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Sticky: What is a PIF? - A Guide for Newbies

What is a PIF?

At Badger & Blade the term PIF has two different meanings.

The first, and most common, use of the term PIF is as follows:

1) PIF means “Pay It Forward”. The expression is used to describe the concept of asking that a good turn be repaid by having it done to others instead. So rather than pay something back, you pay it forward to someone else. That person, in turn, pays it forward, and so on. It is a way to keep the act of giving ongoing. In a sentence, PIF can be used as a noun or a verb.

At B&B, there is a great deal of generosity within the membership. That is one of the many things that make this community great. We feel honored to be among like minded people, and to have a place where we can share ideas and talk about our gentlemanly pursuits. We’ve learned so much from the forum and the community that at times, we feel a need to give back to the community. Also, many of the more experienced members also take great pride and pleasure in helping out new members who are just starting their wet shaving journey. We do that through PIFs.

The second use of the term PIF is as follows:

2) PIF sometimes means “Pass It Forward”. This term has been used to describe special PIFs, where a member puts an item of theirs on loan for many members to pass it around and try out. They will build a list of around 10-20 participants. The item will be sent to the first person on the list to try out for a week, then it will be sent to the next person, and so on. At the end, the item is usually returned to the original owner of the item, or they may choose to PIF (Pay It Forward) it to one of the members of the Pass. However, this activity is normally called a pass around or just a pass (e.g. a razor pass, brush pass, soap pass, etc).

How are PIFs run?

There is no standard format for a PIF. The PIFer decides what item(s) they want to PIF, and will post the rules for how the PIF will be awarded. Sometimes the PIFer may ask that shipping charges be paid, but normally a PIF is of no cost to the receiver (the PIFee).

Remember, PIFs are not just freebies. When you enter you name for a chance to receive a PIF, you are agreeing to the fact that if you win, you will Pay It Forward at some time in the future.

Here is what a couple of distinguished gentlemen of the past have said on the concept of a Paying It Forward:
Benjamin Franklin said:
I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you [...] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro' many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody.

The Dark Side

Here at B&B, we take great pride in the fact that this forum is a friendly internet oasis for gentlemanly behavior. However, some folks choose to take advantage of the system and the kindness of others. This behavior is not tolerated on this forum. One would think that the ideas I’m about to present should not have to be stated. However, they wouldn’t need to if they hadn’t been violated (multiple times) in the past.

1) Do not ask for someone to PIF you an item. No Panhandling!
PIFs are done because someone is feeling generous and wants to give something back, not because somebody wants us to give something to them.

In the words of one of our illustrious moderators:
luvmysuper said:
People are encouraged to PIF.
People are enouraged not to ask for PIFs.
People are encouraged to PM me if they see someone asking for a PIF.

2) Do not sell anything you received from a PIF!
You will not profit from the kindness and generosity of others. This really, really should go without saying, but we have seen PIF items end up on the B/S/T and eBay before. If you receive something in a PIF and find you don’t like it, or a few months down the road you find you’ve never used it… re-PIF it! Send it off to someone else who will enjoy it. That’s the whole point to a PIF in the first place.

3) Be respectful.
When you receive a PIF in the mail, PM your PIFer and let them know you’ve received it. Or at least post again in the original PIF thread to let everyone know you’ve received it.
Also, it’s nice to know how you like it. So after you’ve used it a couple times, post about your experiences with it and if you like it or not. This is not a requirement, but it is appreciated.

4) No Whining
PIFs will be given in a manner decided by the PIFer. Do not complain that you think it was run or awarded unfairly; nobody loves a spoil sport. Be happy for the person who did win. If you did not win this time, there will always be another.

5) Pay It Forward
Don’t let the kind gesture stop at you. It doesn’t have to be right away, but at a moment in the future when you are able to, Pay It Forward.

6) This is not a rule, this is just TheVez2’s take on a PIF. A PIF is a give back to the community as a whole, through one recipient at a time. When you accept a PIF you are accepting to be part of the B&B community. Nobody likes to see someone win their PIF, then run off and never be heard from again. We’d rather see our recipient grow with and learn from the site. Just something to think about.

Happy PIFing!
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Thanks guys. I actually did put a lot of thought into it. Took me two days to write it. Hope I covered everything.

Feel free to point people to this post in the future. A link will be in my sig, if you forget where it is.
Just one quibble - the second use of PIF you mention is normally called a "pass around". Might be a little less confusing to stick with that term?
Just one quibble - the second use of PIF you mention is normally called a "pass around". Might be a little less confusing to stick with that term?
Concur, it is normally called a pass around or just a pass, but they have been called PIFs in the past as well. I'm not saying a Pass should be called a PIF, just trying to highlight the uses of the term. I'll reword it to add that fact. Thanks.
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However, this activity is normally called a pass around or just a pass (e.g. a razor pass, brush pass, soap pass, etc).
I recall a particularly memorable (for me) scuttle pass which introduced me to the whole concept of a pass around. Good times.
Wish we had this thread a few weeks back when I was learning all the acronyms :laugh: The generosity on here is fantastic!
1) Do not ask for someone to PIF you an item. No Panhandling!

No kidding!

I have had this happen a couple of times. It AUTOMATICALLY guarantees that the offender will not get anything from me.

I had a guy ask for a free $20 puck out of the blue, no dice. However, I just cut it in half and PIFfed another member who was making a general inquiry about the soap.
This is well stated and make me glad I am a part of this mature and charitable community. This place is so full of knowledge I can't wait to learn more, as I visit every day.
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