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B&M Ripoff?

(53 posts)
  • Started 5 months ago by johnmosesbrowning
  • Latest reply from ophiuchus
  1. johnmosesbrowning

    johnmosesbrowning

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    I'm all about supporting my local brick and mortar pipe and tobacco resource, but I'm feeling like there's a bit of gouging here. "Basket Pipes" (including MM cobs with stickers still on them) are $40. Their bulk blends are exceptionally expensive as well. They're selling HGL that they've added some (how much, I don't know) perique to for $10/ounce.

    Am I being unreasonable thinking this place is a bit steep even for a B&M?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  2. olkofri

    Olkofri

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    Prices do seem a bit steep. For a moment there I thought you were in Canada, where 1 oz is ~$20. The basket pipes in my local B&M are $35 CAD, but they only have briars there. I won't pay more than $10 USD for a cob, unless it's a very especial one.

    Not the sweet, new grass with flowers is this harvesting of mine;
    Not the upland clover bloom...
    Posted 5 months ago #
  3. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    What state do you live in? State taxes on tobacco can double the prices that you'd pay online. Add to that the increased overhead of running a small shop and the costs add up.

    And, for what it's worth, nobody has ripped you off if they haven't been deceptive and/or if you haven't actually bought anything from them.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  4. johnmosesbrowning

    johnmosesbrowning

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    I'm in Michigan and I don't think it's the taxes because I've gotten 1Q and BCA at another location for ~$4-5/ounce.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  5. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    So where will you shop for now on?

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Could be that they are struggling to stasy in business and have jacked up the prices to stay afloat.

    “I've been treating you with courtesy and respect because that's the way I choose to treat everyone. But never, ever mistake kindness with weakness.”
    ― Louise Penny, Still Life
    Posted 5 months ago #
  7. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Ohh, here we go again.
    "Gouging, rip off, unfair!" Sir, there is nothing preventing you from turning around and walking out, or did they stop you at the door, take your wallet, rough you up a bit, and toss you out the door?
    Some places are just more expensive to operate. Suck it up and pay it, or leave. There is really no call for slamming one of the nation's last tobacco B&Ms, because you are insulted by something that no one is forcing you to pay.

    You have the option to shop online or anywhere else you prefer.

    Michael
    Posted 5 months ago #
  8. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    A friend of mine used to own a small engine repair shop and while there one day a customer walks in looking for chain saw chain.

    So my buddy asks the particulars and with that proceeds to cut the chain to length and then wraps it in heavy butcher paper.

    He tells to customer the final cost and the customer freaks out and exclaims, "I can get the same thing from Mail Order for a lot cheaper.

    My buddy then says that he'll match the price of the Mail Order place. Now the customer is excited.

    Then my buddy places the package containing the chain back on the shelf behind him and tells the customer. Come back in 3-5 days and you can pick the chain up, since that's the standard shipping time.

    I loved it. The customer stormed out.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 5 months ago #
  9. warren

    warren

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    Am I being unreasonable thinking this place is a bit steep even for a B&M?

    Not having seen their books I can't possibly answer your question. Neither can anyone else here. If you feel their prices are high, I suggest not shopping there.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 5 months ago #
  10. johnmosesbrowning

    johnmosesbrowning

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    [/quote]Ohh, here we go again.
    "Gouging, rip off, unfair!" Sir, there is nothing preventing you from turning around and walking out, or did they stop you at the door, take your wallet, rough you up a bit, and toss you out the door?
    Some places are just more expensive to operate. Suck it up and pay it, or leave. There is really no call for slamming one of the nation's last tobacco B&Ms, because you are insulted by something that no one is forcing you to pay.

    You have the option to shop online or anywhere else you prefer.

    Michael
    [quote]

    Wow! Hostile much? I believe I posed it as a question as I'm not familiar with what other people experience at their own B&M and whether or not this degree of mark up is "typical" Geesh, so much for your friendly neighborhood place for newbies to ask questions. Good day to you sir.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  11. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    Geesh, so much for your friendly neighborhood place for newbies to ask questions.

    Conflate much?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  12. mechanic

    mechanic

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    Closest thing i have to a b&m near me is a cigarette shop that has 4 or 5 renamed lane blends they have the lane names listed on jars under there store brand names for around $3 a ounce the dont have any tobacco pipes that are not made of glass.

    "I'm a kind person, I'm kind to everyone, but if you are unkind to me, then kindness is not what you will remember me for." - Al Capone
    Posted 5 months ago #
  13. johnmosesbrowning

    johnmosesbrowning

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    Conflate much?

