A Few Thoughts

Discussion in 'Open Cigar Passes' started by Steve*R, Nov 3, 2003.


  1. Steve*R

    Steve*R New Member

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    Emodx asked me, via email, to put together some thoughts that originated out of a
    couple of posts I made in the Workingman’s Trade thread and post in the Lobby.

    Some background: I am, I guess, a fog of FOGS. I’ve smoked cigars regularly since 1963. Before that I’d have an occasional Havana with my father, who spent most of his waking hours with a Cuban cigar in his hand. In fact, in late December, 1958, my father, anticipating the fall of the Batista government, went to Cuba to buy a stockpile of cigars for his personal use. My father was certain that Castro’s agricultural policy would place little importance on tobacco growing, and would convert the fields to the growing of food crops. The thought of not having his Havanas sent a chill coursing through my father’s veins. On January 1, 1959, the day Castro took Havana, my father was boarding a plane, departing the Havana airport. His personal luggage and hold baggage were filled with nothing but cigars. Because the embargo didn’t begin for two more years, my father continued to buy his normal two boxes of Havanas per week at his favorite tobacconist.
    The cigars he’d purchased in Havana remained in a rented cigar locker until he died in 1965. I inherited the Havana purchase, but sold it off to cover debts my father left when he died suddenly. I certainly wish I’d held onto a box or two, for sentimental reasons.

    I wrote in one of the posts on the Workingman’s Trade thread about the importance of equal for equal...whether in trading or box passes.
    Several years ago, when cigar bulletin boards were still list-serves, and pretty small in number, I responded to a trade offer. A fellow was looking to try a few new cigars of a particular brand. I responded, saying that I was happy to engage in the trade, and that the other trader should send me whatever he felt was equitable, but to be “modest.” When the package from him arrived, the cigars and quantity he sent were totally appropriate for the deal. But, I was troubled. In the box was a note that said, “Steve, thanks for the trade. I hope I sent enough. If I didn’t, please let me know and I’ll send more.” I phoned him to tell him that I was very pleased with what he had sent and asked about the note. The gist of what he said on the phone was that he’d been involved in a few trades and read quite a few posts about trades and traders, and that it appeared to him that traders who gave numerous extras were the people everyone wanted to trade with. I replied that I felt that was an unfortunate and negative trend that was appearing among new cigar smokers. Not wanting to be thought of as cheap or inconsiderate, they went far beyond the paramenters of the trade to seemingly protect their integrity. I explained that many old timers (FOGS) no longer actively traded with anyone other than FOGS because of this trend. They wanted to trade equitably, as they would in their businesses, and, if there were to be a gift, it would be clear that it was a gift. It is my hope that the fine people who are members of Cigar Pass will take this to heart. For most people, being on the end of a trade, where you have been humbled by the person you have traded with, is a very negative feeling. And if you have sent far beyond what was called for, and the other trader isn’t playing the oneup game, you feel as though you have been cheated...and it is not justified!
    When you trade, be clear on what the trade comprises, and if there are extras involved, as an inducement to make the trade, don’t expect that the person you’re trading with should send extras too. If you want to add an additional 5-stick blinder with your trading partner, set it up in advance.

    Box passes: My best cigar friend, Harold, died nine years ago this month. Pre internet he was the king of the boxpass. He smoked the best cigars, but rarely ever bought a cigar. Only when he was a few weeks from death did he tell me his method. Harold had the boxpass down to an art. Over many years, he’d cultivated scores of friends in the cigar world. He wrote well and was very knowledgeable and generous with information. He started ten boxpasses a year, each boxpass with ten different people. He’d begin a pass with 30 cigars; a couple super premiums, some premiums, several Cubans, and the rest, quality, branded and boxed, well known cigars. He’d learned that the newer a guy was, the less he’d take and the more he’d put, plus he knew there would always be a host bag. By Harold’s calculations and history, a pass that started with 30 sticks would bring home at least fifty and maybe sixty cigars; and that typically the host bag would have more Super premiums, premiums, and Cubans than the pass began with. When a pass returned to him, he had the material for the next pass and enough cigars for his daily after dinner smoke. Frankly, I thought my friend’s behavior was unconscionable. After all, he was a wealthy man who could easily afford to smoke anything he wanted. He thought it was humorous and a game.
    He actually had a waiting list of guys trying to get into his boxpasses.

