Touchy subject: Your local B&M and their attitude towards online competition.

Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,207 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 2015 in General Discussion
Saw a sign posted at my local B&M while I was there smoking last Saturday.
I was there to look for some sticks I needed for the group review threads. I had just purchased a handful of cigars and was smoking in the small lounge area up front. I then noticed a sign printed out on a standard 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper. If I remember it correctly it read,

"If you bought your cigars on the internet, you should go smoke them on the internet."

I took it to mean that their smoking area is for customers only. No problem. I buy there and smoke there occasionally. And I know that one of the general rules of cigar etiquette is that "if you smoke there, you should buy something there" and, I wouldn't feel right about walking in with a ccom house blend and firing it up, even if I had made a purchase there. 

I've never met the owner but I have mentioned to his employees that some of my cigar buys are online purchases and that I used to live in the boonies and they didn't freak out. Neither did they disparage online sales, however, this is the first time I had noticed the sign, I'm pretty sure it's new. (Just to be clear, I do not feel like the sign was directed at me specifically.)

And, I'm not sayin' that I think the sign was all that rude but, I have heard of rude jerk responses from shopkeepers/owners when the subject of online cigar sales comes up. I understand how they can feel like the online retailers have unfair advantages but, they should be able to handle reality without being rude jerks, right? 

While I'm at the B&M I won't intentionally mention the subject in the future unless someone else brings it up because I don't want to upset anyone or get myself banned from the shop. LOL Remember the Soup **** on Seinfeld?  

What has been your experiences with shopkeepers, and shop owners at B&Ms and their attitude or actions towards the online competition?
Do you think they have a right to be overtly negative?


Comments

  • PatrickbrickPatrickbrick Lake Zurich IlPosts: 5,053 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A while back I discovered there was a shop near where my folks live.  This shop has been there for years, I had to check it out.  The owner was there and I sparked up a conversation with him.  I told him I was looking for a new to me stick to try, he asked me what I liked, I listed a few specific smokes, he then looked at me and said "and how did you find those, the Internet".  I was taken aback, and stated that I did not know about his shop until now.  It was strange.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give".  Winston Churchill.
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  • matkn293matkn293 O'Fallon, MOPosts: 3,601 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I openly talk about my online purchases with the B&M that I frequent and with the owner.  I even discuss prices with them.  Granted, their humi is not the largest walk in in town so the selection is not always the greatest.  I do buy enough from there that she allows me to bring in outside cigars.  92.5% of the time I will buy one if I bring one in.  I was always told that as long as I am drinking, I am all good.  I don't feel bad about it at all.  This was the precedent that was set.  I even will drop a stick for her to try if I feel she would like it. 

    The other B&M that I used to go to has a much better selection and a crappy bar.  There it is you must buy one to smoke one.  I think if I told them when purchasing a cigar that I was smoking another while there they would be fine with it.  Just as long as I was buying something from them.  Cigar sales are the #1 money maker there and not the bar.

    Life is too short to smoke bad cigars!!!

    Oh when the Blues, Oh when the Blues, Oh when the Blues go marching in!

    F San Jose!!!!! Lets get it on!

  • avengethisavengethis Sorry, I ate all your bacon!Posts: 5,376 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My B&M doesn't seem to have issue with it as long as I am purchasing something there.  I have conversations with their employees about sticks I have gotten from other sources.  If I want to smoke a stick they carry I wont bring in my own, I will purchase from them, however if I want to smoke something they do not carry then I will make a point to buy 1 or 2 sticks or purchase a few beverages while I am there.  It has never been an issue.
    Team O'Donnell FTW!

    "I've got a great cigar collection - it's actually not a collection, because that would imply I wasn't going to smoke ever last one of 'em." - Ron White
  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,328 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I stop by my shop to try and support them. I live in a small town with hefty sin tax and high prices, but I still try to stop by the B&M to pick something up every couple of weeks. I like to shop local too. Something like 60% of each dollar stays in the local economy with local purchases.

    I can mildly understand their B&M's desire to disparage the online competition--the store owner feels like he/she is getting a smaller slice of the pie. I feel they shouldn't be whiny about it. They need to innovate somehow to pick up the slack. Most successful storefronts I know (across several types of industry) also do online sales. E-commerce helps broaden their customer reach.

    My local B&M doesn't have a lounge (have to go to SLC or Vegas for that), but I would do the same method as you--buy there/smoke there. Hell, I would even say carry a case of some sort and smoke the equivalent number of sticks to what you buy. If you go kuzi etiquette style, remove the band and if the wrapper/vitola are close enough the owner will be none the wiser.

    -Jay
    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,540 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Posted this awhile back. Local B&M and I made a comment about a certain brand being really bad and everyone I touched fell apart. He smart mouthed a comment about the internet and I said yes, that is where I get 99% of my cigars.

