How to buy cigars is a very commonly asked question. There are many ways to buy cigars including catalogs, retail, and the Internet. Several factors need to be considered when buying cigars. Is convenience more or less important than price? Is there a retail cigar shop nearby? Are amenities important to you (i.e. cigar lounge, events, camaraderie)?
Cigar Buying Options
Local retail cigar shops (tobacconist)
Always visit local cigar shops first if that is an option. Local cigar shops are generally family owned and operated small businesses. They are very knowledgeable and will often provide a friendly environment to enjoy premium cigars. Their knowledge will help guide you into making the perfect cigar purchase. Many retail shops offer a cigar lounge for their patrons. Cigar lounges are a great place to relax and unwind and possibly make new friends. Unfortunately many areas do not have a local cigar shop.
Cigar lounges are a large part of the local retail shop culture. In cigar lounges across America people from all income levels and vocations share a common interest in cigars. People who would otherwise have nothing in common will sit in these lounges and have some of the most interesting conversations around. It is a very unique community that makes supporting local stores very important. If local stores are lost then a huge piece of the cigar experience will be gone with them.
Catalog cigar buying
Another option to buy cigars is through a mail order catalog. Many companies offer full color beautiful catalogs full of cigars to purchase. They often offer specials on their brands and on cigar samplers. Catalog cigar buying is popular for people who want to avoid using computers or just like the convenience of mailing orders in. Most cigar websites also offer catalog ordering. The biggest downside to ordering from a catalog is you don’t get to see, touch, feel or smell the cigars as you would in a retail store. It can be difficult to select the cigars from a catalog if you have not tried them before.
Internet cigar buying
Tobacco tax loopholes allow cigars to be shipped across state lines without requiring the seller to collect the local tobacco taxes. Cigar sales on the Internet are booming. Many states have raised tobacco taxes through the roof but still allow cigars to be shipped into their state from low tobacco tax states. Technically the buyers are required to pay their local tobacco tax, but this is rarely enforced.
Many states and the FDA are working on legislation to require the buyer to pay their local tobacco taxes as a part of their purchase total. This could have a huge impact on the internet cigar industry in the future.
Buying cigars on the Internet is similar to a catalog. Often a little money can be saved, but is traded for the experience and knowledge of a local tobacconist. Purchasing cigars on the Internet can be easy if you know exactly what you are looking for. If not it can be a time consuming and frustrating experience.
There are many ways to buy cigars. The choice is up to you to find which you like the most. Don’t forget to support your local cigar shops even if you are an internet or catalog cigar buyer. They are a vital part of the cigar industry!