#1

Super Moderator
Is it just me or has the wet shaving space just calmed right down? I find myself missing those heady days with various artisans releasing new products to overwhelming demand (maybe limited supply) with online storefronts crashing and the agony or ecstasy of scoring the sought after product...or not Sad I had a daily ritual of checking the New Arrivals sections of my preferred vendors and the upcoming releases of my favourite artisans but lately there have been so few updates that I may only look in weekly or even less frequently. Please, tell me we haven't peaked!! Tell me there will be another Hallows or Nuavia Rosso!! Maybe I'm spoiled but I'm hoping 2019 brings us more awesomeness. Happy2

HighSpeed, Tbone, Lipripper660 and 4 others like this post
#2

Member
San Jose, California
You only have to take a look at the BST section to realize that we have already peaked - things don't move as fast as it used to (people already have way too much stuff), and when stuff doesn't move, we tend to buy less (I know I do as I do not like to throw away stuff or just let them collect dust) and the cycle continues. Some of us were talking (over at reddit chat room) to a major shaving vendor - he also agreed that overall traffic has slowed down over the last year or so.

Beard (and beard care) is becoming more and more trendy. As someone who shaves 365 days a year (I wish I could shave more), I actually love that the 'rule' that we need to shave is making way to whatever we wish to do. There is not a single person I know (well except a banker friend and those who I converted) who shaves regularly. I know quite a few people who are buying lots of beard care products and taking good care of their beard.

And finally, I don't think we as a community make it interesting or easy enough for others to get involved in our 'hobby'. We can be too weird or too confusing. Others may disagree, but that is the feeling I have after 4 years of wetshaving.


(Anyway, I still use different products every day, enjoy my shaves immensely, love the scents, the brushes, the razors - I just don't find the curiosity to talk about them. Most of the products in the market (and my den) are great/ very good (especially with improved technique, thanks to DFS - this is where I started the hobby) for me, so I also don't see the point of participating in 'Top 5' or 'This soap blows away everything else ' kind of posts. But that is just one person)

Rebus Knebus, Blade4vor, TheHunter and 13 others like this post
Sourav
#3

Member
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Interesting thread. I've watched people come and go and a quick search of old threads will show that very active members no longer hang around. I know my threads and posts have slowed as my "routine" became established. As we find razors, brushes, blades, soaps, that suit us there are less new items joining the herd thus less desire to discuss or review. I know personally my desire for another razor or to try different blades and soaps has gone to near zero. I like what I'm using and see no reason to keep searching. Have we peaked? I sure don't think so. It sure feels, like other new markets, the initial rush is over and now we just quietly keep growing. Our market seems to be maturing and settling into a routine business model rather than the initial "boom town" pace it was. Still feel it's growing though and I'll guess that when the beard craze has run its course we will find a broad pool of great new recruits.

Blade4vor, Marko, jags009 and 2 others like this post
#4

Member
Virginia, USA
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018, 05:43 AM by HighSpeed.)
The first thing that came to mind when reading Marko's OP was the recent closure of Straight Razor Designs.  I'm sure others too must have seen this coming after SRD's sequence of increasingly steep site-wide discounts.  Even so, when at last their home page splash proclaimed that like all good things, SRD had to come to an end, I felt an unspoken debt of gratitude to Don and Lynn, and an empty feeling where SRD had been.  To say that the hole left by SRD will be filled soon enough is true up to a point, but it won't be the same as Don and Lynn.

I hope we are not going to see a cavalcade of closures involving the people whose work has helped create what we call "The Golden age of Traditional Shaving".  I'm not hitting the panic button either, but I too feel there are reasons for concern.  And like iamsms, I think we could lower the bar for newcomers.  I myself can respect different views about the extent to which we should do this, but as it is, I think we don't do this as well as we might.  For example, I have seen only one member in the shave-of-the-week threads who posts that he uses a cart, and he never shows the cart in the pictures.  Surely it would be easier to attract shavers who could keep their carts and hold their heads up high while they first learn to lather.  That said, I confess to having no idea of how to make that happen any better than it is now.

