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 Why are Dunhills so Expensive?

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smoker13



Age : 63
Location : Western Mass
Registration date : 2016-01-12

PostSubject: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:09 am

Please understand from the get-go, I am not being confrontational in my query. I am seriously interested in hearing from Dunhill devotees their accrued knowledge concerning this subject. Is every Dunhill pipe handmade? I can understand the high costs on pipes crafted by certain artisans, although some I think go over the top. But I digress. Please let me know just what it is about a Dunhill pipe that makes it worth the high price of purchase. Many Thanks - Smoker13

**an afterthought edit. Please don't fire back the tiresome jab meant to be mysterious and intelligent, "If you have to ask, you won't understand".
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SpeedyPete



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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:23 am

All Dunhill pipes are not entirely hand made. In fact, most of them are made just like other, factory made pipes. Most of the work is done by machine. It is merely hand finished

As for the high price it was established many years ago by advertising, word of mouth etc. Dunhills are supposed to be the benchmark for all other pipes. Which, of course, is a lot of nonsense. You will find many, many cheaper pipes that will smoke as nice and better than some Dunhills.

Italian pipes like Castello are way superior to any Dunhills. Even Savinelli make better pipes and at a better price as well.
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joshoowah

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:51 pm

There is one word that answers your question: brand.

Dunhill is a particular brand that commands high dollar. They spent many years building up their brand and, thus, that is what you are paying for. It is much like anything else really. There are folks who spend $200 on a pair of Nike's when a pair of $40-50 New Balance's are of similar quality.
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:29 pm

Why are Rolls-Royce motorcars (the "official" plural) so expensive, when other cars are perhaps technically superior?

Dunhill pipes, for one thing, got a head start with collectors by stamping their pipes with a production date code, which tickled collectors' gizzards. No other manufacturer was doing this, as far as I know. And the shapes are classic as a Greek column. Go on Al Pascia's website and select the billiard shape on his pipe finder gizmo, for example. Of those that pop up, select the best looking ones. Betcha most if not all of them will be Dunhills.

Quality-wise, see SpeedyPete above. I remember back in the '70s when Charatan almost blew them out of the water with their higher quality. I virtually lived in B&Ms back then, and the side-by-side comparisons were embarrassing. Perhaps that's why Dunhill bought them out. And word has it that Kaywoodies were superior at one time, though I can't vouch for that.

Nevertheless, Dunhill makes a quality product with cachet, British to boot, and apparently people continue to buy them at seemingly inflated prices. This last is the reason they are so expensive. What should they do, stop? Laughing

(I have three older ones and they're great, but speaking generally I wouldn't be caught dead with a new "White Spot" in my possession. But I could say the same for many of the current artisan abortions floating around.)
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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:48 pm

All of the above answers are 100 % correct. It's sort of like comparing a Mercedes- Benz 500 SL series to an Accura or a Lexus, ALL cars are EQUAL in build quality, safety etc except the MB has established a price level that it continues to maintain regardless of the fact that it is not any better than several other Marques. As usual it's ALL about MARKETING !! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:54 pm

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monbla256

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:03 pm

Richard Burley wrote:
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AAAAAH the '80s, back when you could get what the Eastern Europeans sold as a car for UNDER 4k !! Those were the days !! Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:23 pm

Many, many people believe, "you get what you pay for." And marketeers know the profitable end of a market is the high end. OTOH, value consumers look for the product at the point on the graph where the utility and quality lines cross. Dunhill is not that point in pipedom, but they do have an enviable record of brand management.
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MisterE
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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:41 pm

I dunno. They shouldn't be so sexpensive since they're not head and shoulders above more pedestrian (so-called) marques. I'm thinking mid to upper grade Savs and Stans. THe only thing I can think of is that, at least until recent years, every pipe was supposedly a first. No flaws. Straight drilling, no fills, etc. That was a big selling point. The marketing has always been superb, so the little white dot became associated with a guaranteed quality pipe. 'tis what it is. Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it. Or so I'm told...

