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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has possibly been covered before, I did search, so apologies if I missed something :shocked:

I've just come across Marty's list, and was wondering if anyone explain how some - seemingly reputable - online stores can sell Habanos at far cheaper prices than they are available for in Cuba?

Do legit stores in Cuba inflate prices for tourists?
Does Habanos SA export at massive bulk discount?
Or if online stores are cheaper are they automatically selling fakes?

Any guidelines, thoughts?
Paul
 

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Many online stores are legit. Most of the price difference you'll see between legit vendors is due to taxes and duties. Generally speaking, vendors within the same country seem to have comparable prices, at least from my experience.
 

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I've noticed that the best legit online vendor's pricing are in lined with that of Cuba.

I'm a frequent visitor to Cuba. One thing about Cuba, most every store and businesses are owned in whole or in part by the Cuban government. So, in Cuba, legitimate sources of rum, sugar, coffee, cigars, perfume, etc are all the same with regards to pricing. For example the Monti Sublime 2008 in December 08 was selling for 9.35 CUC. This price is the same at all LCDH including the ones in the tourist traps. The only time one gets a "discount" is when buying from a guy who got a sister who ex-boyfriend's 3rd cousin has a brother working at the cigar factory. :wink:

Generally I found cigar prices in Cuba to be the lowest anywhere. Some online vendors come close to matching the prices in Cuba. Which makes sense if you remove taxes and the minimal distribution cost. In Canada, as in most countries, it's the taxes that is the biggest portion of a cigar's price. So Cuba's pricing is the benchmark. I myself would be very suspicious of any online vendor selling CC at a lower cost than LCDH.

I would seriously question their source as I highly doubt they got it from Habanos S.A. This would be a huge red flag for me. I would bear this in mind while doing my due diligence with that vendor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I made a small "test" order with one suspiciously priced vendor who claims to source from Habanos SA (3 pack HDM#2)... It came quickly and seems to be very much the real thing (pity I don't like them!)

All their prices are a good bit below the CUC, which makes them so very tempting! But even though my test proved successful, I'm still concerned about laying out for a box.

Any idea what taxes are applied in Cuba?
 

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I've noticed that the best legit online vendor's pricing are in lined with that of Cuba.

I'm a frequent visitor to Cuba. One thing about Cuba, most every store and businesses are owned in whole or in part by the Cuban government. So, in Cuba, legitimate sources of rum, sugar, coffee, cigars, perfume, etc are all the same with regards to pricing. For example the Monti Sublime 2008 in December 08 was selling for 9.35 CUC. This price is the same at all LCDH including the ones in the tourist traps. The only time one gets a "discount" is when buying from a guy who got a sister who ex-boyfriend's 3rd cousin has a brother working at the cigar factory. :wink:

Generally I found cigar prices in Cuba to be the lowest anywhere. Some online vendors come close to matching the prices in Cuba. Which makes sense if you remove taxes and the minimal distribution cost. In Canada, as in most countries, it's the taxes that is the biggest portion of a cigar's price. So Cuba's pricing is the benchmark. I myself would be very suspicious of any online vendor selling CC at a lower cost than LCDH.

I would seriously question their source as I highly doubt they got it from Habanos S.A. This would be a huge red flag for me. I would bear this in mind while doing my due diligence with that vendor.
There are other scenarios. Sometimes vendors get large quantities of aged stock, they buy them from secondary sources (collectors at times) and sell them at a discount. They are cheaper than in Cuba, and undoubtedly real. The question is how well they were stored.
So, if you trust your source, don't be too alarmed if their prices on selected things are as cheap or even cheaper than in government stores in Cuba.
 

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I made a small "test" order with one suspiciously priced vendor who claims to source from Habanos SA (3 pack HDM#2)... It came quickly and seems to be very much the real thing (pity I don't like them!)

All their prices are a good bit below the CUC, which makes them so very tempting! But even though my test proved successful, I'm still concerned about laying out for a box.

Any idea what taxes are applied in Cuba?
What was the price?
 

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There are other scenarios. Sometimes vendors get large quantities of aged stock, they buy them from secondary sources (collectors at times) and sell them at a discount. They are cheaper than in Cuba, and undoubtedly real. The question is how well they were stored.
So, if you trust your source, don't be too alarmed if their prices on selected things are as cheap or even cheaper than in government stores in Cuba.
Agree that this scenario could be true. Anything is possible though I doubt rare and aged stock is cheaper. Normally it's higher price is it not?? If their prices are consistently to good to be true. Well you know what they say if something is to good to be true. I'm not saying it's not possible...just saying be very careful.
 

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Could it also me issues with exchange rate. I know as my (the Canadian dollar) drops in relation to the US my smokes are more expensive.

This being said if I would have bought (I did) tonnes of smokes when the Canadian dollar was well over a US dollar and now sold them for less US dollars then I paid I would still make money due to the rates of exchange changing.

Don't know if its the answer but it is an explaination.

Bottom line is always develop a vendor and trust the vendor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info guys... Ok I did some math (with the *correct* exchange rate) and it looks like its 50/50; some stuff is cheaper, rest is the same or slightly more than Marty's prices.

One anomaly is a box of Siglo IV for approx 190 euro including delivery... which is about 20 euro less than in Cuba... and about 250 euro less than my local B&M!!! (insano import/duty/tobacco taxes here)

See the problem?
 

