Whether you are a new or long-time smoker, looking for a new pipe is like shopping for a new computer — it’s an investment, so you want to choose one that you’ll be happy with and will last a long time. Ultimately, the goal is to select a pipe that works best for your smoking lifestyle, which is totally possible when you know the lingo and have some knowledge of the items on the shelves. Those new to the smoke shop scene may find comfort in asking the smoke shop worker for assistance.
As a new customer of any shop, the key to a fun shopping trip is to know what to expect and to understand what you’re looking at. Here’s what local smoke shops are proposing to do before you visit for the first time.
Do some research
Before going to any smoke shop, set aside a little time to do some research. It’s good to know what things cost these days, what’s new in the pipe and smoking industry, and the best brands to focus on your purchasing power. If you’re looking for a glass pipe, it’s not a bad idea to watch videos of the glass blowing process and what to look for in a quality glass piece. Learn about the different shapes and sizes of the pipe, where to look for flaws and the average price tag for the pieces that interest you.
Regardless of whether you want a glass pipe, vaporizer or e-cig, doing your homework on the exact piece you want before walking into a smoke shop will help you greatly. To figure out the smoking apparatus that’ll meet your needs, base your search around what you plan to smoke—dry herb, tobacco, concentrates, etc. How much money do you want to spend on your new pipe or smoking accessories? Determining your price range in advance helps shop employees to help you out.
Review Proper Terminology and Get ID Verified
If you’re not all too familiar with smoke shop terminology, go online for a crash course or a quick review. This helps first-time smoke shop visitors to understand the products as well as the strict regulations on smoke shops. There are rules for everyone to follow, such as that the shop is required to check the ID to verify that the customer is 18 years of age or older.
Legit smoke shops are authorized to sell tobacco products and/or legal herbs and concentrates. With this in mind, refer to any smoking device with water in it as a “water pipe” and those that do not use water as either a “hand piece” or a “dry piece.” Herb grinders have “pollen catchers,” while it’s fine to refer to dab rigs as “concentrate pipes.” If you’re unsure what to call something, just point it out to someone behind the counter and ask. More terminology can be found online or in your local smoke shop.
Once you’ve settled in and checked your ID, you’ll usually have a store clerk to help you with any questions you may have, and they’ll have to walk you through the store or at least let you know they ‘re there if you have any questions or concerns. They might ask if you came looking for something in particular or just browsing, this is when you would hit them with information about what the piece will be used for and what your price range is.
You could also let them know what brands or artists you might be interested in, and if you have a certain type of design that you’re leaning towards, you might want to mention it at this time. While talking to the clerk, it’s always a great idea to ask where the piece was made or who made it, you can also ask what kind of glass this piece was made with and whether it’s custom or made.
All these questions are very valid and can give you insight into the value of the piece. Always be sure to browse around a bit before you jump on anything in particular, because you might find something in a store that you can’t find anywhere else. Once you find a piece you ‘re interested in, be sure to inspect the piece for any signs of damage. Be sure to look very carefully at the item because some damage can be very hard to spot.
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