    Apologies for believing that "here we go again" type jacka**ery doesn't belong in a forum set aside for "beginners"

    Posted 5 months ago #
  14. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    I'm referring to you condemning the entire forum for one response that you found to be offensive.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  15. johnmosesbrowning

    johnmosesbrowning

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    I quoted the offending response, I apologize if others thought I was referring to anything other than the person I specifically quoted.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  16. hoosierpipeguy

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    To answer the OP's question, that seems a bit high. B&M's will always be higher than online as they have to be. They're not doing the volume and have overhead costs an online shop doesn't have. As mentioned, some states have punitive tobacco taxes (FL, IL and WA come to mind, I'm sure there are others).

    If I go into a B&M, they have a nice smoking lounge and the people are nice, I'll buy a few things at their marked up price to justify using their facilities. If I find the prices to be at the gouging level, I'm likely to hang around long enough to be polite and leave. I own a business and would be 10 x more upset if we are ever the lowest price than to find out we lost a job because we were the highest priced. It depends on what you're actually selling and in the OP's case, it depends on what you're actually buying.

    I'm generally not walking into a B&M actually looking for tobacco or pipes. In today's society where places to comfortably relax and smoke are scarce, I feel like I'm buying a comfortable chair for an hour or three. If the price for that chair comes in the form of paying $10 an ounce for some tobacco, I feel like I found a bargain. Of course, I could stand outside the hotel in the freezing cold and enjoy the $5 I saved.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  17. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    so much for your friendly neighborhood place for newbies to ask questions.
    That doesn't read like you are referring to just one person.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  18. johnmosesbrowning

    johnmosesbrowning

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    That doesn't read like you are referring to just one person.

    At what point can I insert the beating of a dead horse gif on your behalf?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  19. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    I'm glad I didn't see this thread.

    IBTL

    I know that you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    Posted 5 months ago #
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    mau1

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    To be fair to the OP, he's new and most likely isn't aware of the strong support for B&M's here. In comparison to another B&M in his area, he found the prices high.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  21. prairiedruid

    prairiedruid

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    I'm generally not walking into a B&M actually looking for tobacco or pipes. In today's society where places to comfortably relax and smoke are scarce, I feel like I'm buying a comfortable chair for an hour or three. If the price for that chair comes in the form of paying $10 an ounce for some tobacco, I feel like I found a bargain. Of course, I could stand outside the hotel in the freezing cold and enjoy the $5 I saved.

    This +100

    Posted 5 months ago #
  22. raevans

    raevans

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    I'm generally not walking into a B&M actually looking for tobacco or pipes. In today's society where places to comfortably relax and smoke are scarce, I feel like I'm buying a comfortable chair for an hour or three. If the price for that chair comes in the form of paying $10 an ounce for some tobacco, I feel like I found a bargain. Of course, I could stand outside the hotel in the freezing cold and enjoy the $5 I saved.

    BINGO!!!!!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  23. woodsroad

    woodsroad

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    At what point can I insert the beating of a dead horse gif on your behalf?
    Let's join hands and do this together!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  24. jpmcwjr

    jpmcwjr

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    But 'e's not DEAD!! He's just sleeping.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  25. cosmicfolklore

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    Ehhhh, it has to hit 3 pages before we can start to talking about dead horses guys!!

    The terms, "rip off," and "gouging," set to tone of the post. Thus, my comment.

    But, no those prices aren't usual (in my area), unless there is more going on that we may not be aware of in your reporting. However, in much of the US those are spot on prices, because of costs and taxes.

    B&M's usually don't make any money off of tobaccos, as they pay (wholesale) pretty darn close to what we pay for them via the online retailers, one of which is the wholesaler undercutting their B&M support by setting competitive prices online.

    My "usual" B&M sells Escudo for $25 a tin, which is almost twice as much as I can get it online, but yet, they fly off the shelf, with them only having it in stock about once every other month and gone the next day. It seems to sell. Ha ha. But, that is one of their unusual product prices. They still have pretty "good" prices on other things. But, he makes his money off of cigars and high end pipes... not tobacco.

    But, B&M's have much more offer than just products. So, your usually paying (as Hoosier says) for a place to smoke, camaraderie, and expertise behind the counter.

    Now, my initial response of "here we go again" was to the terms "rip off," and "gouging." These come up... If I don't like the prices or the services of a place, I usually just leave. My wife knows that if a waitress asks me more than four questions about how I want my food, I will drop a 5 on the table and leave with a kind smile. But, I take full responsibility for my actions. It wasn't the restaurants fault. They just didn't offer me what and how I want.

    If I want to offer up a Dr. Grabow for $200, then that is my prerogative. If you don't want to pay that, then that is yours. I wasn't trying to rip anyone off, no gouging as you don't "have" to buy it at all. I can ask a million dollars for my lawnmower, and once again, my prerogative, and yours. There's no reason to bash me or whatever... there are other places with cheaper prices... if that suits your needs better.