    Did not go back for months. When I did it was for a handful of singles and I let him know that if I found one I liked I would purchase a box off the internet.

    I think it is time to go again. Shame really, I was going to his shop every payday and spending at least $100.
    Bill Whittle "Look It Up"

    "I'm suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I usually trust a dog when it doesn't like a person.”

  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,207 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes JD your story was the rudest example I had heard of. I have met that guy, (I think). He's was in that location 20 years before internet sales existed. I suppose he thinks he's got everything you need and nothing that you don't crammed into 400 square feet of retail space. LOL 
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,281 ✭✭✭✭
    I go by one of the closer shops just about every Tuesday, but I've never stopped in because they don't open as early as I go by.  Internet=always open.  There's a reportedly better-stocked shop a little farther away, but some friends live that direction.  They publish all over their website that you can only smoke what you purchase there.  And looking at their online listing, they don't carry a lot of what I like.  Internet=variety.  But he's right, I can't smoke on the internet.  Maybe they need to set up a "cover charge" sort of lounge area to cover the cost of smoking there.  Adapt.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,497 ✭✭✭✭✭
    One shop I used to go to recommended I go to a website (not one affiliated with the store) and buy some cigars. Lol!  I had asked to see if they could get a specific box and they just sent me away to some website.  That seemed weird to me, but I appreciated the suggestions.  

    Owners who pretend the Internet doesn't exist or that you are a cheater if you buy off of the Internet are idiots.  If I upset a shop owner or employee by mentioning online sales, then I honestly would not care and probably would not go back.

    A good shop owner, upon hearing about a cigar that you like and that they do not sale, would offer to find it for you or at least make a recommendation based on what they have.

    Lots of the really good shops have their own websites anyway.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • ExpendableYouthExpendableYouth Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 2,087 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I use my shop as a proving ground before I buy more than amcouple sticks, and they know it. It definitely annoys them, but on most of the stuff I smoke I would easily be paying twice as much for a box purchase. I always buy 2-3 sticks and bring at least that many with me and don't feel bad in the least about it. I also don't bring it up to him that often or others in the lounge at all, although I think most people that are aware of E-commerce are aware that it is going to be cheaper online.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,207 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I use my shop as a proving ground before I buy more than amcouple sticks, and they know it. It definitely annoys them, but on most of the stuff I smoke I would easily be paying twice as much for a box purchase. I always buy 2-3 sticks and bring at least that many with me and don't feel bad in the least about it. I also don't bring it up to him that often or others in the lounge at all, although I think most people that are aware of E-commerce are aware that it is going to be cheaper online.
    Especially so depending on the state taxes. Right? 
  • Usaf06Usaf06 FloridaPosts: 7,767 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My B&M has a online store also so I know they don't mind. They also price match ccom and give me 10% off for being a LEO.
    "I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form."
    -- Winston Churchill
  • ExpendableYouthExpendableYouth Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 2,087 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's not really the taxes for my lounge but the fact they don't have a bar or restaurant. All of there sales are purely tobacco related so they will add some pretty crazy margins to stuff. 
  • peter4jcpeter4jc Milwaukee, WIPosts: 6,632 ✭✭✭✭✭
    2 out of 3 cigars I smoke at the BnM's around here, were purchased from them.  But, even if I'm smoking one of theirs, I bought it on a previous occasion so I could take it home and let it sit in my humis.  There are too many variables in the store humidor, like how fresh a box is, how short/long they've had it, how many times the door's been opened, etc.

    None of the owners or employees has ever looked to see what people are smoking though, and don't think they care all that much as long as you buy something.
    "I could've had a Mi Querida!"   Nick Bardis
  • CharlieHeisCharlieHeis South DakotaPosts: 5,873 ✭✭✭✭✭
    One shop I used to go to recommended I go to a website (not one affiliated with the store) and buy some cigars. Lol!  I had asked to see if they could get a specific box and they just sent me away to some website.  That seemed weird to me, but I appreciated the suggestions.  

    Owners who pretend the Internet doesn't exist or that you are a cheater if you buy off of the Internet are idiots.  If I upset a shop owner or employee by mentioning online sales, then I honestly would not care and probably would not go back.

    A good shop owner, upon hearing about a cigar that you like and that they do not sale, would offer to find it for you or at least make a recommendation based on what they have.

