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Old 12-11-2015, 09:34 AM   #1
smokin5
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Default Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Apparently this is 'old' news from November, but I just learned about it
from a post on stogieguys.com today. Palio Cutters has been sold by
Mark (BOTL, LLC) to Quality Importers. The new company will still honor
the lifetime warranty, but they are shifting production from USA to China.
Here's an article from Cigar Journal:

"Quality Importers Trading Company, a procurement company best known for its humidor and cigar accessory distribution, has acquired Palió. The acquisition will increase product inventory, improve pricing flexibility and introduce new customization options for Palió products, including its signature guillotine-style cigar cutter.

“Palió is known for its high-quality products and is a well-known name in the industry,” said Michael Giordano, president of Quality Importers. “As industry experts, we have exciting plans that will make the brand available to more consumers and introduce it to new markets.”

The acquisition will enable Quality Importers to produce customized Palió products for cigar companies. In addition, Quality Importers plans to manufacture new varieties of the signature cutter including a metal body version and a version to better handle large ring gauge cigars. Despite the acquisition, Quality Importers will uphold Palió’s “No Questions Asked” warranty and replacement policy.

Palió’s signature cutter, which utilizes one moving blade and one fixed blade, was issued a patent in 2000. In 2010, Cigar Journal (then known as European Cigar Journal) awarded Palio Cutters the Cigar Trophy in the category Best Accessory. In 2012, the company announced a single flame torch lighter. Palió was owned by Mark Aub through Brothers of the Leaf, L.L.C. prior to the acquisition in August 2015.

This marks Quality Importers’ 11th acquisition. The company performed similar acquisitions of Cigar Caddy® and Stinky CigarTM and recently acquired the exclusive distribution rights of Ortega Premium Cigars in July 2015."

According to an article on Halfwheel, the acquisition did not include
Esencia cigars, which remains owned by BOTL. Best of luck to Mark in
whatever his next venture/adventure will be.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

In talking to Marc in October, he was pleased with the sale but less pleased with the offshoring. He built a stellar accessories line and his personal touch will be missed.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Bought another Palio cutter before the sale went through, hoping 4 USA built Palios will get me through the next 60 years.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

I haven't inspected my Palio too closely, but I don't know if it says "made in the USA" on it. I wonder if it will be easy to differentiate between the old ones and the new ones. Regardless I'm happy for Mark, hope he gets some time to relax a little
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Love Mark, great guy and always have a good time when I see him (even if he is a Yankees fan), that being said I'm bummed they will be mass produced in China and I doubt that the price will be adjusted to match that move. Time to pick up another one or two and hope that it's from current USA stock, maybe one and see what I get then if it's USA I'll grab another.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Happy for Mark said to see it leave the USA
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

It appears he was about to lose his patent so the writing was on the wall to sell or get replaced by a cheaper Chinese product. I love my Palio and it's just as good now after 8 years of use as when new.

I do need to clean it though and get the tobacco oils knocked back a bit. Maybe these old crusty oils add flavor though?
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Old 12-11-2015, 03:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

I could not be more happy for Marc. It's great to see an awesome guy rewarded for all he's done for our brotherhood. He's certainly one of the best.

I always fell on the Xikar side of the Palio vs. Xikar conversations, although I've owned a number of Palios. My hands are really big and stupid, and Palios always pinched the web of my thumb and made me bleed and b1tch.

I've been doing business with Quality Importers for a lot of years now, and they are a "cut above" company. Granted, they sell a lot of humidors that don't work so well, but a good humidor costs a lot more than what they charge for them.
They have many, many offerings that are beyond reproach.
Point being, they do have some sense about them.
It'd be silly for them to acquire Palio and let the quality or service slip. There's already a margin there for them to make some coin, and the move will allow a larger margin.

I'm also upset the production has gone to China, but it happens.
I honestly don't know how much Xikar stuff is made in the USA, I've always assumed the cutters were, but never imagined the lighters were.

That concludes my blah, except that the new Xikar xi3 Phantom is totally freakin SICK!!!

