Buying pipes from out of country suppliers

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Brunello

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A quick search on the BoB archives shows some glowing endorsements for AlPascia in Italy. I'm looking at a Radice on that site. But I haven't had the best luck buying out of country.

A non-pipe related purchase from Italy got a huge $180 fine. And after a Mr. Brog purchase from Poland I received an official letter form the Polish Consulate trade department asking me to sign and verify that I made a purchase from Poland, supposedly because they want an accurate record of trade amounts between Poland and the U.S. I made a purchase of a Falcon pipe from GQ in England that went without a hitch, but an eBay purchase from a seller in Canada got detained by customs for two weeks and the package all ripped open, but at least no fines. I wonder about eBay purchases from out of country. Maybe I have a mark on my back.

What experiences have you all had???
 

BloodWood

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Two orders, for a total of three pipes.
Everything went smoothly. Very friendly to deal with.
My last purchase was approx. two years ago. The only hiccup (if you can call it that) I couldn't clear my cart when I added the wrong pipe.
 

Ranger107

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Haven't bought anything from Italy but I have purchased 5 pipes from a seller in Serbia and one from Germany without a hitch. Shipping is higher, $15 usually but the price of the pipes is substantially lower.
 

Mikem

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All of my overseas purchases were many years ago. I purchased several olive wood pipes from Jobert in South Africa with no hitch. I sent him some tobacco and it never reached him. He figured the local customs guys smoked it up. Around the same time I purchased a pipe out of Germany and it arrived DHL within a week with no hitches.
 

lshines

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I have successfully purchased quite a few times from Novelli, AlPascia, TabaccheriaCorti, and Bollito (sp) in Italy, and SmokingPipes.eu (Ireland) - all went very well. Shipping via FedEx or DHL usually results in 3-5 business days and it's at your door - for ~$15!. DON'T do anything using standard mail from Italy, unless you want to wait weeks - and it gets hung up in Customs once in the US - with covid, Customs may or may not get to it in a week or more.....USE FedEx/DHL/UPS express and your pipe will arrive quickly.

All of those retailers have provided, to me, excellent service and packaging!
 

Brunello

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Thanks for the input guys. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

ftrplt

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I've purchased little from overseas. Been told many times to avoid Italy due to crazy customs/shipping/mailing problems. Bought a very few pipes directly from England/United Kingdom. The sellers were/are well known to me; no problems at all doing business with them! FWIW FTRPLT
 

Brunello

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A final question if anybody knows . . . after looking over AlPascia, Novelli, and LePip, was about ready to spring for an order and wondered if any of these guys offer IPSD specials? Or is that just an American marketing thing? This will be my pipe budget until Black Friday, so it makes sense to maximize my dollars. Thanks.
 

BriarBeagle

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Alpascia never seems to offer any discounts, with the exception of reductions to pipes on their site which are listed in the "special offers" section of the site. I think these pipes are discounted after a period Of time being listed and not sold. Lepipe.it does do an IPSD deal (to my recollection), along with Bollito pipe. IMO, Tabaccheria corti is great to deal with and they also have very good pricing. Shipping is also lightning fast (2-3 days from Italy to my doorstep).
I have purchased from many reputable dealers amd retailers in many countries, without any problems: Pipeshop.ru, Estervals Pipe House, Pfeifenstudio-Frank, Danish Pipe Shop...all very good. Good luck with the purchase. Please share some photos amd feedback when you get it.
 

BriarBeagle

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Alpascia never seems to offer any discounts, with tje exception of reductions to pipes on their site which
 

Brunello

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Alpascia never seems to offer any discounts, with the exception of reductions to pipes on their site which are listed in the "special offers" section of the site. I think these pipes are discounted after a period Of time being listed and not sold. Lepipe.it does do an IPSD deal (to my recollection), along with Bollito pipe. IMO, Tabaccheria corti is great to deal with and they also have very good pricing. Shipping is also lightning fast (2-3 days from Italy to my doorstep).
I have purchased from many reputable dealers amd retailers in many countries, without any problems: Pipeshop.ru, Estervals Pipe House, Pfeifenstudio-Frank, Danish Pipe Shop...all very good. Good luck with the purchase. Please share some photos amd feedback when you get it.
Thanks for the great info, restores my confidence in giving it a go. Just on Al Pascia this morning and see that the one Radice Rind that I wanted with the cobalt blue undertone has sold over the weekend - better not have been to kxg or a fellow member or there will be words! Nah, that's the result of all my dithering. I'll probably go with a very similar one with a maroon/burgundy rim. Let you all know how it goes. Thanks again.
 

