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Long Tails and Shaving Brushes

Because of the internet, Long Tail markets exist everywhere.  When distance, warehousing and inventory selection problems are solved, markets for physical goods suddenly look very different from the way that they used to.

A striking example of this phenomena is the simple act of shaving.  Virtually all men do it.  Virtually all men buy their shaving products at the local grocery or pharmacist.  Gilette has made a fortune by providing simple, cheap consumables to men the world over.

Some years ago, after trying all the different creams, soaps, and gels on the market, I discovered the secret to a great shave.  Use a brush to lather your face.  Use really hot water.  First, lather and shave in the direction of the whiskers.  Then, lather and shave against the whiskers.  You get a perfect shave every time.

Well, as everyone does at one point or another, I leave things in hotel rooms.  A few months ago, I left my beloved badger bristle shaving brush behind.  No problem, said I, I’ll just go get another at the pharmacy. 

Not so fast.

I guess I’m a dying breed, because neither my grocery, nor my pharmacy carry these items.  But you know, a quick search on eBay turned up hundreds of merchants who’ve not just taken to purveying brushes, but also vast inventories of exotic shaving creams (with appointments to various european courts!), and rasors ranging from the simple cartridge rasors we use today, to safety rasors and wickedly sharp straight rasors.  And brushes?  Did you know you could pay as much as $500 for a shaving brush, if you were so inclined?

I made a purchase from Tones Barber Shop in the UK.  One pure badger brush, a travel tube of Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Shaving Cream, and a tub of Taylor of Old Bond Street Almond Shaving Cream.  It’s heavenly. 

Thank goodness for long tails, and shaving brushes.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Dan York November 18, 2006, 1:22 am

    Alec,

    Great Long Tail story! Given that I've worn a beard for probably 15 years now, my shaving needs are comparatively rather minimal (a basic razor does the trick for the small areas I need to shave), but should I ever return to the realm of no facial hair, I'll have to keep this in mind.

    Thanks,
    Dan

  • Maggie November 8, 2007, 5:41 pm

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I took the opporunity write to you, as we would like to establish business relations with you.
    Our company is a professional dresser of animal hair and manufacturer of cosmetic brushes in North China. Since its foundation in the year 1986, this company has engaged in dressing of animal hairs, especially animal fine hair. Later on, we introduced advanced brush making machines to produce fine quality cosmetic brushes with the raw materials dressed by ourselves.
    We also supply all kinds of synthetic hair brushes, and our cosmetic brushes are sold to USA, Korea, Canda etc. We do the export business for many years and have a high reputation for our high quality products, timely delivery, reasonable price and good aftersale service.

  • Maggie November 8, 2007, 5:42 pm

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I took the opporunity write to you, as we would like to establish business relations with you.
    Our company is a professional dresser of animal hair and manufacturer of cosmetic brushes in North China. Since its foundation in the year 1986, this company has engaged in dressing of animal hairs, especially animal fine hair. Later on, we introduced advanced brush making machines to produce fine quality cosmetic brushes with the raw materials dressed by ourselves.
    We also supply all kinds of synthetic hair brushes, and our cosmetic brushes are sold to USA, Korea, Canda etc. We do the export business for many years and have a high reputation for our high quality products, timely delivery, reasonable price and good aftersale service.

    Wish you every success in your business
    Yours sincerely

    Maggie
    (Sales department)

    Company name: Shijiazhuang Dongshen Hair Brush Co., Ltd.
    Website: http://www.make-up-brush.com http://www.dongshenhairbrush.com
    MSN: dongshen-hairbrush@hotmail.com
    Mail Address: 7-2-303 Jinxiu Garden, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei, P. R. China
    Tel: 0086 311 87692159 86-311-87692159
    Fax: 0086 311 87692160 86-311-87692160

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