Tobacco Shop vs. On-Line Purchase

Chris P

Newbie in the jungle
I've always bought my cigars from the good old tobacco shops, where I can physically see and touch them. I get catalogs from Cigar International, Thompson, etc...., but have never bought from them-- YET. Anyone know if these are the same quality, etc...? Does anybody have any good or bad experiences they've had with an on-line dealer??
 

Rballkid

Young Ape
The few cigars that I have bought online have always turned out to be great experiences. Even though I have only ever bought form 2 online shops. I personally find it easier buying it from an on-line shop not only because they are cheaper but if you talk to the customer service people they are a lot nicer than the guys at my local shops.
 

vince321

ChestBeater
I would love to buy all of my cigars from a local cigar shop. However, online purchasing saves me 50% or more and that makes for an easy decision.

Cigars International, Famous Smoke Shop and others have been excellent and for the most part offer a larger selection a substantially lower prices.
 

gvarsity

mr. mom
You get different things from each type of store. In a good brick and mortar you pay more but get a community of smokers and expertise from a friendly and experienced staff and often a venue to enjoy your smokes where they will be appreciated. Online you dodge a tax hit and get lower prices because they have less overhead than a b&m. You have to wait for your smokes, pay shipping, they travel through who knows what conditions until they get to you so you may have to put them in a humidor for awhile for conditioning for lack of a better term. I really couldn't afford box prices at most b&m and for that reason never bought that many. Buying online on special or the devil site I have bought a couple of boxes/bundles. Still I try to frequent my local b&m regularly.
 

taltos

Elder Jungle Leader
Welcome Chris. To get the formalities out of the way first, please find your way to the New Member Forum and introduce yourself. I am not sure of the tobacco tax in Florida, but the main argument for online shopping is greater selection of product and no state tobacco tax unless that online vendor is located in your state. Personally I have had great luck with Cigars International, Payless Cigars, Famous Smokes, JR Cigars, and Atlantic Cigars. Avoid Thompson at all costs until you have more experience. Most of their self-branded cigars are substandard and the folks rating them at 90 percent are members of their advertising staff. The national brands that they carry are at or above MSRP which is even more expensive than in your local shop. This is a great group of folks on here and will be more than glad to answer most of your questions possibly with a suggestion to use the search function to self-help first. Once again, welcome aboard. Paul
 

boonedoggle

Goal: 1,000,000,000 posts
I would love to buy all of my cigars from a local cigar shop. However, online purchasing saves me 50% or more and that makes for an easy decision.

Cigars International, Famous Smoke Shop and others have been excellent and for the most part offer a larger selection a substantially lower prices.
ditto
 

Blaylock

Elder Jungle Leader
I also visit a few local shops in my area, primarily because I enjoy talking with the owners and customers face to face.
Most of my purchases though are on-line for the reasons already stated above. I haven't had many problems with on-line goods and the few problems I had were remedied with a phone call.
 

[OT] Loki

Chestbeating Pack Leader
i was just thinking about something like this in the shower this morning...Does anyone ever wonder what the conditions these cigars are stored in while they wait for us to buy them
 

borndead1

Waiting for the Nub 180!
There are 4 smoke shops within 10 miles of me, and only 1 of them is worth going to. The owners are great guys, knowledgeable about tobacco and the cigars they sell, and generous as hell. I can't count the number of free cigars and empty boxes I've been given since I became a regular there. And no matter how busy the store is (it's a TOBACCO store, not just cigars), the owner always makes a point to pop into the humidor for a minute, greet me, and ask how I've been. THAT BEING SAID....I still cannot resist the lure of low online prices. I would love to give my business to these guys exclusively, but it just doesn't make financial sense. But I still go there to buy cheapie everyday sticks, also for singles of higher end cigars (for future c bidding haha), and they have their own private lines that are great smokes as well. So, on the subject of Tobacco Shop vs. On-Line Purchase, I say BOTH. :D
 

c-poc

Evolving Lead Gorilla
I buy a few singles here and there from my B&M, but 95% of my purchases are from online retailers... namely Famous Smoke, Cigars International and CBid. NEVER had a complaint with their services and/or products. Online is the way to go for saving mucho $$$. No tax, and usually free shipping on boxes
 
For me the big online guys have been hit and miss.

