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puros_bran
Nightrider
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: B&M's   Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:23 pm

You know I visit alot of boards, so when I say this I'm not singling 'us' out..

Why do so many guys lament the B&M's that don't cater to pipes when they buy 100% or near 100% of their pipe stuff online?
Would you cater to a group of people that won't support your business?

In other words Why would anyone spend 10-20-30-40k to set a half serious pipe section up when all they'd hear is.. "I can get this cheaper at sp.com"????????
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Carlos
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Age : 60
Location : Chestnut, IL
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:44 pm

B&M's have to offer more for what they have to charge. More personalized service. Comfortable lounge. Something to drink. Good conversation. A fair selection of blends. A reliable way of selling a product that will keep the bills paid. Meaning, steady traffic in, buying a few cigars every few minutes.

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Pipey McPiperson

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Age : 36
Location : Indiana
Registration date : 2009-10-30

PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:25 pm

My only issue with my current b&m is the tobacco selection(its good, but...) Just seems anything to small cant hold a candle to most of the online retailers. As far as pipes they are pretty on the money!
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Centurian 803
Long Arm O' The Law
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Age : 67
Location : Oak Ridge, TN
Registration date : 2008-09-10

PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:46 pm

My favorite B&M, Smoky's in Montvue Center, gets almost all my business. I buy online when I want something Dave doesn't carry or can't get for me. I even have him order pipes for me that I see online and like. My feeling is we should support the local guy if we want him to stay in business. It costs me a little more but in return I get the companionship of a great bunch of guys, a good friend who really knows a lot about pipes, tobaccos and cigars and a place where I can escape the stress of everyday life. Online dealers offer good deals and nothing of the other things that are important to me. Smile
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Hermit

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Age : 64
Location : Ascension Parish
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:56 pm

Closest B&M to me is over twenty miles.
I don't feel guilty buying on the Internets.
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Wet Dottle

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Location : Littleton, CO
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:58 pm

I buy most of my pipes and tobaccos from a local B&M, even if it's a bit far (30 min drive). Only buy online occasional special deals and things that the B&M doesn't carry (such as pipes from selected makers).
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Slow Puffs
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Age : 68
Location : Alberta. Canada
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:04 am

Listening to the radio, they shared a survey about book buyers. A huge percentage of the customers that go into Chapters bookstore, go to skim through the book that they are interested in and then, if they think they'll like the book, will go home and buy it online.

I've never purchased a pipe online. I couldn't imagine not looking at it carefully before purchasing it... save one exception... I purchased a couple of pipes from a Canadian maker in Ontario two or three years ago.

Tobacco is solely price for me.
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Hermit

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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:20 am

Slow Puffs wrote:

I've never purchased a pipe online. I couldn't imagine not looking at it carefully before purchasing it... save one exception... I purchased a couple of pipes from a Canadian maker in Ontario two or three years ago.

Tobacco is solely price for me.

I've only met one pipe in person, prior to purchase.
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:47 am

Hermit.. I've never heard you bemoan the local B&M not carrying any/enough pipe stuff.

Thats what I was trying to communicate. We (pipers as a group) complain that the local guy only carrys a small selection, then we never purchase anything from him because 'its cheaper online'. Wheres the logic? He's not going to lay down a huge overhead for something that never sells... I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty, just asking for a reality check.
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chopstix

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Location : Houston, Texas
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:29 am

puros_bran wrote:
Hermit.. I've never heard you bemoan the local B&M not carrying any/enough pipe stuff.

Thats what I was trying to communicate. We (pipers as a group) complain that the local guy only carrys a small selection, then we never purchase anything from him because 'its cheaper online'. Wheres the logic? He's not going to lay down a huge overhead for something that never sells... I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty, just asking for a reality check.

