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Out of Retirement
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any cigars I can buy in a local shop (Massachusetts, New Hampshire) are literally double or triple the shipped price I can buy cigars from Cbid or monstercigar.com (confirmed). I almost feel bad going into these places only to ultimately roll my eyes at the astronomical prices and leave empty handed in most cases. I'm fully aware that walk-in shops have greater overhead, but should I pay significantly higher price just to "support the local business"?

Granted, I have met some great people in these shops; but the reality is for roughly every hundred or so cigars I buy online I buy one cigar from a local B&M. Ultimately, I guess it's ethical question.

Bottom line is it's significantly less expensive to buy cigars and accessories on-line; what's the point in wasting money (IMO) at the local B&M?
 

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Teh Kid
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3,100 Posts
They aren't "astronomical" they are what they should be. If you smoke brands like Rocky, Padilla, Oliva, Gurkha, Perdomo, CAO and Graycliff - CI and Famous just blow them out regularly. Often times your B&M is paying about $5 less from the manufacturer than what you are getting charged from CI.

If you smoke Fuente, Davidoff, Padrón, (most) Tatuajes, etc. You'll notice that there isn't a huge price difference.

Bottom line is it's significantly less expensive to buy cigars and accessories on-line; what's the point in wasting money (IMO) at the local B&M?
This is just categorically not true. (see above.)

I'm being a jackass about this for the following reason: B&Ms are the life of this industry. If B&Ms die, then the premium cigar industry in America will die with it. The B&Ms are what keep quality up, they are what help new smokers, they attract new smokers. How many people do you think went to CI to try their first cigar? The B&Ms are where the BOTL/SOTL community is on display the most, and the B&Ms are who fight best for our rights as smokers.

There are good B&Ms and bad ones, more bad ones than good ones. But, a good B&M is the single most valuable asset in your smoking lifestyle. Ask those that have them, and they'll tell you this.

/rant.
 

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Great way to sample IMHO. If I really like one that I buy from the B&M, I can then look for a deal through the interwebs thingy.
 

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I gotta agree with the jackass oh I mean Charlie my adopted nephew :) He's right but we all know we can't stock our humis from them B & M's I wish we could damn taxes, we all should spend some money in them from time to time as some of my best time were smoking with my friends in the shops.

Good points Charlie :)
 

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Teh Kid
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I gotta agree with the jackass oh I mean Charlie my adopted nephew :) He's right but we all know we can't stock our humis from them B & M's I wish we could damn taxes, we all should spend some money in them from time to time as some of my best time were smoking with my friends in the shops.

Good points Charlie :)
Thanks Dave.

I'll be clear, most of my purchases come from B&Ms in other cities over the phone. Places like Tobacco Locker, Buckhead, Tower, etc. They are still B&Ms, they are still one shop operations, they are still locally/family owned.

Parent of General Cigar Co. owns C.I.
Parent of Altadis owns J.R.

Their interests are a lot different than your B&Ms or Tatuaje's, SCHIP I proves that.

Forgot to add: you can develop a relationship with B&Ms. I pay far less than what I would pay through C.I. In addition, there are tons of other great perks since you are dealing with PEOPLE. Rather than a free shipping coupon from Thompson, one store I frequent gave me a Xikar V-Cutter on the house. Little things, but little things that remind you the humanity of being there.
 

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some say I'm a dreamer...
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3,277 Posts
+ 1 for Charlie and Dave.

Find some stuff that is closer to the price online and buy from them. Taxes are normally the main reason for the price differences... mind you there are those occasional shops that just suck.
 

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Registered
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181 Posts
I'm fairly lucky with my local B&M most of the prices are fairly reasonable. At most sticks run about a buck or two more then what they go for online Last trip I picked up 2 Illusiones 88, Tat Regios, Cojuna 2003 and a brown label El Triunfador lancero. Grand total was 66 bucks I think. There are things here and there which there is a mark up for... Padron Anny have a bit of a mark up, and there are some anejos and Opus that are marked at 50 bucks a stick. I think the key is just picking and choosing. I'm happy anytime I can support a local business instead of sending my money away from the local community. Wow I feel really hypocritical now that I'm planning on ordering some forbidden fruit hahaha
 

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Ole Crusty Spiked Fish
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2,806 Posts
I definitely agree with the fact that b&ms create a cigar community and feel a niche that can't be satisfied online. We have no decent lounges in the entire state of Iowa and that hurts the growth of the industry. Many potential botl quit smoking because their only option is to smoke at home by themselves.

