The Secondary Market = Comic Relief

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ofafeather

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It's the market price for the item.
I think that’s where some of the confusion lies. For McClelland tins we see a general range of prices but average is about $1/gram. The OP’s posted example was well above this price at $2.85/gram. Or $285 for a 100g tin. Maybe someone is willing to pay it but thats not market price.

Sure I'd like to get my hands on some Balkan Sobranie 759 but the market price is way outside my buying ability.

This is different than the example because BS 759 has an established market baseline that is much higher than McClellands due to the fact that there is such a small extant supply.

This thread didn’t start as someone complaining about high market value but laughing at an extreme example of someone posting something for sale well above market value. It’s gone off the rails since then.
 

5star

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I’m trying to have more of an attitude of gratitude in my life now. For that reason I’m grateful to have been able to pick up a few nicely ages tins a few years ago before prices started escalating.
We also see many other signs of price inflation- food, gas, etc etc. Unfortunately, those aren’t luxury items that we can choose not to purchase.
 
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sandollars

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Post like these always makes me wonder... what do they want to happen? Do they want "authorities" to intervene, maybe an arrest? Ha ha. Do they just want to shame the person? Or, is it merely a foot stomping and venting sort of thing?

Having had a jewelry store for years, I always wondered why someone would come in and boisterously declare that they think my prices are too damn high, ha ha. Like yelling, I'm poor and stupid and want everyone to know it. Its gold and gemstones... did you read the sign on the door? Or, did you just accidentally wander in and then thought that someone was going to force you buy something? WTF. Meanwhile the store is full of people who know that they are getting a great deal. It's just not a very smart move.

I've said this before, but... on the seller's side of things, prices are worth just what it will take for that person to let go of it. You want my 12 year old self-propelled lawnmower that I really like, it will cost you $1500. Take it or leave it. Or, open your mouth and look stupid. That is merely what I will take to go through the hassle of finding a new lawnmower. Sure, you can buy a new one for $100, and I suggest that you go get one of those. This price is merely what it will take for me to let go of mine.

If I want to put up a tin of tobacco for $1200, take it or leave it, or open your mouth and declare what type of person you are. It is obvious that it will take a lot of money to separate myself from that tin for some reason.

If I want to put up a brand new Dunhill for $10,000 etc etc etc... If you want it, buy it, or just move on. There is no law against asking to much for something. Gouging can only occur if the essential item is sold in a way that gives you no other options. I can sell bread for a million buck a loaf... if there is another option down the road. Otherwise, it's a free country, not some totalitarian dictatorship that controls how much you can sell your possessions for.

Hell, I have about 20 years supply of McClelland Red Cake 5200. If anyone wants a jar, which I don't really want to sell at all, it will cost them $1000 a jar, otherwise do without or go somewhere else. Mmmmm, make that $2000, because I really don't want to let go of any of them at all. If you want to dicker or haggle me, the price will only go up, because F you, it's my jar.

AMEN!!!


And


AMEN!!!!! puffy


This is just simple, fundamental logic.
 
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jpmcwjr

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Classic equilibrium! But generally, production (supply) has few limitations, and consumers (demand) aren't that fickle as to which brand of bread, bed or booze they buy. Taken as a whole; of course each consumer will have a preference for most things.

This is pretty unlike prices for the rarer tobaccos.
 

sablebrush52

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I think that’s where some of the confusion lies. For McClelland tins we see a general range of prices but average is about $1/gram. The OP’s posted example was well above this price at $2.85/gram. Or $285 for a 100g tin. Maybe someone is willing to pay it but thats not market price.



This is different than the example because BS 759 has an established market baseline that is much higher than McClellands due to the fact that there is such a small extant supply.

This thread didn’t start as someone complaining about high market value but laughing at an extreme example of someone posting something for sale well above market value. It’s gone off the rails since then.
I occasionally visit the site to look at the consignment listings for its entertainment factor. It's also educational. Seeing that $340 bags of Stonehaven are selling tells me that that is a market price. This could be because their market is strictly overseas where there is no alternative and where possession of a "superstar" blend confers status.

It's not a price I would pay because I've never smoked a blend of any description that would be worth that kind of money to me.

On the other hand, I have shelves of signed limited editions by some of my favorite authors, like Heinlein, Bradbury, Ellison, LeGuin, Farmer, Silverberg, etc. that I bought on release and paid an extra $25 to $50 apiece for the privilege.

