Knothead Brush Works custom brush auction for DFS. Read more here!!

#1
Why don't artisan razor makers offer a few "test drive" models for consumers? After all, no one here buys a car w/o a test drive most likely. There are many lurkers I am sure who don't want to get on some pass around list for a host of reasons, but would probably pay S&H both ways + maybe a small service fee to test the razor they are pondering from the artisan. Not doing so has to hinder sales IMO. Valid credit card on file in case of theft or damage as a precaution and of course, no int'l shenanigans. It's a 'win win' scenario that would increase sales IMO. It would perhaps diminish those who in the present scenario ordered a razor too aggressive for their needs, which I am sure happens more often than many think. It just might lure in those people who click on websites and say "It's beautiful, but damn that's expensive!" and then leave to never return, let alone buy. 

I knew a man once who had a shooting range/gun shop with a practical means to sell firearms. For the biggest sellers he has demo models that he lets interested buyers step outside to shoot for free as he gives them five rds. Unbelievable how many people buy after that!! You have to involve the customer if you want to prove the value of whatever it is you are peddling. If it's as good as you believe, then reach out.  Wink
#2
(This post was last modified: 08-12-2020, 05:45 PM by DSR. Edited 1 time in total.)
(08-12-2020, 05:33 PM)BPman Wrote: Why don't artisan razor makers offer a few "test drive" models for consumers? After all, no one here buys a car w/o a test drive most likely. There are many lurkers I am sure who don't want to get on some pass around list for a host of reasons, but would probably pay S&H both ways + maybe a small service fee to test the razor they are pondering from the artisan. Not doing so has to hinder sales IMO. Valid credit card on file in case of theft or damage as a precaution and of course, no int'l shenanigans. It's a 'win win' scenario that would increase sales IMO. It would perhaps diminish those who in the present scenario ordered a razor too aggressive for their needs, which I am sure happens more often than many think. It just might lure in those people who click on websites and say "It's beautiful, but damn that's expensive!" and then leave to never return, let alone buy. 

I knew a man once who had a shooting range/gun shop with a practical means to sell firearms. For the biggest sellers he has demo models that he lets interested buyers step outside to shoot for free as he gives them five rds. Unbelievable how many people buy after that!! You have to involve the customer if you want to prove the value of whatever it is you are peddling. If it's as good as you believe, then reach out.  Wink

A few razor makers (Blackland, Timeless, likely others I can’t remember right now..) have the 30-day trial period, after which you can return it and just pay shipping costs.
So not exactly what you’re suggesting, as you have to “invest” the money first, but similar...

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#3
Not to mention the fact that some razor manufacturers are allowing people to participate in "pass-arounds," wherein you can try a razor for a week and see how you like it.

BPman likes this post
very nice, very nice, very nice, very nice.....maybe in the next world
#4

Member
Peachtree City, GA
Tried that with Wolfman to help new buyers ascertain the correct gap (especially given he located in Canada) but was met with no response from the manufacturer and derision when brought it up in the voluminous gap/handle/finish thread. We have managed to conduct multiple high value passarounds with only one trialer abusing the razors to date and no thefts. My perspective is yours, it would be to everyone's benefit to provide the customer a sample prior to purchase particularly with a multitude of gaps and finishes available. In closing, do have all the Wolfman razors desired at the moment so it wasn't a scam to get one for free as one guy suggested. Literally just trying to facilitate a service to others and it really does take a lot of time to manage it securely.

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Just an old slow fat man
#5

Merchant
San Francisco CA
(This post was last modified: 08-12-2020, 07:33 PM by Blackland Razors. Edited 1 time in total.)
I've thought about this for a few years. There are several core barriers to this. Inventory, sales, dealing with people, managing returns, and payment system.

Inventory is tough because you have to sit on a lot of units that will take many months to get your money out of. For example, say renting is like $20 for a two week period. Then you can add a week in round-trip shipping. So every three weeks you get $20. So it would take 27 weeks to get to the retail price of the razor if it's $180, assuming you turn it around immediately. And that would happen over presumably hundreds of razors. That's a big up-front cost that takes six months to get your money out of.

Sales is a problem due to the fact that many people buy razors because they want to try the hot new thing. If they can whet their appetite for $20 (or whatever), that doesn't bode well for my desire to make $200 from their curiosity.

I say "dealing with people" because every interaction has a cost associated with it. I'd rather make $200 in one interaction vs $200 over ten interactions. That's a lot of time, money, and frustration for the same amount of money. Plus shipping materials, inspecting returns, dealing with things when issues inevitably come up.

Managing returns is just a pain. Say the rental period is two weeks, then I have to automate emails to make them send the damn thing back in two weeks. Then you have to actually intake and manage the dozens or hundreds of returns. Doable, for sure, but a pain.

Payment system relates primarily to the management of their rental. You have to be able to store credit information and then charge them later if they don't return the razor or if they damage it. Most online stores are not set up to handle payments this way. So you'd have to sort that out in order to make the whole thing work in the first place. Again, doable, but a pain.


So it's definitely possible, but not worth it for me. It's a very expensive way to make your business way more annoying to run. And I'm not even sure it would actually make you more money. Kudos and good luck to anybody who goes this route.

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#6
(08-12-2020, 07:33 PM)Blackland Razors Wrote: I've thought about this for a few years...

Kudos and good luck to anybody who goes this route.

I shortened the quote for bandwidth brevity, but your explanation was well thought out as it's obvious you have pondered this very deeply. Your reasoning on this is better than mine by a long shot.  Wink

Blackland Razors likes this post
#7

Merchant
San Francisco CA
(08-12-2020, 11:33 PM)BPman Wrote:
(08-12-2020, 07:33 PM)Blackland Razors Wrote: I've thought about this for a few years...

Kudos and good luck to anybody who goes this route.

I shortened the quote for bandwidth brevity, but your explanation was well thought out as it's obvious you have pondered this very deeply. Your reasoning on this is better than mine by a long shot.  Wink

That's pretty much it! That doesn't make it a bad idea by any means as it's certainly doable and would be a nice service to have, but I've reached the conclusion for myself that it's not worth the trouble.

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#8

Administrator
Philadelphia, PA
(This post was last modified: 08-13-2020, 01:02 AM by andrewjs18. Edited 1 time in total.)
I actually had a similar thought a few years back and brought it up with Maggard. while they didn't get into as many details as Blackland Razors did above, their thoughts were similar.

Lipripper660, Gopneg and BPman like this post
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
#9
I've never participated in a 'pass around,' so I don't know what the procedure is vis a vis the artisan supplying the razor. In my naivety I thought it was a donation by the artisan of one copy of said razor to be passed around amongst the group with no renumeration for said razor. Silly me.  Rolleyes
#10
Unless you are looking to ascertain fit and finish a 3D printed trial razor that has the same blade exposure, gap, etc is the way to go for a trial item to ascertain performance. From a business standpoint you require a deposit to borrow the and refund it it full once returned and also offer a better warranty or price for those who decide to purchase the actual finished razor afterwards.


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