Dollar Shave Club Lathers Up and Shaves Off a Slice of the $13 Billion Men’s Razor Industry

April 23, 2012 6:00 am4 comments

One of the funniest videos I watched recently comes from eCommerce startup, Dollar Shave Club.  I’m not the only one that found the video entertaining as 12,000 people signed up to receive monthly razor blade shipments in the first 48 hours alone.

Santa Monica based Dollar Shave Club is the brainchild of CEO Michael Dubin, who previously held marketing roles at Feed Company (looks like he came up with the idea for Dollar Shave Club while promoting online videos for client Gillette), Sports Illustrated and LIFE (Time Magazine).  He attributes his quick wit and perfect delivery to 10 years of sketch comedy and improv studies at NYC’s Upright Citizens Brigade.

Here’s how Dollar Shave Club works.  Once a customer selects their razor of choice (2 blade, 4 blade or 6 blade), registers for a Dollar Shave Club account and places their order, they’ll receive monthly cartridge shipments in the mail.  A free razor handle is included for each type of blade.  Members can upgrade or downgrade their razor, as well as cancel their subscription, at any time.

We’ve touted the marketing power and potential virality of a well-made YouTube video and Dubin’s Dollar Shave Club is a prime example of a small business that absolutely nailed it.  To date, the video has been viewed over 4,300,000 times and generated enough buzz to earn Dubin and DSC press appearances and mentions in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek and TechCrunch.

Now that he’s captured the attention of men frustrated with the cost and inconvenience of buying razor blades from industry giants like Gillette and Schick, Dubin plans to expand Dollar Shave Club’s offerings to include shaving cream and an aftershave moisturizer.  Is it a good idea?  No, it’s a f**cking great idea!

What do you think of Dollar Shave Club?  Do you think the subscription-based consumer goods business model is a fad or is it here to stay?

-To contact the writer on this story: Philip Nowak in Chicago at

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A similar model has launched in the UK today from King of Shaves with a viral competition to boost awareness. Here's my effort

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