Pipe Gripes - B&M edition

Discussion in 'The Smoking Lounge' started by LifeOfRiley, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. LifeOfRiley

    LifeOfRiley Active Member

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    1. I know we're supposed to be grateful for any place where we can smoke in public, but could you do something about the ventilation? I actually visit less often and spend less time in them because I don't want to smell like an ash tray for the rest of the day.
    2. Do yourself a favor and make sure your bulk tobacco jars are doing what they need to to keep your product fresh.
    3. Similar to 2, if you're going to pre-pack plastic bags with bulk at given weights, limit them or rotate them so you're not selling dried-out tobacco.
    4. At least half of your sales staff doesn't know ---- about pipes.
    5. In this day and age, the six most ridiculous words a retailer can say to a customer who can't find what he's after are "I can order that for you." It just so happens I can order it for me, too.

    Yours?
     
  2. Pappy

    Pappy Member

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    My biggest grip is that the nearest real B&M is a 4 hour drive each way. :(
     
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  3. Raffxr7

    Raffxr7 Active Member

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    My B&M has absolutely no clue what they are selling, just what is on the label... they don't store the bulk tobacco properly either. The plastic non-airtight storage tubs at walmart are what they use. The bags they sell have dry tobacco on a regular basis-and I get it free when I point it out. Golly, that's nice. It's a shame I bought it dried out beforehand... I quit buying their bulk stuff. I ask who makes something on their bulk, and get told its made by the name on the display. Tobacco Galleria is not a company, it's just a line from the maker... I asked about the basket pipes, in case the owner knew who made them. I got "There are a lot of pipe makers in Czech. It could be any one of them!" Er... no, there really aren't a lot. There are a handful that I have found. These kind of answers that cover up the "I don't know" statement they refuse to admit really irritate me. The tobacconist certificate proudly hung on the wall also ticks me off. They shouldn't have it if they don't know what burley is, or if their blends have it.
     
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  4. Johnny

    Johnny Member

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    I haven't been to a B&M in years but back when I lived in Syracuse I had two that I went to. Neither had staff that knew anything about pipes as they seemed to be focused on cigars but their bulks were always fine. One of the shops even ordered Squadron Leader and some snuff for me. I would love to have those shops here even though NY taxes are crazy now. Used to buy Dunhill blends from one shop and Peterson from the other. Not much tin selection from either but it felt good to buy local
     
  5. ShawnP

    ShawnP Member

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    I have one real pipe shop and they know things but damn it's hard to buy a tin for 3 times what I can online. Other than that the so called cigar shops suck, know nothing and carry dry bulk.

    basically I don't go.

    Shawn
     
  6. GlassEye

    GlassEye Member

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    There are two shops I go to here. One always has a pipe-smoking employee when I go in, but I still get some issues as though they don't know too much about pipes/tobacco, and they seem to only ever have MacBaren in stock for about triple what I could get it for elsewhere, but has a good selection of pipes. The other shop has the whole Dunhill line, Erinmore, Escudo, and a bunch of other stuff, many bulk jars (never looked at them, though) all priced well enough that I will get those items there rather than online, very few pipes, only problem is that it is primarily cigar store, and even more so the corner convenience store on that block, so there is no smoking inside and always busy with people getting their cigarettes and beverages.

    I think the internet has led to a more informed customer than some of these long-time tobacconists are used to dealing with, and there seems to be more pipe/tobacco hobbyists rather than just smokers so we want to deal with someone who really knows tobacco and pipes well, and making up some kind of answer when they don't know is not going to work anymore. Also, hard to compete with internet selection and pricing.

    5 on your list is a good one, for any retailer now. I like to support a local business when I can, but I have no problem ordering that myself, for a much better price, if I need to.
     
  7. Tyrannical Dan

    Tyrannical Dan Member

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    I'm new to your store.

    You know you've never seen me before.

    Perhaps ask what flavors I like smoking instead of staring awkwardly at me while I look at EVERY tobacco on your shelves. By the time I make it to the counter to look at the bulk blends, it's past time to have greeted me.

    Carry Frog Morton :p
     
  8. CalPiper

    CalPiper Member

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    Just because you work in a smoke shop does not mean your job description is "sit in the corner and smoke, watch the flat screen, talk to your buddy, and then when I have been standing at the counter for 5 minutes finally come by and ask if I need anything else."
     
  9. ShawnP

    ShawnP Member

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    HAHA I second that
     
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  10. AussieTX

    AussieTX Active Member

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    There is one local B&M that is semi decent, they have a decent selection of Pete's, bjarnes, nordings, and savs. But they don't change their stock often. Their bulk blends are average at best (occasionally they'll get a good blend in), tinned tobacco is pretty meh, few good choices but not a lot of variety. And of course over priced, but the people there are very friendly.
    As for the other B&Ms.... I'd rather not mention them.... Yep, that bad.
     
