05-12-2019, 11:23 AM
#1
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
At the risk of sounding like the get off my lawn guy, the golden era of wet shaving has long passed. Some of you may disagree and point to the fact that there are more products available than ever before from artisan soaps to custom brushes to stainless steel razors. In fact, it seems as if there are new products every single day. This is indisputable. It is also the problem.  How so you ask?

Nobody gets excited about anything anymore. After several years of in your face hucksters churning out new products at a dizzying pace, wet shavers as a whole (which is still a fairly small market) have simply grown numb to it.  There is no longer great anticipation for a product release and nothing seems to move the needle anymore. 

This point was really driven home recently with the Janus razor. Several years ago, a remake of the toggle (especially a stainless steel version) would have caused wet shavers to soil themselves. Janus has been working on this project for about two years and, they are finally close to making it a reality. Despite this, all I hear is crickets.

52 21,020
Reply
 05-12-2019, 11:39 AM
#2
User Info
For me, it's not that the thrill is gone.  It's that some of the new offerings are pretty expensive.  For those of us who know we can't drop $600 (in the case of the Janus), there is no need in getting my hackles up about something that there is almost no chance that I will be able to afford.  Not that razor may not be worth it, but none of that matters if I simply can't afford it.  I still get very excited about new soaps and new soap formulations because I can afford to indulge. It seems like in the razor arena what comes out is priced out of the ballpark for a lot of folks.

0 107
Reply
 05-12-2019, 11:42 AM
#3
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(05-12-2019, 11:39 AM)Preacher Wrote: For me, it's not that the thrill is gone.  It's that some of the new offerings are pretty expensive.  For those of us who know we can't drop $600 (in the case of the Janus), there is no need in getting my hackles up about something that there is almost no chance that I will be able to afford.  Not that razor may not be worth it, but none of that matters if I simply can't afford it.  I still get very excited about new soaps and new soap formulations because I can afford to indulge. It seems like in the razor arena what comes out is priced out of the ballpark for a lot of folks.

Perhaps the Janus was not the best example as it is definitely pricey. That said, I have noticed the same apathetic reaction to a wide range of products over the past year from soaps to brushes to razors to aftershaves. It is a night and day difference from a few years ago.

52 21,020
Reply
 05-12-2019, 11:49 AM
#4
User Info
I've only been wet-shaving since 2011, so I can't speak for the days gone by.  I do agree that there are lots of new products coming to market.  I tend to get excited easily, but finances keep me in check (lol).  I followed the development of the Janus, just didn't comment much on it.  To be honest, there are so many excellent products out already that it's hard to get geeked over new ones.  My daily driver is a Timeless Bronze.  I get such a great shave from it, that when something new comes along, I have to ask myself what does it offer that I'm not already getting.  But I do encourage the development of new products.  For me it keeps things exciting.

0 107
Reply
 05-12-2019, 11:57 AM
#5
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(05-12-2019, 11:49 AM)Preacher Wrote: I've only been wet-shaving since 2011, so I can't speak for the days gone by.  I do agree that there are lots of new products coming to market.  I tend to get excited easily, but finances keep me in check (lol).  I followed the development of the Janus, just didn't comment much on it.  To be honest, there are so many excellent products out already that it's hard to get geeked over new ones.  My daily driver is a Timeless Bronze.  I get such a great shave from it, that when something new comes along, I have to ask myself what does it offer that I'm not already getting.  But I do encourage the development of new products.  For me it keeps things exciting.

That is part of it too...once you find a set-up that works it is natural to stick with it. Perhaps there isn't the influx of new wet shavers that there once was. I'm not really sure what it is but, it is palpable.

52 21,020
Reply
 05-12-2019, 12:07 PM
#6
  • garyg
  • Senior Member
  • Great Lakes
User Info
+1 - I think the market has become overheated, and the pendulum is swinging the other way..  I returned to wet shaving 10 years or so ago, when AoS was a shelf in the cigar store, the only new razors available were mostly zamac, and I traded with a couple private individuals on an older forum, guys with names like CoonCatBob, Bullgoose and Chief Broom .. 

My acquisitions have slowed down, though haven't ceased.  I read new product news on the forums regularly, and like Phil had noticed that the "buzz" has abated.  Hopefully we don't lose some of the respectable, established vendors in the retraction.

65 649
Reply
 05-12-2019, 12:42 PM
#7
User Info
Agreed. I've written a few posts over the last year about the slow down and glut of used gear. It's impossible to continue and buy if secondary markets are so tight. Buyers simply have all the say with used gear. Couple that with LE's that were never to return to return tells you to sit tight and not to sweat double orders because it will probably come back.

