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Ye Olde Pipe Shoppe enters the 21st Century

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Having been selling pipes on the internet for a dozen years, I've become increasingly aware of the benefits of this medium as well as its limitations. On the one hand, never have a broader array of wonderful pipes both new and estate been available to the smoker. And with the advent of digital photography, one can get a very good sense of what one is buying before it arrives. On the other hand, one does not have the opportunity to pick up the pipe, examine it from all angles, and most of all, have a conversation with a knowledgeable and experienced pipe man to be able to understand what you are considering for purchase.

As you will have noticed, I make an effort to supply some of this experience with my descriptions, which reflect the research I have done both here and abroad, and especially the time I have spent with some of the world's best pipe makers. And some of you have taken advantage of the opportunity to call me on the phone to ask about particular pipes. When you do, I always try to have the pipe in hand, so I can be your eyes and hands in evaluating it. But this still falls short of the true pipe shop experience.

So I have decided to take this process one step further. I have set up a system by which you can call me up, at no cost, using the free program called "Skype." I have a webcam set up that will allow us to talk "face to face" if you too have a video camera; or if not, you will be able to see and here me. In addition, I can place the pipe before you in real time, and I can show it to you from any angle and in any aspect, all the while supplying any details about which you may wish to know. I have pilot-tested this on a limited basis, and believe you will find it most intriguing. If you haven't intalled Skype (which is available for any operating system at no cost) simply go to www.skype.com, and download and install the program. Then, enter the Fine Pipes skype name, which is finepipesinternational. You'll be able to tell if I am online; and if I can, I will answer the call and we can begin to chat.

Update: I have now installed a button on every product page. If you have Skype already installed, just click the button to launch the program and initiate the call. And if not, you can use the provided link to download Skype for virtually any operating system, at no charge. By the way, all computer-to-computer calls, whether voice alone or including video, are free, as is the program itself. Please let me know if you like this feature, and I look forward to seeing you.

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