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Another Blow Against Tobacco

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Vito

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Today I received the following update from Mike Rutt at Mars Cigars:
Mike Rutt":yxkybx11 said:
Mars Cigars & Pipes



I was hoping to avoid writing this email, but circumstances require me to keep my customers up to date.

First, I am NOT going out of business! However, just as we did about 2 years ago, we have lost our credit card processing company. They no longer will process ANY credit card tobacco sales. Unlike the situation 2 years ago, it has been much more difficult to find a replacement company.

However, it appears we will have a replacement card processor in the very near future. Unfortunately, there will be some down time before the new processor is in place.

You can still place an order via the web site until approximately noon EDT on Sunday, March 30th. At that time, I will be disabling the credit card processor to ensure all sales are processed before the official end of the current card processor.

Nor will I be able to process any credit card sales through the 'store'. However, I will be accepting mail orders utilizing money orders if you need to place an order before our new card processing complany is in place. Feel free to email about availability of product.

This is a bump in the road for us. We are doing everything possible to get through it as soon as possible and as always we appreciate your business and kind words given to us.

Please feel free to contact Mike, via email, with any questions or requests.

Mike at mars

www.marscigars.com
Draw your own conclusions.
 

Justpipes

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I have heard of other tobacco retailers facing the same problem. Seems like even some credit card companies are in bed with the smoke nazis! I know of one retailer who's credit company said they would support credit card sales for pipes but not for the actual tobacco that would be smoked in them......go figure!
 

regor

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This is the second or third time this has happened to Mike. Its the damned processing houses that are doing it. When they start missing the money it will change ( hopefully). What a mess it is :evil: :evil:
 

Slow Puffs

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It just doesn't make sense. I thought that the only way that could happen is that you had someone "under age" making an order.

:eek: Paul
 

puros_bran

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Puffs did it really shock you when 'Its for the children' started controlling adults?????

Never saw it coming ayyyy??????
 

Vito

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Justpipes":snw2l7pi said:
...they would support credit card sales for pipes but not for the actual tobacco that would be smoked in them......go figure!
JP:

I think I see the mistake you're making. Apparently, you're assuming they are rational. :evil: :no:

They want the money, but they have to see themselves as "principled", you see. Apparently, things like "Earth Day" don't provide quite enough utterly ineffectual but nonetheless conscience-assuaging eyewash for them to see themselves as The Great Enlightened Socially Responsible Intelligentsia, so this extra measure of irrational bullshit...er, excuse me...I mean, Conscientious Marketing gives them that extra little nudge over into Save The Earthdom. Or some bullcrap.

I'll bet they're among the same people who think Saint Algore is a world hero for educating us poor, ignorant sumsbitches about the "inconvenient truth" he and his enviro-witchdoctors manufactured from whole cloth. In a world where such a moronic anti-scientist "earns" a Nobel prize for telling bold-faced lies, there is little in the way of moralistic meddling that such mass delusion won't attempt.

Not that I'm opinionated. :mrgreen:
 

Vito

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regor":5s9dkjqe said:
This is the second or third time this has happened to Mike. Its the damned processing houses that are doing it. When they start missing the money it will change ( hopefully). What a mess it is :evil: :evil:
Brothah regor:

I think they've convinced themselves there isn't all that much money involved. They have all their transactions stored in a computer data base, so it's a simple matter for them to calculate tobacco sales as a percentage of total sales. Most likely it's a minuscule fraction of 1%.

The decision-making scenario isn't too hard to imagine. Once they already knew how much revenue they'd lose by dumping tobacco sales, it was a matter of projecting how much additional business they'd gain by being able to sell themselves as "enviro-conscious", or "health-conscious", or "green", or whatever image-making fluff the marketing department figured it would take to cash in on the growing mass hysteria that they want to exploit.

You can be sure it's about the money, all right, but the overwhelming probability is that they've calculated it will make them more money by being able to position themselves as an Enlightened Company. I'm not saying it will, mind you; I don't have access to their sales data, before or after the fact. But if I had to imagine how the people who came up with the idea of dumping tobacco sales sold it to management, I'd bet money that it went through the marketing department...if it didn't start there in the first place. They sold it on the basis that it would result in a net increase in revenues, not a net decrease, and management bought it.

They probably figured they didn't have that much to lose. The long-term trend for tobacco usage is monotonically downward. I've read that pipe tobacco usage has actually increased in recent years, and of course cigar consumption had a huge renaissance in the 1990s, but has tapered off since the early peak. But cigars and pipes have had a relatively small share of the market since the end of WWII, when cigarettes rose to dominate the market. The credit card companies are probably lumping pipe tobacco and cigars together with cigarettes, and cigarettes have been on a long downward trend.