I tend to agree, and to have some sympathy for some tobacconists' view that pipe guys, from a sales perspective, cannot be relied upon to sustain a viable trade, so there is in almost every B&M a discernible bias towards the cigar trade. You'll sometimes see threads in pipe forums about perceived negative treatment of pipe smokers as "second class citizens." The flip side of this is: without the cigar trade, there would be no B&Ms, period. No place to hang out and smoke, buy pipe cleaners, or even to get cigars (as I'm betting most of us smoke at least the occasional cigar). I for one am grateful that those crass, Tommy Bahama shirt-wearing, used BMW-driving, robusto chomping cigar wankers are able to support my local hangout Very Happy
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:02 am

Local B&M can mean many things. I rarely buy some Zippo fuel from the cigarette shacks. They are about 15 miles away. Not much else worth buying.

30 miles away is a pretty good cigar store. Some pipes and tobaccos. I get my Opus X from them.

55 miles away is two places in Champaign, IL. John's Pipe Shop near the U of I and Bacca Cigar Co. Both are pretty well stocked in pipes, tobaccos, and cigars. When I go visit I never ask how much anything is until the pile looks about right. Last trip over was to Bacca and I spend a couple hours there, and in the lounge. I made a pile of various tins, then some better cigars for my humidor. Cain, Don Pepin Garcia Blue, La Aroma de Cuba, others. Total was over $300 and with incentive discounts, less than that. I do that once or twice a year.

I try to stay within what I planned to spend as a total, and not be concerned at all at what any one item costs. I cannot think of a better way to treat a good B&M.

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clueless



Location : Cincinnati, Ohio
Registration date : 2009-04-01

PostSubject: B&M   Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:25 am

I shop at my local B&M's as much as possible. I like the idea of having a real physical place to go where there are knowledgeable people, products I can check out in person before buying, and the opportunity to meet and talk with people who have similar interests. I also happen to like the proprietor at my nearest - one mile from office - shop. My pockets aren't real deep, though, especially in this economy.

A while back I talked with the owner of my local store about the significant price differences I was seeing on line, particularly from one catalogue company. He immediately told me that he would sell to me at the same price as the online retailer. Ever since then he has made sure to give me price breaks from his regular list prices on all my purchases. I don't ask him for specific prices or even ask 'What is my price?' He simply takes steps to make sure I know he values my business and I make sure that he - and others - know I like buying from him when I can.

I still buy online. No shop can stock or sell the range of products available in our hobby. I am a regular at that B&M though and I think it is a win-win relationship.
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Guest
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:43 am

I try to support my local B&M with an occasional (like every 2 month) purchase of a tin (he only has Peterson and Macbaron with a few older McClellend tins). I usually get my pipe cleaners and zippo fuel from him, his pipe selection is pretty slim pickins, he either has $30 no names or $120 stuff. My pipe budget usually only allows for $60-80 purchaces (when I can do that). He does have one Stanwell I've had my eye on, been sitting there for over a year.
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Doc Manhattan

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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:02 pm

I like supporting my local, but I'm fortunate that my tobacconist has an amazing legal loophole by which they operate a full bar and cafe. Their pipe tobacco selection is quirky (though they have Davidoff blends at a deal because they're imported through CT) and their pipes are overpriced, but I can just stop by for a cup of coffee or a pint or a scotch, and puff my pipe in a comfy leather chair.
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Benjamin Button

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Age : 37
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:25 pm

I guess I'll use this post as a spring board for a post I wrote up about a month ago but then deleted because I don't like to "bitch".

But I'll strain out the filler and get to the heart of the matter.

I'll start by saying that about 90% of my tobacco/pipes have been purchased at local B&M's around my state, more so in my own city. I have made about 2 online tobacco purchases, 1 online pipe purchase from Boswells, and more recently 1 pipe purchase from eBay. Granted, I am a slow smoker so a single tobacco purchase may last me a few months. There's my demographics, so on with the story.

About a month ago I was jonesing for some new tobacco and perhaps a pipe. It had been at least 6 months since I had made any purchases at this point. I had an unusual evening where I had a few hours alone so off I went to hit all three local B&M's within about a 20 mile radius of my home just to check out what they have that's new. I stopped at all three shops and not only had the selection of pipe tobacco dwindled to near nothing (one shop moved their last 4 remaining tins off the shelf and hidden behind the counter until I asked), but the mis-information regarding pipes/tobacco was a worse offense than the selection and may cause me to not visit these places anymore. It's funny, because some of these guys see a young looking guy come in and looking at pipes and assumes that he has no knowledge of anything so the BS they spit will suffice just fine. If I wanted to argue with them or drop some serious truth I could have easily, but it's not my character to do so. If you want details PM me, because I am also not one to be accused of slander by publicly speaking out about a local business. But let me just say, I was very saddened by the experience and it makes me 1) want to either travel further out to another B&M that I know has more knowledge and won't BS me or 2) make my orders online which I know will save me money but unfortunately hurt local business.