EFDan, Sevenbark, Freddy and 4 others like this post
Be Cool, be Kind, and be Well
--  Mike  --


The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our razors, but in our technique.
#5
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018, 06:44 AM by celestino.)
(12-30-2018, 05:43 AM)HighSpeed Wrote:  For example, I have seen only one member in the shave-of-the-week threads who posts that he uses a cart, and he never shows the cart in the pictures.  Surely it would be easier to attract shavers who could keep their carts and hold their heads up high while they first learn to lather.  That said, I confess to having no idea of how to make that happen any better than it is now.

There are quite a few gentlemen on the Spanish and Portuguese forums who, daily, post their SOTD photos displaying their cartridge razors, along with their DEs, SEs, straights, et cetera. As long as everyone is respectful and encouraging to newcomers to use whatever works for them, then this could foster a welcoming and congenial environment. Shy

With regards to the trend in beards, wait until all of the grey starts showing. Wink

Freddy, iamsms, HighSpeed and 5 others like this post
Celestino
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart
#6
The holidays and cold weather may have something to do with it. More people are probably wearing beards and simply shaving less while it's cold. And there is the fact that there are a ton of artisans offering quality products these days. Some people may have peaked out on software and slowed down on buying. In my case I peaked out on soaps early this year and haven't really bought any for months. I have been trying to finish as many soaps as I can before buying more, and I will indeed buy more. Right now I have several soaps and aftershaves that are almost finished and I already finished off a few. It feels good to be able to say that too, because there for a few years I could hardly finish anything. I know a lot of people have many more soaps than I have, thus I can only suspect a lot of people feel they need to take break on buying. It probably goes without saying that if people aren't buying as many soaps or other products then they aren't posting as much either, being that many posts are to talk about new products and reviews and such. That's my two cents anyway.

Lipripper660, Freddy, Captainjonny and 4 others like this post
#7

Member
Virginia, USA
(12-30-2018, 06:44 AM)celestino Wrote:
(12-30-2018, 05:43 AM)HighSpeed Wrote:  For example, I have seen only one member in the shave-of-the-week threads who posts that he uses a cart, and he never shows the cart in the pictures.  Surely it would be easier to attract shavers who could keep their carts and hold their heads up high while they first learn to lather.  That said, I confess to having no idea of how to make that happen any better than it is now.

There are quite a few gentlemen on the Spanish and Portuguese forums who, daily, post their SOTD photos displaying their cartridge razors, along with their DEs, SEs, straights, et cetera. As long as everyone is respectful and encouraging to newcomers to use whatever works for them, then this could foster a welcoming and congenial environment. Shy

With regards to the trend in beards, wait until all of the grey starts showing. Wink

Thanks celestino. That's very good to know, and now I am curious as to why there is a difference. I wonder what the Spanish and Portuguese forums might be doing to be more supportive of newcomers.?

Lipripper660, Marko and Freddy like this post
Be Cool, be Kind, and be Well
--  Mike  --


The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our razors, but in our technique.
#8
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018, 04:05 PM by yohannrjm.)
There's probably a bunch of reasons for this. The time of the year is one possible reason. I think things do slow down in the winter, even online.

However, I also think that there's certainly a lot of 'dilution' going on. We have so many wetshaving sites available to us. I used to belong to B&B, SRP, SMF, TSD, TSN and some others (now defunct). While I was in the information gathering stage of my hobby (and, let's be honest, item gathering as well) it made sense to scour them all for information. Now I've reached a state where I know what works for me, so I'm only on these sites to help new guys out. I usually only come on here at DFS and very rarely one one other site. It's too hard to be active at several of the same type of forums.

Also, like any hobby, there was a period of experimentation that I went through, and then I reached a state of relative stability. I already have more soaps and creams than I can use in my lifetime. I have more razors than I can keep track of, and I've worked out what works for me, so I shave (and enjoy it), but I don't feel the need to read about every new DE razor that's been released, as I know that it will eventually not be all that different from something I have in my den already. I've discussed this in another thread on this forum.

