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 Is Ardor price fixing????

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DoverPipes

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Age : 49
Location : HUDSON VALLEY NY
Registration date : 2009-05-24

PostSubject: Is Ardor price fixing????   Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:08 pm

This really pisses me off! Last week, I placed bids on two Ardor pipes. The seller is located in Italy and the pipes were new. The bidding was extremely slow & low. I placed a bid and was high bidder for both pipes. The seller ended the auction early w/o any notification. So, I contacted him about it and this was his reply:

"Hello, Sorry for the late answer but I have been out for business.
It happened that the owner of the Ardor company wrote me and becouse of the too low price he wanted to buy the pipe.
He told me that as an italian I had to understand that I was damaging his business but much more his name that he took so much time to build up to a certain level.
I understood his reasons and sold him the pipe at the offer he gave me, that anyway was really good!!
Sorry.
I decided myself to stop selling my 2-3 ardor pipes I have becouse he asked me a fovour but between me and you if you believe me I can show you what I already have that I would be happy to sell becouse I already have similar shapes.
If yes send me your mail at XXXXXXXXXX@ibero.it"
Ciao and all the best

(signed)

If the story is true, then I guess I am to believe that that the Rovera Family is PRICE FIXING?!?!?!?!?!

How can they control (or attempt to control) what a pipe sells for on the open market on E-Bay?
PS:All that "fellow countrymen B.S." rubbed me the wrong way. Mad

Any thoughts on this?


Last edited by DoverPipes on Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Doc Manhattan

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Age : 39
Location : Land of Steady Habits
Registration date : 2008-05-26

PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:33 pm

Sounds to me like the seller is up to something. He didn't set a reserve price, a low bid won, and now he's backing out and *just happens* to have similar merchandise to sell you off-the-record? At this point, there's no proof he actually ever had what he purported to be selling. Add this to the international nature of the business (which would make anything illegal damned hard to prosecute) and something sounds rotten.

I understand the concept of brand dilution, but it's hard to believe Ardor are tracking prices of their secondhand pipes and buying out resellers (who presumably paid regular retail prices) so they can artifically inflate their *wholesale* prices. That bird doesn't squawk for me.

Also, "fellow countryman"? That's not how Italy works. It's a collection of loosely united nation-states with long histories of difference. Most people of a given province would trust an American over someone from certain other provinces. Lombardy (where Varese is) is practically Switzerland. "E Pluribus Unum" may be Latin, but it ain't Italian.
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DoverPipes

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Age : 49
Location : HUDSON VALLEY NY
Registration date : 2009-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:07 am

I agree. Something didn't ring true. That's why I was wondering why anyone would care about the prices after they were initially purchased from Ardor.
I wasn't aware of the regional differences / difficulties that vary from region to region. I guess I learned something today! cheers
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Doc Manhattan

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Age : 39
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:31 am

Don't get me wrong--in a World Cup year, Italians are all rooting for the national team. But culturally, it's still more a confederation in many respects. Don't put too much stock in the "Dr. Manhattan, Amateur Sociologist Hour."

Without any of that, it's still very fishy behavior by the seller--it's pretty much a textbook bait-and-switch fraud. And it's really shitty of him to drag the good name of a company down to do it.
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Winslow

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Age : 71
Location : Midlothian,Va.
Registration date : 2008-04-11

PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:34 am

I grew up in an Italian neighborhood and what Doc says is right,there is an emnity
between different regions in Italy worse than it was between the North and the South
in this country.
His correspondence with you is absurd.Evidently a seller with his own agenda.Last week
I was bidding in an overseas auction when the item was pulled off auction after receiving
a few low bids from me[The Mole].I guess they didn't want a $1,400 meer to be bought
for $75.Too dumb to put a reserve on it and now scared that "The Mole" will get it.
I won a $450 meer 3 weeks ago for $60,they didn't ship it for 2 weeks when their
website states they ship the next day.Perhaps they were so pissed they told an apprentice
to make a copy and it took 2 weeks?I should get it soon and I expect to get the meer in
the photo I bid on.If I don't I will file a complaint,I don't want my $60 back I want what
I bid on.
I've had conversations with Italian dealers and here is a scenario that happens;A
wealthy collector dies and has several hundred high grades unsmoked in his collection.
His family just wants to dump the whole lot which gets auctioned off to several resellers
who put them up on E-Bay.These guys don't even pay wholesale so they can make out
if they sell at wholesale prices.
When I die I'll have all my pipes cremated with me like an old Viking.

