03-15-2019, 08:18 PM
#1
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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In Wall Street argot, a wide moat is what a corporation that has devised a way to print money has to prevent competitors from cloning its product or services, selling competitively, and driving the price (and profits) down.  

We were early adopters of electrical toothbrushes (my first was a Broxodent, circa 1964).  When they came to the market, and even more recently, when battery-powered electric toothbrushes became popular, the replacement heads for all brands and models of electric toothbrushes were priced in the range of roughly double the price of a manual toothbrush, the premium justified, perhaps, if any justification was needed, by the internal mechanical mechanisms that many of them have.  In recent years, the price of replacement heads for Oral-B brand toothbrushes (the ones we have:  Oral-B is a Procter & Gamble brand) have crept up to the near-$10 level ($8.00 plus), roughly four to five times the price of a typical manual toothbrush.  

This week, the last FlossAction replacement head for our Oral-B toothbrush handles was reaching end-of-service, and I went to several stores (Target, Fred Meyer: Kroger, Wal*Mart) seeking replacement Oral-B brand FlossAction replacement heads.


$40 for a three-pack.

There can be no cost justification for that level of price gouging.

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 03-16-2019, 06:20 AM
#2
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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A seemingly similar conundrum experienced by users of Gillette cartridges who eventually opted to switch to traditional one blade razors.
Have you tried using a manual toothbrush lately? Attention and thoroughness of use yield effective results. I haven’t had a cavity in over a decade.
My preference is for extra soft, small head versions.

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 03-16-2019, 07:03 AM
#3
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I have the same complaint about the Sonicare toothbrushes we use.  We do get the new heads at Costco, and they're less there than any other retailer we've found.

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 03-16-2019, 10:38 AM
#4
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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(03-16-2019, 06:20 AM)chazt Wrote: A seemingly similar conundrum experienced by users of Gillette cartridges who eventually opted to switch to traditional one blade razors.
Have you tried using a manual toothbrush lately? Attention and thoroughness of use yield effective results. I haven’t had a cavity in over a decade.
My preference is for extra soft, small head versions.

My wife uses an electric/battery Oral-B but I chose the same route at chazt.  I'm from the old school if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  The manual toothbrush has served me well since I started brushing my teeth 70 years ago.  A little flossing after meals also helps.

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 03-16-2019, 03:43 PM
#5
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(03-16-2019, 07:03 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: I have the same complaint about the Sonicare toothbrushes we use.  We do get the new heads at Costco, and they're less there than any other retailer we've found.

The price mentioned in the original post above, $40 (technically, $39.99) for a pack of three heads, works out to a cool $13.33 per head.  

On the online auction site that rhymes with Swedish Hej! I found a seller who is offering for $13.20 branded and visibly authentic Oral-B Floss Action heads; that is $0.13 less than the per-head price at local big-box retail stores; but that $13.20 auction site price gets you SIX FlossAction heads (equals $2.20 per head), not just one head.  A better than six-to-one price difference.

Yr obdnt srvnt chose to pass on the six-for-$13.20 offering (proving conclusively that I am not a cheapskate), however, opting for another offering on the same site of eight-for-$20.  It was an act reflecting laziness more powerful than thrift; I simply do not want to spend much time on mundane tasks such as ordering toothbrush heads, so having eight in stock rather than six defers a little bit longer the time when I go through this again.

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 03-16-2019, 05:54 PM
#6
  • SCOV
  • Senior Member
  • Minnesota
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I changed to Quip a few years ago.  New head and battery are $5 every 3 months and mailed to me.  Dentist commented on improvement in my teeth and gums.  

Goby is another subscription toothbrush and gets good reviews.

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 03-16-2019, 06:27 PM
#7
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Everyone is chasing the recurring revenue model ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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 03-16-2019, 10:59 PM
#8
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Sell the razor for cheap, and make a killing on the blades...

A lot of businesses these days seems to pick up on the idea of their product as a service, as opposed to something you buy and own. We see it with software, and we see it with subscription razors and - I've never heard about it until today - electrical toothbrushes. You pay a recurring fee, and the software keeps working, new carts arrive for the razor, new heads for the toothbrush, etc.

Personally I pick up my toothbrushes at the local hardware store. They come in an eight-pack, and work both for cleaning teeth and razors Wink

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 03-19-2019, 04:03 AM
#9
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(03-16-2019, 03:43 PM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(03-16-2019, 07:03 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: I have the same complaint about the Sonicare toothbrushes we use.  We do get the new heads at Costco, and they're less there than any other retailer we've found.

The price mentioned in the original post above, $40 (technically, $39.99) for a pack of three heads, works out to a cool $13.33 per head.  

On the online auction site that rhymes with Swedish Hej! I found a seller who is offering for $13.20 branded and visibly authentic Oral-B Floss Action heads; that is $0.13 less than the per-head price at local big-box retail stores; but that $13.20 auction site price gets you SIX FlossAction heads (equals $2.20 per head), not just one head.  A better than six-to-one price difference.

Yr obdnt srvnt chose to pass on the six-for-$13.20 offering (proving conclusively that I am not a cheapskate), however, opting for another offering on the same site of eight-for-$20.  It was an act reflecting laziness more powerful than thrift; I simply do not want to spend much time on mundane tasks such as ordering toothbrush heads, so having eight in stock rather than six defers a little bit longer the time when I go through this again.

Was there rationing? $26.40 would have gotten you 12 heads.

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 03-20-2019, 04:19 AM
#10
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(03-19-2019, 04:03 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Was there rationing? $26.40 would have gotten you 12 heads.

Why stop there?  $13,200.00 would have got me 6,000 heads.

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