Smoking Pipes

This is a review of the shopping process using the website This is not meant to be a review of any of the merchandise itself, just the merchandise as handled by the online store.

The Set-Up

The following rules are going to be in place: I am going to order a mix of blend types, as well as cut types. I will order some tinned and some bulk. I want at least one blend that I have tried before (in this case, I am going to go for Captain Cool). I want at least one blend which I know, from reviews, to be of high quality (in this case, it will be Hal o' the Wind). Besides these two, I will try for an even mix.

What I am looking for is how the website presents the tobacco. Theoretically, a website is at a disadvantage to a tobacco shop because it will be a lot more objectional in its reviews, and is harder to get a face to face personal reaction.

I am also looking for how the tobacco is shipped. How high of quality does it make it to me? How dry? Is the bulk tobacco and the tinned tobacco in good condition? Was it packaged shoddily? Was the bulk tobacco clearly labeled?

I also want to review selection and ease of choosing a selection.

The Beginnings

Ok, it is May 30, 2006 and I have picked out a handful of tobaccos from the website to try. Everything I picked seems to be in stock and ready to go, so I don't seem to have to skip over a blend that I want to try out. I have a good mix ranging from really aromatic to really thick tobacco blends. I have more tins than bulk, but that's too bad. seems to be lacking a wonderful selection of bulk, but has a lot of tinned tobacco to choose from. I was especially suprised to see that it did not include #965 in the bulk, but did include Nightcap. Besides that, the other bulk that I noted was absent was Black Truffle, but since I don't really like (and was mainly just getting it to see if a different shipment was better), this is not a big deal.

In their tins, though, they have a great many things. What I appreciate is stuff like the multiple tin sizes for many popular brands, something that I don't often see.

Their website color scheme is nice, and their picture display is also a good touch. I can't tell if the bulk tobacco pictured is for sure the one it is linked to, but I think so. This sort of attention to detail gets my attention.

Another good thing about them is the fact that they link up with to offer reviews from that website. I don't know why it doesn't work with all the blends presented, but for those that it does work for, it is a nice addition and helps to give some good quality feedback.

Out of curiousity, I placed several items in my shopping cart, just to see if it saves shopping cart information over time.

The Selection

Ok, so they don't save carts forever, but that's ok. It probably has to do with a cookie setting, since it did save it for about twelve hours.

My selection contained mostly tinneed tobaccos, with only "three" bulks. I will go ahead and list it.

I am not going to pretend like this was massively cheap, but we are looking at something like half the price I would pay for this sort of stuff in the area.

The End Result

Well, the shipping was phenomenal. They had it shipped the same day. It took four days to get to me, but two of them were weekend. Since I got tinned tobacco overall, its hard to tell how their handling went. The only sign was my Hal o' the Wynd which was slightly dented (its "tin" is a cardboard one). They get good marks on speed and general care, though.

And my fears of it being poor quality or some sort of throw off tobacco that couldn't be sold face to face is unfounded. This seems to be high quality and well cared for stuff.

I will probably make another order with them in about three months. I am impressed.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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The longer, fuller version of this text can be found on my FAQ: "Can I Use Something I Found on the Site?".

"The hidden is greater than the seen."