New versus estate pipes

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.
Peterson Tobacco Ad
.

Log in

Search on Site

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.

Recent Posts

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

.

.
Status
Not open for further replies.

brudnod

Preferred Member
Aug 26, 2013
938
0
Great Falls, VA
As a member who checks-out eBay estate pipes on a regular basis I have wondering if some estate pipes are worth their full "as new" value at time of sale. Factors include:
- Availability of the pipe brand or particular style (some makers are no longer, such as Åge Bogelund)

- Condition of pipe (obviously some pipes have been abused but others are pristine AND include box and sock)

- Age (collectible pipes are more collectible with time)

- Maturity (by this I mean a good cake and otherwise obviously well maintained)

- Type of tobacco smoked (some of us would be horrified if a pipe had an aromatic ghost; others English)
The reason for asking is that there are certain pipes, such as Petersons, which are produced in abundance, are admittedly rather consistently good smokers, often have a lovely silver band but are otherwise in very common condition AND are selling for near new prices. Why is this? Not talking about deceptive advertising; just pipes that are well represented but just not special.
Thoughts?

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,805
2,335
I will only pay up to $100 on any pipe other than my commissioned Weavers, but alot of the noise for estates, is brand, grain, condition, and I think alot of scalping.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,705
1,088
spencer, that's a really interesting point. Some estate pipes seem to demand prices that are surprisingly near

new pipe price. I also wonder, looking at some of the higher estate pipe prices, if customers compare what

they could buy for that same $375 and really think the elevated name and maybe some historical panache

really beats the benefits of a good buy on a new pipe at the same price. There are certainly savings to be

had with estate pipes over new pipes, but at any given price the benefits versus the down side seems somewhat

subjective. Some are devoted to estate pipes and own nothing else. It's almost a philosophical question.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
1
Moody, AL
If I'd purchased only new pipes my collection would look DRAMATICALLY different than it does. For example, my Kent Rasmussen If purchased new would've cost well over 3k. My much adored Dunhill 5128 Diplomat Dress would've cost me well above a grand. By purchasing USED pipes I save, on average, around 60%. If I won the lottery tomorrow i'd still only buy used pipes. I just can't justify paying new prices with the taste in pipes I have. Buying from the blue chip eBay sellers who all accept returns, is perfectly safe, even more so than if I bought new. I can't think of a single rational reason to buy a new pipe.... But to each his/her own :wink:

 

pylorns

Preferred Member
Aug 20, 2013
1,964
12
Austin
I have noticed that over the past couple years Peterson Pipes have increased in their resale value on ebay. Not sure what the trend is, I guess just more pipe smokers.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,553
427
Also, there are collectors of Peterson or other marques exclusively. Even a rather mundane looking pipe may be needed for such a collection. Get two such collectors bidding against each other and the sky's the limit.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,705
1,088
iamn8 makes a solid case for estate pipes, if you want only really high end pipes and you aren't wealthy

such that you can comfortably buy them new, it's the only choice. Since I savor my Yello-Bole Checker

and Kaywoodie Saxon as well as medium and somewhat higher priced pipes, that wouldn't apply so much

to me, but I take the point. If you want to drive a Rolls Royce and you aren't ready to spend $400,000 on

a new one, used is the clear option.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,909
921
People buy what they buy for a wide variety of reasons. If your reasoning is purely pragmatic, then a few cobbs, perhaps a couple of briars and a few blends are all you need to have a fabulous experience.
To the extent that one varies off of this base, other factors are involved. I buy on the estate market because most of the pipes that interest me are no longer made. I like the older shapes, the finer grades of wood, the different cutting styles and grain patterns that are no longer followed, and the history that surrounds some of these pieces. I do buy the occasional new pipe and commission a few as well. But by and large I buy used, look for the best value that I can get, win some, lose some, and keep a healthy skepticism toward claims.
The market for estate pipes has exploded. Before the financial meltdown of 2007 there were on average about 5000 pipes listed on eBay on any given day. Now it's more like 30,000. And there are a lot more buyers hunting for estates, and for specific areas in the estate market. This drives prices up. When the next financial meltdown hits, as it will, you will have your opportunity to buy some currently pricey stuff for less, a LOT less. Just be patient.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
1
Moody, AL
Sable, I'm holding you to that!! When is the meltdown gonna happen? I might open a savings account specifically for the occurrence. Forgetting about all the obvious bad, what a terrific time for those who love the nice pipes for the sake of the pipe and not the value. I'm trying to put a positive spin on a financial meltdown :D

 

brass

Preferred Member
Jun 4, 2014
1,840
0
United States
Derfargin, congrats on the 1K mark in posts. Regarding your comment, I agree that a fair price is any price the parties agree to - with the exception that the product and circumstances around the product are presented accurately and completely and any defects or factors affecting value are disclosed.
If a car was submerged in a flood, it should be disclosed to the potential purchaser.
What is isn't so clear is what are the ethical obligations a buyer has to educate an ignorant seller, e.g., the widow who is offering a decent Dunhill that her recently deceased husband owned and asks if $20 is to much? Would it make a difference if it were an Uncle that had passed away?
I recently paid $56.00 for 8oz of Stonehaven. I know the MSRP is $39.95, give or take a few cents. But I willingly paid the price. (The vendor did not tell me what the MSRP was)
But to the main point, I'm convinced some new pipes are vastly over-priced as are some estates. And there are very good values, even in common factory made pipes. There is a point where the value lies in the eyes of the beholder. I guess eBay makes it's money on this dynamic.
So, much for my two cents worth. (the going market price for advice. past performance is not a predictor of current or future value)
Pax

 

dukdalf

Member
Aug 24, 2011
239
0
The estate business is indeed a source of wonder and laughter and not only at the higher end: I've seen completely chewed-up, battered and burned 5-dollar pipes change hands for double, the buyer happily investing another five in sandpaper, alcohol and cleaners and what have you. Rational reasoning is excluded in all cases where a pipe is involved, would be my conclusion.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
1
Moody, AL
I posted this elsewhere, but it's après po here.

