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Are Wet Shaving Subscription Boxes For You?

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Shaving subscription boxes seem to becoming a “thing” these days.  At first they were more of a replentishment program first introduced by companies like Raz*War, made popular by Dollar Shave Club, and refined by companies like Bevel.  Then an offshoot appeared, providing sample products more closely targeted to the traditional wet shaving market.  Let’s take a look at some of those offshoots.

Sample Subscription Boxes

Sample subscription box products all work about the same way: for your subscription fee you get an initial box with a razor, blades, brush, a shave soap or cream (usually full-sized), and perhaps a grooming product.  Then each subscription period (usually monthly) you get a box with different shave and grooming products (mostly sample-sized but some full-size products too).

Wet Shave Club

Possibly the earliest adopter in the wet shaving subscription box concept was Wet Shave Club (WSC).  Originally started in 2013, WCS was essentially a one-man, part-time operation.  Then in late 2014 the operation was purchased by a couple of entrepreneurs who met on Reddit and they expanded the brand signficantly.  By the way, one of them wrote up a fascinating narrative on their business for Reddit’s Entrepreneur subreddit (tl;dr–a lot of hard work).
wet shave club
The initial box I got is shown above.  A WSC-branded razor (with a little leather head cover) and an unbranded (but serviceable) boar brush was included along with the other products you see.  The razor was a bit of a surprise: a fairly hefty (3.5oz.) scalloped-safety bar razor with their logo etched into the head cap.  Although balanced lower than I prefer (the center of gravity was a fair ways down the handle) the build quality is better than average.  I found the razor middle-of-the-road for aggressiveness.

Luxury Barber

Another recent entry for subscription boxes comes from Luxury BarberTheir box is a bit different in that it seems to concentrate a little more on “software” (grooming-related samples) and a little less on strictly shaving-related items and hardware.  The products I tried from this box performed as advertised.

Shave Select

My final example is Shave Select.  Slightly less expensive than the other boxes, the initial box I got from Shave Select select included (photo at top of post) an inexpensive DE razor (it actually reminds me a lot of a “genuine” RiMei razor, inexpensive but reasonably well built!), an Omega boar brush, and a “shavette” style razor along with the other items shown in the photo.  I haven’t tried the “shavette” yet but everything else has performed well.

But Is A Subscription Box For You?

The above is a quick sample of the subscription boxes available–there are others, but they all follow the same basic idea.  Should you subscribe?  Maybe, but do it for the right reason.  Do not subscribe thinking that you will be saving money (directly, anyway)!  The initial box is typically worth more than the monthly subscription price, but the following month’s boxes will depend on what you like and what you want to try.  I think subscription boxes are great if you want to conveniently try a variety of shaving and grooming products.  If you like something, buy more of it.  Don’t care for an item?  That’s OK too–now you know.
Do you subscribe to a shaving subscription box?  Leave a comment with your experiences!


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

7 thoughts on “Are Wet Shaving Subscription Boxes For You?”

  1. Never tried them, but I’m pretty happy with the way I manage my supplies. Also, I never mess with a good thing and right now my system is working just fine.

  2. Here’s my take on each of them:
    Luxury Barber – I haven’t signed up for it, but it looks like it’s more of a Birchbox Man type subscription where they throw in small samples of overpriced products. I feel that they will soon run out of things to put in the box since there aren’t many products in the high end men grooming and shaving category. Not something that would cater to me.
    Wet Shave Club – I was a customer and liked the concept, however if you Google search each product, the value of the boxes come to about $10 a box, yet they charge $30 a month subscription. I’ve read their interviews and the Reddit post which was an amazing read, but they admitted they know very little about shaving. This could explain why their products are mostly artisan and Etsy like. Their marketing is on point so it makes sense that they are able to get many subscribers.
    Shave Select – I moved from Wet Shave Club to Shave Select. At first I was expecting boxes of low value since they are only $25 a month, but the first box exceeds that value. You get everything starting out in the kit, including a safety razor, shavette, soap, cream, blades, etc, that retails over $40. Then when I got the February box, I was impressed that they overvalued the box again and included full size products, as opposed to Wet Shave Club’s small samples. There’s also a prepay option at $19 a month, so compared to all the boxes this is definitely the best one in terms of value. However, their marketing is lacking compared to Wet Shave Club, and they have too many things going on their website so it may be confusing customers. Their shop has amazing prices and reminds me of West Coast Shaving.
    That’s my take! It’s always great to see new trends, but for me I think what makes subscriptions good is the euphoria when there is a shipment at your house.

  3. I actually started with Dollar Shave Club. Some friends told me about them. Then when I shaved my beard. I was trying to find the place they told me about.
    That is when kept finding wet shaving info and sites. I did start the dollar club, not real impressed. But were serviceable and cheaper than 5 bladers at mart store. I stopped them in couple of months.
    Then I bought a Gillette tech off ebay. I got it for $15, thought it would be a first till I decided what to get. I tried several blades. I think Crystals are for me.
    I AM NOT CHANGING MY SHAVING SYSTEM!! I have always grown a beard in the winter. Then shaved in the summer. I don’t care for the beard, and I HATED shaving! (Shave hurt, face hurt, sweat stings)
    Now I get good shaves, no pain, ingrowns, and can go out at 95 degrees and not sting!
    The only problem, as it is now minus 6. I kinda miss the face cover!
    Mantic’s videos were a GREAT help when I started. (and still are)

  4. My fiancee bought me a subscription to Birchbox. Though not exclusively a shaving thing, it introduced me to grooming items that I wouldn’t normally come in contact with. Now some months the box is a miss, but other months I get some great stuff. However, there are only so many cosmetics that they can send us guys, so i have all the face scrub/lotion I can handle. This is the only reason why I am considering discontinuing after over 1.5 years.

  5. Have to agree with The Dean, certainly would rather pick out my own products from a selection than hang in the wind and maybe not use some of the product shipped out.

  6. Subscriptions aren’t for me, but I can see how they might be good for some. To me, it’s just too convenient to oder the products I want, when I want, and know they will be delivered in a few days, at the longest.
    In the event I wanted a subscription delivery, it would have be a “roll your own” type of deal where I choose the specific products/brands and the delivery schedule.

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