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part is due to swiss vendors going broke and their stock being purchased at a discount...the savings are then passed on to the customer.

part is due to fluctuating currency and a cuc$ that is worth air. cuc$ is based at 11% above american dollar. american dollar took a nose dive a year and a half ago...good for me and good for european vendors but bad for those with american cash to buy with...1 1/2 years later...european cigars looks cheap for you.

in other words...it is nice when your particular currency re-values up 20% or so...not so good when your currency goes down 20%.

derrek
 

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Agree that this scenario could be true. Anything is possible though I doubt rare and aged stock is cheaper. Normally it's higher price is it not?? If their prices are consistently to good to be true. Well you know what they say if something is to good to be true. I'm not saying it's not possible...just saying be very careful.
Rare and aged stock is cheaper in this scenario. A distributor went bankrupt and a number of Swiss vendors ended up with large stocks of old cigars for practically nothing. They then went on to sell off all this stock for dirt cheap (Buy one box get one free, buy two boxes and get 75% off - those kinds of things) over the course of last year. As a result, I and many others ended up with dozens of boxes of decade-old, very legitimate cigars for practically nothing. The trade-off is that they may not have been stored properly for all of their lives, but they're still damned good...
Thanks for the info guys... Ok I did some math (with the *correct* exchange rate) and it looks like its 50/50; some stuff is cheaper, rest is the same or slightly more than Marty's prices.

One anomaly is a box of Siglo IV for approx 190 euro including delivery... which is about 20 euro less than in Cuba... and about 250 euro less than my local B&M!!! (insano import/duty/tobacco taxes here)

See the problem?
There are legit vendors that sell some things below what you would be able to buy them for in Cuba, but they price other things above. It's kind of hard to judge though since we can't name vendors, but that's not necessarily an auto-fake criterion. But for the sake of prudence, I wouldn't make a large purchase from them until you've verified the vendor. Contact their country's distributor and see if they are an authorized dealer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Seriously good input guys. Thanks.

I'll do some more digging.
But I'm tempted to try a medium spend experiment with them... probably a box of Partagas Shorts. If I win, I win, If I lose, its not a terribly painful amount of cash (~75euro)
 

· Götterdämmerung
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Seriously good input guys. Thanks.

I'll do some more digging.
But I'm tempted to try a medium spend experiment with them... probably a box of Partagas Shorts. If I win, I win, If I lose, its not a terribly painful amount of cash (~75euro)
What I would do is with that purchase make a small purchase of something that is often counterfeited. A 3-pack of Cohibas, for instance. I doubt you'll get counterfeit Partagas Shorts about anywhere, but it's very easy for anyone to slip fake Cohibas into the cardboard petacas of 3 or 5, and it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What I would do is with that purchase make a small purchase of something that is often counterfeited. A 3-pack of Cohibas, for instance. I doubt you'll get counterfeit Partagas Shorts about anywhere, but it's very easy for anyone to slip fake Cohibas into the cardboard petacas of 3 or 5, and it happens.
I bought a peteca of HDM Epicure 2's and I'm 99.99% certain they are the real deal, and anyhow a 3 pack of Cohibas is not a whole lot less than a 25 box of shorts :nod:
Oh the justifications I can come up with!

I'll let you know how I get on (again)
 

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I bought a peteca of HDM Epicure 2's and I'm 99.99% certain they are the real deal, and anyhow a 3 pack of Cohibas is not a whole lot less than a 25 box of shorts :nod:
Oh the justifications I can come up with!

I'll let you know how I get on (again)
Haha, true. A pack of 3 Cohiba Robustos is about half the price of the Shorts...
 

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Agree that this scenario could be true. Anything is possible though I doubt rare and aged stock is cheaper. Normally it's higher price is it not?? If their prices are consistently to good to be true. Well you know what they say if something is to good to be true. I'm not saying it's not possible...just saying be very careful.
You missed my point. There is a question here about the long-term storage of these sticks. No question about the legitimacy of the vendor. This has been all over other boards. Don't assume, or lead others to assume, that a cheaper price points to fakes. Also, a difference between "aged" and "rare", not necessarily the same thing.
The reason many people prefer to buy fresh cigars and age them is so that they can get around any concerns about how they have been kept.
 

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You missed my point. There is a question here about the long-term storage of these sticks. No question about the legitimacy of the vendor. This has been all over other boards. Don't assume, or lead others to assume, that a cheaper price points to fakes. Also, a difference between "aged" and "rare", not necessarily the same thing.
The reason many people prefer to buy fresh cigars and age them is so that they can get around any concerns about how they have been kept.
Nope I didn't miss your point. I didn't know there are these "special deals." I'm old enough to be a little bit skeptical of "special deals." I admitted that what you say is plausible. I'm just warning the OP to be careful and do his due diligence. As part of his due diligence, I would encourage the OP to glean the info from this thread and combine that with the info, as you say, "over other boards." When it comes to CC I think being skeptical is healthy.
 

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If any one here works in 2 step distribution or retail they may understand this but many vendors have Loss Leaders products they get as seconds or off shade, sometimes over runs or just really good deals.

Also retailers who operate on the internet can have a low overhead cost and can sell at better rates.

They can also offset the cost of loss leaders or high volume product by making some of the rare or more sought after products more costly again leading to better overall pricing.

Also in Cuba you have to remember that it is a communist county and has fixed pricing set by the government manufactures/retailers etc have to sell at a State approved rate or markup. But when the products are wholesaled over seas the prices are dramatically affected by the open/free market leading to different pricing structures.

Also local Taxes and duties, some counties have better or more relaxed import regulations leading to lower taxes tariffs etc. All of these affect pricing.

As a good rule of thumb if it sound to good to be true it is don't buy it. Also check Habanos SA's web site they have a list of all of the distributors around the world so you can check out your sources.
 
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