    I don't know this B&M of which you speak, but it just sounds like the place doesn't offer you anything. So, I would just expect that you won't go there again. I wouldn't either, and I don't blame you. There's also a Vietnamese restaurant here that I won't go back to, ha ha, as I have no idea what the noodle choices mean, nor the damnedable sauces they offer, ha ha. Too many choices over things I have no idea what they are just ruins my appetite. but, apparently some people like that place.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  26. spartacus

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    I can ask a million dollars for my lawnmower, and once again, my prerogative, and yours.

    I need a lawnmower, what kind is it?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  27. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Ha ha, Sparticus, it's a Castello.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  28. bassbug

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    Sorry, I only buy early 20th century Dunhill lawnmowers. Does it have silver banding? Can we see the hallmarks?

    I don't care who you are, you're not walking on the water while I'm fishing
    Posted 5 months ago #
  29. olkofri

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    Does it gurgle?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  30. johnbarleycorn

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    To the original question yes those prices sound very high. As others have said my local B&M charges more than on line prices but not THAT much more. Therefore I try my best to buy from them on a semi regular basis because I love being able to drive over during the day and buy a tin or accessories and talk tobacco or just general discussion with someone I enjoy speaking with.

    As for the rest of the discussion yes this forum is full of jackasses. Many seemingly innocent threads quickly become dick measuring contests. The sooner you figure that out the better off you are. Sounds like you are well on your way to that discovery.

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
    Posted 5 months ago #
  31. kola

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qkuu0Lwb5EM

    I treat people the way they treat me. It's that simple.
    Posted 5 months ago #
  32. cosmicfolklore

    Cosmic

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    Jeez guys, you really need to lighten up. None of this is very serious. It's just an opinion. If the someone is going to get bent the first time someone has a differing opinion, then maybe forums aren't for you. But, really, if you lighten up and roll with it, we could discuss and have some camaraderie. And, maybe we all learn something... even me.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  33. kola

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    Same ol shit, ain't it?

    A noob question or statement - a bark or two and out come the dogs. Then the thread gets hi-jacked.

    "The Good ol' boys Brothers of the Briar."

    Posted 5 months ago #
  34. ophiuchus

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    Posted 5 months ago #
  35. hoosierpipeguy

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    Give Cosmic a break. He's been posting at this site before the internet was even invented. After 17,000 plus posts, it's reasonable to understand how he is a bit bored. I mean, how many times can you discuss proper cadence, how to load flake, etc. before you start pulling your hair out.

    I've met Michael a few times, in real life, he's actually a decent fellow and harmless. He will speak his mind but his delivery is gentle.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  36. ophiuchus

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    If I like the setting and the folks who work there, I’ll pay $10 for an ounce of something new. Maybe a few other things.

    And I’d continue to purchase from a few of this site’s sponsors.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  37. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    Many seemingly innocent threads quickly become dick measuring contests

    I just checked...

    This guy was 5'9"

    And this guy was 5′ 11″

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 5 months ago #
  38. ashdigger

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    Posted 5 months ago #
  39. jpmcwjr

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    Yes, Michael is one of the good guys, always willing to engage and be helpful. Just a bit over the top on this one, one out of many thousands.

    JMB- $40 for a cob would chap my hide, too. But we've had too many discussions on gouging. Gouging is selling water at inflated prices, for instance, when it's the only supply in town and there are no other alternatives- usually in the wake of a natural disaster.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  40. cosmicfolklore

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    Tone... forums lack tone... would it help if you imagined me holding a stuffed squirrel above my head as you read this?

    Rereading the OP, and to keep it... “on track.” $40 for a bucket pipe is pretty reasonable. A hunk of briar if about that price. And $10 for a store blended bulk... not unreasoned at all.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  41. trudger

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    I have to drive around because shops are few and far between in my area. Some have product I can’t get online but isn’t cheap, or I can smoke inside if I buy something and don’t break anything. It’s taken time to find the places I go but it’s been part of the overall adventure. I have to figure in more than the tangibles when buying at the brick.
    I don’t suffer fools for long so if I don’t like the place, I leave.

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Anthony, I had to laugh out loud. You're one funny dude.

    Cosmic is right,things need to lighten up. He's one of the few that will stop and revisit what he said, provide more context and even adjust his position at times. I don't see that on here too often. Go with the flow, people.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  43. scloyd

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    If the original poster's B&M is in Ann Arbor near the University of Michigan...then $10 an ounce doesn't seem that unreasonable. In the fall during Michigan games isn't Ann Arbor a bit of a tourist destination? May not be Ann Arbor...just saying.

