One of my favorite things to buy and sell is vintage tobacco pipes. I’ve found it to be very easy to visit different flea markets, yard sales, auctions, and thrift stores and find great deals on vintage pipes.
Your key to success is education. You have to know what you are looking for. Like any type of collectible item, the most important thing to look for is (1) maker’s name, (2) rarity, (3) age, and (4) condition. We will cover each of these in more detail below:
1) Maker’s Name: Some of the more popular tobacco pipe manufacturers include Dunhill, Anne Julie, Teddy Knudsen, Tiffany and more. You also want to keep any eye open for meerschaum pipes. Typically, pipes made by an individual are more desirable than pipes that are mass produced.
2) Rarity: Obviously, the rare pipes are worth more than the common pipes.
3) Age: Typically, older pipes are worth more than newer pipes. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but this is the norm.
4) Condition: Condition is everything. People want the oldest, best and rarest, and they want it in mint condition.
If you are just getting started buying and selling pipes, the best thing you can do is visit your local libarary or bookstore, and get a few reference books. This will help you familiarize with the different types and makes of pipes. Another good option is to visit eBay and search the completed listings to find out which pipes bring the most money.
You will be pleasantly surprised to find that some pipes sell for several thousand dollars or more. And many other vintage pipes sell for several hundred dollars.
Once you’ve reviewed your reference books and eBay, you should start visiting local auctions, yard sales and flea markets and search for pipes. If you see a pipe that catches your eye, check it out.
My general rule of thumb is I never spend more than $5-$10 for a pipe that I don’t know it’s value. When I evaluate a pipe, I use the four criteria mentioned above. Typically, I trust my intuition. If I think a pipe has good potential, I buy it.
In conclusion, buying and selling pipes is a great way to make some extra money. You can get started by studying the different types of pipes and pipe makers. Once you learn the ropes, you can visit flea markets, yard sales and auctions and search for treasure. You will be surprised at what you can find.
To learn more about buying and selling vintage estate pipes visit our Treasure Hunter Community website.