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 Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)

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Growley

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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:03 pm

Hey Brothers, I'm looking for some expert help, but with a shortage of that around I guess I'll ask you guys instead... Razz 
Seriously, you guys are the experts and I'd be so greatful for some help!


Here in my little quaint town of Fairhope, a wonderful business owner somewhat recently opened up a beautiful little cigar shop. As excited as I was to finally have a place to kick my feet up and smoke a cigar, I was also excited for the potential that someday he would add to his existing sales model by adding pipes, and all that goes with them.

Well, that day "might" be just around the corner. He has seen the need to add pipes into his mix and wants to get his feet wet. He and I talked about some ways to get involved without selling the farm, such as cobs, basket pipes, some mid grade pipes and a few high grade pipes/artisan pipes/Growley pipes of course.  Very Happy  For tobacco, I recommended that he start with a few bulk jars of Aro's and a few on the English side, and maybe some traditional good selling tins, but this is where I fall way short on offering advice.

If you were to walk into a brand cigar shop that also had pipe stuff, what would you want to see? I want to give him the best start possible. I'm interested in hearing what brands of pipes Low-to-High you'd hope to see, and what types of tobacco you think would work well for a "starter" environment.

I appreciate any help you're willing to offer.

Thanks guys and gals,

Brian.
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Trifecta13

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Location : Peoria, IL
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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:14 pm

Sounds like a welcome addition to the neighborhood, Brian. I'm going to approach this from two angles: what I would be in for, and what I've seen new pipe smokers going for. There's quite a bit if crossover I suppose, but I'll give it my best shot:

Tobacco:
Dunhill standards: 965, nightcap, Royal yacht
Frog Morton blends
GL Pease classics: Maltese Falcon, Haddo's, etc.

Pipes- from what I've seen in the fee smaller B&Ms I've been to, Savinelli and Peterson are done to death, not that that's a bad thing. They sell, they are loved, and who can argue with that. Here are just some other options.
Lower:
Brebbia
Neerup
Nording

Mid:
Tsuge
Stanwell

High- this is a little tougher for me. I tend to go in for more artisan pipes these days and I'm not sure how to get a selection allocated. Plus they're getting Growley pipes... What more could they want?

My main advice would be to start off small, and foster the kind of pipe community we love. Samples, customers sharing blends, etc. all the great camaraderie that goes along with our shared passion for pipes. That's my 2˘ FWIW.
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APKurt

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:47 pm

I am certain there are many here who can provide great advice for how to stock the shelves to appeal to experienced pipe smokers. Being relatively new to pipe smoking, I'm most definitely not one of them  Smile  However, it might be helpful to hear the perspective of a novice like myself if he is interested in attracting more "newbies" to pipe smoking.

I am very lucky to have a good tobacco shop in my town. I have been buying cigars from them for years, but I never really considered buying a pipe until recently. Why?

Well, for starters they have some very beautiful, high-end pipes displayed very prominently on their shelves along with very daunting price tags. I understand they want to have their best stuff front-and-center, but as a newbie I just wasn't interested in investing $400+ in my first pipe smoking experience. When I finally decided to buy a pipe I literally said to the owner, "I'd like to start smoking a pipe but I don't want to invest $300 just to get started, do you have any suggestions?" I was a little intimidated, had absolutely no idea where to start, and I didn't want to waste my money on an piece of junk. I wanted something of reasonable quality that I would enjoy smoking at a reasonable price. He proceeded to bring out a large number of very nice pipes in a more reasonable price range for me to choose from, but they were all hidden on the bottom of the display case or in one of the many boxes he had on the shelves behind him. I bought a Nording and became hooked on pipe smoking. I haven't smoked a cigar in months and I have been back to buy more pipes and tobacco from him. I'm working my way up to better quality pipes but I needed a place to start. I would recommend having a small but prominently displayed "beginner" section with some low-end briars and cobs. It doesn't need to have a sign that says "beginner" or anything like that, but it should have a decent selection of pipes with easy-to-read price tags in the $50-and-under price range. Perhaps even some Grabows that have been taken out of the convenience store packaging so they can be handled.