    If there’s a lesson to be learned from my late friend, it’s the same as in trading: equal for equal is the best policy.
    If you take five $6.00 cigars, put in five $6.00 cigars; not six, seven, or eight. If
    you take five $6.00 cigars, don’t put in thirty $1.00 bundled sticks, even if the totals are both $30.00. Equal quality out=Equal quality in.
    If you want to send the host a gift, send it to him. It shouldn’t have to travel with the pass. Do you really want a gifted PSD4 or Opus to travel for a month or longer in the mail? A boxpass should return to the originator with the same number of cigars with which it left him + the host bag, if there is one.

    If there’s one thing I sincerely hope I get across in this overly lengthy post is that EQUAL is the best method in trading and passing. Don’t ever be intimidated by the post “Joe Schmoe is a great trader/passer. He took two Connies and put in one PAM, one Opus, and a new 1916.” That’s not the way passes and trades were meant to be. Boxpasses and trading are for developing friendships and gaining knowledge about our cigar hobby. There will always be a few people who get carried away in the spirit of brotherhood, and it’s the responsibility of others to calm the fires.

    When the time comes that you want to send someone a gift, by all means, do it, but remember that if you have an expectation of return, it's not a gift at all.

    My thanks to Emodx for the invitation to share my thoughts.

    Steve*R
     
  2. Phil

    Phil New Member

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    A very valid point.

    I would like to say, as someone who has recently sent out quite a few bombs, that I agree 100 % here and sending bombs w the intention of recieving stuff back is not what they were intended for. Sending a bomb is a great way to meet/get to know a fellow brother of the leaf. After that I use bombs as a way to let brothers try/have something they have not had/tryed yet. A lot of the time you will get something back from the recieving party, but not always, and it should not be expected.


    This will be the first time I am going to participate in a box pass (THANKS TO THOSE WHO GAVE ME A CHANCE) and in light of this recent post I will try and be fair and not overdo it, although it is nice to pass on a couple of extra cigars for others to try.

    Thanks for your thoughts steve, this newbie has taken note! ;)

    Oh and nice to meet you, as I don't believe that I have had the pleasure of speaking with you before.


    Phil
     
  3. thejollyco

    thejollyco The Jolly Company

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    Wow, i would just like to say that it's an interesting point you have there.

    I would like to point out that in my case, i just like giving away stuff sometimes. One should never have the intention of bombing someone just to get stuff back, it's more of a nice hello.


    Also, nice to meet you, newbie :sign:

    my adage that i shall perhaps impart:
    never stab a person in the neck.


    and this is from a young dude who knows these type of things :D
     
  4. emodx

    emodx Banned

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    Steve-I am glad you made that post. I think that your point has a lot of merit. I do agree with you on the quanity that are often put vs taken. I personally don't have a beef with some one dropping in an extra stick. I prefer it not be in a host bag, but in the shared cigars. I really like trying new cigars, and I like the idea of others trying new cigars.
    The other thing is I do believe quality(price) for quality. I sometimes(often sometimes) will replace a $5 with a $9 cigar. I never thought of the negative impact that it could have. I always thought that I really liked that cigar, and wanted someone else to have a chance to try it also.
    As far as trades, I have blind sided a lot of newbies when they conduct their first 5 stick blinder. I figured that stepping up and showing them goodwill by giving them some extra sticks would give them a good feeling about this site. As far as multi stick trades to get someone to buy me what I want, I always include extras. I wont budge on that. If someone is doing me a favor by buying me what I want, I am going to do them the same.
    All-Steve brought up some really good points. I think if you have good constructive points, to bring them out. I know a lot of you just have that giving attitude. Nutting wrong with that either.

    Emo
     
  5. JOE.M.

    JOE.M. The biggest pair you have ever seen!

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    Well done Steve! ;) Great timing!! :thumbs:

    I personally am not a fan of the host bag.



    This should be pinned!! :thumbs:
     
  6. Lee

    Lee New Member

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    Nice post Steve! :D
     
  7. gibu

    gibu Member

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    Yea, I have to say that as a cigar smoker the funnest thing is sharing a cigar with another that aprreciates it and you know will enjoy it. I live in a very small rural area and have very few smoking buddies near to me. Pretty much just my brother now a couple others have moved away. When I'm preparing a trade or a pass I find myself looking at a couple humi's very full of stuff I'll never get to at the rate I smoke. I take just enough out for the trade or pass, but then think well I cant leave this out, or I bet someone would love one of thease, and next thing you know it's a little lop sided. I do it because I like them and want others to enjoy them as well.

    Thats it, period!

    I also have to confess my sins about always trying to pick up checks at dinner with friends and family, or bar tabs with buddies. Can't help myself, sorry, thats just the way it is. I bought my Mother Wal-Mart flowers today for no reason, call me a sicko.
     
