How Do You Estimate the Value of Your Tins?

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor


Oct 16, 2015
Sacramento, CA
I have spent a lot of time on eBay lately looking at prices being charged for different tins and it seems like there's no rhyme or reason to most of the asking prices. For most of the Buy It Now listings, it looks like the pricing strategy is to ask for the moon and hope someone bites.
So I'm curious to hear if anyone has a rule of thumb they use to estimate a monetary value on their unopened tins of tobacco as they age? For example, if I bought a newly-packed GL Pease tin of Quiet Nights for $10.63 in 2016, can I reasonably add 5% each year and hope to get $20 for it in 12 or 13 years? Or perhaps tins don't increase in value at all until they are considered "vintage" and then they increase 10% a year?
I realize that some blends will defy any standard that could be applied due to supply and demand (McClelland and Esoterica especially) so this question is more about an "average" tin.



Oct 16, 2015
Sacramento, CA
bassbug - not at all. I've never sold a tin of tobacco in my life. I'm a buyer/hoarder. But I am interested in the economics of the resale market.



Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
There are two ways that I employ in estimating value. The first is more mathematical. I take what I paid for teh tin and subtract 10% for every year that I have it in my cellar to follow the drop in value.
The second way, is that I take them all to the top of a stairway and dump the box out at the top step. Whatever rolls the farthest down the stairs gets full value. The rest are devalued by how far short they ended up from the bottom step.
If you can't tell, I think that if anyone values their tobacco to be above msrp, then good luck with that. People can charge what they want, but I'm not playing that game. :puffy:



Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
I am interested in the economics of the resale market.
It works just like any other product - supply and demand. You have people that think that because they aged a certain tin for 10 years, they can ask more than what they paid for if they sell it, as in charging for their effort of aging that tin. You don't find a 10 year old aged so and so blend on the market every they, so there may be a demand for aged tobacco. But then again, how can you be objective here? Are you going to take into account inflation just to determine what the value of you $ is now vs ten years ago? Give me a break... so it's a ballpark estimation that differs from individual to individual.
You have your rare tins, blends that have been interrupted - and while I never chased those, I hear that some 90s or 80s blends in Europe come up and the seller asks hundreds of euros ... :crazy: I guess that the Dunhill and McClelland craze works based on similar considerations, just because there is no market availability any more. Lack of supply spikes the price for the few goods left available.
Then your current blends, due to tariffs and taxes they have similar prices for domestic blends, and over the top prices for your foreign blends - but over all pretty evened out price wise.
Like bassbug mentioned, it's just a darn tobacco tin not you kid's college mutual fund. This being said, I think that cosmic's second method works best. :puffy:



Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
Pipestud or Maxim at pipes2smoke. Both are good bench marks for me. After a while you can get a general idea for the rare vs just the old/aged stuff vs the unobtainium. In my experiece, the Chinese buyers are where to look for the biggest margin. Some here know the contacts, they will pay nicely for rare and aged tins.



Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
I hope you did not take my question as any way offensive or insulting. I asked because here in Canada we have seen tobacco taxed to astronomical levels with no end in sight. It may just be a sound financial investment for us here in the Great White North :rofl:



Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
litup: It's the value you place on the item. Not the value the seller puts on it. Simply, what you are willing to pay is the value you should be concerned with. There is no "bluebook" for blends.



Preferred Member
Nov 7, 2018
Mesa, Arizona
I paid extra for some McClelland and Dunhill because I never had the chance to try it. Now that I tried it I won't buy it again. Just wanted to see what it was like.



Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2018
It is worth what they buyer thinks it is worth. Have you seen some of the consignment tins for sale at 4noggins?



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
Prices vary widely, even on unobtainium. A couple of years ago there was a fellow selling tins from his cellar at the WCPS. I picked up a few tins of out of production blends, and an 8oz tin of OBB from 2005. I paid between $40 and $50 for the tins. On the secondary market, these tins go for between $90 and $375 for the same stuff.

The seller knew he could get more, but he wasn't interested in gouging fellow pipe smokers. He had more in his cellar than he could use and disposed of 100 or so tins at the show.

Generally, tins bring less than retail unless they're legendary OOP, unobtainium, or some form of "star" blend. That may change in the future. Your stash might become worth quite a bit of money, or completely worthless, based on any number of scenarios. Tobacco isn't an investment vehicle. Too many variables.



Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2012
I don't know & don't want to step on your post, but..

I have 4-5 Dunhill blends that I want to get rid of.

I am liking VA only lately. Want to sell all at once.

They are still available so if P&C sells a tin for $10, how much should ask?

Litup, thanks for the post & sorry to jump in.



Jan 27, 2018
It's worth what someone will pay in cash plus shipping.
this, economics 101. If a 50gr. tin of penzance sells for anything more than $18, I don't get mad because it was clearly worth more to the buyer than it was to me. I don't mean to sound glib, but years ago when my econ professor explained opportunity cost, it changed my whole perspective of how I viewed pretty much everything.
But then again, I like PBR and Hamms, so life is pretty good!



Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2012
but he wasn't interested in gouging fellow pipe smokers.
This crap reminds me of when I went to a Rainbow Gathering during college. As soon as I got there, there was some derelict that wanted to siphon gas out of my car to get his van going that he drove 40 miles back into the mountains without enough gas. Rules about sharing have always been important in human society, but I really don't understand why some people think they should be treated like your next of kin, just because you are both pipe smokers. Regarding the OP, I think that Pipestud's page is good, you can also do an advanced search on Ebay to see what something actually sold for, but you will notice a surprising range even there. Like others mentioned, the Asian market is full of fat cats that want to pay big bucks just to have some unicorn in their collection. The hard part is many unicorns are unpredictable. Two years ago, you wouldn't have gotten 10 bucks for a tin of Frog Morton Cellar, but today they regularly sell for around 75. Go figure.



Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
Robinson, TX.
Litup, you've asked a question that I struggle with almost every day. As a re-seller of collectible pipe tobacco tins, the only thing I can tell you for sure is that pricing tins is not a "one size fits all" kind of thing. There are so many variables that I'd run out of cyber space trying to type them all in. A quick example of price point - a year 2004 two ounce tin of Pease Barbary Coast on my website would cost about $32. A year 2004 two ounce tin of Pease Bohemian Scandal would cost about $140. The blend and all of its variables is what makes the price.
I have been running my website for over 11-years, so I use my past sales as a point of reference and try to set a price that is fair to my buyer, my consignor and me. Hitting on all cylinders is very difficult and frankly, just isn't possible many times. Others here who have responded to your question by saying that the value is what someone is willing to pay for it is indeed the best answer.



Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
For clarification, my "attempted" humorous post about how I value "my" own tobaccos was... as stated... how I value my own tobaccos, because I won't ever sell my own tobaccos. How I value tobaccos that Pipestud posts is to decide how much I really want to try that blend, and if my wallet can easily take the hit. Sometimes it is easier to get with a group of friends and buy the tin to share together, as in friends from my pipe club.



Junior Member
Nov 13, 2018
Ebay is pretty much recognized as the price setter in today's world. Several private sellers have been mentioned here, but I don't think they represent the "going rate". Some of these private sellers sell too cheaply (McClelland comes to mind), while others ask ridiculously high prices.
I try to price my stuff about 15-20% less than "sold" prices on ebay. Most people say I am too high, so I will just keep my stash for several more years.