Second, I have some experience with the flavors/smoking experiences I can expect from different types of cigars. However, pipe tobacco just seemed like a complete mystery to me. I'm still learning about different pipe tobaccos but I really think it would be helpful to have the tobacco organized in such a way so that cigar smokers and/or complete novices aren't so intimidated by the vast options before them. Just like the beginner section above I think it would be helpful to have a "mild" tobacco section for newbies stocked with a couple examples of different tobaccos that would appeal to a novice.

I think a few suggestions like these would attract the eye of a new pipe smoker and turn into more business for him down the road. Hope this helps  Very Happy 
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Growley

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Age : 42
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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:56 pm

Beautiful! That's exactly the kind of information I think will help. Great responses guys. I appreciate you taking the time. I'm looking forward to hearing from more.  cheers 
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Puff Daddy
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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:25 pm

The safe bet for a new tobacconist who wants to test the waters on pipes and pipe tobaccos:

A few of each:
Savinelli pipes, the low to mid grades (Trevi, Tundra, etc).
Stanwell
Peterson

A modest Cornell and Diehl and GL Pease selection of tins.
A couple of Lane and Stokkebye bulks in jars, like RLP-6, 1Q, Bullseye Flake, Balkan Supreme.
A modest MacBaren selection of tins.

If traffic picks up, then increase.

_________________
These are horrible times and all sorts of horrible people are prospering, but we must never let this disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to annoy and hinder them at every turn.
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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:50 pm

Since they have already got a solid basis with cigars, it really would not be hard to put together a good well rounded assortment of pipe tobacco from many of the same suppliers as their cigars.
As we all know, Brand identity sells so it goes without saying, ALL of the Dunhill blends would be first on the list. Next,tin wise, a good selection of McC's English/Balkan blends (not all 4 or 5 maybe), their Matured Virginias, a selection of their Va Flakes and maybe a few of their bulk Va's. I'd then offer several of GLP's offerings especially what he's so good with, VaPers. I'd also offer a selection of American pouch Aros and OTC 'bacs as well. Then we come o the required Apothecary jarred "shop blends" which as is done by so many shops ala Lane tobacco's. They do produce many well liked American style aros which can be purchased and as is the case many times, re-named to suit the proprietor of the shop or sold by the Lane nomenclature. This ought to be a good beginning for the owner to get a "feel" for his/her marketplace and they can go from their. Non of these 'bacs are esoteric nor hard to get and are know by quite a lot of pipe smokers and can be tailored to suit as time and sales move on.
JMHO   Twisted Evil
As far as pipes go, a selection of the current production staples, Savinelli, Peterson, Stanwell as well as a few Dunhill's and maybe some Rattray's for standard shapes, some Nordings or Bari for freehands and of course the ONLY artisan pipe one needs to sell, GROWLEY"S America's FINEST !!  Twisted Evil Of course a selection of cobs, some basket briars and I would even carry some of the Grabows and Kaywoodies available as well. And make sure they have on-line sales available as well ! We are in the 21st century !!  Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 


Last edited by monbla256 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Fr_Tom

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:54 pm

Puff Daddy has a set of recommendations so close to mine that I am just going to give his post a +1.

The shops I have seen mostly seem to carry relabeled Lane, and bulk needs more variety than that. PS comes at a good price point, and there are a couple of great blends.

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mgtarheel

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PostSubject: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist   Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:34 am

I agree completely with Puff Daddy. He hit the nail on the head.
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joshoowah

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:37 am

The majority of the time I do not care for what others might. For instance, I do not smoke any Dunhill or CD branded tobacco. Not prejudice really, just never care for them.

In any case, it is best to start with the basic brands, such as Dunhill, perhaps even Presbyterian Mixture. Of course, you can't go wrong with anything Pease or McClelland either.

As for pipes, I agree with the majority here that it is a safe bet to invest in Savinelli, Peterson, and Stanwell. These are all affordable and good starter pipes, though Stanwell is a little more pricey. Nording is an option as well

If he is wanting some higher grade pipes there are quite a few good brands. Radice is a good start because they are high quality yet still not outrageously priced. Plus, their stems are acrylic and won't turn green after sitting in the case or shelf for months or years. Other high grade, Ardor, Rinaldo, Caminetto, Winslow. I'd suggest pick one or two and buy a pipe or two from each to display.

Not many shops I've been to sell artisans that live out of town, so yours would be a good start.

