Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

A Canadian shave at home

with 15 comments

SOTD 15 Seept 2015

A very fine shave indeed, and being back home is pleasant.

The products today are all from Canada: Victoria BC, for brush, soap, and aftershave; the razor is from Italian Barber, which is in eastern Canada, but the IB web site does not provide any information that I could find on location—not under “Contact” (which is just a web form), not under “About” (which has a brief backstory but no information location), not under “Shipping & Returns” (where I would expect to find an address). They may be in Toronto, but apparently they don’t want their location known, at least in looking at the web site. Great razor, though. (The IB web site is incredibly slow today, BTW. Later: Problem has cleared: the site had been waiting for a response from some service, but now that seems to be fixed and the site is speedy again.)

The brush is extremely nice in feel and performance. The handle is made of Delrin®, a plastic tough enough that they make gears from it. It feel substantial, with good heft. The knot is extremely nice, and I easily loaded the brush with The Copper Hat’s Coastal Fair shaving soap. As I noted earlier, their soap is quite hard, so I do use a little extra loading time.

The razor is the RazoRock Baby Smooth, a truly excellent razor. With three passes, I achieved a BBS with no effort and no problems. The blade was a Personna Lab Blue.

A good splash of Anthony Gold’s Red Cedar aftershave, and then out for a grocery run.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 September 2015 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Shaving

15 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Just a point of interest. Italian Barber was out of stock on the Baby Smooth for over 5 months. It was originally advertised at $45. But when it became available it was sold at $99 and was out of stock within 24 hours. With the plethora of new shaving supply stores and web sites, I would never deal with such an unscrupulous merchant. Most long time shavers think Joe A of IB a great guy. I find him nothing more than a price gouger.

    Dr. Robert Levine

    15 September 2015 at 3:20 pm

  2. Interesting observation on IB Dr.. I have never ordered anything but every time LeisureGuy uses the Stealth I think I would like to have one, I check out the website it is out of stock. I would say this has been going on for over a year!


    15 September 2015 at 4:28 pm

  3. There’s nothing unscrupulous about Italian barber, and I’m tired of your riding your hobby horse of victimization because you can’t buy things at the price you want. In your comment to this post you made essentially the same complaint: the Baby Smooth was initially offer at $45, sold out immediately, was brought back at $100, and sold out immediately again. So what?

    A price gouger is someone who raises prices on essential goods—goods required for life (food, water, medical supplies, and so on)—when alternatives are unavailable. For example, if water supplies are cut off, selling bottled water at $50/liter would be price gouging. But if alternatives are readily available—as is the case with DE safety razors—then the price is set by the law of supply and demand. You can Google that for more information, but it is not unscrupulous to charge a high price for a product that is in high demand when alternatives are readily available. (Cf. Apple)

    It’s quite clear that many people thought the Baby Smooth was a bargain at $99—as you observe, it was sold out of stock within a day. The demand is high, the supply is limited, and the law of supply and demand holds that the price will be high.

    In fact the $45 price was too low: the razor is machined from aluminum, so has a higher production cost (small batches, machine time on expensive machines manned by expensive machinists), so selling it at the same price as large-batch cast Zamak razors was selling it at too low a price: too close to cost, and not reflecting the value. Naturally enough he raised the price for the second run.

    My previous response was this:

    I have to disagree, both about his pomposity (of which you provide no examples) and about the pricing. In the first release of Baby Smooth it was priced at $45, and I thought at the time it was grossly underpriced. The Baby Smooth is machined, not cast, from high-quality aluminum alloy. Razors in the $45 price range are cast from Zamak and chrome-plated.

    Take a look at the prices of other machined razors. Wolfman razors (head + handle) are CDN$300 = US$227. Above the Tie razors (head + handle) are $185. These are machined from steel, which is harder to work than aluminum, but the $100 price is substantially less as well.

    You should also note how quickly the new batch sold out, and consider the law of supply and demand. These razors obviously have many who consider the razor worth more than $100—otherwise, they would not buy it. And this razor is not something (such as food, water, fuel, or the like) that people must purchase in order to live: if people find the price too high, they can, with no harm to themselves, simply not buy it.

    I can readily see your anger, but I cannot see on what it is based other than that you want the razor and cannot have it. Attacking the manufacturer because you can’t buy it seems an inappropriate response. And how, exactly, is the manufacturer pompous? Can you provide an example?

    Profiteering is “to seek to make an excessive or unfair profit, especially illegally or in a black market.” That’s not what’s happening here. The initial price was simply too low in terms of the pricing of DE razors in general (and, I suspect, in terms of cost of manufacture: again, it is a machined razor, not cast) and out of line with supply and demand. I’m sorry you were not able to get one from this most recent release, but that seems insufficient grounds for a vicious attack on the character of the person who is responsible for the razor.

    Do not raise this point again. It’s been answered, you’re wrong, but you can continue to believe what you want. But any further comments along these lines will be deleted.

    I will add that your sense of entitlement is astonishing.


