Question about an Ebay seller

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lraisch

Member
Jul 4, 2011
101
0
Has anyone had any experience with an Ebay seller called Great-Estate-Pipes?
They currently have a Caminetto listed as an early production piece, but I question that description.

While I am no expert, the logo on the stem and the stamping does not correspond with the pipes that I bought new back in the 70s.
Opinions?

 

daveinlax

Preferred Member
May 5, 2009
1,054
0
WISCONSIN
should be trusted 110%. He knows his stuff.
Always do your homework. A seller only has so much time to spend on a pipe and I would always do my own research.
I've bought a couple of pipes from Chance. I thought hard about a Castello because the stain did not look right but the "shape" was close to spot on in what trips my trigger in that shape number so I put in a low bid a won. As I suspected from the photos the stain was really nice but not even close to any other Castello have. I asked him the next week about it at a show and he said he did not stain it.
IMO his bowl coating is better than Coopers and it looks like a new pipe but you never know what is under it. I would buy from him again but restored pipes always make me nervous. 8O

 

dmcmtk

Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
2,896
18
A very well respected seller, but I would agree, that pipe with the "big mustache" stem logo looks like a later pipe.
http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-c1.html

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,609
111
Chance has a great reputation, and he's been interviewed about his expertise in restoration.
My only reservation with heavily restored pipes is that it often masks a pipe's history, prior condition, and potential issues and the restoration is never detailed. For that reason, I prefer to buy my estates unrestored, and either do the work myself, or send it to someone that I trust. At least I know what I've got.

 

pitchfork

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
3,800
2
He has a good reputation. I've bought from him several times and would again. But if you're a collector of a particular brand or maker, you probably know more than most sellers on ebay. As Daveinlax says, do your own homework.

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,718
5
Robinson, TX.
Another nod for what daveilax had to say. It is hard to be a pipe expert on every brand (or, in my case, any brand). I've had to take back pipes over the years that brand collectors, after seeing the pipe first-hand, noted something that I missed that caused a mis-representation on my part. A reputable re-seller will always take back a pipe the customer is not happy with and I do believe that Chance has a return policy in place. He's also as honest as they come and has a great reputation. So, no worries dealing with great-estate-pipes.
And, of course, there are some collectors out there who perceive themselves to be experts of a particular brand and will return pipes for crazy reasons. I had a guy send back a group-5 Dunhill that was near new. He said that he was an "expert" Dunhill collector and that the chamber had been re-bored. He told me that Dunhill never drilled chambers larger than .75 of an inch on their group-5 pipes and that the one I sent to him had obviously been re-bored as the chamber width was .80. Shame on me for missing that. :(

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
1
And, of course, there are some collectors out there who perceive themselves to be experts of a particular brand and will return pipes for crazy reasons. I had a guy send back a group-5 Dunhill that was near new. He said that he was an "expert" Dunhill collector and that the chamber had been re-bored. He told me that Dunhill never drilled chambers larger than .75 of an inch on their group-5 pipes and that the one I sent to him had obviously been re-bored as the chamber width was .80. Shame on me for missing that. :(
Good to hear from the sellers perspective, and Pipestud, that'd be a great chapter in your book because I know you have alot more ebay stories (many of which are absolutely hilarious) :)
I'm always paranoid when selling a pipe, either here or on ebay, just because I know how damn finicky pipesmokers can be, myself included LOL and just waiting for the shoe to drop and have the hassle of a return...hell, answering the onslaught of questions in most cases is a very laborious task! :!:
reminds me of something I read that was writ by Frenchy,

he was before my time but he was a very well regarded estate pipe seller,

P&T featured this story in Vol.8 #4 Winter 2004,

I really gotta kick outta readin' it and enjoyed his writin' style as well...
...gonna transcribe it here because I duggit so much!
Fancy-Schmancy!