I buy from a b&m every chance I can get because they give me the option to try one or two of something new and I understand the importance of the greater community as a positive force in the continuance of the hobby.
 

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Master Illusione-a-Tatist
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2,009 Posts
my first guess was going to be taxes. But looks like NH has no tax on cigars and Mass is the same as MI here. I don't have a B&M here & certainly don't mind paying around the same price or a little as online pricing if I stop by one but 2-3 times the cost online? I wouldn't support them either. Or @ least I wouldn't buy anything priced that high. Maybe if they had reasonable pricing they'd get more business and more money. like Charlie pointed out though, some brands they simply can't compete with due the rediculously low pricing online vendors can offer. Guess you just have to pick and choose which brands get some B&M love & which get the online vendors support...
 

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B&M Prices are very high here in Michigan but not due to cost from their supplier. It is the 40% wholesale sin tax by the state on cigars. My B&M isnt really a cigar shop, it is a smoke shop selling "pipe" tobacco for RYO cigs. I use to buy cigars from them and even pipe tobacco however their prices are just too high for large purchases. I still try to buy a cigar or something from them once in a while. I do disagree that if all B&Ms were gone it would screw up the industry. If there is demand their will be a supply. As it is I would have to presume that B&Ms sales are a very small precentage now of total cigar sales in the US.
 

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I tend to agree with most bout supporting my local B&M. I'm lucky in that I'm 10 mins from Tobacco Barn in Lake Forrest california. I knew the orginal owners, and the new owners are doing alot with the space they have. They have a great lounge with comfy chairs, 3 tv.
Just a great place for me to hang out with fellow BOTL and either smoke a stick or smoke my pipe, my pipe more often then none.
yes california has insane taxes on tobacco, soo I usually just tend to buy a stick or 2 to try, if I like them, then I might have to bite the bullet and order a box. But compare with pipe tobacco, sticks are EXPENSIVE heheheheh
troy
 

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Out of Retirement
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127 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, there's some valid points:

- A place to meet other BOTL, develop the smoking community
- A place for new smokers to get started
- A place to try out a single you've never had

The only thing I disagree on is the premium cigar industry dying in America without B&M's, as Firedawg stated: where there's a demand there's a supply. Online retailers are a large percentage of the reason CompUSA, Tweeter and Circuit City went out of business (Best Buy is also struggling). This doesn't seem to have affected the market for computer hardware or electronics. I don't see premium cigar disappearing in America.
 

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At last I can relax
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1,846 Posts
Since my local B and M, has become a sad place, with their managerial attitudes, and the problems with some of the members(physical fights, arguments, talking behind peoples backs), not like it used to, I have a need to go there to smoke as the new smoking laws have taken effect.
So what I do, just to sit their and smoke is buy the cheap ass cigars. They have boxes and boxes of a certain cheap ass cigar(mixed filler) that smokes pretty good.
Two of them costs me $4.38 cents and each smokes for about 75 minutes. So the two cigars and a 20 ounce soda, will give me three hours for less then 7 bucks.
If it was a pleasant place, I would probably spent 10 bucks a cigar.

J
 

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The Karate Squid
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10,158 Posts
OK, there's some valid points:

- A place to meet other BOTL, develop the smoking community
- A place for new smokers to get started
- A place to try out a single you've never had

The only thing I disagree on is the premium cigar industry dying in America without B&M's, as Firedawg stated: where there's a demand there's a supply. Online retailers are a large percentage of the reason CompUSA, Tweeter and Circuit City went out of business (Best Buy is also struggling). This doesn't seem to have affected the market for computer hardware or electronics. I don't see premium cigar disappearing in America.
No, but if the market is controlled by a handfull of large corporations, you'll see quality go down and prices go up. Just like cell phones.

