Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who are you guys?
A: We are a bunch of folks passionate about pipes, tobacco and, most of all, serving customers. We all wear a few different hats, as is usually the case in small companies. You can read more about each of us and our duties in our staff list.
Q: Where is your physical store located?
A: Our brick and mortar store, Low Country Pipe and Cigar, operates out of a 100+ year old store at #2 East Highway 90 in Little River, SC. The Smokingpipes.com office is approximately five miles down the road at 550 Highway 9 E in Longs, SC, where we moved in September of 2014. We welcome everyone to stop by and see us when they are in the area.
Q: What is your return policy?
It is available here.
It is available here.
Q: How does Smokingpipes.com verify that I am of legal age to purchase tobacco products?
A: During checkout, Smokingpipes.com uses an electronic age and identity verification (EAIV) service that searches public records to establish that customers are of legal age to purchase tobacco products. In the event that legal age cannot be verified based upon public records, we will contact you to request a copy of a government-issued photo ID to ensure that you are 18 years of age or older before we process your order. If you have questions or concerns about our age verification process, feel free to contact us.
Q: How long will it take to receive my order?
A: Inside the continental United States:
We ship daily at 5:00PM EST Monday through Friday. If you place your order before 3:00PM EST, it will usually be shipped the same day. We use UPS as our primary shipper. Please note that if you place your order on a Saturday or Sunday your order will not ship until that Monday if you choose UPS shipping.
Note: On occasion, it can take an additional day within the respective regions for out of the way destinations.
We also offer UPS Next Day Air (by 10:30am), UPS Next Day Air Saver (end of day), UPS 2nd Day Air and UPS 3 Day Select service. Also, note that these refer to business days as UPS defines them. Therefore, a Next Day Air package ordered Wednesday morning and shipped Wednesday afternoon, will be delivered the following day on Thursday, but one ordered Friday morning will be delivered Monday.
Alaska, Hawaii and US Territories:
Alaska and Hawaii: Only available by Two-Day and Next Day Air.
US Territories: We ship by USPS and charge a flat rate depending on destination. This usually takes 2-7 business days. We generally ship USPS packages every other day.
International: We happily ship anywhere in the world by USPS (with some restrictions on tobacco, which can be found here. We charge a variable rate based on package weight and destination. Time in transit to non-US destinations usually ranges from five days to three weeks; however, it can take longer as a result of postal services in the destination country and time spent being processed by customs. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions regarding international postage. You can also learn more about international shipping here.
Q: My Tax Authority (customs etc) is sticking me with a bill. What do I do?
A: As stated when you placed your order, it is the customer's responsibility to be aware of and pay for any taxes or duty that is due on their order. Smokingpipes.com cannot and will not be liable for any taxes or duty. If you refuse delivery of the package, and would like a refund, the package must be sent back to us at your expense if the courier or postal service assesses return fees. If you refuse to do so and the package has to be abandoned you will not be eligible for a refund.
Q: What's this I hear about free shipping?
A: We provide free UPS or USPS shipping on all Domestic US orders totaling more than $95. In addition we have free USPS Priority to all FPO/APO destined orders. The Free Shipping option is based upon the lowest cost and most efficient route for your order's destination.
Q: How much will it cost to ship my package?
All applicable US shipping costs are calculated and displayed during checkout. Here's an overview:
Domestic UPS Ground on orders less than $50 is determined by both weight and destination, but averages about $7 for one pound shipments. Usually, weight only adds about $0.15/lb after the first pound. Destination varies the first pound price from about $6 to about $8.25 (depending on distance from us and distance from the nearest UPS hub for the recipient). UPS 3 Day Select, 2 Day Air, Next Day Air Saver and Next Day Air are also available. Currently, 2 Day Air and Next Day Air are the only shipping options available to Hawaii and Alaska.
We ship USPS Priority to Canada.
Overseas orders are billed based on USPS Global Priority and Global Express rates.
Q: Where do you ship to?
A: We have yet to ship a package off-planet. Other than that, if you live somewhere with a postal service, package delivery service or friendly gent with a bicycle and a basket, we can get your package to you. Please be advised that there are some countries to which we do not ship tobacco; you can find a list of those countries here. We are sorry for the inconvenience, but Local Taxing Authorities are usually to blame.
Q: I found a typo/error/etc. To whom do I complain?
A: We try to maintain an error free website, but occasionally, errors do occur. If you happen to spot one, please send an email to email@example.com, and somebody will try to get things fixed up.