    If my memory is correct I think there was a member months ago that posted the outrageous prices at a B&M in Gatlinburg, TN. I would expect to pay more in areas where there are a lot of visitors especially if they're the only tobacconist in town.

    edit - It might not of been Gatlinburg. I remember a post about a tourist telling his wife that he had to buy a certain pipe (over priced) because it's a hard to find model.

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    tkcolo

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    I was right with Cosmic. The argument that B&M stores gouging prices over the internet is tiresome in general, and subject to snippy answers anywhere. For all things, not just tobacco. I sometimes fall into the trap myself. It's easy to get aggravated at the parts store selling a part I can get for 20% less online. But they pay no sales tax, and generally a 6-10 day wait for me to get the part. The closest tobacco shop is 2 hours away for me. I always buy something from them out of general principle.

    Once online sales are required to collect and pay the same state and local taxes nationwide, retail B&M will come back somewhat. Tobacco B&M's in Colorado have to pay an additional 40% excise tax on everything, that they have to build into their sales price. We all love a deal, but the internet is killing local commerce, and really hurting the community.

    Have you seen some of those areas where Walmart killed all of the smaller stores, and then they pulled out? The idea is troubling. Of course, I live 10 miles from a town of 1500, and two hours away from actual civilization. So, I use Amazon and Ebay all the time. I buy local for everything I can.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  45. dochudson

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    Shop I've been going to lately has large leather chairs, multiple large screen TVs, free coffee, free donuts on weekends, decent parking. They stock hard to find GLP, out the door is $19 and change. Which IMO is a bargain considering their overhead.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  46. bnichols23

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    In the main, I kinda side with the OP. After all, he *was* talking about just one shop & was asking if we the group thought they were exorbitant or not. A sawbuck for an ounce? Yeah, I'd say $10 for not even half a small ziploc is high; touristy area, overhead, or no, even *considering* it's customized with perique. OTOH, $40 for basket pipes [discounting the cobs, & no, Cos', I'm not yanking your chain this time! }:)] isn't so bad. It's about that, give or take a buck or so, in most of the B&Ms I usually hit, & in fact exactly that at my fave local shop.

    (Even on some of the online places I frequent too; cupojoes, for example, runs $30-45 for baskets, depending on the line you want.)

    I know we all get lit up some times & there're times when even laid-back moi can stand to chilleth. That said, I think jp got it right:

    'e's not DEAD!! He's just sleeping.

    He's joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!

    Bill

    Head Black Frigate keelhauler, boss powder monkey, & troublemaker 1st class.
    Posted 5 months ago #
  47. bnichols23

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    BTW, two other comments, strictly off-topic:

    Anthony, I had to laugh out loud. You're one funny dude.

    That he is, mau'. One crazy mohf--uh. Him AND Jay, which is part of why we get along so well on board the Frigate!

    And t'other, johnm, please do forgive me if I'm telling you something you already know; I honestly do really-truly hate it when I do that. Michael (Cosmic) has this thing about people he calls "cob thugs," & occasionally I'll pull his leg on it just for grins. He really is a good guy & it's all in fun; he's right about tone, of course. Don't mind him; he's just got decided opinions about things, as do we all.

    Except woodsroad, of course. [grin, duck, & run like holy perdition!]

    Bill

    Posted 5 months ago #
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    mau1

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    Humour in life is a necessity, just like air and water. The more, the better!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  49. wolflarsen

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    Pipe tobacco is so ridiculously cheap compared to other things I consume. With the number of smokes I get from a tin a really don't care if it costs me 10 or 30 dollars. It's all worth it to me when it comes to the dollars (or pennies) spent per smoke ratio. One thing I do like about B&Ms is when I walk in and see tins of Esoterica and other blends that are always out of stock online or difficult to find elsewhere. They're a great resource and I'm thankful for the ones hanging in there despite the higher prices.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  50. wolflarsen

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    It's also really nice to hold a pipe in your hand when considering buying it. Pictures online just aren't the same.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  51. jpmcwjr

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    Good points above.

    Mr. Browning. Please don't be off put by one or two o.t.t. posts. It happens; don't take it personally, please!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  52. ashdigger

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    Pipe tobacco is so ridiculously cheap compared to other things I consume. With the number of smokes I get from a tin a really don't care if it costs me 10 or 30 dollars. It's all worth it to me when it comes to the dollars (or pennies) spent per smoke ratio.

    ^^^^^^^THIS

    I went to lunch the other day with a client. We had chicken wings and couple of beers while discussing a case. The tab + tip was about $60.

    Lunch lasted 1 1/2 hours. Two bowls of tobacco. Done.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  53. ophiuchus

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    If the original poster's B&M is in Ann Arbor near the University of Michigan...

    Maison Edwards? Hmmm?

    Their basket pipes and refurbs were about $40 back in the 1980s, so at least they're not raising prices. (Loved that place.)

    Posted 5 months ago #

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