Sent from my Samsung S8+

1 181
Reply
 05-12-2019, 12:44 PM
#8
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
User Info
This phenomenon is not unique to wet shaving.  I follow a few high end shoe makers/manufacturers and about a year and half ago the market essentially dried up.  They don't know what to make of it either.  

Honestly, it's hard to get me excited about most things wet shaving anymore.  There are so many really excellent products (and I have a bunch of them) that I just don't get that excited about the latest and greatest.  Maybe some of that comes from so many things in the shaving world being almost unobtainable.  I would love to custom order a Wolf Whiskers brush, or a Wolfman razor, but I'm not even sure how to get on the waiting list for either product.  I am happy that they are so successful, and in such demand.  I've tried several times to get on the Wolf Whiskers waiting list and the only thing I end up getting is frustrated.  

I also think market saturation has a lot to do with the apparent apathy.  In the past year I have discovered a bunch of artisan brush makers that IMO are doing great work.  I would like to get a brush from several of them, but I know that if I don't like the brush it's going to be hard to sell it on the secondary market unless I sell it for a huge loss

12 2,151
Reply
 05-12-2019, 12:51 PM
#9
  • Sully
  • Super Moderator
  • Cedar Park, Texas
User Info
I'm going to add that I have also been burned by reviews that made a product sound like it was amazing, and the reality is that the product was a dud.  I had several soaps that were supposed to be the latest and greatest thing that were simply horrible.  Overly enthusiastic reviews, or outright shills have caused me to be cautious and wait until I read more positive reviews from guys I trust before I make a purchase.

12 2,151
Reply
 05-12-2019, 01:09 PM
#10
User Info
I believe we are witnessing a normal product lifecycle, particularly the revival/nostalgia trend. There will probably be a period of decline before stabilization at a different level.
[Image: ppt8-5-638.jpg?cb=1383862627]

36 1,902
Reply
 05-12-2019, 01:16 PM
#11
User Info
For me it's a combination of the above.  I have found my daily set up and I seeing that the new offerings are expensive I just can't afford or don't want to spent the money to try them, this goes for razors, brushes and soap.  The products today are really great and the standard have been set high that purchasing anything affordable is good enough for daily use, this is especially true for soap, any soap that does not perform is not going to make it and the ones left, from the inexpensive to the high end are all good products.

19 522
Reply
 05-12-2019, 02:16 PM
#12
  • Asafiev
  • Active Member
  • Lancaster, PA
User Info
A random conversation with a coworker six years ago started my wet shaving journey. For me, it's turned into a primary hobby. I have noticed a lot more movement in the social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube for selling products. For example, Supply Razor. They have a slick advertising model that has served them well.

I think more folks would be willing to try traditional shaving but they don't know it exists. They also need a short learning curve (three minute video that tells the tale) and a cost structure that is closer to what they are paying now in order to pull the trigger. I do believe people are looking for something new beyond Gillette. There is also a trend for beard growth right now that is having an effect. I envision better times are ahead.

0 324
Reply
 05-12-2019, 02:26 PM
#13
User Info
Market saturation; interesting, but unattainable products; shills; over-hyped products have all contributed to the weariness of many in the shaving community. I have pared down my considerable collection, weeding out anything that doesn't give me 110% satisfaction. The culling process has been cathartic.

73 5,559
Reply
 05-12-2019, 03:11 PM
#14
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(05-12-2019, 12:42 PM)jaxstraww Wrote: Agreed. I've written a few posts over the last year about the slow down and glut of used gear. It's impossible to continue and buy if secondary markets are so tight. Buyers simply have all the say with used gear. Couple that with LE's that were never to return to return tells you to sit tight and not to sweat double orders because it will probably come back.

Sent from my Samsung S8+

Yes, that is definitely true and, it is another sign of over saturation.

52 21,020
Reply
 05-12-2019, 03:15 PM
#15
User Info
So many products have come to market in the last 5 years and most enthusiasts have had time to try the offerings and have settled on what works for them. Most will do some small exploration in areas but it’s more limited now. For me, I’ve settled on my razor (OneBlade Genesis) and brush (Simpson Chubby 2 synthetic), but am now exploring soaps.

