The Story of the Gold Plated Cigar Lighter, or, Your Money Test: Part One
We needed the break. Between the traveling and the socializing, the groupies and the interviews, the buying and the selling, there was not much time to sleep, let alone just relax. My talks were sold-out hits and my booth sold-out of all product by the second day. We were the only table with nothing on it but our elbows and a white cloth.
To celebrate, we went for a drive.
Nerissa and Mark wanted coffee, so we stopped at a Starbucks. I think we passed seven of them during one block in rural Massachusetts. One day, Starbucks will rule the earth.
I wasn't interested in calorie-rich coffees or in sugar-infested desserts, but I was interested in finding a good cigar store.
Mark asked the spacey coffee maker at Starbucks if there were any cigar stores near by. After staring into space for thirty minutes, or so it seemed, he mumbled some directions that seemed to mean there was a cigar store someplace in New England, which gave us six states to cover.
Anyway, we went for a wonderful, relaxing ride, enjoying the tall green trees, the lack of billboards along the highway, the beautiful lakes here and there, and more. It was very relaxing.
After a while, I spotted an actual dedicated cigar store.
Mark turned around and pulled into it.
I'm new to cigar smoking and have never been inside a huge store of cigars and pipes. There were hundreds if not a thousand or more cigars to look at. We asked the manager for some guidance. Turns out the manager, Ernie, was personable and informative.
He told us the truth: All cigars are pretty much the same except for marketing.
The difference between a $50 cigar and a $5 cigar is really $45.
He went on to explain that some companies market themselves as the luxury, never-make-a-bad-cigar brand, such as David Off.
Other companies only make a limited amount of a good cigar, and then advertise the scarcity of their item.
It was all pretty fascinating.
I told Ernie I needed a lighter.
But I added that I didn't want just any lighter.
"Pretend Donald Trump walked in," I said. "What kind of lighter would you show him or any other tycoon?"
Ernie went over to a glass display case and pointed at several lighters inside it. They were all gold and silver. They looked stunning and luxurious. I was pretty sure they would cost $50 or more, at least.
The gold one caught my eye.
"Tell me about that one," I said, pointing to it.
"Ah, the David Off gold plated lighter," he said, savoring the words as he spoke them. "You don't get much better than that."
He pulled it from the display case and flicked the flint. Double blue flames appeared. It was a hypnotic dance of fire.
"It looks like two flames," I noted.
"It is," he said. "This is to light all sides of your cigar at one time."
He then added something interesting.
"What this lighter is known for is something else, though."
He then paused, closed the lighter, and popped it open again.
"You hear that ping?" he asked.
He opened and closed the lighter a few more times.
There was a clear crystal like "ping" that appeared in the air as he flipped the lighter open.
"People who know the brand of David Off can recognize that ping from across the room."
I asked to hold the lighter.
It was heavy, like solid metal should be. It looked like something a King or Queen would have. It felt comfortable in my hand. And when I opened that lid, the "ping" seemed entrancing.
I opened and closed it a few more times, letting Nerissa and Mark hear the "ping."
Mark dug it, smiling every time he heard it. Nerissa didn't say anything one way or the other. She was looking at humidors and imagining them as jewelry boxes.
"How much is it?" I asked Ernie.
By now Ernie was helping someone else. He raised his hand to ask me to wait. While he did that, Mark looked in the display case and saw the price of another lighter.
"Looks like it's over four hundred bucks, Joe."
"No, that's not the price," Ernie interrupted.
He then reached into the case and pulled out the box for the gold plated lighter.
I read the price tag.
It said $612.
Six hundred and twleve dollars.
Six hundred and twelve dollars for a lighter.
I thought about it for maybe one minute, and then said I wanted it.
I bought it, too.
Now let me ask you this:
What do you think of my spending $612 on a lighter?
You don't have to tell me, but you do need to tell yourself.
How do you feel about it?
Stay tuned to Part Two, where we will go deeper into this story and Your Money Test.
PS -- I'll be speaking at Pat O'Bryan's next Portable Empire event. The last one took newbies to netrepreneur level. This next one will rock the house with a delightful twist. It's never been done before. Leave it to Pat to take his own innovative program to a whole new level. All the details are at www.marketerschoice.com/app/?Clk=1554504 Show up and I'll let you hear my lighter go "ping."
PPS -- UPI (United Press International) picked up my "Happiness Burns More Calories" news release that I told you about last week. UPI is one of the wire services that feeds news to all media. This means the entire world may eventually learn of my news release. This is very, very good. It also demonstrates the power of publicity. You need to be doing this, too. See www.upi.com/ConsumerHealthDaily/view.php?StoryID=20060809-032401-4800r
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