10-10-2016, 08:36 AM
#1
  • beamon
  • Active Member
  • Greenville, SC USA
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Do our own egos sometimes get in the way of rating gear? I'd say that most of us think we exercise pretty good judgement in what we choose to buy. If the item is pricy, does that make the choice of it even more justified?

In my competitive trap shooting days, I owned a brace of Browning Superposed shotguns with identical chokes (IM/F). One was the Grade 1, the other their Midas Grade. The Midas was 5 times more expensive (higher grade French walnut stock with finer checkering, more complex and better executed engraving on the receiver that encompassed precious metal inlays of hunting dogs and game birds), a true work of art! Could I break more targets with it than the Grade 1? NOPE, but I defended my choice of that gun as if it was from another universe!

Does the above sound a little like Wolfman v. Merkur 34C? Point being that since we use our unquestionably good judgement to buy an item, that certainly puts it higher up the 'goodness scale' and makes it more recommendation worthy than another similar item. I know my ratings are sometimes skewed by the 'I Bought It So It Must Be Good' effect, are yours?

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 10-10-2016, 09:01 AM
#2
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I think they are.  People by nature don't want to think that they spent X number of times higher for a product because it is all the rage or popular only to have it perform as well or worse then a lower priced item.  We sometimes equate money for quality.  In many cases it is true but at what point do we justify spending huge amounts of extra money for an item that does the same thing and a lower priced item?

When we buy that razor, watch, car, or any other item we are going to talk it up if we paid more  - not only to justify to ourselves that we made the right decision but also to others to say I paid more for this because it was worth it.

I have seen $1000+ straight razors out there that are works of art.  I recently got a Marshall-Wells Hardware Co. straight - a vintage razor - that shaves as good as any razor I have used and can get me BBS - all for under $40.  If I had the $1000+ razor I would really need to talk it up to justify the cost even if it performed the same.

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 10-10-2016, 09:10 AM
#3
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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People 'buy' into religions with far more onerous behaviour. To prove the correctness of comittment we must prosyletise others for peer approval.
I take another worldview. Phil sells perfectly functional razors that humble even the Merkur HD for pricepoint. We all knew that brief flush of measured gravitas switching from disposable razors for a superior shave, SAVING MONEY and in a small way the environment. I have every  intention of someday owning a Wolfman. Do I need it? Yes, just like my persian rugs sitting on top of wall to wall beige apartment bargain carpet, My Lagavulin and Gaugain, Van Gogh and Klee glicee prints visible to my neighbor with a black velvet nude woman from Tijuana and Hulk Hogan autographed poster staring back with a COORS light.

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 10-10-2016, 09:15 AM
#4
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There's probably a certain amount of bias present, but I've come to believe...and accept...that a certain amount of bias is par for the course. Once I came to this acceptance my visits to these forums became more comfortable.

These "traditional" or "wet" shaving forums, I realized, is not as much about shaving as it is the celebration of the ritual of traditional shaving and the love of traditional shaving gear acquisitive. Participants are more than willing to welcome newcomers into the fold IF their online presence falls within the spectrum of what's generally accepted by everyone else.

Within this is a subculture of members who swear by particular products regardless of it's effectiveness.

It's neither right or wrong...it's simply the way things are. I've received valuable information from these forums, yet I'm aware that I may have to go elsewhere if I want feedback concerning certain shaving experiences , or seek elsewhere if I want unbiased opinions about certain products.

Sent from my Z958 using Tapatalk

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 10-10-2016, 09:29 AM
#5
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I generally buy vintage. But that said I've made my share of purchases in the mind set "it's got to be good" fortunately there is alway the Ebay route to pass it on and ease my pain. Live and learn. It's the main reason I'm so reluctant to make any larger purchases. Can't stand the buyers remorse.

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 10-10-2016, 09:48 AM
#6
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Guy in the Zendo asked me if I had abandoned my ego after 3 months meditation. No, my mother raised parakeets.

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 10-10-2016, 10:29 AM
#7
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(10-10-2016, 09:48 AM)kav Wrote: Guy in the Zendo asked me if I had abandoned my ego after 3 months meditation. No, my mother raised parakeets.

Laughing1

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 10-10-2016, 10:58 AM
#8
  • EricM
  • Senior Member
  • Encinitas, CA
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I get amazing shaves with a vintage GEM MMOC that I bought for $13.  Tongue

But I also enjoy shaving with a razor that I know was not machine stamped, and involved a high degree of skill and craftsmanship to create, i.e. BBS-1 and Wolfman.  The combination of art and function really make it for me.

Eric

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 10-10-2016, 11:35 AM
#9
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(10-10-2016, 10:58 AM)EricM Wrote: I get amazing shaves with a vintage GEM MMOC that I bought for $13.  Tongue

But I also enjoy shaving with a razor that I know was not machine stamped, and involved a high degree of skill and craftsmanship to create, i.e. BBS-1 and Wolfman.  The combination of art and function really make it for me.

Eric

Yup, pride of ownership has a lot to do with it. Nothing wrong with that so long as you don't kid yourself that one shaves better than the other.

