B&M or ONLINE
I hear so many times should I buy from my local B&M or shop online or do I peruse auction sites.
BRICK & MORTAR
I can attest you should frequent your local B&M. Personally my habit is weather related. With it being sunny and nice out I will admit I have way too many projects to spend much if any time at the local B&M. Once the cold weather hits, I will be a frequent visitor once again. There is nothing quite like the comradery of fellow enthusiasts especially if your B&M has a lounge area where you can enjoy a few sticks and some conversation. During the golf season watching a good round with commentary (lounge patrons not media) is unsurpassed. You just don't generally get that at home or in a bar/pub. Baseball, Football, Basketball, hell a time or two we even resorted to trying to understand Rugby of all things. Now don't distress on the off sports season there are always some classic movies to enjoy and I'm here to tell you even Clint war movies are enhanced when watching with like minded individuals. Lounge patrons are quick to point out what characters are smoking a pipe or cigar even if I've seen the movie 15 times on rainy days those are details in a lot of instances I never took note of, except Columbo (yes we watch more than just sports and movies), but will never soon forget next time I watch. B&Ms often times have access to products not available online so if you're simply shopping online you can be missing out on some gem products.
The reason I started this online site was because I belong to numerous tobacco related sites and I heard about a lot of selections I was unfamiliar with. Upon inquiring at my local B&M the response more often than not was "Sorry we don't carry that." By no fault of their own with the vast array of products available no one carries everything but I wanted to experience the obscure that people were talking about not just the popular consensus. I have smoked allot of inexpensive sticks that influenced me just as much as the expensive sticks. The tobacco rollers of the inexpensive sticks take the same pride and care in rolling as any other stick. ie: Not making it in Nashville doesn't make you a bad musician. Cigars don't have to be from Cuba to be great. People fled Cuba with knowledge and seed to Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic. They have the knowledge and the resources to compete if not surpass...
Yes I price shop to understand market valuation when trying to set pricing for the site. My curiosity gets the best of me and its almost surreal to see people talking about great deals they have gotten even though chances are they could of gotten the same deal at a B&M or an even better deal online when looking at MSRP in accordance to what discounts are given off MSRP in other venues. Yes one with enough patience and knowledge can derive good deals but often times that is not the case to the novice.
I'm not a fan of people bringing their own stock to a B&M. Call me crazy but do you take your own tea to a restaurant? Now if you feel the need to take your own stock to a lounge for the love of God buy at least one stick for every 2 hours you are there, even if you take those sticks with you when you leave and only smoke your personal stock. You'll be helping the B&M with electric, associate wages, trash, rent so that you will have a safe haven to return to in the future.
I've seen some pretty awesome B&M lounges. If you are a B&M lounge owner even if its been in business for 20 years. Reach out to those that frequent it often. Patrons, DO NOT hesitate to share things that interest you to your B&M. I've seen a domino table, a cards table, full bars, whiskey wall, had patrons bring and share non-mainstream beer, cheeses, homemade sausages. Our local B&M The Lane, there is even a feud over who gets the coveted deli turkey sandwich, made and brought in by a patron relocated from New York. Its the little things that sets us apart and a love for sticks that brings us together.