Dizzy Pipe Prices

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mumbles

New member
Jun 6, 2019
10
1
Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and to still dizzy to the world of pipe smoking. I have observed personally and through this forum that there are indeed “few of us” pipe smokers, sometimes even described as mystical beings. However pipe prices (new/estate) of established brands have been going up like rare art. Together with tougher legislation on tobacco, more artisan cravers, few pipe smokers, shouldn’t pipe prices be coming down? Many of the old tobacco shops are already out of business. I was hoping the trade war will bring down prices but ..no chance...

Or are the most of you stricken by bad cases of PAD, hoarding & driving up prices .... I think I “maybe” likewise afflicted in due course...
Cheers and Warm Regards!

 

sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
1,008
110
You can still get a kaywoodie for 35 bucks.
If I go buy a piece of briar for 40 bucks, and some rod for another 10/pipe (ebonite is 60/yard at least), nevermind my investment in tooling or the time it took me to learn to make a pipe - if I put in an 8 hour day and make a pipe.... Yeah, I need 300 bucks for it or I should have spent my day hammering nails, right?
Hopefully my 300 dollar pipe is better than a kaywoodie in certain ways, but the idea that you are somehow forced to pay crazy money for a pipe is not true. If you want a Dunhill, yeah, pony up.

 
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alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
2,587
2,520
Alaska
Watch the documentary "Father the Flame" on Amazon Prime (or on DVD). It will give you a little better idea of where the briar comes from, the process, and how much time/history/effort/knowledge goes into making artisan pipes, particularly sourcing the material and how much of it ends up being unusable.
It's also just a fun doc for a pipe smoker. As samsquanch and samgawith mentioned above, there are good smoking affordable factory pipes out there for sure. I'd rock those until you know which shapes you prefer, then if you could just invest in a few high end pipes in the shapes you really adore or use most often.

 

jjarrett88

New member
May 20, 2019
16
0
Allow me to introduce you to Morgan Bones Pipes. $40 for a solid Briar Pipe with an acrylic stem. Awesome customer service and a large following on Facebook with fellow boneheads.
https://www.morganpipes.com/store/p61/Bones_Pipes.html#/

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,995
1,212
High priced pipes aren't selling, at least that's what I've been told by contacts in the industry. Certain highly collectible pipes continue to find buyers, but that's the fringe of the fringe of the fringe of the fringe. Of course, it all depends on what you consider to be expensive, and what is important to you in terms of craftsmanship.
But overall, prices have either been steady for the past few years, or have been coming down. More pipe smokers are spending their discretionary funds on building cellars and less on buying pipes.

 

ebnash

New member
Jun 5, 2019
44
0
Los Gatos, CA
Agreed with all of the responses here. Like many here, ai started with MM cob, a Czech tool, and bundle of pipe cleaners for less than $20 on Amazon. From there, ai have purchased briars from $40 up to $500 so there are plenty of frugal options out ther, my friend.
Hell, on another forum I belong too, many new pipe smokers have come on asking for advice and had tobacco, supplies, and a briar sent to them as a welcome gift from multiple members.
Start small and if you like it, you will find yourself searching for pipes you intend to keep for life.

 

oldgeezersmoker

Preferred Member
Oct 7, 2016
1,331
272
But overall, prices have either been steady for the past few years, or have been coming down. More pipe smokers are spending their discretionary funds on building cellars and less on buying pipes.
Based on the last three years of buying a particular brand I know well on eBay, I would say premium examples are steady over the last year or so,maybe slightly higher over when I started looking in 2016.
But a ton of money has gone into tobacco of late. That has to have an impact on pipes.
But then again, I have heard the lament “High end pipes just aren’t selling” from people in the industry forever.

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,320
34
Las Vegas, NV
I spent last year down scaling the size of my collection and up scaling the quality of it.
This year I'm hoarding my favorite blends. I will not mention these blends as I'm trying to hoard them lol.

 

sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
1,008
110
My mantra as a pipe maker has been Joe Sixpack buys a lot of pipes. Joe SeriousCollector buys pipes too, but there's a lot more Joe Sixpacks, and they each buy more pipes, I know guys that buy a few pipes a month, in around 300 bucks. The market is a big pointy triangle - a very very few 10,000 dollar pipes up top, a few more but still rare 5,000 pipes, then a few more yet in the 2000-5000 territory, between 1000 and 2000 dollars there's actually a lot of pipes available, and I think that's a part of the market that guys are feeling pinched in. Between say 500 and 1000 again a lot available, and again, pinching. But between 200 and 500 dollars, I think there's still a lot of sales to be made.
Tobacco cellaring/hoarding/panic has hurt a bunch of guys I've talked to this year - money that might have discretionarily gone to pipes in the past is going to tobacco right now for a lot of dudes.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
17,244
3,290
I used to exclusively buy $500+ pieces, but found they smoked on par with pipes around $100. Then I discovered unsmoked estates could often be had for much less. There's a lot of work involved with hand made pipes, but I myself can no longer justify the expense. As far as the very expensive ones selling, I've watched a few higher end artisan pieces disappearing from SPC almost as soon as they are posted. Seems the market still has a bit of life in it.

