The internet is a wonderful thing. Well, most of the time it is. The web has also forever changed the way we shop, giving us endless possibilities and options. One of the best parts is the ability to quickly search and find great deals for a particular product. In this article I will share a few basic, but effective money saving tips to keep in mind when buying a new electric shaver. Please note that I will only cover the financial part – purchase price and running costs – so I won’t be touching other aspects of buying a new shaver.
Your goal should be pretty simple: to buy the right shaver at the lowest price and to spend as little as possible on replacement parts.
So you did your homework, searched through forums and review sites and you have a pretty good idea of the type of shaver you need. You may even have a specific model in mind that would suit you the best.
Now, if you were to buy a particular product, but have come across an almost identical one that costs significantly less, would you go for it? Of course you would. Nobody likes to spend unnecessarily.
How to find better alternatives for a particular shaver?
By better alternative I mean a shaver that costs less to buy and/or to run, but will perform the same.
So what to look out for? Here are four important tips to guide you in finding a more convenient product.
1. Look for shavers with similar MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price).
This one is particularly relevant for shavers from the same manufacturer. Naturally, a good place to start your search is the manufacturer’s website. Similarly priced shavers are usually similar in performance and features. Again, I am referring mostly to products from the same manufacturer. Once you’ve identified them, just buy the one you can find on sale. Amazon.com for example often has massive discounts on electric razors.
2. Second, look at the replacement parts and find razors that use the same or similar replacement parts.
Another good indicator that two razors are similar in their performance is the use of the same cutting system.
As we’ve showed in our new Series 3 overview, the only significant difference between the two is the presence of a precision lock in the case of 380s-4 that retracts and locks into place one of the two foils. While it is a nice addition, it’s hardly necessary. Besides, the 3040s is part of the updated Series 3, with a new color scheme and even better fit & finish. But the most important factor here is the price, so in my opinion you should simply buy the cheaper one.
Another relevant example has to do with Panasonic’s ES-LT41-K and ES8103S. Both use the same foil and inner blades and are pretty much identical in performance and function. Price wise? Not so much. At the moment of writing, the ES-LT41-K costs significantly more. The winner is pretty obvious here as well.
In taking this extra step, you will also find valuable info regarding the availability and cost of blades and/or foils. And this is an often overlooked, but important step when deciding to buy an electric razor. Which leads us to the next point.
3. Check the cost and availability of the replacement parts.
A nice side benefit of electric shaving is not having to buy multi-blade cartridges on a monthly basis. And they are pretty expensive. Switching to electric shaving can save you quite a lot of money in the long run. In order to make sure this will actually be the case, here’s what you should do:
- Check the price of replacement parts. For example, Braun’s cassettes usually cost significantly less than Panasonic’s blades & foils combos.
- Check the availability of replacement parts. You don’t want to buy a razor that uses a discontinued part.
- Check how often you must replace the foils and blades. Most manufacturers recommend changing them once a year, but Braun for example requires a replacement once every 18 months.
4. Finally, check them out in a store if you have this possibility.
Get a feel of the weight, ergonomics, grip, build quality and noise level during operation. A review can’t match a hands-on experience. Once you get a good feel of the product you can apply what we discussed earlier and buy the most convenient one.