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Should I Rethink How I Sell Pipes....?

(25 posts)
  1. zack24

    zack24

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    OK...I'm pleasantly surprised...I had one of my best Authors for sale in Chicago for $255...which I typically sell to guys on this forum for $235. A dealer in Chicago bought 3 pipes at wholesale and auctioned my Author on Ebay... and it sold for $308....I never thought EBay was a good route for pipe makers- I just changed my mind!....and did anyone on the Forum pick it up? http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-UNSMOKED-ZACK-HAMRIC-MORTA-BOG-OAK-WIDE-CHUBBY-AUTHOR-American-Estate-Pipe-/401335866327?hash=item5d717b53d7%3Ag%3AtbQAAOSwYvFZKh%7E1&nma=true&si=V%252BL47ZrJXpbEpSdZQ%252FLwv5ipF34%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. aquadoc

    aquadoc

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    The problem with ebay is that it seems to be all about timing. I have seen some great pipes go for ridiculously low final bids and others are in the stratosphere because of a bidding "I win" war. But some of the veterans probably know better than I do...

    "If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and sex, you don't actually live longer; it just seems that way."
    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. jefff

    jefff

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    There are SO many carvers now. I went the Chicago show and I was completely overwhelmed, and I am not used to being overwhelmed.

    I think I'd give ebay a shot as long as your pictures are exceptional.

    Good luck!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. ashdigger

    ashdigger

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    My opinion is leave eBay to the dogs. Just keep doing what you're doing. UNLESS you just do Buy It Now. Then you won't get hurt.

    Ubi Ignis Est?
    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. jefff

    jefff

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    ^^^ excellent point.

    Posted 2 years ago #
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    oldgeezersmoker

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    Seller has a following, but there is absolutely no reason why a pipe maker can't develop one with good service and pictures.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. buckaroo

    buckaroo

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    I'd buy one of your pipes. Always thought they were already spoken for or something as I've never seen them offered. Been to your website a few times too. Authors are popular... To me that auction price means it could have sold BIN for $345.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. zack24

    zack24

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    Always thought they were already spoken for or something as I've never seen them offered. Been to your website a few times too

    It's a tough one- we have 3 businesses that really ring our bell and it's a challenge finding time for updating the website- I'll be doing that in the next few days with around 20 pipes...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. ssjones

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    I was watching that one, your name has some catchet!

    Al

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. zack24

    zack24

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    your name has some catchet!

    I've been called worse!...:)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. stvalentine

    stvalentine

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    Ebay is the biggest marketplace of the world - period! Go for the BIN option and you even might want to choose the "make an offer" option too, so the tightpockets can have their discount. Good quality always sells, even on Ebay.

    "Ride it like you stole it!"

    The Old Swede
    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. sjmiller

    sjmiller

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    Website? I knew you made pipes but was unaware that you sold them. I just figured you had a huge collection of your own pipes.

    Abbot of the Apostles of St. Bruno
    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. zack24

    zack24

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    I'm a little slower than usual because we've been so busy with our day job, but I'm still making around 25 pipes a year....Hope to scale back on one of our businesses in the next year or so and start making more...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. scrooge

    scrooge

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    I know you can't advertise your site zack24, but some body else can post it for us. I think. I found it but no pictures on the site.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. mso489

    mso489

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    Beautiful pipe, and worth every bit of $308. But should you go for selling all your offered pipes fast or for top price? I don't use ebay because much digital tech gives me the hives, but the beauty of it is, you can move in and out of that market pretty quickly. Well, I can't, but anyone without a cyber disability can. So I'd sell a few pipes, one at a time, and observe carefully what you can do to end up ahead. The other aspect is dealing with the public and pay pal with fewer controls and even less accountability, so that's another part of the equation. I think your sales to Forums members are wise; it's a good cohort with many knowledgable people, so you built recognition, and that's worth taking a incremental lower price, at least in the short term. Do what encourages your beautiful work. Few or nobody is chasing a fortune with pipes, not even the $2K a pipe carvers. But you're turning some classics there, and deserve a good price.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. georged

    georged

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    This thread is unnecessary...

    Zack, just put each month's workshop output into a case, hand it to Greta, say, "Go find some buyers for these, please," and sit back.

    Twenty minutes ought to do it. A half hour, max.

    After which she will rush in the front door with a big, wide-eyed smile, and say, "Honey, look at this!" holding bundles of hundreds and an empty case.

    She will be forever mystified, of course, but that's OK.

    Dogs live such short lives... and spend most it waiting for us to come home
    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. zack24

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    I found it but no pictures on the site.

    That's really weird- all the pictures disappeared! I'll just forced a reload and it works...Thanks for letting me know...

    just put each month's workshop output into a case, hand it to Greta, say, "Go find some buyers for these

    George, that's always been my strategy at pipe shows- Buy a pipe and get a free picture with Greta...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. sasquatch

    sasquatch

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    Zack, eBay is weird this way, right? You can see an estate Peterson go for more than used, and I'm not talking about antiques or limited runs. Sellers credentials, good pictures, a little story go a long way on eBay. My estates go for more than my new prices on eBay through certain vendors, and it's flattering, but you have to think long term here. Yeah, you can jack your prices up. Every time you do, someone new will see you as "higher grade" than you were before, but you also cut the bottom end of your buyers out. The rarified air of the 500-1000 dollar pipe crowd is thin man - I've always said that Joe Sixpack buys a LOT of pipes. All depends on who you want to sell to, and how many of those people you think there are.

    But it is bizarre and entertaining to watch a pipe you sold for 300 bucks go for 350 used. Whaddya do??

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. wyfbane

    wyfbane

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    Congrats on that sale. The exposure is a good thing.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. zack24

    zack24

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    Congrats on that sale. The exposure is a good thing.

    Thanks! I have a couple of commissions I'm doing of that shape and it would have been a bit embarrassing to have a really lousy auction price...

    The rarified air of the 500-1000 dollar pipe crowd is thin man

    I thought Sasquatches liked rarified air?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. ssjones

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    I can share Zack's site. I think part of his success is that folks think Greta actually makes the pipes.
    http://www.zhamricpipes.com/

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. sasquatch

    sasquatch

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    Sasquatches like rarified air, but we like eating too, and selling 300 dollar pipes to smokers rather than trying to sell 800 dollar pipes to collectors is part of my business model. There are other successful business models in the pipe world.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. warren

    warren

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    I guess it depends on your goal. If you want to make money, explore. Go where the money is. If the goal is to eventually support yourself and family, or augment retirement, explore every avenue. ROI! That's the key.

    You still hold the distinction of making the only pipe I would have purchased on the net. What a beauty it was.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. wyfbane

    wyfbane

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    I'm super glad I called dibs on the second half of that morta block.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. daveinlax

    daveinlax

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    I've seen some guys selling through consignment sellers on eBay. They get way more eyes worldwide than most web shop, selling collectives or social media ever would. IMO it's gotta be better than wholesale (other than getting featured by Smokingpipes)

    Posted 2 years ago #

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