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riff raff

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:06 am

Three reasons, in my book:

1. Brand - as mentioned by Jooshwa. Until recently, the Dunhill name has been marketed as the premiere luxury good (like a Rolex, Rolls-Royce, etc.) I suspect it was one of the most widely recognized brand names in the world (I doubt that is holding up).

2. Dates: Oddly, in a world where provenance and age are valued in a pipe, Dunhill is one of the few makers that date their pipes.

3. Shape/Finish/Size combinations: Dunhill is one a few currently in production makers, where you can buy the shape, size group and finish from any number of world-wide vendors.
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:31 am

I agree with some of what has been said - Dunhill pipes are well-marketed, and expensive... because they are expensive.

However, a few things about manufacturing have been overlooked. They are really good quality pipes. The briar is good, the stem material good, and what I mean by that is that the stems are cut from rod, which is better material than injection-molded vulcanite, it is stronger and less prone to turning gray.

Have a look at this picture - here's a pile of very expensive pipe stems (factory, not artisan).

The finest by a few mm (and your teeth can detect probably .5 mm).... the Dunhill. This is against a Castello, a Savinelli Autograph, and a top-end Peterson. All 300-400 dollar pipes.




So this is not just a thing where a Dunhill is "the same thing" as whatever other pipe you might pick out of a bucket at the tobacconist's. They are demonstrably better than most production pipes in a few ways. Is this life changing? Hell no. Is it important to some guys? Oh yeah.

It's funny to me that people bitch and moan about Petersons and Chacoms having fills (at half the cost of a Dunhill) or of whatever ailment any particular pipe has. You never hear those complaints against Dunhills (at twice the price mind you!). I've seen a Dunhill with a crooked slot, not terrible, but far from perfect. But mostly they are (still) a real decent pipe, and many pipes out there today are simply not, in some identifiable way. Stain inside your chamber, anyone?

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Stinger4me



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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:22 am

The same reason Filson coats are expensive. They may be going for snob appeal. I doubt I'll ever own a Dunhill. There was a time when I had a Charatan and it didn't impress me, Savinelli's are another story.
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Bullwinkle

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:46 am

Are they really? Just looking at SP most the Dunhills seem to be in $500 ~ $900 range. So, you go higher getting into the special/collector stuff. The are a whole bunch is artisan and brands that are in the same range.
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KevinM



Age : 74
Location : Connecticut
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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:04 am

Bullwinkle wrote:
Are they really? Just looking at SP most the Dunhills seem to be in $500 ~ $900 range. So, you go higher getting into the special/collector stuff. The are a whole bunch is artisan and brands that are in the same range.

Yes, it's one heckuv an interesting examp of branding. If you visit SP or one ot the other e-trailers, Dunhill is the best known brand, though not at the very peak of the cost pyramid. The Dunhill buyer is paying for history and quality, certainly not "originality" or "artisan" handiwork. Meanwhile there are "artisan" pipes offered by Russian and Chinese carvers I've never heard of who attach a price tag with four figures to the left of the decimal point. I'd opine that the high-end artisan pipe market may be easily manipulated by non-smoking speculators. Frugal smokers may be well-advised to tread the path of prudent value consumers.
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:28 am

It isn't clear what "prudent value" is though. Or should we all just smoke cobs?

I have a couple Castellos I paid between 300 and 400 dollars for, not the top end of the Castello price scheme, but they are wonderful pipes which I like smoking a lot more than my Stanwells, which cost about 1/3. Is the value in my enjoyment or just in the fact that Stanwells are cheaper than Castellos?

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daveinlax

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:59 am

Sasquatch wrote:
It isn't clear what "prudent value" is though. Or should we all just smoke cobs?