Winslow sunny

Winslow sunny


Last edited by Winslow on Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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DoverPipes

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:38 am

Once again Winslow, you have given me sight!!!! Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:42 am

I'm glad you shared that with us because I have been considering ardor pipes, yet I do not feel that they are the quality of other similarly priced Italian pipes.

I would share that e-mail with E-bay, they may be interested to know the situation.

By the way, this is why I buy American!


Mr. Tinsky, Rad, Larry, Adam, Brian,
My hat is off to ya!

Gentlemen, we must band together as countrymen as others countries are doing and support are local pipe artisans.

Now, lets all sing, America the Beaufiful.
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puros_bran
Nightrider
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:50 am

T.O. You have a more than valid point..

Another consideration.. With a weak Dollar the American carvers have become a bargain for us simply for the fact that it takes more of our bucks to buy Italian,English,Danish pipes than it did just a year or two ago..
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:05 am

puros_bran wrote:
T.O. You have a more than valid point..

Another consideration.. With a weak Dollar the American carvers have become a bargain for us simply for the fact that it takes more of our bucks to buy Italian,English,Danish pipes than it did just a year or two ago..

I love me a good Danish pipe; I think English and Italian pipes are great. But, the high grade pipes being produced in the US more than rival if not surpass this. If you do not agree, you obviously have never smoked a pipe from Larry Roush.

Danish pipes are beautiful, but if you do not agree that Americans produce pipes MORE beautiful, you have obviously never seen a pipe from Rad Davis.

I had an epiphany a few years back after talking to an American carver who's business was slow: I'm about to spend 300 bucks for a Dunhill while my American counterparts are trying to make a living!

Since then, I have become an American collector. I still have Dunhills, Castellos and such, but I always look to buy American first.

See a Dunhill you like? Shoot Mark an email, and he'll make you one that is similar but with nicer grain. Don't believe me? I have a 4 star based on the original Peterson Sherlock Holmes pipe you need to see.

BTW, the last black and tan Tinsky I had custom made was inspired by an Ardor I was considering purchasing. I think I like this pipe better than it's granddaddy.
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Bub

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:17 pm

While I like to buy American also, I should point out that I bought a nice Ardor Giove pipe on eBay for $84. I believe that Winslow also spoke of his success on eBay with Ardor pipes. My only point is that a bad experience with an eBay seller should not cast a shadow on a brand of pipes. I would love to compare the smoking qualities of a Roush an an Ardor, but I can not afford a Roush.
Bub
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Winslow

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Age : 71
Location : Midlothian,Va.
Registration date : 2008-04-11

PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:36 pm

I recently sold off about 15 Ardor pipes to thin my herd and refocus my
eclectric collection.Ardor makes a first rate pipe which holds it's value,
but.............the retail price has zoomed the last few years and they are no
longer competative with other pipes of their class.The only smart way to buy
one is as an estate nowadays.The other factor is the distributor which adds I
guess 30% to the retail price.Without the distributor though,Ardor would be
just another obscure Italian brand.Radice has seen fit to end their business with
a distributor and look how their prices have come down...........and they become
very good buys at the new retail price.Ardors are so expensive now that you can
order a bespoke pipe from an American carver and still save money from the cost
of a new Ardor.

Winslow sunny
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DoverPipes

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Age : 49
Location : HUDSON VALLEY NY
Registration date : 2009-05-24

PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:57 pm

T.O., I also believe in supporting American Pipe Makers. I have a varied collection too. To be honest, I was looking for a bargain in the $80-$120 range. Most quality US made pipes can't be had for that. I would love a Tinsky, Morgan, J.Allen, etc. but they are cost prohibitive right now. I also try to resell the stuff I don't want / need to cover the cost of new pipes and I do fairly well with that.

I have actually spoken to an "un-named" pipe maker here in the USA and I was trying to get a pipe made and we were talking in the neighborhood of $400-$700!!! for what I wanted and what he was willing to make it for. No wiggle room at all. He said my pipe was not a priority (more or less) because he had "more important projects" (ie:higher priced) that he was starting. That kind of shocked me since the market generally caters to the true collectors / smokers and not the big money types.