  11. craig

    craig Active Member

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    closest b&m to me is two hours away, really good place and good variety and always helpful when you have a query no matter how stupid you feel for asking it.
    There is a newsagents in my town that carrys a small selection of pipes and has all the pipe wares i need so i go there, another shop a bit down the road has a decent selection of the brit otcs, and a very small selection of the gawith and hoggarths aros. but i mostly get my tobacco online in bulk as its cheaper over to do it that way.
     
  12. Tony Malerich

    Tony Malerich Active Member

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    There's a small string of B&Ms in the area (The Humidor) that are actually pretty decent. Not all their staff know much about pipes, and they could work toward remedy that, but a handful do and the owner is particularly knowledgable. They keep a good stock of pipes at all three locations. The two smaller ones have a more limited selection understandably, but the main shop has quite a nice case. My main complaint is the tobacco taxes here in RI. It's about 3x the price to buy tobacco from them vs online. I have a pipe on layaway, though, and so long as I'm in the area I'll probably send them some money periodically paying that off (and then on another pipe perhaps) because they certainly deserve it. I just can't bring myself to pay those prices save for the occasional bulk ounce.

    That said there's a small shop near home... there's being attentive, and then there's standing over your shoulder like a keen-eyed hawk making sure you don't pocket any precious inventory. They have a particularly lousy pipe & tobacco selection, though (they actually tagged their Newminster samples from a pipe show and just sold them) so I have no need or reason to go back.
     
  13. N3M0

    N3M0 Active Member

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    I went into a 2 guys smoke shop the other day, they claimed they had pipe tobacco there, this building was probably 1500 sq ft and they had 3 shelves with three rows each of 1 tin for a total of 9 tins and 2 shelves were the same blend and the third as a mix of 2 of the same 1 different. quite disappointing. Im just glad I didnt decide to drive the hour there just for that, I happened to be in the area and stopped by, now i know LOL.

    The Owl Shop on the other hand is quite wonderful with very knowledgeable staff and extremely friendly
     
  14. Elliottws

    Elliottws Member

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    I know all about the upsale, but showing me a $1000 estate pipe right off the back! c'mon now, why not ask for a price range.
     
  15. Malcontent

    Malcontent Active Member

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    With regard to ordering on line because of taxes: I would be shocked, shocked to find that gamb.., er, avoidence would occur.
     
  16. Mount Mandolin

    Mount Mandolin Active Member

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    This thread makes me mighty damn glad to have such a fantastic B&M, that's about all I know. If you're ever in Birmingham, stop by The Briary and you'll see one of the very best things about living in this town. Knowledgeable staff, huge selection of pipes and tobacco, and, as the name implies, it's a pipe shop first and foremost, not a big freakin' humidor that just happens to sell pipe cleaners.

    I know the place is a rarity, and it may not be around forever, so I enjoy it whenever I can. In a town where I used to live, our B&M was largely populated by grumpy old men who seemed almost offended that I would dare to come spend my hard-earned money in their shop. None but one of those men were actually staff there, but they were there so often that they seemed like some kind of growth protruding from the furniture. So yeah, it's unfortunate about that. Spill wrote a great post once about older guys' attitudes toward young people, wish I could find it. Other than that, though, that shop had a decent selection as well, so I guess I still haven't seen the worst of the the worst.
     
  17. craig

    craig Active Member

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    it sucks when older pipe smokers treat new and younger smokers with some sort of disdain, as i see it is the new and younger generation of pipe smokers that are helping keep pipe smoking alive and giving it the revival it deserves, if it wasnt for us, pipe smoking would probably be a thing of a the past and i find it sad.
    But i have to admit that the older pipe smokers i have encountered (mostly on here) have treat me with respect and took me under their wing to show me the joys of this wonderful hobby and art form, and i thank them greatly.
    for the older pipe smokers who do show us disdain for no good reason, shame on you, grow up and accept whoever chooses to join us because everyone has to start somewhere.
     
  18. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Mine is "When I'm your customer, you're the expert. You work in (or own) a tobacco shop. If you care so little about your products that you choose not to learn about them so you can discuss them with potential customers, find yourself another job!"
     
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  19. craig

    craig Active Member

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    exactly, i think the people who dont care about the tobacco think we know enough to make our own choices but were not all experts and even if we do know what we like it is nice to have a conversation with someone who is supposed to know their stuff without them looking at you as though you have just landed from mars
     
  20. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    If it's paying their salary, they need to care about it or find some other way to earn a living.
     
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