Daughters and Ryan Website---Not Good

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Whalehead King
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Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:53 pm

I don't spend a lot of time on tobacco blenders' websites. Maybe they are all like this. In my opinion, Daughters and Ryan's website is the worst in the world, and I've seen some doozies in my day! I used to spend a lot of time researching old school machine made cigars and I know how they turned out: belly up.

Handy link:
http://daughtersandryan.com

You can't buy direct, which is fine if that's how they want to run their business.

The homepage features a slideshow of small pictures that I can't read, in case I want to buy something, and, I have to tell you, since there is no information about what I'm looking at in the slideshow, I'm not really interested in buying.

The site is made up of three pages: Home (see above), Request Catalogue ( a form to fill out to get a catalog in the mail, and View Catalog, a PDF of, well, the print catalog, prices not listed.

At the bottom of each page is a link to their e-liquid website.

I'm not going to dissect this. My only intent is to have some of you look at it and then start a conversation. They obviously aren't interested in direct online sales, though they may be interested in mail order (I haven't ordered the catalog so I can't say for sure).

It's a site set up for wholesalers, apparently. Do they have a retail site? I haven't done a lot of research on this. I'm not a big D&R fan to begin with, so my rush to judgement may be biased. The cut is too fine most of the time for my tastes and techniques. As the welcome letter from the president of the company says: "Daughters & Ryan, Inc. is the fastest growing supplier of quality tobaccos and accessories in the United States..." That may be true. The bar is set pretty low on that metric.

The blurb under their logo:

"View our catalog to see the best in: Pipe Tobaccos, Cigars, E-Liquids, Shisha, Cigarette Tubes, Filters, RYO & MYO Machines, Cigarette Cases and other Premium Accessories. Order Today!"

Mmmmmm. Nothing makes me want to buy a fine pipe tobacco blend more than knowing that the people who make it also make the finest shisha, RYO machines, etc.

Am I getting wound up about nothing? I'm not going to buy any D&R tins anytime soon but when I googled them, I was surprised to see this site, their official one, as the top listing----and if this site is apparently only for wholesale customers, there is no link for retail customers to follow if they want to buy a tin direct.

Maybe I'm overthinking this. Really, what do I care in the grand scheme of things? It just struck me as odd and counterintuitive from a business standpoint. I've seen so many machine made cigar companies die because of poor marketing and crummy websites. While I don't love D&R I don't want to see them go out of business by their own clumsy hands the same way.
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Kevin Keith
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Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:22 pm

This reminds me of something some of us have been talking about for years, the woefully inadequate Dr Grabow website. Check them out here. http://www.drgrabow.net/

I say this with a great deal of admiration of and appreciation for their pipes. I love their pipes, and I use the word advisedly. Really I just like them, but that doesn't capture the emotion of loving something or someone.

It's as if Grabow doesn't have any desire or need to sell pipes and accessories. People who are close to the company have begged them to upgrade the website and sell pipes directly online. No soap. For whatever the reason they are not interested. They will sell a pipe mail order though, and happily. They have fewer and fewer employees every year, make fewer and fewer pipes, and are actually closed every Friday. No one gets it.

D&R and Grabow may have deals to work mainly through retailers. I don't know. I am worried for these companies. I was worried for National Cigars and we know what happened to them. Graves, too. If D&R's business is actually aimed at wholesalers and RYO cigarette folks, they might be able to hang on, because cigarette prices keep going up and the vape business and the RYO, well, Aldo Raine said it pretty well:
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Fr_Tom
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Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:39 pm

I actually sent a message to customer service at D&R telling them the the pound bags stop resealing after about the 10th time you try. The first bag I thought it was just one of those random things. I am on pound 5 of D&R now. Each one had to be transferred to a gallon ziplock when the seal quit working.

You would think it would be easy for someone to say, "Thanks for being such a great customer, and we are glad you are enjoying D&R tobacco. I will pass your note to the guy who specs the bags, and we will see if we can get this problem fixed. Happy smokes - Customer Service"

Instead I got no reply.
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Whalehead King
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Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:00 pm

It costs nothing to make a minimally functional website. Those Wix commercials in front of Youtube videos are accurate. I don't use Wix, but I do use a competitor for some of my websites. $250 a year---with a shopping cart. It takes virtually no effort to set this up and maintain it. Literally anyone can do it.

Yes, we saw what happened to the old school cigar companies that didn't bother to reach out to their customers or provide any service whatsoever or a chance to purchase their products directly.

As Fr. Tom noted, the customer is often left concluding that they just don't care. Like the companies are running on autopilot. I was talking to someone about this issue this afternoon about a small hotel in the French Quarter. As an employee, she was told her standards for cleanliness were too high and she was let go.

