Offensively High Resale Prices On Unicorn Blends

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condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
8,173
28,200
New York
In my humble opinion I think everyone is over thinking this whole problem. The essence of the capitalist system is to have the mental agility to spot inefficiencies in the exchange system. Not unlike noticing a flawed roulette wheel that shows a high preponderance for a given number coming up in a greater number than is statistically possible. It takes time, effort and patience to find bags of whatever brand 'X' that you can purchase for $ Y and then 'flip' for Z profit. The alternative would be everyone on here posting about how much they enjoy 'Blend 3 from the Workers Tobacco Cooperative' with a tin label featuring a picture of Stalin! We have a degree of choice at present, something entrenched monopolies hate. I remember myself and @woodsroad meeting the President of a tobacco company who informed us that the 'FDA Deeming Regulations' made his life so much simpler since it would reduce the number of brands on the market but increase profitability. Can you then imagine what that would do to prices?
 
This is probably going to surprise and infuriate people. It's been kept a secret for all of you for so long, but stores... all of that stuff being sold in stores and online... all of it... was bought very cheaply and sold for about 3x's as much as they bought it for. It's called keystoning, look it up. Some of the stuff is even being sold for a whole lot more, like 8x's as much or higher. It's called capitalism. People do this to feed their family.

You know what I do when someone has something priced too high... I walk away. I know right, revolutionary.
 

WerewolfOfLondon

Can't Leave
Jun 8, 2023
479
1,606
London
On another note, all states require a retailer that is selling tobacco to have a license for selling it and to collect a tax on tobacco. I'm not a lawyer, but I bet if someone were to look into it, these folks flipping would be in some sort of violation, probably federal and on a sate level.
Exactly. In that sense it is something of a criminal enterprise. We don't view it as such because the scale is so small. But really, how is it any different to the mafia smuggling cigs across states to avoid tax?
 
Exactly. In that sense it is something of a criminal enterprise. We don't view it as such because the scale is so small. But really, how is it any different to the mafia smuggling cigs across states to avoid tax?
This is the main reason I don't sell my pipes or tobaccos. I have multiple legit business licenses and all of my accounts are open to being audited, if that should ever happen again, and I don't want to have pipes or tobacco in my accounts, setting me up for a huge court battle. Honestly, I wonder how these guys raking in big sales multiple times a year stay out of prison.

So... if someone were offended enough...
 

Auxsender

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 17, 2022
892
4,907
Nashville
I'm with the OP here. I do have some sympathy with the idea that tobacco is a luxury, therefore we shouldn't be too concerned with this type of behaviour. But I have greater sympathy with the idea that luxury items shouldn't just be available to the rich. Someone mentioned the Super Bowl. That is a perfect example, and we have the same problem here with big football matches. Gangs of organised criminals will buy up all the tickets and sell them outside the ground at a 500% mark-up. This is not the free market working in the way Adam Smith imagined it, because by the very nature of the product being sold, demand will always outstrip supply. It isn't possible to increase the supply, so the normal laws of market economics don't apply. It is in these grey areas that these type of shenannigans happen. In the case of big sporting events, the people who operate in these areas are criminals, and what they are doing is strictly against the law (I am sure the same is true in the States). In the case of tobacco, OK, it is not against the law, but it certainly violates the spirit of the law, and really has nothing to do with free market economics, a lot closer to criminality.
In a purely free market, which the secondhand tobacco market is, price is ALWAYS dictated by demand which is the price a consumer is willing to pay. The demand is high for footie, football, Taylor Swift and pipe tobacco therefore the prices will be too and that’s literally the beginning and the end of the story. Scalpers exist because buyers allow them to. If buyers stopped buying, prices would come down but I think most of us know that already.

Luxury items are absolutely meant to only be for those that can afford them. In fact, ALL ITEMS are only meant for those that can afford them.
From a bar of soap to a Fabergé egg, you can only have it if you can afford it.

Truth be told, it’s all insane to me but that’s because I do not have a high demand for these things. A TSwift gig might be the best thing on earth but I’ll never know because I’m not paying thousands of dollars to find out. I’m cool with spending $1/gram once or twice per year on pipe tobacco that is no longer being made because that’s my subjective level of demand.

What I don’t understand is adults melting down like tired toddlers because someone else has something exclusive they want and for whatever reason can’t get.
To those people I say “try harder”.
Make more money, save, re-examine your priorities, scour the market (Internet) for bargains.
Do the work.

To be clear, I’m not talking about necessities like shelter, food, clothing, medicine and education.
 
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I think most of the frustration comes from people who have never tried Esotericas, (especially new smokers) and then they see the secondary market for these and think, "these must be awesome." And, then they sulk.
In all honesty, you aren't missing out on much. Sure, sure, pay $400 for a bag of Esoterica, and then realize that you are paying for a heavy handed licorice or treacle casing.
Save yourself some money and just drench a tobacco in this stuff and try it. Except for Penzance. I'd kill a baby for that stuff. Ha ha, JK, not a real baby. puffy

Just keep in mind that not everyone who tries an Esoterica believes it is all that great. I don't.
 

pinem

Might Stick Around
Aug 16, 2015
66
106
Nebraska
Wholesaling and retailing is not the same as flipping. The former is necessary evil to allow commerce to be orderly on a large scale. One could argue drop shipping is flipping, but the manufacturer dictates who is the point of contact and sets the profit the drop shipper is getting.