I do hope to add some US made high grades to my collection. But, I won't count out a good deal on a foreign made pipe either........... Very Happy

PS: Winslow, I tried real hard to win some of those Ardors that you put up. I just got sniped out.
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Sasquatch

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Location : The Garage
Registration date : 2008-12-14

PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:17 pm

TO, I have pooh with nicer grain than most Dunhills.

Dover, understand that the materials alone in a really good pipe are worth almost a hundred bucks when all is said and done. I frequently buy pieces of briar that are around 50 bucks, and the stem material is near 50 bucks for 20 inches, or ten bucks a pipe if you don't screw the stem up. Add a band, 5 bucks worth of sandpaper, stains, polishes, wax etc, and it's up there fast.

I frequently sell pipes in that 100-125 dollar range, but a) I haven't been doing it that long b)it's just a hobby c) I'm a goddam commie and don't really try to make money at this.


Pipe making reminds me of a joke: A guy is selling hammers for 20 dollars on the street corner. Potential customer asks the guy why he should purchase a hammer, when the same one is 20 dollars at the hardware store. The guy says "Oh, yeah I know... that's where I got these." Potential customer says "Well what the fuck are you doing? That's no way to make a living." Guy says, "Hey, it beats farming."


As to the E-bay scam, I would report this guy. He can't "end an auction" just for fun or cuz it's not going his way.
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DoverPipes

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:41 pm

Sasquatch,
Don't get me wrong, I do understand the cost of materials and I do appreciate the art and craftsmanship that are involved in making a quality pipe.
I was just pointing out that kind of money is a little high for my budget. That's why I look on E-Bay.
I am reporting the scammer this weekend. The more I think about it, the more it pisses me off! Mad

PS: I have seen your pipes on the board. I may be talking to you about making one for me. That is if you aren't still a commie Razz
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:08 am

No I'm not a commie. Just gimme the 500 bucks and we'll roll. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:20 am

if
Ardor pipes were 84 bucks, I'll change my entire collection.

Squatcha, when it comes to pipes, you have to be known for your pipe to sell for more. having said that, I am a witness to the smoking qualities of your pipes and will always speak up for you. I will have more Bernard pipes as I balance the breeding with the briar.

For whoever was talking about the American carver: so you know Adam too? Smile

I gotta say, most American artisans have matched any foreign pipe prices for me, but let's be honest folks; I've made myself a desirable customer.

I don't own a Tinsky: I own a rack. So my buddy Mark will always hook me up, and I value him as an artisan as I do the others. I've only had one American carver basicallly tell me that he wont do custom job because it limits him.... Hmmmmm THat's why I only have 3 of his pipes and 30 Tinskys... By the way if the SOB ever makes a lovat or canadian, it's mine. Smile

I mean if you can find a Danish or English pipe cheaper than a Tinsky 4 star, you are a dummy to not purchase it.

Haveing said that, I'll keep my Rad's, my Tinskys, My Ruthenbergs. Y'all keep buying from foreign countries and wondering why our economy sucks ass..







"My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty."


cheers cheers cheers cheers cheers
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:30 am

Yeah TO I don't have ANY kind of problem with a guy with a reputation selling for more than a guy without. And I don't have any problem with a guy charging 2 or 3 or 10 times what I do, if he can make sales, and if his pipes are good. In fact my post in a backward way was trying to explain why a good handmade pipe SHOULD cost 500 bucks.

If my pipes command 500 bucks some day... great, I guess. But even if they do, smoking will be illegal, and I might as well stake my future on gramophone records or possibly 8-track tapes. Very Happy

I could probably sell for more now, but that's just not my game right now. Rather get a buncha pipes out and get known, get feedback, and make sure I do it right. The pipe you got was my best at the time and I'm glad you smoke it. And you have spoke out for me, and I appreciate it.

But if Ardor pipes were 84 bucks I too would have a rackful. I like their stuff. But I sure hate shakey ebayers. Pisses me off.


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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:30 am

DoverPipes wrote:
. He said my pipe was not a priority (more or less) because he had "more important projects" (ie:higher priced) that he was starting. That kind of shocked me since the market generally caters to the true collectors / smokers and not the big money types.

I

well, I know you're not talking about Mark Tinsky because he values his customers. I would venture to guess who would make a remark like that. I gotta tell you: now that they are done making pipes foe me, you may get a better deal! Very Happy

I'm not saying American pipes are cheap by any means. Have you seen the price of an estate roush??!!??

