Its for charity, bring it up to what you can afford and want to pay, lose anyways then contact Mr Askwith to make you one similar for a little more than we paid but a lot less than what you would have to bid to win it.
@Bakker1964 I am sorry you missed out on this. As Kent has said I am not unfortunately able to make another official POY for you, but (I hope this is an acceptable "advert") I can make you a pipe to the same specs without the official stamps etc.
Thanks for the input! Price is usually not a consideration when doing the LE, meaning a shape and style is decided on and the chosen Artisan gives us a price. I certainly didn’t set out to do a Chris Askwith pipe at the outset as his pipes normally start at way above the cost of this year’s pipe, but as fortune and circumstances played out we were blessed with an Askwith Morta this year.
The philosophy behind an LE is to have an item of high quality, uniqueness and of good value. If a 100.00 LE can fulfill all those parameters then who knows?
As an outsider looking in, the circumstances of the purchase (a couple dozen pipes?) truly seem like a "win-win".
Buyers get a quality purchase from a known artisan at a significant discount off the retail price point. Using the $200.00 figure mentioned, that would represent a 1/3 discount off of this year's Maker's normal price. As someone who has family in the "Artisan community", that is a huge price break.
The artisan gets their product into the hands of many more buyers than might otherwise "find" them and, though making less profit per pipe, they have the security of a large order to keep them going. Further, you have goobers like me, who are counting their shekels and saving up for their own purchase, even if it won't be a LE.
Perhaps a "finished" vs. "unfinished" option might be a possibility, but I am personally in the "if it ain't broke" camp.
I think if you double the number of pipes offered each year, you might simply halve the number of takers for each one. Looking on purely as a spectator (I don't envisage ever joining in), I think you're all doing the right thing already.
As Bakker said, the maker sells pipes to smokers that they otherwise might not, and the buyer gets pipes at a lower price than they otherwise might.
The only "losers" are those like me who stay in the shallow end of the pool, and catering for us would just diminish (cheapen) what would normally be offered to the bigger spenders, with no guarantee there'd be enough shallow end paddlers to make such a move worthwhile. I for one would be unlikely to participate even if a £50 pipe was offered, as I am far too particular in my tastes, to be likely to be caught up in the excitement.