I have a couple Castellos I paid between 300 and 400 dollars for, not the top end of the Castello price scheme, but they are wonderful pipes which I like smoking a lot more than my Stanwells, which cost about 1/3. Is the value in my enjoyment or just in the fact that Stanwells are cheaper than Castellos?

Speaking of Castello I'll just point out how rare and precious clean wood is. Today I took delivery of a really nice big, fat G size estate Castello Trademark that would have retailed new for over $400. it has 3 specks that if (IMO) they weren't there would been priced at a few hundred more but NEVER would have been sold as a smooth Dunhill at any price. Shocked
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hobie1dog

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:14 am

Status symbols and the quest to own what we believe others will look up to us for. That warm and fuzzy feeling when we finally obtain an object we desire. Those items always cost more than the normal products.
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eklektos44

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:23 am

A lot of this depends on whether you're a smoker, a collector, or a hybrid. Also how much value you put on an absolutely flawless piece of briar. If I have to get out a magnifying glass to see a flaw then I'm not concerned. It drives others to distraction. I just prefer a decent looking pipe that smokes well and doesn't break the bank. Others have different criteria, which could be any number of things. There's just no right answer to this. To me Dunhill's are overpriced. Doesn't mean I won't pick one up if the price is right. To others they're worth it. Eye of the beholder.
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KevinM



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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:30 am

The value consumer looks for an attractive combo of price, quality and function. The v.c. isn't driven by low price. Nor is the v.c. likely to pay more in hopes of acquiring a status symbol.I'd say a Castello could be a good value choice in pipes -- for the reasons you (Sasquatch) give. I've been eyeing a rusticated Castello bulldog for less than $400, which seems to me a fair price for a quality pipe the owner would enjoy for years, though that is definitely at the top of this v.c.'s price range. A bit past it, in fact. Nifty pipe, though.
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Bullwinkle

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:48 pm

Not sure for most of us they are a status symbol since it seems most of us smoke alone not sure who there is to impress.

I recently bought this guy's twin for $410 and IMO got a great pipe at a fair price.

http://www.alpascia.com/pipes/d/Dunhill-B477-i34831.html
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Richard Burley

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:32 pm

Bullwinkle wrote:
Not sure for most of us they are a status symbol since it seems most of us smoke alone not sure who there is to impress.

Laughing You got that 100% right. Anyone who has seen my pipes always seems more askance than admiring. Perhaps at a pipe club or cigar lounge? I don't visit any, and probably never will.
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Puffer Mark

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:33 am

I have 2 Dunhills. With apologies to the bard:

What's in a name? In the case of Dunhill, everything. Would not a well made pipe by any other name smoke as sweet? You bet.
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puros_bran
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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:41 am

Because people are willing to pay expensive price tags for them.

Reality is they aren't expensive, they are wood and plastic.. And not much of that.
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Zeno Marx

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:04 pm

Stinger4me wrote:
The same reason Filson coats are expensive. They may be going for snob appeal. I doubt I'll ever own a Dunhill. There was a time when I had a Charatan and it didn't impress me, Savinelli's are another story.
As an aside, nobody mills a wool like Filson. You might not like their fabric, styles, stigma, or product, but there is no other maker that makes the thickness and density of wool that goes into their cruisers and mackinaws. I've owned them all. LL Bean. White Stag. Pendleton. Black Bear. Woolrich. Orvis. Chippewa Mills. Hudson. The list goes on. Filson is the only one that makes anything like Filson. A lot of others look similar, but they aren't. (I don't work for Filson. Being a person who loves and owns a ton of wool, it's the facts). Now, whether you feel that uniqueness and proprietary quality is worth $400 is another story.

Why are Dunhills expensive? Branding. Marketing. Smart and fortunate business.
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hobie1dog

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PostSubject: Re: Why are Dunhills so Expensive?   Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:47 pm

I was never a fan of them because 90% of them are standard billiard shapes. Looks like every other pipe, just more expensive.
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