The flipper does not provide the manufacturer any value, and only marginal value to retailers in fewer shipments being sent out.

I should note that I don't consider people who are reducing cellar size flippers. These are people who buy with the intent to only sell. The only entity that benefits from flipping is the flipper. This is pure selfishness.

The anti-capitalists have sold a lie that capitalism is about screwing over your neighbor to get a buck. That isn't true capitalism, that's just being a jerk. There are a multitude of ways to make a living in a free economy that leads to providing value to society. Our free market ancestors understood that, but moderns have let society turn into a dog eat dog world.

Golden rule and Shalom, Google it.
 

WerewolfOfLondon

Can't Leave
Jun 8, 2023
479
1,606
London
In a purely free market, which the secondhand tobacco market is, price is ALWAYS dictated by demand which is the price a consumer is willing to pay. The demand is high for footie, football, Taylor Swift and pipe tobacco therefore the prices will be too and that’s literally the beginning and the end of the story. Scalpers exist because buyers allow them to. If buyers stopped buying, prices would come down but I think most of us know that already.

Luxury items are absolutely meant to only be for those that can afford them. In fact, ALL ITEMS are only meant for those that can afford them.
From a bar of soap to a Fabergé egg, you can only have it if you can afford it.

Truth be told, it’s all insane to me but that’s because I do not have a high demand for these things. A TSwift gig might be the best thing on earth but I’ll never know because I’m not paying thousands of dollars to find out. I’m cool with spending $1/gram once or twice per year on pipe tobacco that is no longer being made because that’s my subjective level of demand.

What I don’t understand is adults melting down like tired toddlers because someone else has something exclusive they want and for whatever reason can’t get.
To those people I say “try harder”.
Make more money, save, re-examine your priorities, scour the market (Internet) for bargains.
Do the work.

To be clear, I’m not talking about necessities like shelter, food, clothing, medicine and education.
But it isn't just dictated by demand. It is also dictated by supply, especially if supply is inherently limited. So for the super bowl, there are only so many seats that can be sat on. The limited nature of that supply means the rules that normally dictate prices are not in play in the same way. The ticket toutes who sell the tickets outside the ground for 500% mark up, are simply exploiting this. They are, as another user described, parasites. Those people add nothing of any value to the economy over all (unlike the companies who sold the tickets at the original price), and this is why such practices are illegal.

As for the idea that people should just 'try harder', I mean, yeah. If Western societies were perfect meritocracies that may be a fair point. But you know how it goes, someone breaks a leg at work because some other dickhead didn't clean the site up properly. A kid is born in a ghetto with crumbling schools and doesn't even have a shot at a high school education. You may even have a unique skill that society doesn't put much value on (like a pipe carver for instance). It has never been clear to me why it is fair to deny such people such trappings, but then I guess we're in the forbidden realm of politics.
 
The flipper does not provide the manufacturer any value,
When I started smoking a pipe about a dozen or so years ago, Esotericas were just collecting dust on the shelves. If they provide any service, it is creating a demand for a tobacco that wasn't really even moving all that fast.
The flippers created this demand, and all of this angst about not being able to buy these blends is purely created by the flippers. They weren't considered all that spectacular before, and many of us still don't think that they are all that remarkable.
 

Gandalf The Grey

Might Stick Around
Feb 6, 2024
70
249
Origanally from Oxford, England
Not everyone is equal. People with money are above, in the sense of buying power, than the average man. Some items are specifically marketed to the people with expendable money. Can the regular man afford beluga caviar? They might be able to buy it but it will cause quite a setback.
 
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Auxsender

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 17, 2022
892
4,907
Nashville
But it isn't just dictated by demand. It is also dictated by supply, especially if supply is inherently limited. So for the super bowl, there are only so many seats that can be sat on. The limited nature of that supply means the rules that normally dictate prices are not in play in the same way. The ticket toutes who sell the tickets outside the ground for 500% mark up, are simply exploiting this. They are, as another user described, parasites. Those people add nothing of any value to the economy over all (unlike the companies who sold the tickets at the original price), and this is why such practices are illegal.

As for the idea that people should just 'try harder', I mean, yeah. If Western societies were perfect meritocracies that may be a fair point. But you know how it goes, someone breaks a leg at work because some other dickhead didn't clean the site up properly. A kid is born in a ghetto with crumbling schools and doesn't even have a shot at a high school education. You may even have a unique skill that society doesn't put much value on (like a pipe carver for instance). It has never been clear to me why it is fair to deny such people such trappings, but then I guess we're in the forbidden realm of politics.
Price is driven purely by demand. Sure, scarcity can drive up demand but at the end of the day, if the buyer ain’t demanding, the price will come down regardless of the supply.

As I mentioned, my argument does not apply to the necessities of life I listed previously.

I totally agree with you about kids being born into lives with little access and opportunity but we’re talking about pipe tobacco prices here, not social justice.
 
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