    Lots of the really good shops have their own websites anyway.
    If I wanted something specific and the owner said he couldn't get that, or didn't want to carry it for whatever reason, and then directed me to a website, I would consider that great customer service and that would make me want to do more business with him in the future. He gets it.
    Ken Light MOW Badge 2014
    2015 Gang War - West Coast
  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭
    Honestly I can't hate on b&m owners hating the Internet. It kills business and will always have more verity. But that being said the places I go respect you and listen to you for as much as they can. The main place I go I don't buy anything but pardon and davidoff from them the rest is the normal crap. But they will still give me a 20% discount on boxes and will put things on hold for me. Plus really if you owned say a restaraunt would you let someone being in food from another place and eat it there? If you want a place to smoke we'll pay for it by buying something!!!!!!!! A ton of lounges have a fee so be happy if you can just buy one stick and sit down...so why complain about small business hurting from big business...Walmart vs mom and pop stores
    Money can't buy taste
  • CharlieHeisCharlieHeis South DakotaPosts: 5,873 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I also like to shop local. If I had a b&m closer than 75 miles away he would get much more of my business. 
    Ken Light MOW Badge 2014
    2015 Gang War - West Coast
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,207 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't have a problem with my local shop having a policy against outside cigars or posting a sign. As I said in my first post, "no problem". It's their shop. Their rules. What I have a problem with is shop owners who actually behave rudely to their own paying customers when they find out that their customer also buys online. 

    As for that sign at my specific local shop, I'll have to go back and re-read the sign to get the exact wording confirmed. You can interpret the sign in different ways and the exact wording can make all the difference. I'll take a picture. Plus, I'll ask them what the sign means. If the sign's intent was to highlight their policy to mean, "No outside smokes without purchase", that's reasonable. If the signs intent was to say, No outside smokes, period." OK, I can abide by that too but, If the sign's intent was to say, "If you shop online you aren't welcome here", well, now they just don't want my business. 

    You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. 


  • skydiverDskydiverD Chicagoland AreaPosts: 2,302 ✭✭✭✭✭
       Bob_Luken said:
    .......Just to be clear, I do not feel like the sign was directed at me specifically.....




    It was.....   LOL  :p
    How do you like my profile pic Taborski?   @matkn293 
  • raisindotraisindot BostonPosts: 1,308 ✭✭✭
    I rarely go to a B&M except to buy stuff like butane and Bovedas, but the one nearest me has an $8 "lighting fee" if you smoke something you bought somewhere else. I think that's a fair policy, much like a corking fee in a restaurant if you bring your own wine. 

    I really do feel kinda bad for the B&M, because he can't compete with online retailers when it comes to in-state sales because the excise tax on cigars is 40%. 
  • Darktower007Darktower007 Posts: 2,580 ✭✭✭✭
    I normally carry one of my own cigars with me then buy one from the bnm I smoke at.  Although I usually buy lounge exclusives and rare finds when I come across them.
  • RhamlinRhamlin WVPosts: 7,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Most B&M owners I think aren't overly fond of online sites. And they all say that what you get online are 2nds which I think is probably true for the most part. What I really hate are the guys who boast that they only buy from B&M's. Like they are better than me. That's when I ask them if they ever shop at Kroger or Wallmart or Home Depot? Because it's the same freaking thing!
  • havanaalhavanaal Posts: 155 ✭✭
    I was in one of the few B&M's left in town and the guy (not the owner) asks me the inevitable "What do you like to smoke?" question. So I said I was hoping to find some Felipe Gregorios (longshot). He says "That's an online cigar brand. We don't carry those." WTF? Is there even such a thing?? I found that comment idiotic.
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,281 ✭✭✭✭
    havanaal said:
    I was in one of the few B&M's left in town and the guy (not the owner) asks me the inevitable "What do you like to smoke?" question. So I said I was hoping to find some Felipe Gregorios (longshot). He says "That's an online cigar brand. We don't carry those." WTF? Is there even such a thing?? I found that comment idiotic.
    Yes, indeed, there are brands and blends from some brands that can only be found online and from specific retailers.  Not sure about these, though.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 7,207 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2015
    No, it's true. There are some popular cigars online that will not be found in B&Ms. Uh, Let me try to think of some,..........Help me out here guys what are the "online only" cigars? I can't be certain but aren't most of the AJ Fernandez cigars "online only"?

    And what about Ramon Bueso's cigars? 
  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,497 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, I think many of the diesel lines are, but it's not limited to online only. In reality, any B&M could open an account with the corp. owner and get them.  Most just do not.  I also have not seen ManOWar at a shop, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.  

    Or for example, the Mario Palomino's that came back for a little bit.  I believe it was ccom who pushed to bring it back and so it really only was offered online.
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,281 ✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, I've never seen AJ at a B&M.  Bueso.  But even something like Saison by Oliva is only available online, I believe. 
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,540 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Never seen a Cinco Vegas of any kind at any BnM I have visited.
    Bill Whittle "Look It Up"

    "I'm suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I usually trust a dog when it doesn't like a person.”

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