Early on I made a goal to locate a Dunhill from my fathers birth year of 1944, not thinking it through enough to realize how difficult this would be. It took daily searches to find one and it's the only 1944 I've seen then or since. It went under the radar due to a misspelling. I'd have paid 3x what I ended up paying. If I had, there most certainly would've been talk of the crazy price it went for. You never know people's motivations. If there'd been two of us vying for it... Who knows

 

condorlover1

Preferred Member
Dec 22, 2013
3,692
453
New York
I have noticed the price of meerschaum 'cutty' pipes has sky rocketed recently out all proportion to reality. I smoke these things and I am totally blown away by the multiples some of these things are fetching. Meerschaum 'cutty' Church Wardens without the case are selling for a tad under $350 on Oi Vay and the amber stems are totally fecked and in some cases have been shortened due to breakage and then glued in place. I have always purchased estate meerschaums in this style as someone else has broken them in for you. The meerschaum is well and truly cured and hard with a large chunk of the coloring done for you by someone else a hundred years ago and you get a unique style that is not made today. As Sablebrush comments there is an awful lot of dross on the market right now and I for one will not pay up for something that will need to be sent immediately to Tim West or Briarville to be fixed before it can be smoked. At present unless the item is extremely choice I have stopped buying across the board since I think the prices are certainly due for a correction. Some of the prices being asked for Dunhill's and the like are nothing short of insane. We all remember the auction a few months ago for the little Dunhill pipe that sold for insane amounts of wonga!

 

allan

Preferred Member
Dec 5, 2012
2,429
0
Bronx, NY
All of the above points are valid including Sable's mention of 2 bidders in a room and watch the prices fly.
I was at an auction where inexperienced buyers went into a frenzy, bidding on a small machine for more than the price of a new machine. (Ring stretcher-jewelry tool). I turned to someone next to me and said this is nuts and would have walked out except I purchased one piece of equipment no one else cared about for $5.00.
In the last 2 years or so, I've noticed fleabay prices climbing and as long as there are willing buyers, I guess that's the way it is. I don't think I have enough years left to wait for the next crash.
IMHO, as a rule, the 'estate' market, as long as one doesn't care about someone else's usage and being grossed out, is the best value if you are a smart shopper.

 

pipebaum81

Preferred Member
Nov 23, 2014
625
2
iamn8, as someone who's never procured an estate (yet) I would tell you I like buying new because the pipe's story is mine alone. Both through practical use as well as sentimental journey, I know where it's been, how it was cared for etc. With that said, I am in the market for estates for the precise reason sable offered; the older vintages that offer quality as well as legacy-style that are no longer available have virtue in my mind.
This forum has those that see to really put a lot into "breaking in" a pipe. I would imagine that buying a fully seasoned pipe would have some monetary value. Sorta like the crowd that buys a faded and or torn pair of jeans at full price. I get that they don’t want to put in the time to get to the worn vintage look that they just need now but to me if something is used it should be at a lesser value than new except in the case that age enhances its performance as an functional item. This may put me in a different crowd than most but hey, I'll be ok.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,553
427
Smokers as a class are aging. Therefore, heirs looking for a buck, will now days sell pipes as opposed to simply trashing them. More pipers are eating dirt, or soon will be, so more pipes are going to appear on-line, at estate sales and in hock shops.
With regards to the observation about buying used pipes for the lack of need to break-in. I suspect most of the pipes obtained this way are thoroughly cleaned and reamed, making the break-in necessary. A lot of buyers are cleaning, repairing and just generally refurbishing for resale. And, if the pipe is purchased to smoke, it will certainly get a thorough clean and ream as one never knows what the previous owner was putting in the bowl from either end. A well seasoned pipe takes a lot of work before in goes into buyer's mouth or back to eBay.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
1
Moody, AL
Pipebaum, there are many benefits in buying estate pipes and even more when you purchase them from the blue chip sellers. The Dunhill's I've procured from them, I'd be willing to bet a Dunhill pipe that you couldn't tell the difference between one of my unsmoked Dunhills and the "used" ones. They clean them with the hands of a surgeon. Now I can understand that to some, knowing it had been another's mouth might cause distress, but so has every eating utensil you've ever used in a restaurant. These guys clean and satanize, the blue chips, not every seller. An unsmoked pipe, never seen a flame can be had for a fraction of a new.

That said, I would advise all others to only purchase new pipes, never buy an estate pipe!! Our estates must come from those who buy them new and I don't wish to play a part in a deduction in supply. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking you should buy a new Dunhill Diplomat 6128 in a chestnut finish. You probably won't like it in which case you can simply sell it on eBay :D

Of course then there are the true vintage pipes. I've purchased quite a few pre-war Dunhills and post war. I won't state my opinion here, but obviously finding a new one is unlikely.

Happy Shopping PB!!

 
Status
Not open for further replies.