Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Humidor

Last week, I hung out with a friend of mine on Long Island, smoking cigars and catching up on things. Since we smoked the last of my Arturo Fuentes, I decided to buy a few more stogies on my way home. I stopped at a nearby BP gas station with a 24-hour walk-in cigar humidor. Waiting to pay at the counter, I asked myself, “Should I bring up Cigamate? I am really not a salesman.” With no other customers in sight, it was perfect timing for me to introduce myself and acquaint the manager with the Cigamate portable outdoor ashtray.

While my wallet was already open, I pulled out my Cigamate business card and casually handed it to the manager with my cash. I introduced myself and said, “I represent Cigamate, the uniquely designed portable outdoor standing ashtray. It’s becoming popular with the cigar smoking community because they are eco-friendly, have a compact design and they have bigger holes to deposit ashes and to accommodate larger cigar butts.

The manager’s interest piqued and the conversation kept going even as he assisted other customers. Since he was still listening, I continued, "...it's collapsible and has side handles...keep it at home, or take it to the park, beach, camping, tailgating...encourages smokers to throw their lit cigar and cigarette butts into outdoor smokeless ashtrays, not on the ground."

At this point, the manager was very interested and asked if I had a Cigamate I could show him. Now, I don’t typically drive around toting portable outdoor ashtrays, but that day I happened to have one with me to drop at a friend’s house. He saw the outdoor portable ashtray in action at a Father’s Day backyard barbecue and wanted one for his patio too.

I grabbed the Cigamate from my car and headed back into the store to give the manager a demonstration of how it operates and how simple and easy it is to collect cigar and cigarette ashes and waste. Just as I was finishing, another customer walked into the store and overheard me talking about the outdoor ash receptacle. Without any invitation, he jumped into the conversation, and what ensued was quite comical.

Customer: [As he pays for his items] "How much does that cost?"

Me: "It retails online at Cigamate.com for $39.99, but it you're interested I'll give it to you right now for $30.

Customer: "What's it made of? Will it burn or catch fire?"

Me: "Only use it outside." [I point to the words on the Cigamate’s base that says ‘For Outdoor Use Only’] "It’s safe, won’t crack and is weather resistant. It has been fire tested, meeting American Society for Testing and Materials D (ASTM D) requirements."

Customer: "I have an old one at home and I wanted to buy a new one. The outdoor standing ashtrays out there are all so expensive, like $50-60 dollars each. And, those aren’t even portable like this one."

Me: "Absolutely. These outdoor ash receptacles typically cost about $20 less than competitors, and we offer free U.S. shipping."

Customer: [He thinks momentarily] "Yeah, I'll take it!"

Me: "Great, thank you." [I hand him the Cigamate, he gives me the money and walks out of the store]

Me to Manager: "I swear that was not set up, I have never seen that guy before in my life! That was just really good timing!"

Manager: [Chuckling] "Don't worry, I know that guy. He comes in here a lot."

Me: "Oh okay, good, because that looked like it could have been a well thought out scam -- like the things you see on TV."

The manager said he would speak to his partner about selling the Cigamate at their cigar shop. I shook his hand and told him I looked forward to speaking to him again. As I picked up my newly purchased cigars, I thanked the kind gentleman for his time and walked out of the store. I started my engine, laughing to myself about the precision timing of that customer. Then I realized, before I could go home and enjoy any of these cigars, I had to go to the warehouse and pick up another Cigamate portable outdoor smokeless receptacle for my pal.

1 comment:

  1. Truly, I've never heard of an outdoor standing and eco-friendly ashtray. Thanks to this blog it just adds to the things I know. This article promotes resposible smoking and I know anyone who will read it can perceive the same, great informative blog like this one http://www.dawginc.com/