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Great Scot!

Age : 57
Location : North Georgia, USA
Registration date : 2009-01-11

PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:36 pm

Some of you here will know my favorite ever B&M having visited there, attending pipe clubs meetings there or simply by reputation. Others will know having done business with her online shop, Joyce White ran Royal Cigar in Atlanta, Ga and still may hostess Atlanta Pipe Club meetings in her home (I know she has as recently as last month). Of all the B&M's I ever been in both in the USA and the UK Royal Cigar stands out for me, in ACES! Selection was/is second to none, service is also second to none ... with Joyce you are NOT just a customer, you are a friend. I believe Joyce gave up the B&M for semi-retirement after serving the community for many years. Those that know her personally will know of her health and life issues and challenges which probably also played a role in her choice to close the doors, though she she does a brisk business online. She has done so since the early 1990's to my understanding.

Many shops try for a personal touch, and some are moderately successful at pulling it off. Others offer a 'membership' including a climate controlled 'cigar locker' and a smoking lounge for paying members.

I now live in an area with no B&M within a reasonable commute. Gainesville, Ga has a shop that is fairly close by, but Gainesville has for me at least very little else to offer that I can't find closer and thus isn't a regular run for me. Our little place in town closed it's doors 2 years ago and the owner went back into DOD electronics. It was a cigar shop with a couple of pipes and some tins of tobacco and the Lane's Jars with creative store names on them kind of place, with a couple of chairs and ash trays for sharing a smoke with the owner and friends. He was a friendly enough sort of chap, but had interests elsewhere which eventually won him back into a much more lucrative business.

I have done a great deal of business online over the years, but I still prefer a face to face transaction and the chance of meeting new friends that a B&M offers. I think online sales have probably hastened the death of several/many B&M's but I feel that they are likely a dying industry anyway. I don't think it does any good to pit one against the other here, and some that manage to offer a B&M and online business do extremely well at it, at least for now.

It's curious to me that no one has mentioned E-Bay in this thread, where the goal is purely a capital gain for the consumer ... get the ultra-rare gold and diamond appointed Bo Nordh for $69.00 delivered employing the very latest and greatest SNIPE SOFTWARE Twisted Evil

For me, it's all about choices, and given the choice I'd pay a little bit more at a B&M were one a reasonable distance from me and offered the selection and friendship I require. I've never been a 'big spender' either at a B&M or an etailer, what I have been is a steady customer, and when you've earned my repeated business, a LOYAL one.

Isn't that what business is all about anyway? Wouldn't a business person prefer loyal and repeat customers to a big shot who comes in and buys half the inventory?

Just some thoughts gentlemen and ladies ...
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Smokey Joe


Age : 54
Location : Georgia Boonies
Registration date : 2009-10-29

PostSubject: Re: B&M's   Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:08 pm

To be honest, If a B&M carried a good selection of pipes and tobacco, I would probably never buy online, even if the cost was greater. The reason is that I enjoy the experience of selecting a pipe or purchasing tobacco in person. Also, to be able to smoke the pipe and chat with the gents in the shop. Unfortunately, I'm about 35-40 miles from any B&M, so most of my purchasing has been done with e-tailers. I'm just glad that we still have a choice in these tough times santa
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