Slowalkintexan

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Have bought pipes in the past, from a supplier, I think was in Poland. they were wood pipes,,,nicely made, good prices, smoked great, He had accessories too...Very good shipping, and now I can’t remember the company name or the website......any ideas?.
 

BriarBeagle

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Have bought pipes in the past, from a supplier, I think was in Poland. they were wood pipes,,,nicely made, good prices, smoked great, He had accessories too...Very good shipping, and now I can’t remember the company name or the website......any ideas?.
Could it be Mr. Brog Pipes you are referring to?
 

Brunello

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Who here has bought a pipe from Estervals in Germany?

After cruising around on eleven e-retailer websites in Europe I found a pipe that I really want from Estervals, but unlike all the other sites they don't offer the option of VAT free pricing, and their DHL shipping cost are crazy, adding another $75 in cost for just a single pipe. I can see if maybe somebody is ordering $500 worth of HU tobacco the shipping might be worthwhile, but not for a single pipe!

Just for comparison I found another pipe that is available from both Estervals and Haddock's in Netherlands and with shipping Haddock's prices out at $178.20, while the same pipe from Estervals would price out at $239.65. The pipe I want that only Estervals has would come to $293.40, and my max is unfortunately only $225. Even if I had $300 to budget for a pipe, I don't think I could justify $75 in shipping, not when all the other seller offer shipping in the range of 10 -25 Euros.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to recall that somebody, maybe Briar Beagle, said that if you create an account with a U.S. address the VAT-free price comes up in the shopping cart with Esterval. But what about that shipping?? Frustrating and kind of depressing when I have champagne tastes and only a beer budget!
 

Ranger107

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Who here has bought a pipe from Estervals in Germany?

After cruising around on eleven e-retailer websites in Europe I found a pipe that I really want from Estervals, but unlike all the other sites they don't offer the option of VAT free pricing, and their DHL shipping cost are crazy, adding another $75 in cost for just a single pipe. I can see if maybe somebody is ordering $500 worth of HU tobacco the shipping might be worthwhile, but not for a single pipe!

Just for comparison I found another pipe that is available from both Estervals and Haddock's in Netherlands and with shipping Haddock's prices out at $178.20, while the same pipe from Estervals would price out at $239.65. The pipe I want that only Estervals has would come to $293.40, and my max is unfortunately only $225. Even if I had $300 to budget for a pipe, I don't think I could justify $75 in shipping, not when all the other seller offer shipping in the range of 10 -25 Euros.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to recall that somebody, maybe Briar Beagle, said that if you create an account with a U.S. address the VAT-free price comes up in the shopping cart with Esterval. But what about that shipping?? Frustrating and kind of depressing when I have champagne tastes and only a beer budget!
Bru, yes very frustrating. Saw a pipe on ebay that I really liked, but shipping was high and also tax. I emailed him and turned out he was in Zurich which is not part of the EU. Thus cost of pipe with shipping and tax was 150% of the actual cost of the pipe. Just could not justify the excessive extra expense so blew it off.
 

BriarBeagle

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Yep..It is VAT free with Estervals, but you have to create an account. The deductions occur automatically in your shopping cart once the product is added (to my recollection). Unfortunately the shipping is steep. I think they have limited their shipping options and are offering fewer choices which are more expensive. I seem to recall paying $35-$40USD for shipping in the past, but that was a few years back.
 

Brunello

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Yep..It is VAT free with Estervals, but you have to create an account. The deductions occur automatically in your shopping cart once the product is added (to my recollection). Unfortunately the shipping is steep. I think they have limited their shipping options and are offering fewer choices which are more expensive. I seem to recall paying $35-$40USD for shipping in the past, but that was a few years back.
Thanks, that may make a difference. Their minimum shipping is now 61 Euros or $73.81 at today's exchange rate. I may have to sell a couple more pipes on BoB before I can pull the trigger on this one!
 
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