Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is Gillette ripping Boston off?

Everyone says the cost of living is cheaper in the South and I thought I'd test that theory.  As everyone knows, Gillette's World Shaving Headquarters is located right at the base of South Boston.  You may not know this, but I live about a mile and a half from there in a straight line down Dot Ave.  Maybe it's two miles.  If I stop for traffic lights, it's five minutes by bicycle.

I went to the Rite Aid drug store on the corner of Savin Hill and Dorchester Avenues to price an eight-pack of Mach 3 razor blades.  As of March 13th the list price was $21.99.  Some people may think that's a bit steep, but Mach 3 employs the latest shaving technology, if you don't mind using the words 'shaving' and 'technology' in the same sentence.

I travelled 1360 miles as the airline flies to New Orleans to check up on the price of an eight-pack of Mach 3s there, among other things.  I went to a Rite Aid on Canal Street, on the corner of North Broad Street, store # 7262, on March 18th.  This is in Mid-City, a neighborhood reminiscent of Dorchester in New Orleanian terms.  The price of an eight-pack of Mach 3 blades there: $18.99.  A three dollar savings.

Does it really cost less to ship razor blades 1360 miles than it does couple of blocks?

So is Gillette ripping off Bostonians?  I don't know.  Maybe Rite Aid is ripping off Bostonians.  For all I know Massachusetts has some arcane shaving tax in effect.  I'll tell you this though, if you plan a few days ahead, you'll still get them cheaper at Amazon.  They'll only cost you $17.97 and will probably qualify for free shipping.  That's the price for Mach 3 Turbo, if you don't mind using the word 'turbo' in connection with shaving.

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