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Fluctuations in the pipe value continuum

Discussion in 'Pipes' started by Sasquatch, Aug 5, 2012.

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  1. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    I'm a chronic PAD guy, I don't buy lots of pipes, but I am always sniffing.

    In the last few years, some really weird stuff has happened. One is, Radice pipes got somehow dealt by another distributor and the result is that the price dropped by about 1/2. People buying 500 dollar Radice pipes were seeing similar pipes for 275 and the folks paying 275 were seeing similar for 175 all of a sudden. That puts a weird kink in the Italian pipe market.

    Castello prices are totally unaffected, but they still sell through a retail/distributor setup. Ser Jacopo on the other hand, a guy can also now pick up much cheaper than before. Not quite as steep as Radice's dropoff, but you can pick up Ser Jacs on eBay for 2/3 of the asking price on smokingpipes for example, pretty often. I just picked up a new Delecta sandblast for 170 bucks, for example.

    Just chased a pretty good looking but obviously pre-enjoyed Sasieni 4 dot to the 300 dollar mark (actually I got out earlier than that). Secret's out on those old bad boys, I guess! No more 150 dollar Sasieni pickups!

    Artisan and would-be Artisan pipes are up in value - seems like a lot of people are choosing to spend less often on better pipes, and there's a wave of new carvers hot on my heels. I've been at this only a few years and suddenly I feel like an old man in the carving world. It's amazing. And it's going to be the death of more of the big companies - Stanwell already had to radically change it's operation, and I think Peterson is going to have to do something similar - you can see what is happening with them - strategically, they are selling more entry-level pipes (Kapet series for example) and trying to sell more high-end pipes as well (offering Titanic, dracula, Darwin, and just about anything else you could think of as a special occassion sort of models). The mid grade market is stiff. 120 for a Peterson? Gosh, I could buy a handmade Radice for that almost!

    A really interesting few years it's been, and I think the next 10 are going to be even more so.
     
  2. taharris

    taharris Sales Account

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    I think that with the way the economy is going today it comes doen to value.

    You can buy a Dunny for $500+ and get a great pipe or you can buy a well made artisan pipe for half the price and get comparible, if not better smoking qualities. And if you are willing to wait you can have that pipe custom made.

    Makes a lot of sense to me.

    Todd
     
    Spillproof likes this.
  3. Prof

    Prof Member

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    I have seen pipe values just rock inconsistent for a while now...it seems like freehands are going for rock star prices more these days, when a year ago you could pick them up cheaply as they were not "in style"...but I have seen Castellos go for big $, but then turn around and sell nice hawkbills or rare Canadians for 120$, which just blow me away. Ser Jacs for 70$? Just saw a smooth military mount (silver spigot) Ferndown 3* to for 125, 150 total with shipping...huh? I think deals are out there, just weird knowing which will be stupid money and which not. Fun to watch, but I can't figure trends any more...
     
  4. furious

    furious Junque collector

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    Yes, the estate market is all over the place now. A patent Sasieni runs anywhere from $30 with insanely good luck on ebay, all the way up to $500 for an unsmoked pipe. Usually I call it quits at a C-note, unless PAD is going nuts then all bets are off. I suppose it comes down to being in the right place at the right time, but as more and more of these diamonds in the rough are snapped up by guys like me who plan on smoking the hell outta them for the next 50 years, the supply of quality estates will continue to dwindle, thus forcing prices even higher.
     
    Pschoppy48 likes this.
  5. Vaquero

    Vaquero Member

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    Aug 22, 2011
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    Today has been an interesting day on the 'Bay, that's for sure. For being unable to handle a pipe and inspect it up close, there are some guys willing to pay quite a bit. I'm looking for an estate Stanwell right now, and those are cheap as hell compared to everything else!
     
  6. Old Codger

    Old Codger Well-Known Member

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    As with so many other products the distribution channels for pipes are going through changes. It's a tough call for the manufacturer to make. The online direct sales by some of the smaller manufacturers have got to be getting noticed by the larger players. . Many factors go in to that analysis. Peterson could probably go direct in the EU for much of it's product but at the lower pricepoints shipping costs for a single pipe might equal the price of the pipe, so not happening. In North America the landscape is changing fairly quickly. What percentage of the new pipes sold under $100 are sold online as against via B&M? $100-200, $200+? The days of the distributors and retailers working on the margins they're used to is coming to an end. It's just far too easy for anyone with internet access to price check multiple sources. I know of online sales being done in other industries by employees of the manufacturers with the profit being divvied up. As to the estate market, there are plenty of guys my age going horizontal and their collections, vast or miniscule, are showing up in the market rather than being lost in a box"for sentimental reasons" or trashed as used to be the case. Specific models or marques of pipes, cars or anything else that has been produced in any quantity will go through ups and downs in the market.
    In what is still an unstable economy I'd expect the prices of the estate pipes to swing pretty wildly. If there are 25 xyz pipes in existence perhaps one will get top dollar, the next 10 will get a slightly lower price, and so on until someone else comes along that absolutely "has to have it" and then the cycle repeats. The true Artisan pipes that are very well made and gain a reputation for quality and value will continue to take market share. Wouldn't surprise me in the least to see what happened to the the beer market over the past 20 years be mirrored by the pipe market. The "craft" beer market isn't the little piece of the pie that most people think it is.
     
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  7. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Member

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    While the mid grades of regular pipes have been struggling on the new market it seems that the mid grade estates such as some GBD; Guildhsll and Everymans from Comoys, Caminettos, and Ben Wades, for example are getting harder to get a great deal on especially on eBay. It's a nutty market I have been thinking of starting a modest collection of a lower British line like BBB, or a lower Italian line like Lorenzo but wouldn't be surprised if good examples of these start going for over 100 especially when you factor in the higher shipping costs to Canada.
     
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  8. Hudson

    Hudson Member

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    There's no coincidence that this has happened just since I entered the marketplace. I feel single-handedly responsible for causing a critical shift in the supply/demand ratio for pipes in the under $40 category and apparently this has caused ripples throughout the price ranges. I apologize for my carelessness and am seeking help of the multi-step variety.
     
  9. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    Thanks a lot Hudson!
     
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