We all know that nothing comes easily these days, and that is particularly the case when trying to sell a perfectly legal but nonetheless one of the most legislated products in the world, pipe tobacco.
The usual method for selling a product is to adopt one of two main strategies – either provide top quality, or reduce prices to a level where quality becomes irrelevant.
So where does Carey’s fit in? Well, put simply we buck the trend. Firstly, let’s consider quality… Each of our pipe tobaccos is manufactured at one of a select few of the finest pipe tobacco blenders in the world, from Gawith & Hoggath and Samuel Gawith here in the UK to the mighty STG in Denmark, the largest pipe tobacco producer in the world and home to such brands as Captain Black, Erinmore and Borkum Riff to name but a few. So despite our ‘own brand’ status, the quality and pedigree of our pipe tobaccos can’t be called into question.
This own brand status, combined with the length of time we’ve be working with these blenders, means that we are able to source our pipe tobacco blends at highly competitive rates. Rather than take advantage of this ourselves, we pass on these savings to our customers, in addition to the savings we are able to make for our Tobacco Club Members through careful forward ordering. This means that at the time of updating (Feb 2016) a pouch of Carey’s Private Blend costs only £11.40 per 50g pouch as opposed to between £12.50 and £14.00 for a comparable tobacco blend, most likely from the same production line.
So that’s the quality and price aspects… what else are you getting when you buy a Carey Pipe Tobacco?
There’s no point in focusing on quality and price if the tobacco itself doesn’t arrive in perfect condition. It still amazes us that other UK and International pipe and tobacco shops will happily sell blends that have been sitting on a shelf for months and even years, not considering the impact this may have on the condition of the leaf. The benefit to us of the Tobacco Club is that it allows us to accurately predict how much pipe tobacco we will sell in any given week, and this in turn helps us to order our blends on a ‘just in time’ basis. So when our customers receive their pouches, they can be confident that the tobacco blend within has had a minimum amount of time resting since manufacture – in effect it comes out of the tobacco factory, into a pouch which is then vacuum sealed for added freshness, transported to our warehouse and then posted to our customers. And we always err on the side of caution – we don’t often get it wrong but if we do we’d rather our customers waited an extra couple of days for their pipe tobacco rather than happily provide them with stale blends because we ordered too much.
It’s also getting to the point that buying a pouch of pipe tobacco on a whim can be a costly decision if it turns out not to be what was expected. To reduce the chances of this happening we were one of, if not the, first UK mail order tobacconist to offer Mini Sampler packs – 5g of each blend within a particular category of tobacco (traditional or aromatic). This allows the prospective buyer to try our tobaccos and settle on a favourite blend with minimal financial ‘risk’ or outlay. Naturally enough we also offer full size Sampler Packs at considerably more cost, but we find since the introduction of the smaller versions that these are more for the customers who simply can’t decide on only one favourite blend!
And of course that’s not the end of it. For those customers who know their average monthly consumption the Tobacco Club adds even more benefit to ‘buying Carey’. As if a price of only £11.40 per 50g pouch wasn’t enough (that’s a full £2-£3 cheaper than comparable pipe tobacco from other retailers!), the free membership also provides discount on additional products, a free day pouch to hold your tobacco, and regular shipments so you don’t have to think about it – the pipe tobacco just turns up when you want it.
So why not give it a try? Surely there’s no reason not to, and if you don’t believe us why not take a look at some of the product reviews on the website. They’re all genuine and written voluntarily…