When I watched Dollar Shave Club‘s first advertisement, I thought that apart from the cool concept they had on the ad, they also have a cool concept on their product – subscription based shaving products. I wished there’s something like that in Malaysia.
Little did I know my wish has been made true several years ago, when Shaves2u started probably some time in 2014. Inspired by DSC, and seeing the opportunity to perform similar disruption as DSC in the US, Jonathan Aeberhard and Bernard Emby launched Shaves2u with similar shaving peripherals subscription model, the first here in Asia.
Somebody shave me
I started shaving when I was in my teens, and I started with the single blade typically sold in Malay and Indian stores. The single blade, when sharp, is awesome when doing some facial landscaping, but can cause irritation and bleeding if not careful.
When I start to stop keeping my beard and moved on to a goatee, I “upgraded” to a double bladed shavers. Initially, i was using disposable shavers before moving on to catridge-based Schick Exacta 2, when I decided to forgo the goatee and started to go for a clean shaven look.
For a while, this was a good thing. the blades are pretty cheap, and the starter pack is often discounted. However, the blades are usually in low stock, presumably grabbed by those who wants a clean shave with a dual-blade, but do not want to spend a fortune on the more expensive Schick or Gillette shaver systems.
So, with all the wisdom Facebook has upon me (thanks to all the data it collected from me, both explicitly and implicitly), it showed me Shaves2u ads, just as my blades ran out, and the nearby stores ran out of stocks as well.
Subscribe to shave
After some online research and seeing how it fared pretty well even when compared to a more expensive Gillette shaving system, I decided to give Shaves2u a go. I went to their site, plonk down a princely sum of MYR 6.50 for the 3-blade starter kit and subscribed for a bi-monthly delivery of 4-pieces of 3-blade catridges and a tube of clear shaving cream.
The trial kit consists of 1 Premium Handle, 1 Blade of your choice (3, 5 or 6 blades), and a 100g tube of Arko Comfort Shaving Cream (retails at USD 5.99). The kit arrives in a box sealed within an envelop with Shaves2u logo on it, so if you’re planning to be discreet ( a surprise gift, perhaps?), maybe don’t send directly to your home.
The delivery took less than 36 hours from submitting the order via their online store, to receiving the package sent by courier service. The trial is supposed to be a 14-days review period, where you can try out the blades (already paid) and if you don’t like it, simply cancel the subscription. If the blades are satisfactory, then in 14 days, they will start sending the selected packages. Shaves2u only charge you (via several payment gateway including debit and credit cards) only during delivery.
So since I’m taking the bi-monthly delivery option, effectively, I’m spending MYR20 each month for my shaving needs.
As far as the packaging goes, it’s on par on what I had expected. Decent quality cardboards were used for the boxes (even the smaller inner boxes – not the flimsy boxes you get when you buy toothpaste). They send you email when the delivery has started with tracking number(s), and also when the delivery has been completed. The blade and handle has some heft to it, which gives this premium feel, but the handle does not have any branding, suggested that this may be something they can order in bulk from a manufacturer, and skimp the cost of engraving or stamping their logo. Not that the logo will make the shaving any better though, and it’s better not to have any than to have a half-assed attempt such as sticking a sticker on the handle.
The shaving experience is an eye opener to me, someone who has never used more than 2 blades for my facial grooming need. I don’t typically use any shaving cream, but this might change my habit. The cream is clear, unlike traditional white cream we typically see in shaving creams, and comes with a smooth scent. So far, so good.
As mentioned previously, the handle have some heft to it, and is thick enough with rubbery grips helping with the shave. The head has a single axis swivel (vertical), but they also sell a more premium swivel handle. The default handle is good enough, better than the Exacta 2 I was using before. However, I do wish they could sell additional handle (only) or have a travel kit. I would prefer having a handle at the ready for travelling than to lug around my only handle, and risk leaving it somewhere.
The shave was clean. perhaps this is the effect of the triple blade, or maybe the blade (plus cream) is just that smooth. I don’t face much need to go against the grain to achieve a close shave. The blades were positioned further away from each other (as compared to other shavers) and does not come with any mechanism to remove stray hairs stuck in between the blades. Time will tell if the gap is enough to handle accumulating hairs or do I need to scrape it manually (update: I do. With toothpicks). I’m still trying to figure out the best way to shave with the swivel on the handle. The angle of attack is a little different from my previous shaves, so the shaver felt awkward. Perhaps only for a while.
So far, Shaves2u has been doing a very decent, if not very good service, and I feel that I’m going forward with the subscription. It’s not as cheap as the Exacta 2 or the cheap travel shavers, but it’s way cheaper than any 3-bladed shavers I’s seen so far. As someone who has to shave once or twice a day, this seems like a good value.
Shaves2u can still improve by offering travel kits, or selling singular items such as handle. I do hope they can sustain the service they have right now, and does not succumb to economic pressure like many services do. It’s a good value and can save tens if not hundreds of Ringgit, not to mention saving the hassle from needing to hunt for your shaving blades in stores.
Disclaimer: the link used in this article may profit the author by means of rebate. Head on to www.shaves2u.com directly if youre not comfortable doing so.