We're not talking about gouging or profiteering on necessities, like a life saving medication. I'd happily punish someone who's engaged in doing that. This is luxury stuff so anything goes.

And lastly, while McClelland is gone, Esoterica isn't and you can find it for "retail" at a fraction of aftermarket prices by going to B&M's. And if there are none near you that's no excuse. There's none near me and I've managed over the years to cellar enough to see me for a decade to come, if not more.
 

Spinkle

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Here’s something else that just crossed my mind about buying hard to find or very aged tobacco:

I have managed to grab some stuff from Pipestud’s shop such as a tin of Solani Virginia Flake from 2003, PH Dark Strong from 2005, and two tins of my favourite blend, Scottish Mixture, from 1996. Also a couple of Xmas Cheer.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to open any of them. Nothing to do with cost, I just feel guilty for considering it for some reason. Pretty sure I’m just going to stick with the stuff that’s available widely so I can smoke without the anxiety lol
 

sablebrush52

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Here’s something else that just crossed my mind about buying hard to find or very aged tobacco:

I have managed to grab some stuff from Pipestud’s shop such as a tin of Solani Virginia Flake from 2003, PH Dark Strong from 2005, and two tins of my favourite blend, Scottish Mixture, from 1996. Also a couple of Xmas Cheer.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to open any of them. Nothing to do with cost, I just feel guilty for considering it for some reason. Pretty sure I’m just going to stick with the stuff that’s available widely so I can smoke without the anxiety lol
Treat yourself on a special occasion when you can focus on the flavors. You'll thank yourself.
 

Spinkle

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Treat yourself on a special occasion when you can focus on the flavors. You'll thank yourself.
And also look for opportunities to pop one of your special tins & share it with friends. That’s another sure fire way to create terrific memories.
I have been waiting for something like this, but with the lockdowns in Ontario I have not been able to see my friends for the better part of a year and a half. The "fear" of opening these tins is probably no one to share with and being selfish I suppose.

My 40th is approaching and I am planning to let my friend who I got into pipes pick one of these tins so we can enjoy a long anticipated smoke, and exchange birthday presents. I cleaned up and polished an estate Savinelli Punto Oro 904 with a silver military mount for him.

Hopefully this will get me over the fear before these tobaccos turn to dust.
 

guylesss

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May 13, 2020
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I’ve hemmed and hawed for a couple of days about weighing in on the always touchy, somewhat divisive subject of vintage tobacco and the trading thereof at premium prices. And so tender my apologies in advance to anyone I inadvertently offend. To everyone else, I tender my apologies for posting at such tedious length.

As a long time buyer (and very occasionally a hobbyist seller) of vintage tobacco—not to mention occasions I’ve had to try to think critically about rare books, premium liquor, vintage wine, old cars, prewar American acoustic guitars, fashion, ridiculously expensive fragrance, postwar French bespoke randonneur bicycles, and contemporary art—I've an abiding fascination with the whole idea of what's a “fair price.” And particularly with how different worlds of well informed, experienced "insiders" view the matter and the relevant issues. My own working hypothesis—which as a generality is fairly obvious—is the devil's always in the details (i.e. the specifics of who, what, when, and where of scarcity and desire), that much it is highly subjective (to both participants and particularly to bystanders).

As for Dark Star—$285 feels high to me, too (and especially if it remains unsold indefinitely); but I’d also argue that anything that’s gone in less than 90 seconds in a once a week sale has almost certainly been priced below what I'd guess is its current going value.

What—at least to me—distinguishes the pipe world from a number of other worlds I've followed is that there really are very few professional “vintage” tobacco vendors, and there remains a comparatively large pool of very avid life long hobbyists holding a vast supply of highly sought-after tobacco (some of whom bought this at original retail release prices). What of course the pipe world does share with others—even if there are fewer of them (and some may be totally indifferent to the charms of tobacco unicorns and prefer to pursue pipes)—are new enthusiasts who want to smoke vintage tobacco or create a "cellar."

Some will have the patient temperament of hunters and love the challenges of the chase. Others—depending on their disposable income, the cost of an hour of their time, or what they’ve been willing in the recent past to pay for such similar indulgences as a Cuban cigar, a glass of bourbon or a vintage bottle of wine, may be delighted to fork over a couple of hundred dollars for a $40 bag of this year’s Penzance. Some may not want to await next year's "drop" adding their names to website waitlists (and then settle for Dunbar), or spend months of cultivating new relationships with B&Ms, or even setting their alarm clock for 9:50am CDT on a succession of Saturday mornings.

