Tobacco prices - US vs UK

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judcasper

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2019
306
5
When I buy a 12g sample of pipe tobacco from my local newsagents/tobacconist it cost me around £4.20 (about $5.50). I was therefore rather horrified to hear US members here recommending tobaccos in a recent thread, and quoting prices of around $5 for 2oz (maybe this was an isolated example and not 'typical').
Anyway, from this I assumed the mistake I was making was not buying my tobacco online, so I hopped over to the GQ Tobacco website to look over a few of their blends, only to find prices (minus shipping) similar to those at my local shop (around £7.00 for a 25g bag / £3.35 for 10g sample). After the £3.20 postage is added at checkout I find I'm better off buying on the high street.
Am I missing something, or are these massive differences in prices between the UK and US normal?

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
21,050
14,341
Many blends in the U.S. can be had for $5/2 ounces but more typically $5/ounce. 12g=.423 ounces, that is quite a difference.

 

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judcasper

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2019
306
5
The uk must have some crazy taxes
Are you talking about the tax the customer pays or the retailer? If I ordered from the GQ Tobacco website I'd pay £1.16 / $1.50 in tax for 25g, so I don't think that's where the expense to the customer lies.

 

haparnold

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2018
1,279
1,040
Lexington, KY
Not sales tax, tobacco-specific tax, which is bundled into the sticker price.
Tobacco is taxed at almost every level at which the substance changes hands, not only the sales tax on purchasing it.

 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
4,810
5,342
UK prices appear to be cheaper than Canada's: 25g here is ~$22 CAD.

 

judcasper

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2019
306
5
UK prices are pretty high but nothing like Australia.
UK prices appear to be cheaper than Canada's: 25g here is ~$22 CAD.
Ah well. At least I'm not alone.
Not sales tax, tobacco-specific tax, which is bundled into the sticker price.
Tobacco is taxed at almost every level at which the substance changes hands, not only the sales tax on purchasing it.
I never did understand taxes.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
16,158
6,614
Monterey Peninsula
When I buy a 12g sample of pipe tobacco from my local newsagents/tobacconist it cost me around £4.20 (about $5.50). I was therefore rather horrified to hear US members here recommending tobaccos in a recent thread, and quoting prices of around $5 for 2oz (maybe this was an isolated example and not 'typical').
$22.00 for about two ounces. Some tins that are high end can go for that in the States. But the $5.00 for 2oz sounds like a middling blend bought in bulk.

 

seldom

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2018
1,024
891
I understand that the post is about UK verse US prices but I'll mention that continental prices may be cheaper than UK. I don't know about shipping. Check out what is on offer at Tabak aus Kiel in Germany. Tabak aus Kiel. Their house blends are a particularly good value in my opinion. Many are 12.50€ for 100 grams.
If you can get tobacco shipped to the UK, ordering within the next 3 weeks would be wise given the looming Brexit date (as I'm sure you're aware).

 

smudgersmissingleg

Preferred Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,200
3,308
England
All tobacco in the UK is taxed at a high level but it's definitely relative, one day I was sitting here feeling a bit sorry for myself at the high prices I had to pay compared to the US so I decided to look up if the UK paid the most. No doubt we are at the higher end of the spectrum but the prices in Australia & Canada blew my mind and I realised we didn't have it as bad as some.

One silver lining is we have two of the best blending houses in the world as locals and they seem to look after the home market first which means the Gawiths & Germains tobaccos are readily available, so nowadays if I start looking across the pond with envy I tell myself we don't have it as bad as some and to try and look on the bright side.
Chris

 

mikethompson

Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
5,282
2,847
UK prices are pretty high but nothing like Australia.
You said it Stan- I thought Canadian taxes were the highest until some Australian members started posting their prices. YIKES.

 

judcasper

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2019
306
5
But the $5.00 for 2oz sounds like a middling blend bought in bulk.
Hang on. I'll get the details from the post itself.
This is from Jud in the 'Tobacco recommendations on a budget' thread.
Lane Ready Rubbed is a top notch burley, and is $5.23 for a 1.5 oz pouch.

For a straight Virginia flake, Sutliff Virginia Slices is excellent, and 2 ounces would cost you $5.

PS Natural Dutch Cavendish is a very nice all day sort of smoke, and 2 ounces is $4.44.

If you want a latakia blend, PS Proper English is a good choice, and will set you back $5.12 for 2 oz.
I think over in the UK us pipe smokers can only dream of prices like that.

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
4,447
2,868
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
UK Prices seem to be cheaper than in Sweden & Finland,Yet they do have some tremendous tobaccies available out there, whereas we only have those standard offerings by S&G, Peterson and standard array of European basic OTC's all costing more than in England,for instance Amphora red and Mc Barens standard blends are like $ 24 for a 1,75oz pouch, Sweden is a little bit cheaper,but pricey place as well,but hey,this is no wonder,since our government come up with the plan to cease all smoking in the country by the end of 2035, yet pre rolled cigarettes are something like $ 7,50 per pack.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,856
1,252
Am I missing something, or are these massive differences in prices between the UK and US normal?
You're attempting to compare two entirely different economic systems. Also, two entirely different governmental systems. There is no easy way to make such a compassion when the two countries are so entirely different with regard to government, economy, population size, and many other considerations. The only real similarity between England and the US is that we speak a somewhat similar language. That, and both countries are intrigued with the anti-tobacco movement.
It's much more than currency values. All you are going to do is develop peni ... er, price envy. We all knew or, should have known, when we selected the pipe to be one of our wee vices that it wasn't going to be inexpensive and, the price would forever go up, never down.

 

3rdguy

Preferred Member
Aug 29, 2017
2,450
2,991
Midwest
You need a U.S. shipping buddy.
I ship mine a lot and he saves money. In return I gain access to unlimited Germains, Samuel Gawith blends and plugs not available here in the U.S.

 

judcasper

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2019
306
5
You're attempting to compare two entirely different economic systems. Also, two entirely different governmental systems. There is no easy way to make such a compassion when the two countries are so entirely different with regard to government, economy, population size, and many other considerations.
I never considered it that way but you make a very good point. Not sure about you lot speaking the same language as us, though. I'm not even sure it's similar sometimes with your bizarre pronunciations of certain words :D
You need a U.S. shipping buddy.
It's certainly worth looking into if I find myself unable to afford the stuff over here.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,856
1,252
My City of London Police, CI, classmate once asked to borrow a rubber. We in the US don't general "loan" such. Twas then I learned (learnt?) of the many dissimilar definitions tethered to all of the different pronunciations. One almost needs an "English to English" dictionary when visiting.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,189
1,114
It’s unfortunate, that’s for sure but that being said, I think you all have some of the best blends available on your side of the pond and I have spent a small fortune over the years stocking up on my favorites that are only available there. Worth every penny in my estimation.

 

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