Sunday, June 15, 2008

Asymmetric Information

Sigh. Life would be easier as an agent in an economic model.

After my valve replacement surgery, assuming everything goes to plan, I'll be taking blood thinners for the rest of my life. Being on blood thinners doesn't mean that if I knick myself shaving I'll bleed to death. But it will increase the hassle of this activity. And, to be honest, it's a hassle enough as it is. So I'm thinking of buying an electric razor.

Easy enough.

Or not.

For a start I have no exact idea how much I'm willing to spend (or, to be more specific the worth of the extra utility I'll gain for it). But I'm guessing I'm aiming for something mid-range.

The main thing though, is that I want to buy something at least semi-decent. But, every different shaver I've seen makes that promise. The trouble is I have much less idea how true these promises are than the people who make them. I have, in other words, an asymmetric information issue.

I've tried to correct this by:

1. Consumer magazine: nothing on shavers.
2. Choice magazine: nothing on shavers since 2004 and even that was pretty crappy.
3. Which magazine. Something on shavers in 2007, which claimed that even quite cheap ones can do a good job. The problem is that I need a subscription to Which to find out any more. Which I'm willing to get except that the F'ing magazine only offers online payment options to people in the UK or Ireland.

So I still don't know what to get. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them...

[Update: comments. Which might mean this blog has no readers. But I doubt it. I suspect something quite different.

Typical Laanta Reader]


Simon Bidwell said...

Hi Terence

missed this post -- have been in Australia for the last week and a half. My skin doesn't handle a blade well and I have used an electric razor since about age 17.

I have never paid more than about $120 and have found the shavers at this level to be perfectly satisfactory (and we can assume constant prices, since the general decline in the cost of electronic goods more or less cancels out inflation). I paid around this much for my current razor, which was supposedly a swishy special one slashed in price by about half, but I have found it be neither much better or worse than previous. They tend to last at least 3 years, which your cost-utility analysis will tell you easily outdoes your average pair of shoes or jeans.

Briscoe's on Taranaki St should have a reasonable range; it's where I picked my current one up from. Something in the low-mid price band should be perfectly serviceable -- beyond this (as with many things) you mainly just seem to get extra frippery.

Terence said...

Thanks Simon! Exactly what I was hoping for. Shavers always seem to be half price at Briscoes (as far as I can tell).

Do you have any preference on Rotating blades vs foil???