I have nothing but admiration for Steve (as a stand-up guy, who knows his stuff, loves tobacco, and has long been a persuasive ambassador for the superiority of many discontinued classic blends and cellaring) as well as what I regard as an absolutely brilliant business model.

But, if $100 (at least in my view) is low and $285 high, and there really aren’t many transactions or rival sellers, my own calculus is how much do I want it RIGHT now. (My own answer for most things is usually not enough, or I'm happy to wait.)

Nobody, including me, really wants to feel like a chump. But there are circumstances when most of us are willing, in the moment, to pay a premium—a bottle of vintage wine I may regularly drink at home, and that’s readily available at liquor stores, I expect to be priced between 2-4 times more when I go to a restaurant. And sometimes that’s just fine—indeed I may be completely thrilled to see it at all (and even think it as something of a bargain compared to everything else I see on the wine list).

Then, too, I am only too keenly aware of opportunities I’ve missed to buy (or to hold onto) things I like.

Consider, for instance, the first hardback edition of Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone published in 1997 by the Bloomsbury Press in London with very modest expectations about the book's prospects of becoming popular, and priced at 10.99GBP.

I suspect I may well have been in London around the time the book came out, and probably squandered about the same amount on a Dunhill Montecristo #4 or two—though of course I would have bought one or more tins of tobacco if I’d been a pipe smoker then. On the other hand, anyone smart enough to have bought a copy (or two) of Harry Potter, and then kept it/them unread in a cool dark place, would have made out rather well—the only copies in decent shape for sale right now are priced at $225,000-$350,000.

Go figure.
 

craig61a

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Apr 29, 2017
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Prices of aged, old, rare, unique, etc. anything in my lifetime often hasn’t made sense.

And when there’s a run in any popular item at a particular time the amounts of money people are willing to throw at it are mind boggling.

Plenty of examples on eBay…
 
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5star

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The fellow running the vintage tin site states how prices are set. If a tin goes real fast, price is raised a bit next time. If a tin sits there for awhile, the price is dropped a bit. Just basic price discovery.

We Americans will just have to get used to the fact that a lot of US dollars were digitally ‘printed’ up & sent overseas to Asia. When much of the stuff on our store shelves says ‘Made in China’ there are consequences. Those Chinese holders of piles of USDs apparently figure theyd rather burn vintage baccy in their pipes rather than greenbacks. Thus we’re competing with some deep pockets & it’s not likely to get any easier in the future. I’m not really a ‘collector’ of anything nowadays, but from reading various accounts it seems that this same phenomenon of prices being bid up with Asian dollars is happening in many collector goods categories. We saw a similar thing decades ago, but back then the competition came from Middle East oil money.
 

DAR

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Considering you're calling different perceptions alternate realities, I knew you wouldn't be able to understand the answer.
What answer? That I must be on drugs? How is that an answer? That's just evading the subject.
BTW, those are not perceptions. They are realities. Perceptions may not be real. Realities are real.
 

ofafeather

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BTW, those are not perceptions. They are realities. Perceptions may not be real. Realities are real.

Either way is kind of semantic. What we accept as reality can only be based on our perceptions and experiences. True reality, the so-called third side to every story, may be beyond our ability to accurately know or perceive at a given time. What many people believe to be reality is often later turned on it’s head by new insight or information. Reality tends to be what's agreed upon by the majority, by our common experience and agreement to accept certain things as true.
 
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DAR

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Tiburon, California
Either way is kind of semantic. What we accept as reality can only be based on our perceptions and experiences. True reality, the so-called third side to every story, may be beyond our ability to accurately know or perceive at a given time. What many people believe to be reality is often later turned on it’s head by new insight or information. Reality tends to be what's agreed upon by the majority, by our common experience and agreement to accept certain things as true.
I have no idea why I would argue this on a pipe forum (maybe I am on drugs and don't know it).

If reality is turned on it's head by new insight or information then the new insight or information becomes reality, not perception. Reality has absolutely nothing to do with "what's agreed upon by the majority". That's called a norm. The majority may perceive that the world is flat but that is not reality.
Now I'll stop boring y'all and we'll get back to snide remarks, bumper sticker posts and little gifs.
 
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