02 March 2006

Retail Madness

by Frank "Retail Harlot" Turk

When we first put up the junk shop, there was a somewhat-noisy cry for the most-obviously missing item: flip-top lighters.

Our e-tail partner (cafepress.com) has about 100 different items they can put your graphics on, but lighters ain't one of the items. Apparently they have some safety-fascist code of ethics that will not allow them to sell any products related to the tobacco industry. This makes me sad.

However, I have found a vendor who can source the lighters and customize them, but (and this will make you sad) they will retail at $30 $10 plus shipping -- if I can get 50 pre-paid zealots to pony up in order to go to press. What kills us on the price is set-up fees for the first run.

So let the wondering about lighters cease; if I can get 50 people to say, "yes, I want one", and then get all 50 of them to pre-pay for the lighters, we can get some of these made.

Now back to your wrangling about theology.

UPDATED: A quick count of responses so far is that we can muster about 30 orders for the premium Zippo lighters, but that's a straw poll. If you are interested in the $30 Zippo, click this link and send the e-mail, and make sure you list the QTY you want in the message. I'm thinking I can collect the pre-payments via Paypal, but to do that I need the e-mails for the people who are going to pre-pay. The other great thing about Paypal is that if we don't get orders for 50, I can release all the prepayments without ever actually handling the cash.

Note that you will need a paypal account to pay. If that causes troubles, let's find that out now.


FX Turk said...

For the invasively-curious, black is the only color available at the price of $10. We can get some metalic stuff, but those are the ones which turn out at $30 each after set-up and printing.

Steve said...


I'd be more than willing to go with one of the $30 silver ones--that'd be a classy gift for my oldest son, who is a fireman and thus a PyroManiac in the true sense of the word.

But if I have to settle for one of the black ones, I can.

For $10, however, I can't help but wonder if it's just a decal applied to the lighter--sort of like a Chiquita banana label. If they're able to actually "burn" the design into the metal for a mere $10, I'm amazed.

graydave said...

Count me in for a $30 metal one if you can get enough people. Color doesn't matter to me.

I may even get 2 because as Steve said, it would be a great gift. I would also go with the cheaper black ones too.

(Hey, I even signed up for a user name just so I could reply to this post!)

Momo said...

Call me cheap, but I would probably only do a $10 one. Okay, I will do a $10 one and might do a $30 one if you just had to have one more taker to cut the deal.

FX Turk said...

Steve: the cheap black lighters are cheap lighters, but the imprint is screen printed -- not engraved. Believe it or not, on the first 50 lighters the set-up cost is higher than the price of the blank lighter.

GrayDave: if I can get commitments from 50 people for the honest-to-Zippo metallic lighters, we'll go with a real Zippo in silver or bronze; it would be crazy-classy to get them engraved rather than screen printed. However, I have this feeling that even with our thousands of readers, we won't get 50 people who would part with $30 for a lighter they prolly won't ever use.

FX Turk said...

Coyote: between you and me, if we can get 50 takers, TeamPyro will each get a lighter for free. The vendor has a +/- 10% rule, so to get 50 lighters for 50 pre-paid customers, I'm going to have to order 60 lighters -- and even if they short us 10% we'll break even and have a momento of the blog for when the Muslims take us into the street and stone us for out intransigence.

Anonymous said...

Count me in for either the $10 or the $30...I will take two of whichever we decide, as my brother collects lighters. THis would be a great way to start a conversationw ith him about spiritual things and maybe light a fire of a different kind. Thanks guys!

Richard D said...

I'm still waiting for the produce labels. I'm dying to have a true Pyromaniac Chiquita banana. What wonderful gifts those bananas would be!

Steve said...

On those produce labels, I bet Phil ran out of all the remaining PyroManiac labels within the first hour of the Shepherds' Conference.

Wonder how Phil felt about having people seek him out for cheap, temporal stickers rather than eternal spiritual wisdom?

Of course, I have to confess I would have been among those clamoring for a cheap sticker.

Unknown said...

Count me in for the $30 "Zippo version"... I want that thing bad!

PS: why yes, I am a hopeless blog groupie, why do you ask?

In Christ,

graydave said...


Your right. This isn't the place to find people who would use a lighter. But fortunately, I attend an Evangelical Free church and smoking is no longer a sin, especially not cigars. (I came from a Baptist background with a very long list of things not to do.) So, a $10 black one would be more than okay. I'd probably get a few of those.

Jeremiah Johnson said...


Never been a fan of cheap, knock-off Zippos.

Put me down for three real ones.

Mensa Reject

IB Dubbya said...

Retail Harlot my foot! Frank, please keep this up...you really are fast becoming a sort of "Retail Mentor" for me. Seriously.

[...Well we're movin' on up (movin' on up!), to the East siiide (movin' on up!), to a deluxe apartment, in the skyyyyy....]


SJ Camp said...


A few items that I believe would move well for you.

1. Pyro-Matches. A nice book of matches with cedar stems go for about $2.00 a box. ( is a great brand on this). You could offer a sliding white box (1/2' by 3 1/2") with the Pyro logo on top. The cedar touch makes a nice experience for those who enjoy a pipe or nice cigar to the glory of God.

2. Pyro Humadors (25 and 50 count) would run for about $69.95 and $85.00 respectively (natural grain); and a pipe tobacco Humador jar (white) for around $10.50.

3. Pyro Golf Shirts These would be embraced by virtually any pastoral team. They would sell for about $50.00-$75.00. You would have the Pyro logo hand stiched on the pocket. Really nice.

4. Pyro Golf Tees An inexpensive item that would offer tremendous pass around value.


SJ Camp said...


One more item for the truly dedicated Pyromaniac. A stadium Jacket. This is a bit pricy, but man is it cool. $350.00 with leather sleaves and body inlay, great for Autumn and Spring sports season or light winter atire.

The Pyro logo would be stiched on the back in a large powerful vibrant color; pocket slogan on front with person's name hand stiched as well.



SJ Camp said...

Frankl: (sorry, last one).

Pryo briefcases/computer bag. Remember the Shepherds Conference briefcases a few years ago? You could offer the same thing for Pyro. Most of the guys attending SC would love this item. And you could offer a limited special edition in leather. Both would have the Pyro logo handstiched.

Pricing you would have to determine on this ($50.00 to $200.00 possibly).


IB Dubbya said...

Chah, chaah, chaaah...Chiinnng!

Bless You!

Juuust kidding!


Phil Johnson said...

I can't believe you guys. I'm gone for a day and you are hawking drug paraphernalia on my blog.

...On the other hand, that would be great for lighting the bar-b-que.

And for camping trips.

OK. Put me down for two of the real Zippos. I don't want any of that cheap knock-off junk.

FX Turk said...

"hawking drug paraphernalia"?

That one hurts, bro.

However, to see Campi come up with merchandising ideas ... whatever shame I suffered in publishing this post was worth it to see Campi admit that some things are just worth buying for the fun of it.

SJ Camp said...

I wasn't being silly here... I think these have some real potential.

Only one thing: "remember me in the day of thy royality."


Deathrow Bodine said...

Phil said:

I can't believe you guys. I'm gone for a day and you are hawking drug paraphernalia on my blog.

Phil, you are lucky I wasn't enjoying a tall glass of goat's milk or cider'n-shine when I read that. Otherwise, you would have owed me a new keyboard.

Frank, I think I'd like one of the lighters. BTW, when are the Camp Pyro Humadors availiable? ;)

JustJan said...

I like the lighter and the matches.
I intend to use mine camping.

I love the logo actually. I am wondering if it would be suitable for tattooing. What is the licensing fee for that, btw?