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 10-10-2016, 12:19 PM
#10
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Or become expert on canned beans and how many come in each brand 24

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 10-10-2016, 12:25 PM
#11
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I have shaved pretty consistently for the past two years with a EJ89.  Intermissions in between to try other razors, but 90% of my shaves have been with the EJ.  In fact, I sold a Weber DLC because I found that it shaved nearly identical to the EJ89 which I paid 20 bucks for, despite paying just south of $200 for the Weber.  That said, i purchased just this weekend a Rockwell razor and a polished Blackbird.  One five times more expensive than my trusty EJ, one 9 times more expensive than my trusty EJ.  Do I believe the BB will shave 9 times better than the EJ, no.  I hope it does shave better however, as I do believe in the you get what you pay for.  I could "paint" a room using just a roll of dollar store paper towels.....

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 10-10-2016, 01:15 PM
#12
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I'm generally more critical of the more expensive stuff I bought. I expect a lot more from it, and if it doesn't meet that satisfaction I do tell my friends my honest opinion about the item if they asked me about it. I try to refrain from being critical on the forums but if a friend asks me, I have to be honest with my assessment.

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 10-10-2016, 02:56 PM
#13
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(10-10-2016, 01:15 PM)1Geralt Wrote: I'm generally more critical of the more expensive stuff I bought. I expect a lot more from it, and if it doesn't meet that satisfaction I do tell my friends my honest opinion about the item if they asked me about it. I try to refrain from being critical on the forums but if a friend asks me, I have to be honest with my assessment.

+1

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 10-10-2016, 05:58 PM
#14
  • Jorvaljr
  • Member
  • Temple city, California
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It's a good question. But I don't think for me it registers that way. I've bought a couple of expensive razors ( expensive for me ) and when I judged them it wasn't based on the fact that I paid more for it. I shaved with it and it either shaved well or it didn't. I know some people buy expensive stuff and think it must be better if it's expensive. I don't think that way..

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 10-10-2016, 06:17 PM
#15
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Nobody wants to think he made a bad purchase, so yes, imo most of us are probably predisposed to thinking as Roger suggests.

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 10-10-2016, 06:56 PM
#16
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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The face of shaving has changed in the last few years and will continue. A social scientist would have a field day with this group. Master craftsmen ( and ladies) have responded to growing consumer demand with products undreamed of not that long past. I love my Mergress, itself a 'high end' effort  and I understand the intrinsic allure of a Wolfman. Some people have an almost sour grapes response because the hurdle of price or ready availability is to big a jump. We saw this in the recent past and ironically the biggest foxes were in fact raiding the henhouse for bargains to resell on EBAY. Our cunning little vixens walked into a leghold trap and are about to get skinned with a dirty merkur blade. Other folks look for precision and artistry for love of aesthetics beyond function. Lastly are the people who believe a Ferrari or .44 magnum S&W imparts good looks, superior driving and shooting skills and a elevated sperm count. If you think about it, group two are the winners and the others inevitably whiners, or weeners. Sometimes I think we all need to shave once more with a convenience store bic razor and barbasol; remind our collective consiousness ALL this wet shaving kit is high end compared to the unwashed and badly shaved masses and appreciate
 being winners again.

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 10-10-2016, 07:25 PM
#17
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(10-10-2016, 08:36 AM)beamon Wrote: Do our own egos sometimes get in the way of rating gear? . . . since we use our unquestionably good judgement to buy an item, that certainly puts it higher up the 'goodness scale' and makes it more recommendation worthy than another similar item. I know my ratings are sometimes skewed by the 'I Bought It So It Must Be Good' effect, are yours?

I like this concept. My answer is Yes. As sellers or reviewers we have a responsibility to be honest where someone may rely on our opinions to some extent. The prospective buyer is a grown adult and wouldn't be looking to spend the bucks if he didn't already want it. That's a potential vulnerability. As a buyer I have dropped some rather hefty bucks on stuff that fail to meet my expectation. I wanted the stuff, I got it, and decided I didn't like it. My money, my fault. I agree with your statement that we have to be very careful with recommendations, especially if we really and truly have a problem with the stuff we're attempting to review.

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 10-10-2016, 07:36 PM
#18
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(10-10-2016, 08:36 AM)beamon Wrote: Do our own egos sometimes get in the way of rating gear? ... If the item is pricy, does that make the choice of it even more justified?

The study of psychology has a specific term for what you describe:  Cognitive Dissonance.”

However, as often was observed on the Seinfeld TV series, “ ... not that there’s any thing wrong with that.”

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 10-10-2016, 08:13 PM
#19
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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So, how many participants in this thread scored a Brad Sears brush now that Lee Sabatini has emerged from rumour and myth once again? Tongue

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 10-11-2016, 10:24 AM
#20
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No amount of money spent will give you proper technique , proper technique achieves great shaves. I have owned a Wolfman , a handful of gel tip Rooney's , vintage yardley. The best shave I ever had did not include any of those items.

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