Last week, I decided that seeing as I spend every weekday over at Nikki Dee's place, I should keep a few essentials over there. Up until then, if I wanted to shower during the day, I'd come home. Don't worry overly about the seeming extravagance of the car trip because it's only a short hop across a smallish town. Nevertheless, it's more wasteful and time consuming than it need be, so a change in modus operandi seemed to be in order.
Therefore, I took my normal ablutive accouterments over — soap, shampoo, shaving cream — but wondered what to do about shaving. "Aha! I have an older Gillette Mach 3 [doncha love the powerful moniker?] sitting idle somewhere, so I'll buy some blades for it and have a shaver in both places."
However, upon arriving at the local, friendly, neighbourhood, razor blade shop, I was not thrilled to see that a package containing four, tiny blades would set me back approximately sixteen dollars. Flabbergasted I was. As I was trying to gather what remains of my fast disappearing wits, I happened to glance a little way down the shelf . . . . . . . and saw that I could buy four Gillette disposable razors for seven dollars — on sale for five no less! They sure looked similar to the exalted Mach 3's, so I bought 'em and saved seven bucks. I tried one out yesterday and am chuffed to report works just like the real (and expensive) thing.
The razor blade companies have quite the little marketing ploy going; they practically give away the handle thingie and then charge exorbitantly forever thereafter for the blades. And have you noticed that the ink jet printer companies have followed the same canny model? If you shop around and not even too rigorously, you'll find that you'll be able to purchase a new printer complete with ink for less that what the refill will cost.
These guys have certainly figured it out — take a bit of a onetime hit in order to reap extravagant dividends forever after. And since they all follow the same marketing model, it's not like the consumer can send a message by switching brands. So whaddya gonna do, eh?