  8. FatherTiresius

    FatherTiresius Watcher of the Skies

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    Look at it from the perspective of the newbie getting bombed by an FOG. At first he's elated. "Look at all the great sticks I got!! Cubans! Opuses! Can't wait to try them. Man, these people on this board are really generous!" ...then reality sets in. He thinks "Wait a minute. Am I supposed to reciprocate? Oh, my God, I don't have anything that even compares to these. What do I do?" Suddenly, instead of feeling welcome he's under the gun, feeling pressure that probably doesn't even exist. In reality, the bomber never expected to get anything back, he was truly just being generous but the bombee doesn't know the protocol.

    I'm not trying to say we shouldn't bomb each other. In 99.9% of the cases it is truly someone being generous or showing appreciation (like when we bombed Rod) and no retaliation is expected. Bombing is a lot of fun. All I'm saying is try to look at it from the other guy's point of view too.
     
  9. Phil

    Phil New Member

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    I would like to chime back in as a newbie and say that the FOG's on this site have been very clear that no reciprocation is required. In fact a few of the FOG's have made it almost impossible to strike back!!! I have tried a few times to get a list of fav cigars from an FOG and have acctually been denied and in addition had no source of address to strike back too!!!!

    I would like to say that I fully support bombings as a way to get active and or get someone else active in the community. I don't think anyone breaks thier back to bomb anyone, and usually a newbie is TOLD not to worry about a strike back (Just get some trades under your belt so you can join a pass is something I remember being told in my first week or so here).


    I am glad to have joined this board and recieved such a nice and warm welcome, I can only attempt to make sure that others joining after me will recieve the same welcome that I did.



    Phil
     
  10. vewyphishy

    vewyphishy The Original Smoking Fish

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    Well Phil, I can't say I've had the same experience with the FOGs as you have, but they've been positive no less. In my youthful experience of being here and in the spirit of passes, I don't see anything wrong with putting a little extra back into a box pass. I see it as a reward and thank you to the originator for taking the initial risk of putting the sticks in the pass together. Without these risk takers, there would be no passes to enjoy and partake in. I'm impartial to the host bag, but if the pass I'm participating in has one, I will oblige with no objection.

    No one should feel obligated to be generous. Think of it as cigar karma. :)
     
  11. JOE.M.

    JOE.M. The biggest pair you have ever seen!

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    Pssst! You need addy's..?.... I got evryones addy![​IMG] 2 Secret Santas in a row! Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha![​IMG] I HAVE EVERYONES!!
    For a few Isom's[​IMG] hell, I'd sell ya my mutha!
     
  12. Phil

    Phil New Member

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    :p :p :p

    TRICKY TRICKY


    I fell for it!!!! I'LL GET ALL YOU FOG's




























    <span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>darn fog's always stickin together.......................... :angry: </span>
     
  13. rknicker

    rknicker ]V[ember

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    I agree. It's all manners.

    Be gracious when you receive a bonus. If you are treated well thank that person, not neccessarily publicly. Generosity is a beautiful thing, but don't make people think that it is the rule. A pass probably isn't the place.

    No matter who you are or what you've sent, CP is a great place for people to trade, buy, enjoy. Don't do anything that would be considered inappropriately grandiose or distasteful. Ego is not a virtue here. This is a forum for all to enjoy.

    And since we're on the subect... post padding doesn't hurt anyone, it's just considered bad etiquette.
     
  14. SamGuss

    SamGuss New Member

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    I would agree with a lot of the points raised here, though as someone who does bomb and as someone who normally does put in more than he takes out, I felt that I should bring forth a point from my own perspective.

    Yes, I do consider myself generous, but that's not why I put in extra sticks or bomb. I do it because when I first got into cigars and was learning what I like and don't (true, I still am but think "newbie"), many many people sent me cigars to try. When I started to get seriously into ISOM, again several people went out of their way to send me sticks to try. To this day when I want to try a new (or old) cigar, be it "domestic" or ISOM, I know all I have to do is ask and it is a done deal.

    So for me, bombing is for one of two purposes if not a combination of both purposes:

    1) To send a gift to a friend, or to attempt to establish a friendship.
    2) To give someone newer to cigars than me a chance to sample a variety of smokes in much the same way as was done for me.

    The same goes for extra puts in a pass for me, though yes, I am guilty of doing a play to impress (though I may be one of the few to admit this, I know I am not the only to have ever done this LOL).

    The original article brings up a good point though - there are people (not pointing fingers here at anyone) that do start passes solely to build up their collection. I don;t think there is anything wrong with that is done in moderation. Personally while I do participate in my share of passes, I don't originate many - and so far they have all been small. They aren't for building up collections (though of course that does happen), it's for building friendships, establishing friendships and for downright fun.