This is just my $.02 so take it as you will, but I have either succumb to pipe-snobbery or we are in a sad state of affairs in terms of pipe smoking in my area.

-Adam
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dennis569



Registration date : 2009-01-10

PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:12 pm

I have to give a real big kudos to the shop I visit in Reno.
Reno Tinderbox is top notch. I'm not affiliated in any way, don't
even know the guys' names. Large selection of pipes and tobac.
It's a 250 mile drive for me.(each way)
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Mikem
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Location : Glendale, Arizona
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:27 pm

I am fortunate in the number of pipe/cigar related B&M's here in the Phoenix area. I frequent quite a few local B&M's, four of which do cater to the pipe smoking crowd, and 99% of the time if they have something (whether pipe or blend) that I'm looking for I will purchase from them. If they don't have a particular blend I'm looking for then I purchase on-line. I don't think I've ever "complained" about them (other than once when I purchased a new pipe and it was sour tasting). I am friends with three of the owners. The biggest problem with pipe related B&M's is the amount of inventory versus number of pipe smokers that cater to your shop. Three of the shops carry hundreds of pipes in stock. The thing is that they can hold that inventory for years before moving it. I am surprised that they are not more into the Internet end of things when it comes to pipe related merchandise. I have been to many cigar shop type B&M's and have talked to the owners and they just don't want the hassle of weighing out bulk blends nor having inventory that doesn't move fast. I would also assume that depending on your state it "just is" cheaper to purchase on-line because of the local tobacco taxes.
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gospelman

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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:26 pm

My favorite local tobacconist, Knoxville Cigar Company, closed up shop earlier this year. They had recently invested in a bar/lounge area, and the shop was a wonderful place to visit/hangout/purchase.

The last few times I was in there I noticed a table of half price items in the middle of the floor...much of it tobacco, some shaving stuff. Jared (a long time employee who was most helpful) said they were pretty much phasing out pipe tobaccco because demand was down. They sold a lot of cigars, I guess, and I had bought two pipes in there.

Then, just like that...they closed. I was really sorry to see them go, but there are a couple of other shops in town...Smoky's (as Centurion mentioned) and Leaf and Ale, which I've never visited. Also, the Gatlinburlier is not too far away.

I would much rather buy from a local business, and do when I can, but I have also ordered online...because of price.

Mike
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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:09 pm

Two major points:
#1 Sounds like Knoxville Cigar Company closed shop. As some of you old guys may remember this is where the BOB started.
#2 Do B&M sell estate pipes? I think that the answer is "NO". OK...so where do you go if you want to look at estate pipes? The answer is probably pipe shows or the internet.

Bub
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Carlos
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:11 pm

gospelman wrote:
My favorite local tobacconist, Knoxville Cigar Company, closed up shop earlier this year. They had recently invested in a bar/lounge area, and the shop was a wonderful place to visit/hangout/purchase.

The last few times I was in there I noticed a table of half price items in the middle of the floor...much of it tobacco, some shaving stuff. Jared (a long time employee who was most helpful) said they were pretty much phasing out pipe tobaccco because demand was down. They sold a lot of cigars, I guess, and I had bought two pipes in there.

Then, just like that...they closed. I was really sorry to see them go, but there are a couple of other shops in town...Smoky's (as Centurion mentioned) and Leaf and Ale, which I've never visited. Also, the Gatlinburlier is not too far away.

I would much rather buy from a local business, and do when I can, but I have also ordered online...because of price.

Mike


I was really pleased to have been able to make it to Knoxville and spend a few hours there two years ago at Christmas. It sure looked like it had potential. Lots of fond memories of the Knox Board days.

