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Old 04-29-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
SmokinPhysics
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Default Shopping Around?

So I've spent some time the last several days (procrastination FTW) reading and digesting several pages worth of threads, and I must admit the selection of sales sites is a bit overwhelming. It seems like everyone either has some sort of go-to or a few that they use on a regular basis. My question is how much shopping around do you do prior to any given purchase?

I'm also curious as to how yall arrive at your purchase decisions. The cigar selections are so huge, and it's hard to choose even among sampler packs (it really is a slippery slope, huh ). I've been a beer geek longer than I've been into cigars, and I have the same issue in that hobby; I generally spend 15-30 minutes perusing a (good) bottle shop's selection before settling on a purchase (even if I've been to that shop before), and that's after spending hours of my own time reading reviews and the like of various beers online.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

If you are new to cigars and just dont know what you like yet i suggest continue reading others suggestions and go to your b&m or there is a single cigar site sorry forgot name...buy yourself a bunch of singles. Once you find the ones you like buy a 5pack of it...if you still like it buy a box! I spent tons of hours reading reviews. Sign up for the newbi sampler also a great way to try new sticks! I find most of the combos from ci or similar retatilers to be a waste....typically 1 or 2 good sticks for ever 5 bad ones...this isnt always the case but seems to be often
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Best I can say is that one learns cigars the same way you learned beers, my friend.
We lean heavily on each other's reviews, and can suggest things to newcomers based on things they've said they liked.
Then it just takes time.
If you've gotten good at beer geekery, cigar geekery is much the same. It takes years to learn a good amount of stuff, and you never learn everything. That's why it's so nice to have a brotherhood to lean on for advice, no matter how long we've played with cigars.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

The minimum research is to at least know which sites are different divisions of the same company. For example, Cigars International / CBid / cigars.com / Cigar sprint are cousins. So, don't bid more on Cbid than its normally listed on CI.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Also, don't forget to get a copy of the CA Newsletter. Shoot me your addy in a PM and I can get a copy off to you Wednesday if you'd like. Lots of good reviews and reading material.
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBear View Post
Also, don't forget to get a copy of the CA Newsletter. Shoot me your addy in a PM and I can get a copy off to you Wednesday if you'd like. Lots of good reviews and reading material.
Great advice
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBear View Post
Also, don't forget to get a copy of the CA Newsletter. Shoot me your addy in a PM and I can get a copy off to you Wednesday if you'd like. Lots of good reviews and reading material.
I learned so much from that thing
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBear View Post
Also, don't forget to get a copy of the CA Newsletter. Shoot me your addy in a PM and I can get a copy off to you Wednesday if you'd like. Lots of good reviews and reading material.
...The CA Newsletter?

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Old 04-29-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

I say enjoy the journey, make mistakes, smoke sticks that you wouldn't give to your mother in law. That's how you develop tastes, and that in turn develops your pallet. I think everyone has purchased a crappy sampler in their day, before they smoked their first Padron anny, Liga Privada or Tat.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Smoke a ton of different sticks and you will soon discover what you like/dislike and take it from there.

And a plug for Brent...the CA Newbie Sampler Trade III is a very good way to get a bunch of different sticks to try.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBear View Post
Also, don't forget to get a copy of the CA Newsletter. Shoot me your addy in a PM and I can get a copy off to you Wednesday if you'd like. Lots of good reviews and reading material.
This. I am still studying mine.
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

I, too, would like the name of a good vendor.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

I always just pick up random sticks at B&M's and online. I still try things that people like on here, but we are all different so someone else's review only goes so far for you.
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

I like cigarsAtYourPrice.com.....

As for which smokes, just be venturius and buy/smoke. The great thing about cigars is that you can't try them all!!

Smoke what you like and like what you smoke.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

All very good advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wharf Rat View Post
The minimum research is to at least know which sites are different divisions of the same company. For example, Cigars International / CBid / cigars.com / Cigar sprint are cousins. So, don't bid more on Cbid than its normally listed on CI.
Very interesting. I probably would've taken a while to figure that out, as I'm not keen to go searching for such information right off the bat, particularly coming from the beer side of things where the distribution mechanics are very different.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Welcome to the nuthouse. This place has helped me in so many ways discover cigars that I love. As far as sites go, I use cigar monster alot. Some of my favorite vendors are New Havana Cigars (The owner Dan is a great guy), Atlantic Cigars, Smoke Inn, and Outlaw Cigar. Enjoy the slippery slope. It's a fun ride!
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Well, of course there is only one place I think anyone should ever shop online, but we do have some cool features in place for aspiring cigar-nerds who are trying to develop their palate. For starters, we sell single sticks of everything that we carry, so you can mix and match to your heart's content, like the biggest B&M ever is sitting right on your laptop.

Additionally we have a Build Your Own Sampler item where you can make your own custom 7-pack sampler. I picked out 60 or so different cigars to be options, and you can pick any 7 for $34.95. They're all in the mid-level premium range, or ones that go for $7-9 individually on the site. http://www.pipesandcigars.com/mayoownsaro.html

With the plug for the company I work for out of the way, I'll just echo what everyone else said about finding what you like - try everything! Do some reading, and give a try to what you think sounds good. Don't get yourself tied down early to one or two brands with a big buy, start with variety and then narrow it down. Samplers are good too, but be careful and make sure you're getting a good one. If you're spending say $40 on a 10 or 12 cigar sampler, but you could spend, say $50 or $55 to pick out 10 or 12 cigars that you REALLY want to try as singles, it'll probably be worth the extra dough in the long run to be sampling exactly what you're most interested in, and hopefully find what you want to buy in bulk for savings faster.

Another suggestion I'd make is to find a frequent online reviewer who you can identify with. Once you've smoked a few cigars that you really enjoyed, look for reviews on those smokes. If you find one that seems to agree with your impression of said cigar, keep following his/her reviews of stuff you haven't tried. Next time s/he falls head-over-heels for a cigar, chances are you'll enjoy it as well.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:02 AM   #18
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Read the reviews and stop by a local B&M and pick up a couple of cigars to try. It really is a matter of personal preference and you need to figure out what you like. Once you have that down you can move on to looking at cigar internet sites and buying online. Based on my own experience, buy 1-2 of anything you have never had to see if you like them and then get a fiver of the ones you like. I would avoid buying boxes until you really know what you like as your tastes will change. People have already mentioned some good places, New Havana and Smoke Inn are great to deal with. I always call Atlantic because their prices can be cheaper over the phone than the posted prices on their website.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

Quote:
Additionally we have a Build Your Own Sampler item where you can make your own custom 7-pack sampler. I picked out 60 or so different cigars to be options, and you can pick any 7 for $34.95. They're all in the mid-level premium range, or ones that go for $7-9 individually on the site. http://www.pipesandcigars.com/mayoownsaro.html
Thanks for reminding me about this feature.

All sound advice from everyone, now get to it.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Shopping Around?

I avoid the bidding, daily deals, and fire sales now like a plague. Too many people, too much temptation to spend money I don't have. Truth be told, I don't smoke as much as I did 4 years ago, so I don't buy much, I just smoke my stash in an attempt to reduce it.


When I do buy, I know the MSRP, the local cigar taxes, approximately what % of MSRP the major online dealers are selling cigars for, and what I'll pay for a cigar. Mostly, I shop locally to support the local B&M, and if I can't find it there and they can't order it, I'll go online if I want it bad enough (very rarely does this happen).

I guess I've lost that "deal-hunting" attitude as I get older. I'm less concerned about paying 10-30 more for a box of cigars when I hardly buy a fraction of what I used to.
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