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Written by Kevin Godbee

Thursday, 05 February 2009

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These days you can buy just about everything you could ever want without the need to leave the comfort of your own home. You can shop till you drop and never have to look for a parking space or face the crowds down at the mall thanks to the magic of the Internet, but is it really the place to buy cigars?

The short answer is Yes and No.

You can get some good deals online, but you should also shop at the local "B&M", which is short for "Brick & Mortar" - meaning a physical store location.

Aside from the fact that it would be considered "nice" to support your local tobacconist, you may be wondering what's in it for you if you can get lower prices online, especially in these days of tough economic times.

If you are new to cigars, it is best to start with your local B&M. They can point you in the right direction on which cigars to start with, and you can make a small purchase of just 1 or 2 cigars if you like. A beginner should never start with a box, or several of one cigar. Your tastes will change over time, and what was your favorite last week may not be this week.

sabor-havana

You also have the benefit of bumping into other cigar smokers at the local shop that can offer their input and advice. Most cigar smokers are very friendly and enjoy sharing their experiences.

If you're just beginning to smoke cigars there's nothing that beats being able to walk into a cigar dealer and being able to actually touch the cigars, smell them and look at the quality that's hiding behind the description.

In fact there are some experts who would suggest that for a beginner the only way to buy cigars is by doing it face-to-face at a cigar dealer. Not only do you get the chance to talk about cigars with someone who wants to sell you the product that is right for you but you also get to hear the language of cigars and discover the meanings of those words and phrases that cigar smokers are so quick to use when talking about their favorite smoke.

old-havana-smoke-shop cigar-box-ok

While learning the language can be important perhaps even more important here is the fact that you learn to judge what's right for you. Learning all about the characteristics of the cigars you like is very important and it will help you develop your taste for the right cigars.

Another benefit of buying from the local shop is that they sometimes get the newest cigars first. You have the opportunity to try a new cigar by just buying one. If you love it, you can always look for some mega deal online later.






Comments 

 
0 # No LoveCalestus 2009-02-05 00:20
No love for Cigars International? They are a good online retailer too. Although I agree that you should check out and support your B&M.

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0 # I wuv them tooKevin Godbee 2009-02-05 00:55
Cigars International is loved as well! I can't include every cigar site though. You may not be aware that Cigars International owns Cigar.com and they are included above, so CI gets a little indirect love anyway.

Thanks for reading the article and thanks for commenting on it.

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0 # good articlefred 2009-02-05 02:57
good article. as a no longer newbie, i would add that, for newbies, yes it can be sort of scary. you go in the store and have no idea which stick would fit your taste. living in a state that has some ( the most ??) high taxes on cigars, the urge to buy everything online is pretty strong. but getting to know the smoke shop owner can be a fullfilling experience.

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0 # good articlepipesandgop 2009-02-05 08:03
Good article, buuuuut
"There's no touching, sniffing and visual inspection of the product you're going to buy when you're shopping online and the only thing you have to go on is the description that the site owner offers for each of his cigars. And the same goes for mail order cigar purchases too."

Lest we not forget all the reviews found right here on puff.com (on the forum and the former top25.com) from many botl with very diverse tastes.

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0 # Ji Chul Kim 2009-02-05 13:11
A Caveat about Brick and Mortar shops. The knowledge you may gain and discussion you may entertain depends primarily on the knowledge of the person behind the counter. I support my B&Ms, however I have been told tidbits of information that are far from the truth, i.e. mold is plume.

There is a lot to be said for smokers new to the hobby to have an ability to be around the smokes, the smell them, to see them, sometimes to smell them. I'm cautious about handling smokes in a shop until I've narrowed down my choices.

The fact is, I've learned more than I could possibly have garnished from local B&Ms from the various Cigar Forums online. The wealth of information from thousands of cigar smokers participating in centralized forums is your best source of information in my opinion.

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0 # BalanceDan 2009-02-06 00:32
I love CI and won't shop another online retailer.. that being said, I still go to my local cigar shop once in a while to see what's new and chat w/fellow herfs.. if we don't support these B&M shops they'll be a thing of the past and so will the tradition...

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0 # Cigar.com vs. Cigars InternationalCBMC 2009-02-06 07:56
Quote:
Cigars International is loved as well! I can't include every cigar site though. You may not be aware that Cigars International owns Cigar.com and they are included above, so CI gets a little indirect love anyway.


Strangely, when I e-mailed Cigars International and asked them "why they had the same address?" the response I got was:

It is true that Cigars International and Cigar.com have the same address. This is because we share an office and warehouse. The reason there are different phone numbers and websites is because they are in fact two different companies just sharing facilities. Thank you for your inquiry and if there is anything else I can assist you with, please feel free to reply to this message.

Sincerely,
Jill C
Customer Service


Don't know if that's true or not?

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0 # Why care about tradition, elegance, and supporting your local B&M? Buy the best cigar for the best price!Metalbass 2009-02-09 04:32
Hey guys, let's face it. I have seen so many people talk about tradition and elegance when it comes ot cigars. Just take cigars for what they are: they're yummy and it's fun to smoke a good cigar every now and then. Anybody that talks about tradition in cigar smoking is "blowing smoke". Is there anything elegant about smoking a cigar? No, not anymore than there is in cracking open a cheap lousy beer like Budweiser or chewing bubblegum. What is elegant is doing something that you enjoy and being allowed to smoke. I actually do not mind public smoking bans in public areas. What I am against is my freedom to go to a bar or restaurant that is cigar-friendly and then be told that the city has passed an ordinance to control how people choose to run their business. That's communist garbage!

Do I go to my local B&M? I sometimes do, but 95% of the time I buy my cigars online. I buy singles from the store, and boxes and bundles online. It makes perfect sense to save money and support your favorite store at the same time.

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0 # Living in a Tobacco Unfriendly State Like Hawaii808 2009-02-09 18:11
There is a great B&M here in town called Cigar Cigar and the owner Joe Hilton is very knowledgeable and friendly. I usually buy singles from him that are either for a special occasion or something new (to me) I want to try. The difficulty is living in a place where the taxes are very high and public smoking is pretty much outlawed. Typically I can buy at least 5 cigars online for the price of 2 at the B&M and the customer service at places that like Famous-Smokes, Cigars International, Cigarbid and others has been nothing short of fantastic. If I happen to purchase something I don't like I'm happy to just pass them on to a BOTL/SOTL that does. As much as I would prefer to give all my business to the B&M I'm afraid I can't afford to.

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