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Prices of meerschaums - are they at times arbitrary? Yes

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Well-known member
B of B Supporter
Jan 4, 2023
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When doing some shopping for meerschaums a few weeks ago, I ordered a few pipes from a well known and popular meerschaum pipe purveyor, with the intention of keeping the one I liked most.

When looking at meerschaum pipes, something that I've always found somewhat perplexing is that within a given set of specs (e.g. 6" length, 45g, standard shape), from the same carver or manufacturer, the price for one pipe may be $150 and another may be $240 with no obviously justifiable differences. It seems almost like they pull a number out of thin air to create their list price. As it turns out.. some sellers do!

After I received the pipes, I just didn't feel like I really loved any of them, and because of the generous return policy, I decided to send them all back.

To my bemusement, when I checked the website again later, I noticed that the very same pipes I had just returned had been relisted at dramatically inflated prices compared to what I had just paid a few weeks before!

When I say dramatically, it is without exaggeration. Here's some examples of what I paid for these 3 pipes, and what the prices were relisted as 2 weeks later.

Srv Premium Calabash 9mm: I paid $250, now listed at $295
Srv Premium Cobra: I paid $155, now listed at $245
Srv Premium Self Sitter: I paid $165, now listed at $265

That is insane! I did not initially buy any of these at a discount or on sale. I felt they were barely worth the price that I originally paid, much less as much as an astounding $100 extra for no conceivable reason. Consider this a PSA, to be sure that what you're buying is worth the price, because retailers can just make up a number to convince less informed people that they're buying something of a higher quality, when in truth they just want to arbitrarily extract extra money from the consumer. Seems like a pretty dubious way to conduct business to me. I now know where I will not be shopping in the future lol
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