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Stogie Commentary: Griping While Lighting

14 Apr 2009

Smoking cigars is far too enjoyable to let any one aspect of the hobby upset you very much. Still, there are a few things I see over and over again that get my goat, even if only momentarily. Here’s a handful. Feel free to add your own.

1. Bands applied too tightly or too sloppily. Having to struggle to break the glue bond and remove the band, only to have it tear the wrapper, is inexcusable. It makes me wonder about all that loving care cigar makers talk about when they don’t pay enough attention to this critical element.

complaint2. Catalogs with different prices for the same cigars. Usually, you’ll spot this with five-packs. They’ll be listed at one price in the advertisement that features the cigar and then listed with another, frequently lower, price in a section promoting five-packs. Is this simply slipshod work or deliberate deception?

3. Retailers who charge $4 or $5 for empty boxes. Let’s get real. With few exceptions, most cigar boxes are cheaply made and assembled. I think that’s good. They protect the cigars during shipment and on the shelves without adding significantly to the price. And selling them is surely better than throwing them away. But shouldn’t the price be close to the value?

4. Shoppers who buy online based solely on price and then complain about service. How do you think they can sell at those prices? Skimping—or virtually ignoring—some things is one of the ways they save money. Service is likely to be high on the hit list. So, don’t be surprised if you have trouble getting emails answered or telephone calls returned.

George E

photo credit: econedlink

10 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Griping While Lighting”

  1. furious Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 4:54 am #

    Over time I have developed surgeon-like precision in the removal of stubborn bands. I've also noticed that the finer the stick, the more likely there will be band issues and wrapper tears.

  2. Mac and Nudo Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 5:30 am #

    How 'bout those $50 or $60 butane lighters that work well for about a week and then develop problems? I hate those. I've had much better luck with cheaper torches like the Ronson JetLite.

  3. Micha Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 6:30 am #

    To charge 4 or even 5 USD for an empty box of cigars is really bold. At my regular cigar store here in Germany they give it away for free.

    Greetings, Michael

  4. Padronnie Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    The only cigar box I'd pay $5 for would be a CAO Vision box (which doubles as a humidor).

    Otherwise, I'd think I could take them for free it I'm a regular and I only take one or two.

  5. Alex D Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    My brother-in-law, which I introduced to cigars years ago, is as enthousiastic about smoking them as I am. He is however a disaster when it comes to acquiring some knowledge about the hobby he loves so much. This usually doesn't bother me enough to talk or post about but last week-end it really got to me.

    He bought two identical singles (cubans) at the B&M, that we smoked together the next day. Both cigars were fantastic, absolutely amazing. I have rarely had a such an unexpected treat. The frustrating part was knowing that I was smoking a Bolivar but not knowing if it was a Petit Corona or a Bonitas (too similar in size) or how old they were since he didn't even bother looking at the box code.

  6. craig Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 7:40 am #

    I (respectfully) disagree with Point #4. I understand when you buy from a low price leader you're not going to get the perks you might expect from a local B&M that is charging 4X as much for the same cigar.

    But there is never any excuse for rudeness or outright misinformation from customer service reps. Customer service usually comes down to basic respect and politeness.

  7. mizz Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 7:48 am #

    One of my biggest disappointments in a cigar is having a bad draw. After I clip the end and remove loose tobacco particles, I take a pre-light draw. Very rarely have I had a tough, tight draw result in an enjoyable smoke.

  8. Neil Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    My local Tinderbox (Southpark Mall, Charlotte, NC) had to resort to selling boxes for a few bucks a piece. They used to give them away; however, at some point, there was a fashion rage for fashioning purses out of cigar boxes. Apparently, according to the guys that work in there, they had several women get into screaming, clawing fights over desirable boxes and, thus, made the decision to start charging for them.

  9. Beringer Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Tip for stubborn cigar bands:

    Keep the band on while you smoke. The heat from the burn will soften the glue, making it much easier to remove without risking a wrapper tear.

    I'm nuts about cigar boxes and don't mind paying $4. I don't know of anything else that is less than $4 that serves me so well for years to come. Whenever I see particular boxes, I'm reminded of the 25 moments of joy that they contained. Also, kids and wives love 'em. It is a great way to irk tobacco nazi parents when the kids' friends ask for their own cigar boxes to keep toys, cards, etc. Yep – well worth $4 in my view.

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