The sticks I got from Holts were great and arrived quickly.

The sticks that I received from CI looked like someone had played soccer with them. I have friends with similar experiences.

Of course you can't beat the prices.

A good B+M close by is a rare thing indeed. I would have to travel 1hr+ to get to a good one. So its a fight either way. It really depends on your local situation. I imagine if I lived closer to a truly great shop, online business would loose its luster.
 

RGD

Elder Jungle Leader
For a bad online experience - buy from Thompson's. For good online experience - buy from anyone else.

Online retailers have zero reason not to keep their stock in good condition. It does not take long for a bad rep to get through the various internet cigar communities when a vendor goes bad.

I receive nearly all of my online purchases within 3 to 5 days of being ordered. And as others have mentioned - plus side is larger stock selection, lower prices, less to no sales tax for most.

No reason not to order online.


Ron
 

Stogmeister

Maturing Primate
For me the big online guys have been hit and miss.

The sticks I got from Holts were great and arrived quickly.

The sticks that I received from CI looked like someone had played soccer with them. I have friends with similar experiences.

Of course you can't beat the prices.

A good B+M close by is a rare thing indeed. I would have to travel 1hr+ to get to a good one. So its a fight either way. It really depends on your local situation. I imagine if I lived closer to a truly great shop, online business would loose its luster.
I think anytime you buy singles or a sampler online you expose your sticks to some possible damage due to the individual handling and non-box packaging. I've had some minor foot damage to several cigars bought from Cigarking, CI, and Cbid; but nothing I get too upset about. All boxes I've bought online have been perfect. :2
 

wharfrathoss

old man down
AVOID THOMPSON'S-try famous smoke shop, cigar international, phatash, jr's, mike's cigars, tnt for smokes-try cheap humidors, cigarmony, bargin humidors, cigar solutions for humis, cutters, & lighters-have dealt w/most of these & had no problems-lot of guys rave about cbid-word of advice:sign up for email specials on ALL of these sights-sometimes a great deal comes along

i do still frequent local shops to try singles (for box purchase online later) and cheap daily smokes-nice to have a place to sit & smoke too, getting harder to find here in ohio-over the past 2 years have developed relationship w/shop owners & get treated better than average guy off the street (free emptys, samples, advance notice of favorites arriving, etc.)-it's good to support the local guy so i try to send a little buisness their way-just can't beat online pricing though
 

Dgar

SilverBack
As far as the quality of the cigars purchased through the mail or at a B&M, they are the same cigar. I have had great experiences ordering online from domestic companies and from overseas.

I buy both online and from the B&M we have 5 or 6 local B&M's, and I can usually find the hard to get cigars at better prices locally than online. But for the everyday smokes, I think online will have the best prices.

I have not found the service or support to be any better at the B&M's, none offer me any extra value for the dollar.

I think you'll find most folks who smoke/stash/collect/hord cigars long enough, will order online.
 

steelheaderdu

Master Baiter
Paul,

I like to try smokes at my local B&M then buy them online. Like others have said, it's very difficult to drop $10 on a stick you can find online for $4 or $5. I think there can be a happy median, and most of the B&Ms know it, too. Price is a really big factor for those of us who don't have larger incomes.

Anyway, I like to buy roughly 6 sticks every time I go into my B&M. 3 brands, 2 of each smoke. I smoke one almost immediately, then I let the other sit for a couple weeks. After my taste testing is finished, I decide what's worth buying, and I come online and check JR. Most people I know do the same.

Welcome to CS. Start posting and make friends. It's been a blast for me, and I've only been a member for 5 months.

-John
 

MeNimbus

Chestbeating Pack Leader
I like to buy boxes in B&M only when they have the rare and hard to find gars like Anejos and Opus X. For all other types I normally buy online to avoid tax and most of the time free shipping. Welcome to the Jungle :w
 

Boston_Dude05

Chestbeating Pack Leader
I do 90% online/10% B&M. Online is much cheaper generally, even with shipping and the smokes arrive in good shape generally. The local B&Ms do have rare stuff, which is usually cheaper than online and easier to buy say a single to try out before committing large $s on a box which might be risky. The disadvantage to being in MA is there is a large tax for in-state residents, so the local B&M actually has very competitive prices, but with the tax it becomes higher than online sources. In some ways, the tax hurts their business.
 
Top