As I sit here on this hotter than hell day, in front of a fan with the AC running full bore, trying to ignore the various places that my clothes are sticking, I am brainstorming about something to which to write about. As the gears grind and attempt to turn, I thought back to some of the interesting conversations that have taken place over time in the various cigar groups that I participate in on that oh so popular social media site.
One such conversation that came up was a debate started by a troll who said to me, “All the cigars you own are dog turds because you order online and not buy from brick and mortar shops.” This is true, 99% of the cigars I own were purchased from websites. Sure, I support small companies, and I support brick and mortar shops, however going to a brick and mortar is not all that economic for me. The nearest brick and mortar that I do go to and like, is an hour and a half drive away, so to drive all that way to stock up my humidor makes zero sense.
Not only that, but I am on a budget, buying cigars at full price would not only break my bank, but also my wife would break my head. Not all is lost though, I do order from smaller brick and mortar stores who happen to have an online page to order from, Bobalu Cigar Co. is an example of that, and quite frankly I think it’s smart for any business to offer their products online to reach a bigger audience. If I just relied on the selection in the one shop I personally visit, I would be restricted to 50 or so different cigars, as with the internet I have access to thousands, including small stores who carry cigars you can’t get anywhere else but through them.
Another advantage of buying online, for me at least, are the sales, promotions, combos, the various accessories, and the ability to learn about new products. Sure, not all online sales are perfect, I have had a few issues with orders, whether damages or wrong things being sent, but the great customer service always fixes it and makes it right. Over the last 16 to 17 years of doing mail order and online purchases, I can only recall only one time when I got both a bad order and bad customer service. One in 16 years, not bad.
His main argument was, if you order online, the cigars you get are crap because of the duration of time that they are boxed up and transported. Well, its a normal practice to let a cigar rest in the humidor for a week or two before smoking anyway, so that argument is null and void. I have read and hear horror stories of people finding dried out cigars and even mold in some store humidors. Nothing is perfect, so either way there is a certain amount of risk involved when you buy cigars. The same thing can be said about anything really. You just need to use your head, do research and buy at your own risk.
Then there’s the stories of people ordering online, paying for product and not getting anything, people getting scammed. Sure that’s a risk, but like anything, do research, ask around, find out what people have to say before ordering anything. That’s smart shopping. Out of the thousands of cigar sellers online, I personally only use 4 or 5, ones I trust. So in reality, are all cigars dog turds because they were bought online? Certainly not. Be smart about what and who you buy from and you will not have any issues.
Are brick and mortar stores the absolute best to buy from? Not necessarily, there’s still risk involved. My point is, be smart about buying, there’s great deals to be found online and in shops, be smart, do research, and ask around and it will be a great experience for everyone.
Until next time, enjoy whatever it is you are smoking, from wherever it is you acquired it.