No sense in buyin' a Benz when all ya need is a lift to work

Some thoughts from a casual Internet pipe dealer
by Kendal (Frenchy) Franceschi
I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a pipe expert. Hell, I ain't even an expert-in-waitin' if ya know what I mean. I wouldn't know a hunka Grecian briar from a slice of pizza. Mattera fact, the Grecian briar might taste like a slice of pizza for all I know. What I find really interestin' is how many people of the pipester persuasion actually do know what the difference is between one briar an' another. Or at least, they think they do. I'm a tad suspicious of those people, to tell ya the honest-to-God truth. It's like wine connoisseurs:
"This Châteauneuf du Pape is corky. Away with it, insolent Wine Stewart (an' how do they know the wine guy's name is Stewart anyhow?). Bring some breads to cleanse my offended palate!"
Geez, chug-a-lug a bottle of Ripple, hoss, an' relax fer gosh' sake, it's fermented grape juice. Listen, a crummy bottle of wine ain't gonna end the world as we know it, Mojambo.
Same way with pipes. Some pipe lovers take this stuff r-e-e-eally serious, pal:
"Yesss, and precisely where is the draft hole located, may I inquire?" they sniff.
"Uh, right there at the bottom of the bowl thingie. Y'know, underneath where ya'd put the tobacco? Ain't that where they all are?" I whine.
"Yes, yes, but is it centered at precisely 9 centimeters from the chamber to the beginning of the shank?"
"Huh? What the hell're ya talkin' about?"
"...and, when using a caliper, what is the exact measurement between the graining and inner wood, and what is the rate of smoke released by the intake manifold in proportion to the Johnson rod?"
"Huh? Hey, I measure my pipes with a red plastic ruler, so I don't think..."
"Is the nomenclature stamped with the patent number and are there any dashes or exclamation points visible when looking down the shank sideways with a loupe, or does one need to read the nomenclature in the usual way - i.e., standing barefoot on the kitchen floor while doing the Macarena and spinning the cat around in a clockwise manner? Must I be squinting in the direction of London and chanting 'Alfred, Alfred' in order to..."
"Whoa, e-e-e-easy big fella. These are only pipes, fer Chris'sake. Hunks a wood widda hole in 'em."
Yeah buddy, lotsa pipe guys, male and female, don't find nothin' funny about them pipes. 'Specially English pipes. Mama mia, does that subject ever get 'em stirred up. Look, I have no clue what alla them numbers on Dunhills mean. Not the foggiest notion. OK, I do know that one of the numbers has to do with size but, jumpin' Upshalls, which number an' the size of what? The tobacco chamber? I never even knew until recently it was called that. I simply thought it was the inside of the freakin' bowl. Is it the size or the capacity? An' is there a difference? Is it number 6 in length, width an' depth, whatever the hell that might mean; or is size 6 the capacity of the bowl?
My pipes ain't got no capacity other than bein' pipes that I stick tobacco in until they're fulla tobacco. Then I fire 'em up and puff. Geez. I think the American Indians jammed some tobacco in a hole in the ground, stuck their kisser in it an' sucked. That's gotta be the cheapest pipe ever created an' it worked perfect. Prob'ly never got tongue-bite, neither. Nah, I'm a peasant, I guess. But it seems to me that most of the pipe-smokin' population is more peasantlike than snooty, goody-two-pipes types.
Ain't the vast majority smokin' Captain Black in a Dr. Grabow? They usually got a collection of two briars an' a cob, which they never clean, ever, an' a three-pipe rack. After they've smoked them babies to a fare-thee-well, their heirs sell the remains of what used to at least resemble pipes on eBay (to me, usually). The bits look to have been chewed on by really hungry squirrels an' the cake is so thick on 'em ya gotta blast it off with a nuclear weapon.
So, are they lesser pipesters just 'cause they never had nothin' made in England in their kissers but kidney pie (yuck)? Nay, say I! They are the backbone of the pipe people (sounds like aliens from the planet Pipus). So what's wrong with smokin' Sir Walter Raleigh? Huh? I ask ya? Nothin' wrong with it, 'cept it don't taste anywhere near as good as Nightcap. 'An what's the big deal with la-di-da English pipes? Are they any better'n a good 'ol Medico? I'm sayin' a big fat no, bubba! Them cheesy pipes are every bit as good as any doggone English pipe ya ever stuck in yer kisser - 'cept the English pipes, um, taste, uh, better.
So what am I sayin'?
I...I'm not really sure anymore. I suppose if ya got the do-re-mi ya ought ta go for the best freakin' pipe ya can, 'cause it'll taste good...or not. It just ain't that easy, is it? I stay right around the midrange myself.
Now, by "midrange" I mean nothin' over a hundred bucks. When ya get up there over that, ya gotta worry about not hurtin' the pipe. Ya know, ya don't wanna drop a $300 pipe in the paint yer usin' to paint the walls in the family room. I figure it'll hurt like a sonofabitch to lose a $100 Stanwell, but I'd get over it someday; if a $500 Dunhill fell in a can a'paint, it'd make me suicidal. I'd be forced to take my exasperations out on my dog, Norman. An' poor 'ol Norman, in between my maniacal ravings, would be tryin' to figure out why in the name of Rin Tin Tin I was smokin' a powder-blue Rhodesian and why the smoke was comin' outta my ears insteada my pie hole.
So, for me, nothin' too pricey. I'd be scared a'breakin' it. And, conversely, nothin' so cheap it'd taste like plastic when ya smoked it. Ya just gotta find that zone where ya like it enough to smoke it but not enough to be lookin' for tall buildins to leap off if ya broke it.
High ends? Eh, who needs 'em when they're nice low-end pipes around fer practically nothin' an' they smoke just fine. Although, I won an auction on eBay once 'an the pipe that came was made outta some kinda material I'd never seen a pipe made out of before.