Standards of service are never too high when you want to satisfy the customer. Every customer interaction is a chance to market and build the business. I hate to say it, but many of these companies seem to be running on inertia. Yeah, a fastball goes 90mph over the plate, but how fast does it go after it's caught? It's dead weight.

To me, this is crazy, but it seems to be the way the pipe tobacco industry is going. Slowly petering out and dying, not with a bang or even a whimper----just fading away and not even doing it gracefully.
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slowroll
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Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:26 pm

Well, have to remember that tobacco companies can't sell retail to the public, so they have no incentive to make it user friendly, and can't post retail prices anyway. The dealers set the retail.
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Kevin Keith
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Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:00 am

FX Smith and Finck are two tobacco companies that sell directly to the public, online through their websites. They are examples of barely passable, minimalist websites that kind of get the job done. I've seen some complaints about their set up, but it's better than D&R or Grabow. You know who else has a terrible website? SM Frank, maker of Kaywoodie, Yello-Bole, and Medico. Just terrible.

http://www.finckcigarcompany.com/
https://fxsmithssonscigars.com/

And the terrible Kaywoodie site http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/home/
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Whalehead King
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Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:39 am

I see no one has told SM Frank that the old PSF is defunct. See 'Other Links of Interest."
[media]http://www.smfrankcoinc.com/home/?page_id=56[/media]
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Whalehead King
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Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:51 am

Following the links to retailers provided by S.M. Frank, things don't bode well for Medico....

On WV Smokeshop, of the 11 lines listed, only four are in stock, three of them made of the ever-popular brylon.

Pipes and Cigars has two estate Medicos listed, both out of stock.

TobaccoPipes.com lists two brylon models that are out of stock.

Park Lane Tobacconists doesn't seem to have paid their website bill.

Cigars International doesn't offer any models.

4noggins doesn't seem to have any models either.


Everyone has Medico filters in stock, though, so if we're looking a silver lining, that's it.
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Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:43 am

Whalehead King wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:00 pm


To me, this is crazy, but it seems to be the way the pipe tobacco industry is going. Slowly petering out and dying, not with a bang or even a whimper----just fading away and not even doing it gracefully.
You've all read me complain about the outrageous cost of tobacco here in Aus.; recently I was reading that a guy with legal experience saying that he'd found a way to challenge the heavy taxation on tobacco. Unconstitutional he said.
To challenge the Federal & State governments in the High Court, one needs a healthy budget to pay the blood-sucking legal team. Unable to finance a challenge himself, he wrote to the tobacco companies giving them all the information needed. Any lawyer would see that he was right & that it would be a straight forward case, he said.

The tobacco companies showed no interest what-so-ever. (I didn't even think to suggest that he start a go-fund-me page) In fact they've accepted the heavy taxation, the plain packaging (& disgusting pics) without a murmur. It's as if they've given up & have accepted their eventual demise.
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Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:56 am

Legion wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:43 am
Whalehead King wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:00 pm


To me, this is crazy, but it seems to be the way the pipe tobacco industry is going. Slowly petering out and dying, not with a bang or even a whimper----just fading away and not even doing it gracefully.
You've all read me complain about the outrageous cost of tobacco here in Aus.; recently I was reading that a guy with legal experience saying that he'd found a way to challenge the heavy taxation on tobacco. Unconstitutional he said.
To challenge the Federal & State governments in the High Court, one needs a healthy budget to pay the blood-sucking legal team. Unable to finance a challenge himself, he wrote to the tobacco companies giving them all the information needed. Any lawyer would see that he was right & that it would be a straight forward case, he said.

The tobacco companies showed no interest what-so-ever. (I didn't even think to suggest that he start a go-fund-me page) In fact they've accepted the heavy taxation, the plain packaging (& disgusting pics) without a murmur. It's as if they've given up & have accepted their eventual demise.
Some people hear ''bad news'' but, to me, it sounds like a reason to do things differently. May be we consider starting up a "Growing Your Own Tobacco" thread and get to work. Personally, I wouldn't mind having some organic home-grown in my pouch, cased with flavors I could identify without a degree in chemistry. Of course, it would never be sold. We could setup a 'Seed and Sample Trades' thread for PSF members only.

As for the crappy pipe sites, I guess that's why Kaywoodie and Dr G are lucky we've got sites like Pipes & Cigars and WV. Fairly easy to navigate. I'm assuming they only stock what's available? I don't know why Medico doesn't have stock there... bad salesman, I suppose. I sure as heck wouldn't be stocking brylon, but that's just me. May be this is a biz-op for a new online pipe site that stocks only pipes and accessories... may be the niche would be that it only stocks pipes under $50... and it does a darn good job at keeping them in stock.
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