    15 September 2015 at 4:31 pm

  4. @Mike: I really wish IB could ramp up production, but in terms of razors he is more a research/hobbyist producer, more or less producing things to test ideas and from curiosity. Indeed, all the small-production razor manufacturers that make high-quality razors cannot keep up with demand: Out-of-stock conditions seem endemic not only to RazoRock’s own razors (the Stealth and Baby Smooth), but also to Wolfman Razors, to iKon Razors, and even on occasion to Above the Tie.


    15 September 2015 at 4:38 pm

  5. Sadly, medical training has taught some of us to have unrealistic expectations. Because I can simply ask for an Allis clamp in the operating room, and it appears in my hand, does NOT mean that the vendors of shaving gear can be expected to do the same for their customers . I lust after the RRSS, but I will just have to make do until it is more widely available. 😉


    16 September 2015 at 2:25 am

  6. SC102 too!


    16 September 2015 at 7:31 am

  7. @Larry: I just emailed iKon and am told the next batch of #102s is underway and he hopes to have them out within the next month (but not to hold him to it). He is trying to stock up his dealers for Christmas. So your patience should soon be rewarded.


    16 September 2015 at 8:54 am

  8. Thanks!


    16 September 2015 at 9:02 am

  9. LG: I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. If you ordered a car at a specific price and it’s popularity caused it’s value to rise so the dealer told you it would cost you twice as much when it was finally available, I’m sure you would have a different attitude. But have no fear. I will never comment on your blog again. Fortunately, I have enough shave products to last me the rest of my life and so many new vendors are coming to life on the internet that good deals on excellent products will always be available. I will miss reading your blog.

    Dr. Robert Levine

    16 September 2015 at 4:01 pm

  10. You’re welcome to read the blog and even to comment, but your baseless attacks on Italian Barber are unwelcome. I explained as clearly as I could why the $100 price seems totally justified to me, but you seem unable or unwilling to reconsider. I am very sorry you did not get the razor at the introductory price, but perhaps you should consider getting over it.


    16 September 2015 at 4:09 pm

  11. LG: As a physician AND an attorney I could go into a long diatribe about contract law, offer and acceptance, duty and, most importantly, NOTICE, but you have your mind made up. Many of your blog readers agree with you and many agree with me. In the end it is just not worth the hostile environment I apparently created. As per your request I will not bring the matter up again. I appreciate your hard work each day on this blog.

    Dr. Robert Levine

    16 September 2015 at 4:28 pm

  12. As an attorney, if not a physician, you surely understand that an offer is not a contract. Even I, a layman in law (and medicine) know that offering an object to sell is not in itself a contract, and selling an item for a given price in no way is a contract to sell the same item at the price subsequently. Indeed, you’ve probably noticed that the sale price of other proffered objects will occasionally increase. It’s not rare.

    I think the environment would have been less hostile had your remarks been more temperate. I have tried to explain that the $100 price for a machined razor is consistent with the prices of other machined razors, and quite often introductory prices are set low.

    I actually don’t recall your bringing up contracts in your previous argument, but it makes sense that you would not, since no contract is involved (unless you did indeed contract with Italian Barber to sell you a Baby Smooth at the introductory price, and I doubt that happened).


    16 September 2015 at 4:41 pm

  13. The offer was “accepted” and became a contract when IB took my e-mail address as confirmation and told me I would be notified when the item was “in stock.” and ready to be shipped. Any change in price required by law that the buyer be given NOTICE of the increase which, by the way, was never mentioned in the original ad, the e-mail confirmation, or the new price ad. You really are an expert in the art of shaving, but you are clearly not an expert in the law. I never brought up contract law before because I truly expected you to be as upset as I was at the unexpected price change. I was quite shocked at your response, as other bloggers found this entire transaction somewhat disturbing. But let’s just consider it an ended discussion and in the past. Best wishes, Dr. Bob, Esq.

    Dr. Robert Levine

    16 September 2015 at 9:23 pm

  14. Shades of Nathan Thurm, Esq (Martin Short)! I may have been premature in blaming medical school 🙂


    17 September 2015 at 7:06 am

  15. I see a number of problems with what you describe.

    First, being placed on a wait list, with no deposit or down payment, does not constitute a contract. The person on the wait list has no contracted obligation to make the purchase when notified the item is available, and the vendor has no contracted obligation to offer the product subsequently, and no contracted obligation to sell the product at the introductory price. Wolfman Razors, for example, has a wait list, but that just means he notifies those on the wait list when the razors are again available, and at that point they can place an order. But being on a wait list is not the same as placing an order, and those on the wait list have no obligation to purchase: there is no contract.

    Second, you refer to what “the law” requires, but what is the governing law? The law of Ontario? The law of your home state? And if, as I assume, you live in the US, what law holds in the international situation of a cross-border wait list (without any exchange of money)?

    Third, Italian Barber has been quite resolute about NOT having a wait list. Many have asked for that, but he won’t do it because it’s a lot of trouble, so he just informs people (via Instagram) of when items in high demand will become available, and then sells them first come, first served. I am astonished that you were able to get on a wait list since his policy has been not to have a wait list. I’m going to ask him to confirm, but I don’t see how you could even be on a wait list—and, as I’ve pointed out, being on a wait list is not a contract. And the question of jurisdiction is still a puzzle.


    18 September 2015 at 5:16 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.