As most pipe smokers know, the beloved McClelland tobacco company is shutting its doors forever after 40 years of business. Knowing that some of our favorite blends will never be available again, it only makes sense that we will be seeking out any remaining stock and adding it to our collection or cellars.
Yesterday, I decided to see if I could stock up on some of my favorite McClelland blends and as you can imagine, supplies are scarce. However, what I was shocked and appalled to see, although I guess I should have expected it given the way the world is today, that people were selling McClelland on site like eBay for astronomical prices. In my opinion, this is nothing more the price gouging.
Now, I know that many people will argue that this is simply a case of supply and demand, capitalism in its purest form. But as a longtime pipe lover, I find this money making scheme sad and contradictory to the general openness and honesty of the international pipe smoking community.
In order to understand my point, let's look at the formal definition of price gouging. According, to Wikipedia, price gouging is defined as, "a pejorative term referring to when a seller spikes the prices of goods, services or commodities to a level much higher than is considered reasonable or fair, and is considered exploitative, potentially to an unethical extent."
Here is an example, of what I am talking about. This is an eBay listing for a 2017 tin of McClelland Frog Morton on the Bayou with a buy it now price of $99.00.
I have seen other sellers across the Internet pricing individual tins at up to $275! Not only that, but they are telling people that they are "highly collectible" and will "increase in value"! I understand that everyone wants to make money, but outrageous prices and nonsense claims about collectability and value are just plain unfair and wrong.
So, what do you think? Is it just the nature of supply and demand, or do you find this behavior offensive? Leave a comment below.