Is briar supposed to melt?
8)

 

pipestud

Preferred Member
Dec 6, 2012
1,718
5
Robinson, TX.
LOL!
I remember that article and thanks for bringing it back, mrlowercase. Frenchy was always full of humor and a very nice guy, to boot.
Pipestud

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,838
7
Great article misterlowercase! Thanks for reprinting it. The article says what a lot of us think.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,940
112
I don't do ebay, but this thread is really interesting in assessing one ongoing ebay retailer. It's a cruel market for customers without much information. That's why I'd steer new pipe smokers away from that source, unless we're talking pipes in the $5 to $20 bidding range where you might afford to lose your bet. But you guys know the product and the players and make out very well indeed. Seems like newbies are just shark bait.

 

peteguy

Preferred Member
Jan 19, 2012
1,092
0
But he takes returns.
I think those that are looking for good pipes appreciate it when an ebay seller has a return policy. It seems that most ebay sellers that get brought up here, at least those that are thought highly of, have a 14 day return policy/buyer pays return shipping/pipe must not be smoked. That seems to be the usual fare by my count anyway.
Anyone who knows or does any selling on ebay should also know that buyers can file a claim, that the item was not as described, and get their money back for any stupid reason they can come up with. You could just say that the "item is not as described because the pipe is only 4" long and not the 5 1/2" the seller listed in the auction". You then show a pic of a tape measure from the shank to the end of the stem showing 4". Buyer wins. Ebay employees don't give a rats backside - they get paid by the hour.
I read on another forum a few years ago that someone filed a claim because the pipe smelled like tobacco and wasn't listed as such in the auction. It is just basically a rule that anyone who has buyers remorse uses to their advantage. I don't think that was its intent but that is how it has morphed in today's greedy world.
I buy from ebay as long as there are lots of good photos from lots of angles and plenty of clear information. Great-Estate-Pipes falls in the middle for me. Not enough photos and the information is just to basic - not everything can be "MINT", "SUPERB" etc.

 

iamn8

Preferred Member
Sep 8, 2014
4,253
0
Moody, AL
Yeah I just meant that he's a blue chip seller meaning been around a long time with Sterling rep. If you buy a pipe and it's not what you thought he accepts it back unsmoked. If he filed claims he'd not have that flawless rep. He's a VERY safe bet.

 

okiescout

Preferred Member
Jan 27, 2013
1,530
0
"I buy from ebay as long as there are lots of good photos from lots of angles and plenty of clear information. Great-Estate-Pipes falls in the middle for me. Not enough photos and the information is just to basic - not everything can be "MINT", "SUPERB" etc."
+1 Peteguy.
Passed on a Winslow I really wanted this week end for those very reasons.The folks who are honest go out of there way to make sure you can see any problems or are quite specific or both. A return policy goes way down the road when it comes to confidence in a seller. I have never returned a pipe, but have had two which I felt were not right, but I was learning and I did not do what I should have on my end either, so I wrote them off as a seminar. Does not happen anymore. It is a tough job dealing with the public. I believe you treat folks like you want to be treated, and I buy from gentlemen like this because they do too.