If it makes you feel any better, it took me 5 years to owan a Jeff Gracik or Brad Pohlmann. I was about to buy another from Brad before I found out I was having a child. Sorry Brad, but you know I'll be back!!


If you can save THAT much money , by all means, support foreign economies, but let me tell you a littel story....
next post:
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:32 am

Hey Squatcha, remember me when your pipes sell for 3x as much. Hook me up brother! You know I would have a rack of yours if my situation hadn't changed!

And I will always testify for your pipes. YOu know that brother. And not just because you're a buddy, but because I've smoked your pipes.
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:37 am

The mother of my child was recently released from the hospital. She is a loyal Wal Mart customer. I, on the other hand, have been turned off by their lack of service and shabby quality of products.

So after being released from the hospital, I take her to Wal Mart to fill her prescription 3o min before they close. She was told they didnt have time to fill the prescription, which is life or death for her and my child. There were 5 employees in the pharmacy section standing around talking.

i asked her why she doesnt go to Wal Greens like I do, and she told me it was simple economics. So I took her to Wal Greens who were also about to close. The guy there stayed 20 minutes after closing to explain to us how to apply the prescriptions....

We spend more, about 2 bucks more than at Wal Mart....


So y'all still wanna save money? That reminds me, let me look up Wal Mart customer service!
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Sasquatch

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:52 am

Hey that deserves it's own thread.


We don't go to Wal mart.



Here's a little story. Not Wal-mart, but "Bass Pro Shop", the biggest camping, fishing, hiking, outdoor store EVER. Buy boots, a boat, and lunch, all under one BIG roof. Tried to get some boots, but couldn't find anyone to help me. Finally found a teenager who didn't think they had my size. Asked him to check. Came up empty. 20 minutes of my life I will never have back.

Next week, I am at Costa Western Wear. Owned and run by.... Costa.

He spends an hour putting different boots on my feet. But the crazy thing is, the first pair I tried on, he asks "How's those?" and I say "Uh, I could use more arch support and maybe a size smaller." Costa picks a set of boots and says "What you think of these? I think these maybe fit you good."

Damned if they weren't perfect. I tried on 20 other pairs, but this guy knew his shit.

So now I shop there. No line up. And I just don't care if I can get something for 5 dollars less up the road. I support this guy's little business. Hope he's there forever. And the boots are fantastic.

I know that's a luxury I have that many don't (a luxury I work hard for, as I know you do Hank), but I really don't see Wal-Mart as being good for the local economy wherever they are.
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Justpipes
The Duke
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:32 am

I agree with buying American. My budget allows Kaywoodies and Brissetts and they are fine smokers and lookers!
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DoverPipes

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Location : HUDSON VALLEY NY
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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:20 pm

OK, the guy got reported to e-Bay.
I feel better now and I thank everyone who PM'd me with suggestions for American Pipe Artisans.
I am a big fan of Tinsky. I'm thinking about selling some pipes off and grabbing a nice black & tan.

PS: I still got a Rovera made pipe. Today, I won this Brand New Rovera-Cerano CHEAP! Very Happy :

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:54 am

Another thing I like about buying American, is in most cases, I know exactly who the carver is. If for some reason, I received a pipe that I was unhappy with, I just pick up the phone and they take care of that.

Do you know the name of the person that carved your Ardor?
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DoverPipes

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PostSubject: Re: Is Ardor price fixing????   Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:07 pm

T.O.:
I think it was Giuseppe Pastaroni de Spaghetti Razz

I get the point, buy American. I do when I can. Remember, these are E-Bay pipes. Most of the people (98% of them) are AMERICANS that I buy used and new pipes from (Shout out to COOPERSARK & PIPESTUD!). I like to think that I am still helping to put money in an American's pocket as opposed to making a straight purchase from an artist overseas. Can't fault a guy for trying to save a buck, especially in this economy. My collection is varied. I don't discriminate against one over the other. I go for what I like and what appeals to me.

If there is any American artists that want to sell me a pipe of equal quality & price to an Ardor, Nording, Stanwell, etc. that I find on E-Bay, by all means have them contact me. The main reason I buy on E-Bay is cost. Nothing more, nothing less.

PS: You can PM me if you want to know what I paid. You will see my point then, I believe.

Cheers!
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