Since this is a new industry for him, it might help to have a kind if deal set up for new customers. Buy a pipe, get a tool, a tin of tobacco, or something along those lines. I'd run the deal only for particular pipes. Kind of like a starter kit.
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Cartaphilus

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:41 am

Well, I'd just be happy seeing a B&M in my town but, that's beside the point.
I think everyone has pretty much hit on what one needs and what we all would like to see.
What I wouldn't want to see is anything made in CHINA, Taiwan, etc. no junk. Nothing turns me off quicker then seeing a retailer pushing junk and that drug paraphernalia garbage.
I think quality goods says something for a place, your can still have quality without paying an arm and leg as far as tobacco and pipes go. Also, Real knowledgeable customer service is something I'd like to see of course and a sign that states "We have Layaway!" Yeah, I know it sounds funny but, I'm sure I'm not the only underfunded pipe enjoy-est out there.
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PozzSka

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:21 am

I think what the others have said is great.

One local B&M here in NE Ohio has only two or three shelves (about 5 ft wide) with tins and accessories. NExt to that a peg board wall about the same height and length with bulk stuff already portioned into 2oz, 4oz, 8oz, 16oz bags (heavy duty ziplock style bags, labeled and priced) instead of jars of bulk stuff taking up lots of space. Then they have one more pegboard area that has pipes, Paronelli (?), Peterson, some basket stuff, and a few other $150+ pipes but I haven't checked them out much. This whole section doesn't take up a lot of space and has quite a nice variety and selection. So, as others have said, I don't see a reason that a successful shop (even if small on space) couldn't offer a decent selection of pipe stuff.

Secondly, if the guy/gal is big on service, he could also offer the service of hunting down requests and what not.
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gravel

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:46 am

Puff Daddy wrote:
The safe bet for a new tobacconist who wants to test the waters on pipes and pipe tobaccos:

A few of each:
Savinelli pipes, the low to mid grades (Trevi, Tundra, etc).
Stanwell
Peterson

A modest Cornell and Diehl and GL Pease selection of tins.
A couple of Lane and Stokkebye bulks in jars, like RLP-6, 1Q, Bullseye Flake, Balkan Supreme.
A modest MacBaren selection of tins.

If traffic picks up, then increase.
This. Keep in mind some of those Lane bulks outsell everything else.
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Aristokles



Location : Pittsburgh, PA
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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:03 am

Don't disregard McClelland for both bulk and tinned blends. As much as I favor C&D products, the McNeil's have excellent products, are a good advice resource, and extremely reasonable minimum orders for vendors.
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d4klutz

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:05 am

All of these are really good ideas.  However, I have one thing to add.  The proprietor needs to know something about the blends he is selling.   Should even probably smoke a pipe and try the different blends..  We have several cigar/tobacco shops around, but none of the proprietors of the shops i have been to have any knowledge of the pipe tobacco they are selling.  Also, if you have bulk jars, please please please keep them clean and stocked with fresh tobacco.  There is nothing worse than looking at a jar that is stained and then opening the jar to smell old tobacco.  This is especially important with the strong aros as they tend to get sticky with time and light exposure. (IMHO)
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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:55 am

Aristokles wrote:
Don't disregard McClelland for both bulk and tinned blends. As much as I favor C&D products, the McNeil's have excellent products, are a good advice resource, and extremely reasonable minimum orders for vendors.

THIS for sure !!!
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IndySmoker



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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:52 pm

Dunhills 965 Nightcap EMP
Some MacBaren Tins
Cornell and Diehl
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Stick

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:34 pm

Approaching this from a slightly different angle, are there any good books / publications in the US on pipe smoking, perhaps covering things like history, types of pipes, varieties of tobacco etc? As a newbie to the concept of pipe smoking I would have valued some good books to study. Might be good to get some on the shelves?
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Wet Dottle

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:49 pm

I spoke with a local shop. Their top sellers are Lane, Stokkebye, and McClelland, all in bulk. Tinned don't sell as much and there is no clear winner, but Dunhill and McClelland were spoken of.
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Growley

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:48 pm

Great information! Thanks again guys. This is true market feedback, and it should go a long way in helping him, out. It will also be a great reference for any new B&M who is looking to get into pipes.

In standard fashion you have truly come through!

Thanks again.

Brian.
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Thomas Tkach

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:08 pm

I second the recommendations of Lane and Stokkebye bulk, including a number of aromatics.

