by guest blogger David F. Cline
Cigars – Where to Get Them; What to Buy
In a previous column, I wrote that a visit to your local cigar shop would be a valuable use of your time, and that a knowledgeable tobacconist could help you find cigars that are a good fit for your palate. I still believe that, and I still visit my local cigar store often, but I have discovered a new and glorious way to acquire premium cigars for a not-so-premium price.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of cigar auctions.
When I first heard that cigars were available via online auctions, I was more than skeptical. How would they be kept fresh? How quickly could they be shipped? How would you know what you are really buying? Again, this is where a visit to a cigar store helps. Once you have an idea of what you like, and what cigars are similar to those you like, steer your browser to a cigar auction site. My personal favorites are http://www.cigarbid.com and http://www.thompsoncigarauctions.com.
Both sites have listings in many different categories – single cigars, bundles, boxes, samplers, etc. Let’s say you have developed a taste for Alec Bradley cigars. Would you be interested in a sampler of four different blends, 12 cigars in all? Maybe not at retail price – or close to $100 – but how about half of that, or less? Or how about a few Alec Bradley, a few Rocky Patel, some PDR …?
I have found the samplers to be great value, and I continue to purchase them regularly. And in regards to pricing, you cannot beat the cost. Both sites I mentioned display the retail value of the merchandise, so you have an idea what kind of savings you will realize. The samplers I like have a retail value of about $80 for ten cigars; I have never paid that much, and have paid as little as $19. Best of all, each of the cigars in the sampler is different, but unique, and each one is very good.
Now (if you will pardon the pun), I have been burned. I bought a five-pack of an familiar brand about a month ago. The write-up sounded promising, and I found an online review that made this cigar sound delicious, indeed. Alas, it was very bitter and tasteless; I could only smoke two of the five. However, my total investment – including shipping – was $12. Since then, I stick with samplers of brands I know, like, and trust.
Give it a try – sign up for an account at either or both of these sites (you will have to include billing and shipping information when you sign up), then start browsing and hopefully winning. See you on the auction block!