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Old 03-24-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Default Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

hey all, i am about to talk to my boss where i work about starting a pipe club in the store, since last night we had a TON of people in there smoking pipes (for once!) and i was looking for some ideas.

im thinking something like a "pipe night" but aside from being a designated pipe thing, is there anything else we can do? pipes can be smoked in our shop anytime, but in the interest of promoting it, id like to see what you guys can think up. maybe a discount on pipes themselves? what think ye?
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

I would suggest having a tin on sale and free samples of said tin.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

good idea. we have house blends and usually we sample those out because you cant open tins, but i can see that. at the least a "feature", even if theres no sale involved.

would you think this would be a weekly or more monthly event? i could see "sampling" tins weekly turning the bosses off.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

I'd do quarterly for an event like that. you can even contact altadis and they may even send some pouches for free.

You could also host a yearly pipe smoking contest, raffles, etc.

Would this be a paying-membership club, or free?
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

i think it would be more of a promotion, at least at first. i could see if there were any major benefits that it become a paid thing but the bosses wont want to be responsible for that and i dont blame them.

think more along the lines of "on X day come in for pipe discussion, smoking and discounts (as i can)", and if i can get in touch with altadis then possibly some more in depth stuff like new and interesting things. i know right now the tobacco sales are kinda stale, so im looking to really pump that up some. since ive been working there and smoking a pipe openly, pipe sales have went up drastically, something like 200%. and now its becoming a young thing too, so i want to get ahead of the curve and help the shop out in the process, while promoting what i feel is a "lost art"

thats why im a bit, confused, as to some of the details. been thinking about it but i really wanted to put something together, as i mentioned it to the owner and he seemed open to the idea.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

Why not start out with an informational event, first to talk about the basics of pipe smoking or pipe tobaccos as well as promoting the pipe club
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

thats kinda what im thinking. main thing is im trying to get the word out on how to enjoy this and drive sales (its not about sales personally, but the owners think in $ signs) at the same time. after that, we can expand on it and even hold occasional "testings" as we do for cigars, wine etc.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emjaysmash View Post
Why not start out with an informational event, first to talk about the basics of pipe smoking or pipe tobaccos as well as promoting the pipe club
Do you guys have a website? IF so, perhaps you can link youtube instructional videos on it, with you doing the videos! This Savinelli video is HOT! The girl in it even resembles Hayden Panettiere.

I like the idea of tin samplings. This would give pipe smoking more exposure. You guys may not sell many tins initially, but sales would improve, the sample tins would be tax deductible (I think), and tins WOULD well. Besides, how much can a tin cost a retail shop? I buy the same tins online for under $10 that I see in shops for over $20.

Discounts on pipes that night, and specials on multiple tins purchases with a small item raffle, would be awesome and generate awareness and sales!
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

tins in our shop are around $13
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

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tins in our shop are around $13
Le sigh... I hate California prices... Still, the number one rule of marketing is exposure to your product. When I was involved in the retail food ownership business we ALWAYS gave away samples. It seems like a loss to the naked eye, but it is a great way to create business.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

I agree with all of these suggestions. MAYBE you could have a free tobacco sample (1 bowl pack?) of the night. Something bulk.

Another option would be to contact a vendor and see if someone can come do a class on pipes/ smoking pipes .
-Packing
-Lighting
-Care of pipes
-Different tobaccos.

I did this years ago when I first started smoking pipes and it was well worth my time.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

Beside the promotional ideas, if you'd like some ideas on actually setting up a pipe club, go to the UPCA (United Pipe Clubs of America) website at www.unitedpipeclubs.org. They have about 30 member clubs, and have a number of resources to get you started.

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Old 03-26-2012, 08:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

You could run the pipe night as a free one to where you could have a pipe night once a month and just offer a free sample. You could do like a 30% off of the selected tobacco on sample that night. Offer some slight discounts on other pipe stuff maby............
That way your not giving tons of tobacco away.

OR

You could do a paid club. I don't have any idea what pipe tobacco cost so just take this as an example. Membership fee is $25.00 monthly or you could offer a discounted yearly fee like $100.00 or something along those lines. Have a form to fill out to join and give them a card to carry. Have a gathering once a week with a free sample on that night every week (if you have the fee's figured so your not loosing money) or you could just have a gathering one night a week every week and do a free sample on the first or last of the month. Then with the card, that will enable them to receive a discount such at 10-15% on all pipe stuff whenever they present the card irregardless of the day of the month.

No matter what way you go with it, promote new products and on sale items.

Just some thoughts. Looks like lot's of other great ideas too. Take them all in and combine them into something you like.
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Old 07-15-2020, 10:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

Have you finally managed to implement your idea successfully? Which option did you find helpful? I am asking as I have a similar problem, and it seems nothing can help it. I am from worldbfree.com/united-states/new-york/ and there are many developers here. But I am trying to solve the issue on my own for now. I would be glad to achieve it despite my need for professional help.

Last edited by icehog3; 07-16-2020 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:32 AM   #15
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Default Re: Wanting to start a pipe club, need ideas

A local B&M has a pipe night once a month. Usually a few guys go, I can never make it due to my work schedule. They don't have a great selection of pipes or pipe tobacco unfortunately.

You could charge a small cover which gets you a free entry for a drawing of some sort. Make a basket pipe or a tin or two?
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