    Newbies out there. I will say this for me, though I am sure most here would agree with this. If I send you a bomb, nothing is expected in return. If I bomb you in return for a bomb you sent me, no payback is expected - I for one remember being hit with top shelf cigars and the panic of "oh man how will I will equal this?". Let me re-assure you that the BEST way you can ever re-pay me is to see you bomb a newbie a couple months down the road ;) You've heard of it before: pay it forward. Likewise, just because you do send out bombs, doesn't mean your going to get bombed right back by the same people. I do know though that your chances of being bombed by any number of people is dependant on your ability to be able to bomb though. As in the old theory what comes around goes around - and sometimes the sources of the come around may not be what or who you expect. It just works ;)

    Anyway I am getting long winded and I know you guys hate that so I will end this here by just saying that some great points have been brought up and the old adage of it's the intent that counts, not the sticks in the box ;)

    Sam
     
  15. luckyred23

    luckyred23 New Member

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    I have an opinion on this. The first time I engaged in any trading or passing was a Pay It Forward type of pass. I read the guidelines that stated to send 3-4 smokes to someone, and ask them to Pay It Forward (PIF). I picked out 3 decent quality smokes that have been in my humi for a few years, and sent them, hoping that the recipient would enjoy them. A few days later, I get a package from the person that was before me in the PIF chain. There were over 10 quality smokes in there! I was blown away. It made me feel uncomfortable...it made me think I didn't send enough. I then spent more $$ on postage, and sent more smokes to the person I sent to, explaining that I was blown away, and thought I should share the wealth. He responded that I already sent more than enough, but was looking for one of the smokes that I had, and would love it if I would sent it anyway so he could try it.

    My long winded point is...sometimes newbies feel uncomfortable to be blown away with tons of extra smokes...
     
  16. TheBeast

    TheBeast The Man, The Myth, The Legend

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    That very well may be one of the best posts of all time here at CP. GREAT JOB!!! Thanks for taking the time to post it. :thumbs:
     
  17. lucasbuck

    lucasbuck Sheriff Buck

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    I agree with the spirit of the first post here. Many valid points are made. However I have no problem with people being generous in their trade or pass plays. I realize I'm a newbie in more ways then one and maybe my views will change over time but this is how I feel now. At the same time I hope people don't feel pressured to reciprocate for others generous acts. I was blown away when Greg (FatherT) laid an amazing pack of sticks on me when we met first met. But as with any gift I've received over the years I accepted it in the spirit it was offered. I knew nothing was expected in return. I've been a big believer in the pay it forward philosophy since way before I smoked my first cigar. I like to gift/bomb because of this and because it's fun. Also equal in my eyes may not be equal in another's eyes. There are so many factors in the cost of a cigar. Box price, single price, taxes, customs duties, specials, age etc. all can alter various perceptions of a specific cigar's value. If I throw a few extra sticks in a pass to overcompensate a little for my takes then I feel much better about making sure I've made a fair play. As far as host bags are concerned I personally like to throw a stick or two I think the host might like. For example, I saw on a thread somewhere that Sam wanted to try a Cohiba Robusto. As I was about to participate in one of his passes I made a note of this and tossed one in for him. Why not just send it to him separately? Because it was fun to add it into the pass instead. It was the perfect opportunity and I'm not worried about having it in the pass for a few weeks or months or whatever. Anticipation is half the fun no? In conclusion I would just like to add what many are fond of repeating here. CigarPass is all about having fun and enjoying the company of others who enjoy our little hobby. Please don't take advantage of the generous spirit displayed in this community. That my friends is not cool.
     
  18. mhn

    mhn New Member

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    I'm curious, has anyone completed a trade and then told the person that the sticks they sent weren't up to par...so to speak? I know I've seen this happen in a pass, that's why people usually post their puts/takes before they mail the box right?
     
  19. Wascal

    Wascal Captive of the Dark Side

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    If you're doing a "blind" trade, it exactly that, blind. You accept what you get. Now if trading 5 of this for 5 of that and it doesn't come out right, send a PM. Explain what you feel is wrong and work something out. Not everyone pays the same price for cigars, and not everyone values the same cigars. Now...... if you sent the PM, tried to work something out, so forth and nothing worked, and you honestly feel you were **** on purposely. Out the bastid so everyone else will know. :p :0
     
  20. STYX&STONED

    STYX&STONED READ MY LIPS!!!!!

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    I myself am a very giving person, who is not out to "one up" anyone or make anyone feel indebted or uncomfortable!

    I say if you get um, smoke um..........
    If you have um, GIVE UM.

    PUFF,PUFF PASS IT ON!!!!!!!

    Gary
     

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