weight 120g.  That's a huge difference when you are discussing a $10 soap and affects the cost of it.

I haven't really seen anyone refer to the "VALUE" of soaps, but maybe I missed it.  I've seen plenty of cost/data/usage threads.  But even if people did refer to it as "VALUE" in those situations, they are referring to it in the context of the thread which would be the Dollar Value of it, not the enjoyment spin on the word.

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