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