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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at my local shop today and was talkin to the owner. His shop is 1 of 4 in the area but the closest to my House. He is also by far the most expensive. Example: AF curly head $2.50, ERMD Robusto $6.99. He got me for $125 last June for a Box of AF Brevas that I bought for the Bar at my Wedding Reception. I didn't know anything about cigars then. That was before I got into the Hobby and Before I joined CS. Anyways this is the 1st time I've been in there since I started Smoking in Jan. and I wanted to let him know what a rip off he was without saying it . After looking in his Humi for a minute which is about the size of a big walkin closet, he starts talking to me about his "specials" and I asked him if he'd ever been online and looked at the prices at Jr's. He looks at me like I just killed his puppy and says "I can't look at those sites, they make me sick". He did however have nice selection of AF Anejo's and I picked up a Shark $20 and Grand Corona $15. Overpriced I know but never had em and haven't seen em anywhere else. Well just thought I'd post this here. The wife and most of my buddies think my Cigar habit is Coo Coo!
 

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formerly Jokieman
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Thurm15 said:
I was at my local shop today and was talkin to the owner. His shop is 1 of 4 in the area but the closest to my House. He is also by far the most expensive. Example: AF curly head $2.50, ERMD Robusto $6.99. He got me for $125 last June for a Box of AF Brevas that I bought for the Bar at my Wedding Reception. I didn't know anything about cigars then. That was before I got into the Hobby and Before I joined CS. Anyways this is the 1st time I've been in there since I started Smoking in Jan. and I wanted to let him know what a rip off he was without saying it . After looking in his Humi for a minute which is about the size of a big walkin closet, he starts talking to me about his "specials" and I asked him if he'd ever been online and looked at the prices at Jr's. He looks at me like I just killed his puppy and says "I can't look at those sites, they make me sick". He did however have nice selection of AF Anejo's and I picked up a Shark $20 and Grand Corona $15. Overpriced I know but never had em and haven't seen em anywhere else. Well just thought I'd post this here. The wife and most of my buddies think my Cigar habit is Coo Coo!
I wouldn't hold it against him too much. It costs a lot more cash to run a B&M, especially if they're not doing any volume with internet sales as well.

THings like leasing costs, overhead, etc, can all make a difference. This is why I don't mind buying a couple sticks at the Sosa's in DownTown Disney, Are they more expensive? Most definitely, but if no one bought from them, then they wouldn't exist, and I'd miss not having them there. :)

A lot of your online sites can even afford to lose a buck or two on certain brands, because they know they'll make it up with other brands that are marked up just a little higher. A B&M can't usually do this because they're just not selling enough product. Volume is a large part of the driving force behind lower prices on the internet.
 

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And don't forget the applicable local and state taxes which you avoid (for now) when you buy on-line. Depending on you locale they can be considerable.

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rm
 

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Thurm15 said:
Jokieman, I was just in Orlando last month. I went cigarz at Universal and I was actually suprised that the prices were pretty good. :w
I haven't been there yet. Wife and I visited Universal just once since we've moved here, and weren't too impressed with the boardwalk area... We thought the movie theater kind of sucked too, we were expecting a lot more from a movie-related theme park.. Though the parks themselves are as good as ever. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Roger Miller" said:
And don't forget the applicable local and state taxes which you avoid (for now) when you buy on-line. Depending on you locale they can be considerable.

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rm
Yeah, I understand what you guys are saying about Overhead, Sales volume and Taxes (37% Excise tax in NY) but I found out through a friend that works in the Business that this guy is Overpriced reguardless. I saw the same box of AF Brevas I bought for $125 for $85 at a store 20 min from me and they don't have an Online business either. Doesn't make him a bad guy but it stinks that the 1 store that I could walk to if I wanted to is also way overpriced.
 

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It's possible he's paying a lot more on his lease than someone else might. It's also possible that he just feels like he can charge that.