I wouldn't be surprised if my experiences are shared by others on here. I think a lot of people get into a hobby and initially want to get information and exchange it, after which they possess their equipment and knowledge and do not need to hang out in places like this as much to enjoy their hobby.

----------------------

It's got me wondering about what we offer to newbies on here. There is now so much information on DE/SE/straight razor shaving available in various formats on the internet, and a new guy has only to read the articles and watch the videos on Sharpologist or a similar site, and doesn't have to dredge through thousands of forum posts anymore. There are youtube videos on everything, and probably Instagram and Twitter feeds. The forum is not the preferred choice of venue at which to get information anymore. I come from the email and forum generation, but I know my kids don't. They get their information from 'new' media.

As this hobby got more mainstream, people of our generation who were curious about it got into one or the other of the forums, but there are a limited number of people in this generation. There just are fewer potential 'customers' out there and things slow down. Young people still have to shave, and they will probably be interested in the type of shaving we discuss here, but they may not choose this setting to get their information from.

Maybe these sites will morph into something new, or maybe only a (relatively) few guys will hang stick around in the future. Being a Linux guy I used to use IRC and various chat formats to exchange information. Now those platforms are pretty much dead. Things change. It's not always a bad thing.

Freddy, Marko, andrewjs18 and 4 others like this post
- Yohann
#9

Member
Northern NJ
For the things I’m interested in the market is alive and well...I just can’t print money fast enough to keep up with it!

Blade4vor and Marko like this post
#10
To pick up on what iamsms and HighSpeed mentioned:

1) The BST section is usually the most active subforum on any forum. This is where people go to feed and fuel their AD's. 10 years ago, the BST sections of the forums at the time were filled with budget items - $20 razors and $5 soaps and creams. A lot of items were more expensive, of course, but the bulk of items traded were cheaper. This made it more accessible to curious people. People bought a few cheaper items, tried them out and then passed them on and then bought others. This gave rise to a bustling trading forum and kept the users engaged.

That balance has shifted. Now, most people are selling $100+ brushes and razors. These may be good deals, but they're likely to discourage new people who are just looking for a good shave at a reasonable price. They read about the items that may fit their budgets and then they go buy them off Amazon or wherever. Importantly, they leave the forums to do business elsewhere The focus on high-end items in these forums just makes the hobby less accessible to everyone.

2) When you read about the closure of businesses like SRD it brings to mind that 'traditional wetshaving' has really moved into the mainstream now. Whereas a decade or more ago it was a much smaller community and was not attractive to the larger vendors and purveyors, now it's a reasonably large community. More importantly, we have shown that we'll pay top dollar for shaving items. This means that Amazon and other online retailers are a reasonable place to set up shop. Also, Amazon allows cheaper manufacturers to offer items for sale at very low prices. Vendors from the East can easily access a large and lucrative market. That does two things

- People no longer need the forums to buy stuff. Which means they aren't here on DFS.
- Small vendors like SRD lose custom. It may not be an immediate killing, but rather a death of a thousand cuts.

SRD may have lost out because of better online providers like Bullgoose, Maggards etc. Competition will do that. I think this trend will continue until the predators are themselves eaten by a larger predator.

--------

The point here is that people used to have to frequent the forums to fuel their shaving obsession. They no longer have to. My wife buys quite a few household items on Amazon. It's only a matter of moments for me to piggyback a few boxes of blades onto her order. There's no need to ask on here about it. A lot of my shaving consumables are similarly available for cheap online and I don't need the forums. This is likely the case for others as well, and they don't need a forum to do that. This keeps the traffic on the forums down.

And to go back to the OP's lament - this also could explain why there are fewer launches of new items. The market may be getting saturated with 'new' items. It may be more of a risk to spend the time and money to develop a new item that will just be yesterday's news a week or two after launch.

stuartganis74, Blade4vor, Marko and 1 others like this post
- Yohann


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)