Q: Sometimes the pipe measurements seem slightly odd or off; how do you measure the pipes?
Pipe measurement is not quite as simple as it initially seems since the shapes vary so radically.
Basically, here is the process we adopted so that we would have a standardized system:
Tools: Plastic calipers, wooden ruler and postal scale that measures in 0.1 ounce increments.
The horizontal distance from the end of the stem to the farthest point of the bowl. Therefore, this is a measurement of how far the end of the bowl is from the smoker more than a measurement of how long the stem, shank and bowl are. Therefore, many bent pipes that are very large do not have very high 'Length' measurements because they are so heavily bent.
There is one exception: for churchwardens and 'saxophone' style meerschaums we measure from the end of the stem to the furthest point (a 'saxophone' meerschaum could be 17 inches long, but if we were to use the same method for it, it could come up with a length of only 5 inches because of the heavy bend).
We measure the bowl at its widest point perpendicular to the smoker (i.e. left-right rather than front-back).
From the bottom of the bowl to the highest point on the bowl, including any additional carvings (such as ornamentation on a meerschaum or freehand briar pipe).
We measure the diameter of the chamber at the very top of the bowl. This means that conical bowls (most Dublins, for example) are measured at their widest point. Straight vertical bowls sometimes flare slightly at the top of the bowl (but usually not more than .05 inches). We adopted this approach in an attempt to standardize the system. Therefore, measurements half-way down the bowl could be slightly narrower than the listed diameter.
We measure from the deepest point of the bowl to the middle of the top of the bowl (so that one side being higher than the other on a freehand, the results are not skewed). If there is a doubt as to where the top of the bowl is (such as in the parenthetical example above), we do our best to determine where the tobacco could be packed up to.
Q: Ok, I've found a really nice looking pipe; how do I pay for it?
We have a number of different payment methods available. The simplest is to simply use the secure shopping cart and use your American Express, Discover, VISA or MasterCard credit or Debit card. However, if you do not feel comfortable giving out your billing information online, you can check-out using the 'offline payment' option and mail in a check, call in with your credit card number or fax us (877-800-9407) with your credit card number. Additionally, we can accept payments via PayPal. In order to place an order using PayPal, please select "offline payment" upon checkout. Once you have completed your order, you can send the funds in US Dollars to us by logging into your PayPal account and selecting the "send money" tab. Please send the payment to firstname.lastname@example.org in the correct amount shown on your invoice. In the subject line, please include the order number, also found on your invoice. We will then be notified of your payment and can process and ship your order. Please be aware that checks or other instruments returned by your issuing bank will incur a processing fee of $40.00, above and beyond cost of invoiced mechandise. We reserve the ability to enforce our rights through legal process. All orders that are placed with us are subject to the laws and regulations of South Carolina, USA.
Alternatively, you can call us and we will process your order manually for you and accept your credit card number over the phone. If you have any problems using the cart, we would be happy to assist you with the order or place it over the phone on your behalf.
Q: How do I use my Smokingpipes.com Gift Card?
If you already have an account with us, log in using your email address and password to process your order. Once you reach the checkout page, have verified your billing/shipping address, and have chosen the shipping option, select the Gift Card option under Payment Information. Enter the 16 digit card number and click on the Apply button. Your gift card will be applied to the balance due on the right. Once you see this update on the right, you can finalize the order with another payment option if needed. If you do not use the entire amount of your gift card, the remaining balance will be automatically posted to your house account.
If you do not have an account with us and plan to spend the entire amount of your gift card, feel free to check out as a guest. If you do not have an account with us and do not plan to use the entire amount of your gift card, we recommend creating an account. An email address and password are required to access any remaining balance left on your house account on a future order.
Q: How do I access and use my Smokingpipes.com House Account?
You can access and use House Account funds by logging in using your email address and your password.
Once you finish loading the shopping cart, click on the Checkout button. Once on the checkout page go ahead and verify your billing/shipping address and choose the shipping option like always. Then look at the Payment Information options. You will see one titled House Account that will show your available funds. Select House Account and then click the Apply button. The information on the right will update to show any remaining balance due. Then process out like normal, finalizing the payment with your credit card or another payment option.
If you do not use all of your house account funds, just apply the house account funds and once the balance due updates to zero, finalize the order by selecting Offline from the payment options and click Place Order to complete.
