Here at The Pipe Nook, I'm often asked many different questions, but there are some that I'm asked more than occasionally. For some reason, I've not had the brilliant idea to include a FAQ page until today! So without further ado, here are the 10 most asked questions.
1. How much is shipping at The Pipe Nook?
Shipping is a flat $5 fee within the United States, and a flat $15 fee for orders shipped to Canada. If shipping for your order is more than that (which is often the case), I cover the rest. The more you purchase, the more you'll save on shipping, and larger US orders often get upgraded from First Class to Priority Mail, so stuff that cart full! :)
2. Do you ship internationally?
No, at this time I only ship within the US and Canada. International shipping of tobacco and tobacco related products requires much research of an ever-changing set of customs regulations and tariffs that are unique to each individual nation. A small operation such as mine simply doesn't have the resources to keep up with it all. Believe me, I wish I could ship anywhere; it's just not feasible at this point in time.
3. Why don't you ship tobacco to Canada or Florida?
Retail shipping of tobacco products to Canada is prohibited. As for Florida, it's a bit more complicated. I live in the state of Florida, and if I were to sell tobacco to my fellow Floridians, I would also have to charge an 85% pipe tobacco surtax. I refuse to do this, so I've made the decision to not sell tobacco to Florida residents. Keep in mind, however, that I can and will ship pipes and accessories to Canada and Florida!
4. What methods of payment do you accept?
You can pay using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or your Paypal Account. All payments are processed by Paypal, but you do not need a Paypal account to pay with your credit card.
5. When will you get more of _______ in stock?
Since I'm a small operation, I sometimes run out of certain things. The biggest offenders are estate pipes, Morgan Bones, Mr. Brog, and Savinelli Series III. I try my best to place reorders at least monthly, so stay tuned, and be sure to sign up for my email newsletter for updates!
6. I'm interested in something you don't seem to carry. Will you do special orders?
I realize my selection is a bit limited for more seasoned pipe smokers, although I do believe there's something for everything here at The Pipe Nook! In fact, I would go so far as to say that the vast majority of pipe smokers could spend their entire lives smoking and enjoying only the pipes and tobaccos that I carry, and not really missing much!
There are literally hundreds of brands, pipes shapes and tobacco blends out there, but they are largely variations on a handful of themes. However, if you are interested in a special order of something I don't carry, I will do my best to accommodate your request! If it falls within any of the brands I carry, I'm confident I can obtain it. However, I can also obtain much more outside of those brands, so just ask me using the form on my contact page.
7. What pipe would you recommend for a new pipe smoker?
Anything you see on my site! The Pipe Nook is designed to be a limiter of choice for the new and nearly new pipe smoker. I only carry products that I personally recommend. As such, every brand I carry is what I consider to be "gold standard" products, brands that I feel every collector would do well to have represented in their collection.
There's not a pipe on my site that would be "bad" for a new pipe smoker. However, there are two guidelines I would recommend. I would get a filtered pipe first, as filters help alleviate tongue bite, which is the biggest reason people give up on pipe smoking before they really learn how to smoke a pipe. Also, I would recommend that you not spend too much on your first pipe (say, $65 or less), so that if you decide it's not for you at the moment, you can hang onto the pipe and perhaps try again in the future.
If you start out this way, and decide pipe smoking is absolutely not for you, you're not out too much money. A great many pipes on my site fall in line with these two recommendations, including many pipes by Missouri Meerschaum, Rossi, Savinelli, and Rattray's.
8. What tobaccos would you recommend for a new pipe smoker?
This one is a bit trickier, as it depends upon whether you personally like Aromatics, Virginias, Burleys, Latakia, Perique, etc. Also, are you coming from cigars, cigarettes, or have you never smoked anything before?
I'd say that if you really want to get to know what your personal tastes are, you'll need to start with at least 5 different kinds of blends to get your bearings. I wrote a blog titled "What Pipe Tobaccos Should I Smoke?" which can be found here. I go back and update this particular blog from time to time, to include new blends I add to the site.
Keep in mind that if a particular kind of blend bites you more than others, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it. For me personally, certain Virginias tend to nip to varying degrees. Try using a pipe filter to see if it helps; pipe filters make a world of difference for me!
9. I'm completely new to pipe smoking, and have no idea how to do this! Can you help?
I wrote a blog titled "Pipe Smoking 101: How to Smoke a Pipe." This is a 1-Page reference guide that you can print out to help get you started, which you can find here.
For those who want to go a bit more in-depth, I created a 25-Part video series on YouTube, which you can find here. It's pretty conversational and low-tech, but I planned it out to be easy to understand and in an order of importance that makes sense, at least to me. I hope you find it helpful!
10. How to I become an expert pipe smoker?
You're definitely asking the wrong guy! It took me nearly 20 years to finally "get it," which is why I've created blogs and videos to help you on your way and not waste the kind of time I did.
Beyond that, however, I would say that while there are certain universal tips, pipe smoking is a very personal thing, and what works for one person may not work for another. In addition, pipe smoking is a multi-faceted interest, and I don't think anyone ever truly stops learning. Keep in mind that mistakes are part of the learning process. And as with many of the best things in life, I strongly believe that the journey is more important than the destination. To me, the middle of the bowl is much more enjoyable than the bottom of the bowl.
I hope you find as much fulfillment in your times of quiet reflection with your pipe as I do!
Keep em lit,
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