Me, I'm more interested in how they treat me. Obviously I can't afford to be purchasing boxes from Sosa's, not on my budget anyway, but I don't have a problem spending some cash on a cigar or two & having a conversation with the employee's and other customers. :) As others have said, it's all about the experience.
 

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Roger Miller" said:
And don't forget the applicable local and state taxes which you avoid (for now) when you buy on-line. Depending on you locale they can be considerable.

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rm
Shhhhhhh...the internet police are watching... :w

I agree with the others, I will go into my local shops for a couple singles, and pay a bit more, just so I can sit and shoot the chit with some other BOTLs and maybe learn some things or get some suggestions. Nice to rub some elbows with fellow cigar lovers since we haven't done much herfin' in Chicago yet.
 

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There is no doubt that you can purchase cigars on line cheaper than going to a store. Like others have said.......it is well worth trying to coltivate a relationship with your local store. Granted prices are higher, but some of the benifits of a good relationship with your local store could "pay you back".
 

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Cigar Chic said:
There is no doubt that you can purchase cigars on line cheaper than going to a store. Like others have said.......it is well worth trying to coltivate a relationship with your local store. Granted prices are higher, but some of the benifits of a good relationship with your local store could "pay you back".
sounds like you work at a cigar shop? :D

yes, i know cigar chic from another forum... so i'm just teasing her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cigar Chic said:
There is no doubt that you can purchase cigars on line cheaper than going to a store. Like others have said.......it is well worth trying to coltivate a relationship with your local store. Granted prices are higher, but some of the benifits of a good relationship with your local store could "pay you back".
Listen, I have 3 other local stores that I can go to. This shop that I'm talking about in Particular is by far the Highest of them all. I've been to those Cigarette outlets with far less instock that sell they're sticks cheaper then he does. He's selling his sticks 20-30% higher than anyone else in the area. He prays on the unwitting noob or the wife looking for a Christmas Present. He's listed on AF site as an Authorized retailer so he's gotta be buying pretty good from them. I agree with you about having a good relationship with your local and I do. Just not with him.
 

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Obviously price is a concern to most people, but also is not wasting your money. Without a local shop how would most of us have known what cigars we really like. How would we get to try all the new releases. Most of us won't buy a box of something we don't know about. Plus the online stores don't send me a nice table some chairs and a few people to talk with while I smoke their cigars.
 

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IHT said:
sounds like you work at a cigar shop? :D

yes, i know cigar chic from another forum... so i'm just teasing her.
Yes I do IHT. :D
That is why I posted what I did. It is poor etiquette to walk into any cigar store and talk about getting prices on line, so of course he looked at you like you killed his puppy. There were other ways to talk with this guy about pricing.
 

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Thurm15 said:
Listen, I have 3 other local stores that I can go to. This shop that I'm talking about in Particular is by far the Highest of them all. I've been to those Cigarette outlets with far less instock that sell they're sticks cheaper then he does. He's selling his sticks 20-30% higher than anyone else in the area. He prays on the unwitting noob or the wife looking for a Christmas Present. He's listed on AF site as an Authorized retailer so he's gotta be buying pretty good from them. I agree with you about having a good relationship with your local and I do. Just not with him.
Just a little of my thinking here. First thought is maybe this guy pays more for the cigars he provides? Also the Cigarette outlets are a freeging joke when it comes to keeping the cigars at the right temp/humidity. So keep that in mind also. He has to keep the humidor humidified and keep it cool. Most cigarette outlets don't give a rats ass. The statement about him being listed by AF has no bearing on how much he buys or the deals he gets. That is there so people like yourself can find out where an "Authorized" dealer is. If he has nice cigars and provides you with good service and information then I say it is well worth the money. Don't go in there with a chip on your shoulder. I have paid more for domestics then almost all the cubans I've bought. But I have also enjoyed my time in a Cigar shop talking cigars with the people who work there. I, personally, think you were way off base to act so rashly. I would go back to that shop and talk to the guy who ownes it. If he sells a CAO Brazilia Gol for 8 bucks and someone else sells them for 6.50, ask him why his are $1.50 more? I'm sure he would be more then willing to tell you. He wants your buisness, but he doesn't need your attitude. Or to be reminded that you can buy them from JRs for cheaper.
 