Q: The tobacco I'm looking for is currently out of stock. Can you notify me when it becomes available again?
A: Yep, just sign up for our One-Time Alerts. On the product page of the tobacco you're looking for, simply click the 'Email Me' link to be notified when the product comes back in stock. When you sign up for the alert, you'll receive a confirmation e-mail that will let you know your position in the queue. When the product becomes available, the alerts will be sent in the order in which customers signed up for the alerts. Don't forget: this is a one time alert. Once the product has come back in stock, you'll need to resubscribe for future notifications.
Q: Do you offer a discount for NASPC members?
A: We do. All currently enrolled members of the NASPC are eligible for a 5% discount on new pipes, upon request, once their membership is verified. Your NASPC membership can be verified by faxing or emailing to us a copy of your NASPC membership card, or if you prefer, you can allow 6-8 weeks for us to receive verification from the club, at which point you will then be eligible for the discount, upon request. Please contact Customer Service for further details.
Q: I have a pipe that I loved for a long time and the stem finally wore out/I broke the stem/shank etc. Can you repair the pipe or replace the stem?
A: We do not do pipe repair, so unfortunately we cannot repair or replace any stems/shanks/etc on site.
Q: What do you mean by 'estate' pipes?
A: An estate pipe is a pipe that has been previously owned by someone else. Each estate pipe that we sell has undergone a thorough cleaning and disinfecting regimen before it is ever offered for sale. Estate pipes are generally far less expensive than a new pipe of the same make, thereby representing an excellent value for the money, and for many smokers, a way to sample the wares of pipe makers they might not otherwise be able to afford.
Additionally, please be aware that Smokingpipes.com is always interested in acquiring quality estate pipes. If you have any pipes that you are interested in sending to us, please click here to find out more about our policy.
Q: Why do some estate pipes have a 'Repair!' Tag?
A: Pipes tagged 'Repair!' are pipes that, through no fault of their own, have encountered some misfortune that we (or another shop) have corrected. A pipe that comes to us with a replacement stem or tenon, for example, would be tagged 'Repair!'. When a repair of this nature has been performed in house, the pipe will also bear an 'SPCR' stamp on the shank. While we do not actively seek out pipes in need of repair, sometimes issues present themselves during cleaning that require us to undertake more intensive restoration efforts. The prices on all pipes with this tag reflect the fact that they have been rescued from calamity.
Q: How do I clean the oxidation or film from my pipe stem?
A: Please refer to our Guide To Cleaning Your Pipe.
Q: Do you have any filter pipes?
A: In general, filter pipes are not as popular in the North American market as they are in the European market, and as such, our selection of filter pipes is generally small. We currently sell very few 9mm charcoal-activated filter pipes and all of the ones that we do sell are clearly marked as such. Occasionally, we can special order filter pipes. Feel free to email us at email@example.com to discuss ordering such a pipe.
Q: Do you sell any pipes for smoking crack/marijuana/opium/hashish/methamphetamines?
A: No, we do not, and we sincerely hope that was not a serious question. (Yes, we do actually get asked this on a regular basis!)
Q: In your opinion, what is the finest tobacco you have smoked?
A: Everyone has different tastes in tobacco blends, and we have yet to meet any two people whose tastes were identical. For that reason, any answer to this question would be completely subjective, and most likely, you would not enjoy the tobacco as much as we did. In addition to that, I doubt we could answer it at all; as there are many fine tobacco blends, and our personal lists of favorites continue to grow and change as time goes on.
Q: I saw a pipe on your site a while ago, and when I came back to buy it, I could not find it. What happened to it?
A: Every pipe we carry is individually photographed and described on the website, and our website software automatically removes those photographs and descriptions from the publicly available portions of the website when a pipe is sold, in order to avoid situations in which two persons attempt to purchase the same pipe. So, in short, we sold it.
Q: Do you accept trades?
A: Of course we accept trades! Please email us to discuss the particulars of your situation.
Q: What is a tenon/ferrule/english/aromatic/etc?
A: Please visit our Pipe Smokers Glossary for definitions of pipe and tobacco related terminology.
Q: What kind of pipe should I buy?
A: Please refer to our Guide To Selecting A Pipe.
Q: My pipe keeps going out. Can you help me?
A: Please refer to our Guide To Packing & Lighting Your Pipe.
Q: How do I take care of my new pipe?
A: Please refer to our Guide To Cleaning Your Pipe.