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Centurian 803
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:12 pm

Actually, Dave at Smoky's has a few estates and if I'm not mistaken so does Leaf & Ale.
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Al in Canada

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Location : Blenheim, Ontario
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:40 am

The question of b&m or internet purchase is sort of like the one between the box store and the local shop, or better yet Amazon vs. the local bookstore.

In almost every business, value equals discounts, and your lcal shop cannot compete with the big store on that basis. I once had a small camera store, north of Toronto. My cost on cameras exceeded the advertised prices of the big Toronto shops, and there was literally nothing I could do about it. If I ordered in the numbers to get the better pricing, I couldn't possibly sell that amount of product in my town, my market wasn't big enough. Because I couldn't meet the price, the customers would drive an hour each way to save $30.00.

Your b&m has to pay for retail space, your typical etailer is paying for a warehouse space, and that is a huge difference. In a mall the retailer is not only paying for his sales space, but something for his % of the parking spaces, and often a per centage of his gross sales as part of his lease, and has to keep hours consistant with the mall hours. The etailer has much less overhead, a much larger potential market, and if he works it right cheaper product costs.

If the anti smoking groups get their way they will outlaw the shipping of tobacco, all in the guise of preventing children from getting smokes through the mail, and then where we be? In Canada all the distributors of pipes and pipe tobacco also distribute cigars, so any retailer who carries good cigars also has access to at least some better pipe tobacco. But they are only willing to carry it if they can sell it. Despite the heavy price I do buy tobacco locally, and am in the process of educating the local cigar smoking shop owner about pipe tobaccos. Luckily other pipe smokers have shown themselves interested in the tobaccos he has brought in, so it is working out for him and for me.

Unless we want to only have Wal Marts and other mega retailers we have to find a way to support smaller local stores. Part of that support is in patronage, sometimes it is in education.
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clueless



Location : Cincinnati, Ohio
Registration date : 2009-04-01

PostSubject: B&M   Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:43 am

Just a couple quick responses to earlier posts in this thread.

Someone in the Nashville area said he had never visited Leaf and Ale. You ought to go if you are in the area. I made a stop there when I was in town a few months ago. They have a good selection of pipes and tobacco including some good looking locally made briars. It is also a pleasant place to sit awhile.

Estate pipes - Yes, some B&M's do sell estate pipes. Smokers Haven, in Columbus, Ohio, has a pretty big display case full of them. They seemed a little pricey but I am no expert. My favorite local B&M here in Cincinnati, Bells House of Tobacco - also has begun to stock and sell estate pipes. So far his selection is limitted but he has steadily increased his inventory of pipes and tobaccos in the last several months. I suspect that more of his cigar customers have switched, at least partially, to pipes in response to the price increases this year.
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gospelman

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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:54 am

clueless wrote:
Just a couple quick responses to earlier posts in this thread.

Someone in the Nashville area said he had never visited Leaf and Ale. You ought to go if you are in the area. I made a stop there when I was in town a few months ago. They have a good selection of pipes and tobacco including some good looking locally made briars. It is also a pleasant place to sit awhile.

Estate pipes - Yes, some B&M's do sell estate pipes. Smokers Haven, in Columbus, Ohio, has a pretty big display case full of them. They seemed a little pricey but I am no expert. My favorite local B&M here in Cincinnati, Bells House of Tobacco - also has begun to stock and sell estate pipes. So far his selection is limitted but he has steadily increased his inventory of pipes and tobaccos in the last several months. I suspect that more of his cigar customers have switched, at least partially, to pipes in response to the price increases this year.

I was the one who mentioned Leaf and Ale, but in Knoxville...not Nashville. (there might be one there...I don't know).

I do plan to visit though...I get email updates from them from time to time on specials and events at the store.

Mike
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puros_bran
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
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PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:02 am

Its not a matter of either/or..
Its not a vs. thing either...

I like B&M's.. AND I like Etailers...

I could have just as easily turned it around and asked why guys complain when an Etailer doesn't treat them like Joe at the B&M...

I guess its really about reasonable expectations....
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