 
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mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,998
1,707
A fine high-end pipe can be a beautiful thing, but if you study up with online retailers, shop a lot and buy only sparingly, and wait patiently for sales, you can do remarkably well for modest expense, as all of the preceding posts indicate. Most of my rack illustrates this point. Here are two examples. pipesandcigars.com had Tsuge "tasting pipes" for $39.99, a straight billiard with a light be handsome blast finish, a full size pipe that definitely displays the quality traits of a Tsuge. PC has also had Stanwell pipes in brushed black or brown finish for $49.99, occasionally reduced to $19.99. I'd also recommend Dr. Grabows, especially the Royalton with good acrylic stems in a variety of shapes ... the bulldog is notable. So this is just a quick glimpse of what's out there. You can find real estate bargains at smokingpipes.com, other online retailers, or at flea markets, yard sales, etc.

 

mumbles

New member
Jun 6, 2019
10
1
Thanks everyone for your kind insights. I am new and just very surprised at the high prices of the Chonowitsch, Eltang, Johnson etc. But I have watched pipe making videos and know I can probably never crave a pipe. It’s really a lot of hard work and the machinery probably cost a lot. I also understand that price can be very subjective and high prices doesn’t always equate a good and sweet smoker.
So maybe it is a good thing that prices remain high/steady. A little like real estate, helps fight inflation. There’s a nice story of a Father giving his Son hIs Rolex, for the Son who is soon travelling to see the world. The rationale was that the Son can always sell the watch in almost any remote part of the world, to catch a flight home if he ran out of money. Maybe our briar pipes can do the same one day! Hopefully my son doesn’t use mine for firewood ...
Wishing all Fair winds and following seas!

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,998
1,707
Some pipe smokers want only the finest hand carved pipes by name pipe makers, pipes in all their beauty and originality. For people who have the discretionary spending, this must be a satisfying way to smoke pipes. For me, the adventure of getting my optimal smoke is done on a budget, but out of being naive or adaptable, I'm quite satisfied.

 

disinformatique

Preferred Member
When I started pipe smoking, to me a Peterson Aran 150 was expensive at $60, 5 years later $500 pipes are starter to mid-range to me. As you smoke your way in the hobby you start learning about pipe collection and pipe smoking, you can do both or just be a smoker for whom a pipe is just a tobacco delivery tool.
Cheers,

Chris :puffpipe:

 
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homeatsea

Preferred Member
Mar 6, 2013
513
0
You can also look in to European factory pipes. They start between $50-$100 and all in that range that I own are quality smokers and look pretty darn nice to boot. Ropp, Savinelli, Chacom, Bruyere St Claude, and Stanwell to name a few.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,337
982
Are you surprised by the high price of Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Rolex to name a few? Premium products warrant a premium price. The market ultimately determines if that prices is justified ... or not. A Kaywoodie may very well deliver the same quality of smoke the way a Chevy will get you from Point A to Point B as quickly as a Rolls Royce. There's just that different in style, comfort, pride and aesthetic appeal.

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,842
31
I'm not surprised at prices going up. I think it is just the market for collectible or estate pipes is slowing growing as some are sold as pieces of art - especially meerschaums and briar pipes made by famous master carvers who are no longer with us. I view it like art collectors buying art. When the start out the buy less valuable pieces and then start buying more expensive pieces of art especially if the painter is dead. Have you checked the price of a Rembrandt or Van Gogh lately?
The same can be said for artisan pipe carver who can only make a finite number of pipes in a year. They are artists when it comes to what they create. When they first started, I sure they sold pipes for what they figured would cover their costs and time. As they got more critical acclaim for their work and more demand, the price had to go up. If you want a piece of good art, you have to pay more.
By the way, I just talked to a couple who collects meerschaum pipes and statuary and neither of them have ever smoked.

 

alaskanpiper

Preferred Member
May 23, 2019
2,587
2,520
Alaska
I view it like art collectors buying art.
That's exactly what it is. A good smoker is a good smoker. A good wooden/vulcanite sculpture that you can also smoke out of is something else entirely.