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Having owned a Bicycle store for many years....

I can tell you plain and simply... he is just trying to get by. If you get to know him I guarantee that he is NOT RICH or even wealthy and even worse just as normal as the rest of us. He has to pay for rent, insurance, Liability insurance, electricity, office supplies including the Humidifier stuff, Workman's compensation, advertising, phone, property taxes on store display equipment, self employment taxes that are a real pain, Payroll taxes, employee benefits, etc etc.

If you had even an inkling of how much all of this cost... especially the rent if it is just a decent local... it would shock you.

Local retailers WILL NEVER be able to compete with internet sellers. A lot of internet sellers are right out of there homes or a very inexpensive local. When you are paying anywhere from $500 to $5000 less for rent you can really lower some prices. I have no agenda for this reply other than to help you know that most small businesses fail and if somehow it does make it? I can guarantee that he worked his tail off and will continue to to keep it paying off (most likely WELL UNDER a 6 figure income)

Just guessing but....

Owning a small business is usually murder and he is the one that has put up all of his earnings, savings or borrowings and is taking all the risk and if it fails he loses it all. His shoes may not be very comfortable and you probably would not want to be walking in them.


Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well nobody in Ny State can compete with Jr's Prices I know that. Maybe I was alittle bit rash and I am pretty New to this whole thing, but I am a customer that got ripped off by him period. The guy sold me a box of AF brevas last year for $40 more than a store that he's competing with that's 10 miles from his. I just didn't know any better at the time and he knew it. He may be paying a different price Wholesale than his competitors but come on 40 Dollars?. Also, hes not in a location where he needs to jack up prices to pay the rent. A guy I work with works part-time at a local shop (pipesandcigars.com). He told me he's the Highest priced in the area by far.Obviously I don't need to do business with him but he does need my business and he's not gonna get me as a regular Customer with those Prices. Nothin wrong with letting him know that. I did buy a couple of sticks from him that day and we did have a friendly conversation.
 

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If his prices are out of line with other local retailers then he is killing himself. His prices could vary on many factors...

Mainly his sales volume is the big factor.... if he is a fairly new business, say 2 years or younger, than he has not worked up buying (or selling depending on your angle) volume to get the prices the more established shops are getting. He could also be buying from a smaller distributor with higher prices because of his low volume.

Another is that some property leases include a cut of the gross profit to the landlord and retailers have to make up for it.

This is not to defend him at all because if his prices were too high I would go elsewhere too and I do most of my buying online for that reason. But then again my local cigar shop is first rate with a huge selection that is very carefully stored, they always have a pot of (good) coffee available to the customers and an awesome smoking room with comfortable chairs and some great ringside BS of the day floating around from the local gang ;)

I still buy some occasional sticks from him... always if I am going to smoke it there but the prices are out of this world compared to online sales and I know why from my retail experience. For a rule of thumb... most brick and mortar retailers (like yours) absolutely hate the online retailers because they are shutting down a LOT of small independent retailers like himself... it is brutal out there and it is just getting worse with time. We can expect to see a lot of local guys like this go away... Like me, I closed my bike shop that had been operating for over fifty years.... times have changed and I am totally OK with it because I was sick to death of retail anyway... I didn't owe anyone a penny and I just closed it down, sold the property and went into sales and am making more $$ than I ever have for a couple of years now....

Times change but remember that the online guys are the mortal enemy of the local guys... even the ones that are surviving.

Hope I didn't ramble on too much :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all of the Responses. I still have alot to learn about this Hobby and how it all works. The way I'm seeing it now is that The Internet is like the Walmart of the Cigar Retail World. The Local Shops are the Mom and Pop stores just Trying to get by. Some do better than others and You can't replace the advice and comraderie you get from a Local Tobbacconist. However, I'm not paying $8 for a Stick that goes for $5 on the other side of town just for Sympathies sake. I gotta eat too.
 
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