It would be easy to project that, at some point, the downward trend line would cross an upward trend of customers who are anti-tobacco. The crossover point is the where they decide to dump tobacco and market aggressively to the anti-tobacco types. The projections don't have to be accurate. They only have to convince the people who make the decisions.
 

regor

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They are good liars thats for sure. It seems to multiply in all direction. A lie is designed to be believe while the truth is harder to believe. There is an old saying that a lie will make it around the world before the truth gets out of bed.. It is something as a group we are going to have to fight. Groups are starting to form but it might be alittle late so we have to fight it that much harder and stock up while we can LOL :cyclops:
 

jhuggett

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I don't think this is antismoking... It's state governments putting the pressure on the credit card companies. Buying tobacco products online (across state lines) "robs" local governments of tobacco taxes. Some states have formed agreements to collect taxes for each other buy requiring retailers to collect them if the customer happens to live in one of their partner states.

The credit card companies could give a crap about what you spend your money on as long as they make money but government inquiries and investigations can cost them a lot of money and some jurisdictions are moving forward with legislation to make it illegal for credit card companies to process certain transactions. Like online gambling for instance.
 

Ol'Dawg

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My question is who is "they"? It's hard to resolve a problem by fighting back or creating a counter argument when you don't know who "they" is. By "they" I'm referring to the company or companies that have decided not to process credit card sales of tobacco products. At this time we don't know which company/companies that have taken this course of action and why they chose to take this course of action. It's easy to make guesses of why, but it doesn't start to resolve the problem.

In my opinion it's the credit card issuing companies that will lose, not to mention the consumers, and I would be more than happy to complain to them that so and so companies are refusing to process my purchases using their cards. I would also love to complain to the the companies that refuse to process my orders.

My guess is that the anti-tobacco organizations are putting pressure on the processing companies and therefore have made the decision to exclude tobacco sales to get them off their backs. Then using these health/protect our children excuses in an attempt to look good.

Jim...my ha'pence worth
 

Justpipes

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jhuggett":hqogyqjt said:
I don't think this is antismoking... It's state governments putting the pressure on the credit card companies. Buying tobacco products online (across state lines) "robs" local governments of tobacco taxes. Some states have formed agreements to collect taxes for each other buy requiring retailers to collect them if the customer happens to live in one of their partner states.

The credit card companies could give a crap about what you spend your money on as long as they make money but government inquiries and investigations can cost them a lot of money and some jurisdictions are moving forward with legislation to make it illegal for credit card companies to process certain transactions. Like online gambling for instance.
You are right about the taxes Jason. State and Feds are desprately trying to get a handle on how to tax internet sales. I have noticed also that some states are already doing it if you are a resident of the state where the etailer resides. They will all be in league with each other as soon as the software is developed and implemented. It's coming!
 

Vito

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GLP has pointed out on another forum that there's another factor involved here, namely the fact that credit card companies also have to factor in the likelihood of state coercion. It's no secret that your friendly state Attorney General (AG) belongs to a nationwide club of aggressive meddlers who would love to control tobacco sales even more strictly than they do now. It's about the money they believe they're currently "losing" (as though it's theirs in the first place) to interstate tobacco sales, which are still mostly exempt from punitive state tobacco taxes. If the AGs bring charges against the credit card companies for tax evasion, any money they'd have made from the tobacco sales would quickly be eaten up, and then some.

The risk might appear to be low now. After all, it's still legal to make interstate sales on the internet or via mail order without collecting sales taxes. But the state has many ways of threatening people. All they would need to do it charge someone with suspected tax evasion, and the burden of proof would then be on everyone who participated in the transactions — including the credit card companies — to cough up the records that prove otherwise. (So much for the "innocent until proven guilty" principle.) At some point, a company has to decide whether the risk of that hassle is worth the relatively meager revenues they would have to sacrifice to avoid that risk.
 

regor

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Eveb tho I think everyone is right in some form or another I think you need to go back and read the notice again. Its in the top 2 or 3 paragraphs(sp). Its the processing houses that are taking the heat in this round. We need to fight back!!!
 

Slow Puffs

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Is this why Knox is not excited about selling tobacco via internet?
:?: Paul
 

puros_bran

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Very well could be. Or it could be he fact that they couldn't compete with certain other dealers. Or it could have been selling a tin for 13 bucks in store was hard to do when you had it online for 8. Who really knows why they made that decision. They aren't the first and they are far from the last that will do so. It may be the conspiracy theorist in me but I say stock up on as much baccy as you can, theres coming a time (real soon) where it won't be as easy or cheap.
 

Slow Puffs

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PB
I say stock up on as much baccy as you can, theres coming a time (real soon) where it won't be as easy or cheap.

Damn PB, I just made my confession...

:evil: Paul
 
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