Razor blades are a classy vanity item for men that are not just collectible, but are still quite usable! Some men just don’t want to give up the feel that shaving with a straight blade gives them. In other cases, some just like collecting this vintage item – maybe their father worked for the company or maybe they just like that 1930’s vibe that they get from the blade.
This all stacks up to one thing: straight razors sell.
There are some things you need to learn before you venture into this niche category. The anatomy of a razor blade is fairly straight forward (haha, see what I did there?), but you’ll need to know the terms in order to make your listing sound the best that it can.
Handle – Usually made of plastic or wood, this is the part you hold onto and is what the blade slips in between when closed.
Blade – The sharpened metal edge.
Heel – The rounded end of the blade, close to the back of the razor where it meets with the handle.
Shank – The back end of the blade where the handle is connected. It usually has the name of the company written on it.
Honing – The act of sharpening the blade. This is usually done with a strop.
Tang – The curved end of the straight blade, used for stability.
The best way to buy straight blades is to get them in large lots, and the best way to sell them is to do so individually. Here are the points you definitely want to cover in your description if you end up selling these:
A. What is the handle made out of? Bakelite handles can be pretty valuable, so grab some Simichrome and test it out.
B. Is the blade still sharp? While this is not an end-all situation if the blade is rusty, chipped, or dull, the less work the buyer has to do to get it up to par, the better.
C. Does the shank have writing on it? If so, be sure to mention what it says, as this is usually the place where the manufacturer etches or stamps their name on the razor. If there’s any writing on the blade, be sure to mention that too. People collect certain manufacturers, so this is something you should definitely include in your listing.
D. How long is the tang? This isn’t a vital piece of information, but some people are interested in knowing.
Listing these all at once is a great idea, because all you’ll have to do is cut certain words and phrasing and drop in the new information. You could put up a couple dozen in a single hour this way!
And don’t forget about accessories! If you plan on keeping a lot of razors (straight or otherwise) stocked, consider finding some accessories to go along with them. People like being able to get everything in one convenient place, instead of having to shop around. Accessories can include travel kits, strops, replacement blades, cases, grease, and more!
Be aware that you’ve got a lot of collectors out there for this sort of item, so don’t be surprised if you get hounded with questions. If you see some repeats, be sure to take note of what they’re asking and include that information in future listings.
As always, questions and comments are welcome!