The electronics comparison is probably not the best - nearly everyone in America uses home electronics. And no one is trying to put home electronics manufacturers out of business. Meanwhile, a far smaller percentage of Americans smoke premium cigars, and there are a lot of people who a)want to take the freedom of smoking away, or b)have a vested interest in consolidating the market in order to monopolize the market.

You won't see the premium cigar demand dissapear. But you'll see prices go up and qualty go down if the local B&M's start going under more than they already have.
 

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If you smoke Fuente, Davidoff, Padrón, (most) Tatuajes, etc. You'll notice that there isn't a huge price difference.

/rant.
/\ /\ /\ This.

Almost nothing I buy anymore is significantlly cheaper online than in good B&Ms. And a good relationship with your favorite B&M can do wonders for you in the long run.

Even in Mass this weekend with the higher (than RI) tobacco taxes, prices I found were still fair for what I was buying.
 

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ENIGMA
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5,666 Posts
I haven't purchased anything from CI in a long time.

I support various brick and mortars in multiple states and they appreciate my business.

If you're dealing with an Authorized Fuente Dealer at a b&m, you'll understand why you support them especially if you want to purchase Anejo or Opus at msrp. Likewise, it might not be your thing, but try picking some Viaje or Tatuaje LE on CI. Won't happen.
 

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Jack Booted Puffer Fish
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479 Posts
I have a couple B&M's I frequent while I am working, and they treat me well (I think mostly because they like having a patrol car parked in front of their business.)

Someone mentioned being able to sample. This is a huge advantage - you can read reviews all day long online but at the end of the day we all taste things differently...and before you go out and spend $30 bucks at CI or whathaveyou (which is a chunk of money for some people) on cigars you potentially won't like, wouldn't it be nicer if you could go down the street to a B&M, pick up a couple of those sticks for 5-6 bucks a piece and save yourself $24 dollars?

Plus there is a social aspect to smoking cigars for some people that you will find at your local spots. Believe it or not, I am not much of a people person but I do enjoy human interaction when it comes to hobbies I like.

EDIT:

Let me add to this, if you find your local B&M too expensive, don't shop there. If they are your only B&M, go in and pick up a cigar here and there and get to know the business owner. Without being a jackass and coming off as a know-it-all, explain you would like to spend more money at his/her store but find that the prices for individual cigars are a tad higher than you have found elsewere (don't mention online prices, most places will tell you they can't compete with online prices) - ask if he or she will cut you a deal on a box. I have a good rapport with a shop I didn't typically frequent. One day I went in and talked to the owner and we got to talking about smoking. He asked me about my smoking likes/dislikes, my collection and then he asked me why I don't shop at his place more often...and I told him why. I explained his prices were a little higher than normal for local B&M's among other things/reasons and he asked me to help re-evaluate his stock prices. I told him I would try but I wasn't qualified and I gave him a few suggestions on setting prices. Now I am there 1-2 times a week and he has seen more business because of it. This example may be more the exception than the rule, but how will you know unless you try?
 

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Out of Retirement
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No, but if the market is controlled by a handfull of large corporations, you'll see quality go down and prices go up. Just like cell phones.

The electronics comparison is probably not the best - nearly everyone in America uses home electronics. And no one is trying to put home electronics manufacturers out of business. Meanwhile, a far smaller percentage of Americans smoke premium cigars, and there are a lot of people who a)want to take the freedom of smoking away, or b)have a vested interest in consolidating the market in order to monopolize the market.

You won't see the premium cigar demand dissapear. But you'll see prices go up and qualty go down if the local B&M's start going under more than they already have.
You bring up some good points, we need business owners to fight any legislation from the anti-smoking Nazis.

I'll also add that potential new smokers may never have the chance to get started without simple, easy access to purchasing their first cigars.
 

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I can hit my local B&M, buy a stick, and smoke another I brought in. I can bring in a couple of beers, or take one from their fridge, or drink some scotch. And then enjoy the company of some new friends, and or watch a game on the big screen. Doing this at a local bar, would be impossible. Beers are $3.75, Scotch is $6.00, and I would have to smoke outside. Can you tell I like my local B&M?
 
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