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Old 12-11-2015, 04:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Hopefully the quality doesn't change. I love my Palio and while I've heard stories that you can send it in and get a replacement for dull blades, I've never felt my blades have dulled. Absolutely quality product. Hoping that stays the same.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

I bought my Palio because it was made in the US. It sucks that replacements will now be from China. At least was fortunate enough to get a made in US model. Personally, I prefer items that are made in the US. I enjoy collecting Kershaw knives - US made only. Don't really want any made offshore.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:11 PM   #11
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Quote:
Originally Posted by stearns View Post
I haven't inspected my Palio too closely, but I don't know if it says "made in the USA" on it. I wonder if it will be easy to differentiate between the old ones and the new ones. Regardless I'm happy for Mark, hope he gets some time to relax a little
Shouldn't be hard; aside from clothing and automotive vehicles, there is no requirement for US made products to be marked as "Made in the USA". However, virtually all imported products, regardless of type or origin, must be marked with the country of manufacture. Any future Chinese manufactured Palio cutters will have to be marked with "China" or the equivalent. Depending on laws governing that general type of item, if required, it must be noted on the packaging, the item, or both.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

^^^ as I remember, during the original Palio years on CS during some of those great group buys, my basic black Palio came in its black leather case, and included a "blue card" with the initials(?) of the person who made the Palio. I'm not sure if the card mentioned where it was made. Maybe someone here that still keeps the original blue card that came (or maybe still comes with a Palio) can chip in here...
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Speaking of cutters, I need to send my Xikar in for repair.
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:18 AM   #14
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkinCA View Post
^^^ as I remember, during the original Palio years on CS during some of those great group buys, my basic black Palio came in its black leather case, and included a "blue card" with the initials(?) of the person who made the Palio. I'm not sure if the card mentioned where it was made. Maybe someone here that still keeps the original blue card that came (or maybe still comes with a Palio) can chip in here...

Mine is from the Amyx & Christie days and it didn't come with a blue card, just the paper pictured below which states "Made in the USA" in the last sentence. But mine was also a gift, so I can't say whether they did or did not have the cards when this one was made or if the card was lost before Slimboli gave me the cutter. The cutter and pouch are not marked with an origin.



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Old 12-12-2015, 08:34 AM   #15
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Cool! Thanks for the post Adam...
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Old 12-12-2015, 08:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

They were still inserting the cards to which MarkinCA refers as late as mid-2015.
I had one replaced directly by BOTL this summer, & it came with a card bearing
the initials of the person who assembled it and the date made (Jan 16 2014).
Last line of the card reads: "Made in the USA"
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:02 AM   #17
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

My two original Palio cutters were made by Marc Aub. The second one was handed to me at SoCal (the last year at Zippy's) by him and was the first of the new model that was in the burl skin. Damn raven stole is 3 years ago in Palm Springs.

As long as the new ones are made to the same standard that Marc and his company set, then I have no problems recommending the cutter. I recall talking to him about how hard it could be to find really good sources for things like the blades. You don't really think about how hard it can be to get right until you find some brand that does it poorly. Palio has always set the standard in my mind.

Love my Palio lighter, too!
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokin5 View Post
They were still inserting the cards to which MarkinCA refers as late as mid-2015.
I had one replaced directly by BOTL this summer, & it came with a card bearing
the initials of the person who assembled it and the date made (Jan 16 2014).
Last line of the card reads: "Made in the USA"
My Palio is from sometime around 1999-2000, this was long before Marc / BOTL acquired the company and rights. Not sure if they were doing the blue cards back then. Marc/BOTL is the third owner of the brand; 1998 or 99-ish there was Amyx & Christie who patented & founded it, then IIRC 2003-ish it transferred to someone who made all the ones with the crappy blades, then Marc acquired it 2005 (again, IIRC - I might be off a year one way or the other) and fixed it.

Last edited by T.G; 12-12-2015 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:35 AM   #19
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Have been waiting two years for the stainless steel Palio cutter to be released (to match the lighter). Guess that's not gonna happen now.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Palio Cutters Acquired By Other Company

Seeing this post made me realize it's time to buy a Palio. I got it from http://holts.com for 29.95, a good deal. Yes it does have the CAO initials on it, but it's American made. Card said Dec. '09.
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