I think you have to remember that we on this forum are probably not a good representation of the general market. We're the people that jumped in deep and are way down the rabbit hole. Most of us are connoisseurs or will-be connoisseurs. Just like with beer, the vast majority of the market is Bud-Miller-Coors, not Belgian trappist or even American craft beer.

Of all the pipe smokers I know in real life, I think about 2 of them could tell you what tobacco they are smoking beyond 'something in a jar that smelled good'. A dozen or more couldn't tell you, and just keep something, anything, on hand, even best-of-the-rest or whatever. They bang their pipes on whatever's handy to knock out tobacco and have rugged rims for it. I think you'll have the most luck selling a selection of American and Danish Aromatic Cavendish blends. Do offer to order tins if you can for the more discerning, though.
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Brewdude

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:56 pm

Thomas Tkach wrote:
I second the recommendations of Lane and Stokkebye bulk, including a number of aromatics.

I think you have to remember that we on this forum are probably not a good representation of the general market. We're the people that jumped in deep and are way down the rabbit hole. Most of us are connoisseurs or will-be connoisseurs. Just like with beer, the vast majority of the market is Bud-Miller-Coors, not Belgian trappist or even American craft beer.


I think you have it in one Thomas. Folks like us that frequent internet forums such as BoB are not the Joe Six-pack of the pipe world. And they are what drive the majority of pipe 'baccy sales for better or worse. Much like why Macanudo is (supposedly) the best selling handrolled cigar in the US.

ThomasTkatch wrote:
Of all the pipe smokers I know in real life, I think about 2 of them could tell you what tobacco they are smoking beyond 'something in a jar that smelled good'.  A dozen or more couldn't tell you, and just keep something, anything, on hand, even best-of-the-rest or whatever. They bang their pipes on whatever's handy to knock out tobacco and have rugged rims for it. I think you'll have the most luck selling a selection of American and Danish Aromatic Cavendish blends.

Agree again.

ThomasTkatch wrote:
Do offer to order tins if you can for the more discerning, though.

Yes of course.


Cheers,

RR
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Fr_Tom

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:43 pm

Thomas Tkach wrote:

Of all the pipe smokers I know in real life, I think about 2 of them could tell you what tobacco they are smoking beyond 'something in a jar that smelled good'.  A dozen or more couldn't tell you, and just keep something, anything, on hand, even best-of-the-rest or whatever. They bang their pipes on whatever's handy to knock out tobacco and have rugged rims for it. I think you'll have the most luck selling a selection of American and Danish Aromatic Cavendish blends. Do offer to order tins if you can for the more discerning, though.

There are two priests in the diocese who are pretty regular pipe smokers at retreats, etc. One of them smokes something he gets at the tobacconist, and does not know what it is. He transfers it to his tobacco pouch, and smokes from that. The other one smokes Troost and I have only seen him smoke one pipe.

Thomas speaks truth.
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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:42 am

I haven't read all the responses. But it would kind of be surprising if they differed much from earlier responses in earlier threads as the topic's circled the block & come back again over the years.

If he's repping your pipes, GREAT. Especially if you're consigning them. If he wants pipes other than yours, probably Savinellis/Stanwells. Seriously -- anybody down your way who wants spendy pipes he can fondle before he buys them can go to the Briary anyhow. And once new guys get hooked, they'll wind up getting mostly internet pipes and tobaccos because they're cheaper. Fact of life.

The tobacco he wants is the stuff he can readily sell. Keep pondering that until it really sinks in. If Carter Hall & Cherry Dessert are what flies down there, have that and gradually add better stuff. Easy does it, minimising investment in the (to them) strange & unknown.

The more money you make him -- consistently -- the more he's going to be enthused about keeping a good thing going.

It only works the way it works. Missionaries only convert entire tribes in their daydreams. Your whole town's not going to drop cigars, snuff & cigarettes for Embarcadero.

IMO

 What a Face
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joshoowah

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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:31 am

Yak wrote:


It only works the way it works. Missionaries only convert entire tribes in their daydreams.

 What a Face

Hey now! My daydreams, as a missionary, consist of entire nations!  Laughing 
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PostSubject: Re: Help Me Help My Local Tobacconist :)   Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:41 am

May you be the exception, then  Cool 

 What a Face 
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