0 219
Reply
 05-12-2019, 03:19 PM
#16
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(05-12-2019, 02:16 PM)Asafiev Wrote: A random conversation with a coworker six years ago started my wet shaving journey.  For me, it's turned into a primary hobby.  I have noticed a lot more movement in the social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube for selling products.  For example, Supply Razor.  They have a slick advertising model that has served them well.  

I think more folks would be willing to try traditional shaving but they don't know it exists.  They also need a short learning curve (three minute video that tells the tale) and a cost structure that is closer to what they are paying now in order to pull the trigger.  I do believe people are looking for something new beyond Gillette.  There is also a trend for beard growth right now that is having an effect.  I envision better times are ahead.

Expanding the market is key but, it is a hard sell getting someone to switch from cartridges to double edge razors. Most people are unwilling to a) learn a new skill and b) take the extra 5 minutes in the morning.

52 21,020
Reply
 05-12-2019, 03:40 PM
#17
User Info
I strongly disagree that the thrill is gone.

Take one look at the constant, cutthroat battles for wolfman, Declaration brushes, varlets and black eagle brushes.

I think more than ever that consumers demand quality and are educated more than ever as far as what holds value and what doesn’t. I will buy any of the above products any time I can simply because if and when I go to sell I can always get my money back, or double it if I was less scrupulous.

1 138
Reply
 05-12-2019, 03:52 PM
#18
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(05-12-2019, 03:40 PM)Kehole Wrote: I strongly disagree that the thrill is gone.

Take one look at the constant, cutthroat battles for wolfman, Declaration brushes, varlets and black eagle brushes.

I think more than ever that consumers demand quality and are educated more than ever as far as what holds value and what doesn’t. I will buy any of the above products any time I can simply because if and when I go to sell I can always get my money back, or double it if I was less scrupulous.

That is only due to a limited supply. If these items were readily available, there would be no battles to get them.

52 21,020
Reply
 05-12-2019, 03:56 PM
#19
User Info
(05-12-2019, 03:52 PM)bullgoose Wrote:
(05-12-2019, 03:40 PM)Kehole Wrote: I strongly disagree that the thrill is gone.

Take one look at the constant, cutthroat battles for wolfman, Declaration brushes, varlets and black eagle brushes.

I think more than ever that consumers demand quality and are educated more than ever as far as what holds value and what doesn’t. I will buy any of the above products any time I can simply because if and when I go to sell I can always get my money back, or double it if I was less scrupulous.

That is only due to a limited supply. If these items were readily available, there would be no battles to get them.

I don’t know if I agree with this. Declaration knots are available for sale 24-7. Wolfman drops razors at a minimum of once a month like clockwork. Was once a week to 2 weeks most of last year.

But what does that have to do with anything? It’s not going to change, so what does it matter what the issue is? Also, how long has the wr1 been available? If it’s simply a supply problem you’d think the fact that it’s been around for a while would cause demand to drop. Not the case...

Aren’t paradigm and Rocnel products limited supply as well?

1 138
Reply
 05-12-2019, 04:01 PM
#20
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(05-12-2019, 03:56 PM)Kehole Wrote:
(05-12-2019, 03:52 PM)bullgoose Wrote:
(05-12-2019, 03:40 PM)Kehole Wrote: I strongly disagree that the thrill is gone.

Take one look at the constant, cutthroat battles for wolfman, Declaration brushes, varlets and black eagle brushes.

I think more than ever that consumers demand quality and are educated more than ever as far as what holds value and what doesn’t. I will buy any of the above products any time I can simply because if and when I go to sell I can always get my money back, or double it if I was less scrupulous.

That is only due to a limited supply. If these items were readily available, there would be no battles to get them.

I don’t know if I agree with this. Declaration knots are available for sale 24-7. Wolfman drops razors at a minimum of once a month like clockwork. Was once a week to 2 weeks most of last year.

But what does that have to do with anything? It’s not going to change, so what does it matter what the issue is? Also, how long has the wr1 been available? If it’s simply a supply problem you’d think the fact that it’s been around for a while would cause demand to drop. Not the case...

Aren’t paradigm and Rocnel products limited supply as well?
Limited supply items are more the exception than the rule. If Paradigm makes a batch of 100 razors, they sell in fairly short order. If they were to make 300 razors, not only would they not sell in short order, the first 100 would not sell nearly as quickly as when only 100 were available. This is what also drives the secondary market. If customers were not able to buy when the razor was available, many are willing to pay a premium on the secondary market. If the razors are still available new, they aren't going to pay a premium.

That isn't exactly what my main point was though...there is not nearly as much discussion or buzz about anything these days as compared to say three years ago.

52 21,020
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)