Many of you know that I occasionally get a wild hair and curiosity gets the best of me over some trivial matter. It’s in these moments that I post up a Cigar Poll to satisfy said curiosity, but serves little purpose in the grand scheme of things.
Today is just such a day.
I’ve noticed in recent weeks and months that when I’m cigar shopping around the Great State of Florida, I keep a mental checklist of which stores sell which lines….and which ones have the best prices on those lines. If my wife sends me to the market to buy three grocery items, I’ll come back without two of them if I don’t write a note. But, for some reason, I have a seemingly laser-sharp mental acuity for cigar availability, inventory, and pricing for dozens of Florida tobacconists. Priorities, I suppose. When I am planning on making a stop by one of these tobacconists, I know which cigars they carry that I enjoy, how likely they are to have what I need in stock, and whether or not this shop is the best fiscal alternative for that particular line.
Knowing that certain cigars seem to sell better or worse in some areas, many tobacconists will price those cigars they have trouble moving somewhat more competitively than those which fly off the shelves. So, since I’m fortunate enough to have many brick and mortar options in my travels, it pays to know the right place to buy. The differences can be startling. In fact, I’ve noticed pricing on a favorite cigar of mine to vary as much as 40% from one store to the next – in shops that are a mere 6 miles apart. That translates to an $87 difference per box. I don’t care if you’re driving an HMMWV, it’s worth the 6 mile drive.
So, the question of the day is: how much shopping around do you do when buying cigars? Do you have a single go-to shop and just figure it all averages out in the end? Do you buy online only – whether out of necessity (no local B&Ms) or frugality (it’s all about the money, baby)? Do you maintain a relationship with a few (or many) shops – and do as I do, knowing where to buy what you need at the right price? Just take your chances wherever you happen to be and get what you want at the moment?
So if you don’t mind, take a moment and cast your vote in the poll below.
THIS POLL HAS BEEN MOVED. NEW (as of 10/30/14) POLL IS ON THE FORUM.
Stogie Cop says
You should add I wait for events or deals then I stock up. I take advantage when a shop has an event the price reductions when added to the free cigars you get can safe you 50-60% off the regular per stick price!
Kip Fisher says
Liz McDuffee says
we have one shop but use the internet for cigars that he doesn’t carry.
There are three “local” shops around me. I frequent one mostly that has a vast selection & over all best prices. But the other two have cigars the others don’t, so I go to them when I have a hankering for something the regular shop diean.t have.
Tony C. says
I, like most, am not made of money so I shop around. Being in Germany I can’t get much in the way of Boutique cigars at the local B&M, so a lot of those purchases come online. However, I will pay a couple bucks more to cigar stores I am loyal to because they either take better care of their shop and cigars or have better customer service. As long as a store isn’t wildy more expensive I don’t mind paying a little bit more at what I would call a better store.
Michael Stewart says
Primarily, the only b&m’s at which I shop are ones with a smoking lounge that I can use at that time. Other than that, though, I use online services.
I figure, (with my avatar… Lol) i can not vote in this one…. But, i do have a comment to make if that counts. First, it is true some cigars sells in some areas more than others, (only more, because if you are a good retailer and the cigar is decent, you should be able to find a customer for each cigar) I personally like certain brands and cigars but knowing my customers and their flavor profile, I should, in most cases, be able to recommend a similar one whenever we don’t have what they are looking for, so would any employee at Cuenca Cigars…. and believe me, it doesn’t matter how many different brands you carry, there will always be someone asking for a cigar you don’t carry..
My recommendation to Cigar Shops owners and/or managers is not to price their products based on demand but wholesale prices. It’s a bad practice. People will buy once and look somewhere else later. Be always fare and price the product in a better way to your locals, those are the ones that will help you stay in business. For example, if you hold the account with any of the Forbidden cigars, your price point should be better for the locals than online. Online customers will only see your store for that particular one while local customers will always trust you and will smoke what you refer to them (if you gained their trust, of course)
And my recommendation to the consumers is to always ask. In general Cigar Shops have two different price levels: Per Stick and per box. Not always the price you see on the box will be the final price. Usually more retailers are willing to give discounts (and in more cases to match the online prices) as long as they get value. Of course, do not try to abuse the patrons but ask. You’ll be surprise. Most internet prices can be beaten or matched. And then, you get a better product, a cigar that have rotate faster and is in better condition than a cigar that have been bought by the miller and stays in a huge warehouse….. beside of the fact you are helping your local economy.
I have nothing against online business, I love it! I expend most of my day processing internet orders but sometimes, Internet is overpriced. Unless your estate has a huge tax levels (in that case we still need to fight in a different way) or you have not close by tobacconist, my recommendation to the consumer is to ASK first.
if you like a brand, just tell your local tobacconist about it. Most of them, and “in time” (got to clarify because of my friend Scotty will get back to me right away) they should be able to open up to that cigar manufacturer. Most of the new cigars brands we open up here are based on customers requests (email only, lol).
And last but not less, shop around, there is nothing wrong with that, visit different stores and places and when you get some valuable information about what people smoke and do, come back and share with your local tobacconist. sometimes they are too busy paying attention to their own lives that get not time to see other places, so, they may be missing ideas and you may give them some!
Got it go! need to make some money today, but as usual Kip, had a great reading time!
Ana Cuenca from Cuenca Cigars, …….the only place that will put up with your ash…,,.
Alex Martinez says
Some very good points by Ana! That last line, that there’s funny! I don’t care who you are! ROFLMAO