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Cigar Tip: Save Money on Cigar Purchases

6 Jul 2011

This weekend, my local tobacconist had a special on the Guillermo León blend by La Aurora, a cigar I have been enjoying regularly since it debuted last summer. The entire Guillermo León lineup was on sale for about $4—far below the standard MSRP of $7-9 per cigar.

I was pretty thrilled about this special and made sure to stock up on (what I consider to be) a fantastic smoke. The whole experience got me thinking about the most productive ways to save money on cigar purchases. So here are five tips to help you get the most out of your cigar budget:

Try your hand at cigar auctions. Instead of ordering cigars from retailers with fixed prices, many people turn to cigar auctions to buy cigars in eBay-style markets. While not every item is going to offer substantial savings, if you look patiently and don’t get caught up in bidding wars you can find some real bargains on good cigars. Just be sure not to pay more than the fixed price.

Find your inexpensive, everyday cigar. Discover your favorite cheap cigar. Now stock up on a box or two. Try to make these your go-to sticks for everyday (or every other day) occasions. There’s no shame in smoking tasty house blends, and there’s no need to fire up super-premiums all the time. You’re not trying to impress anybody.

Sign up for your local tobacconist’s email distribution list. Nobody likes junk-mail, but weekly communications from your favorite cigar shops and retailers can prove valuable. After all, if not for an email from my local shop, I probably would have missed the Guillermo León sale. So don’t be afraid to sign up for a few distribution lists here and there. I like to have these incoming emails go directly to a folder within my email account that I check once a week (that way my inbox doesn’t get too cluttered).

Don’t buy new regular-production cigars right away. The price of many regular-production blends tends to drop a year or so after they first hit retailer shelves. While it’s always exciting to smoke cigars that just debuted at the recent trade show, you may be overpaying for young smokes that will soon sell for less.

Buy five-packs. Boxes and bundles typically offer the best per-cigar prices, but five-packs also offer savings—especially if you’ve never tried the cigar before. Five-packs allow you to judge quality and consistency before investing more money in a box that you may end up not liking as much as you had hoped.

Patrick A

photo credit: Flickr

Drew Estate

4 Responses to “Cigar Tip: Save Money on Cigar Purchases”

  1. Ethan K Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    Thanks Patrick. lol about "don't buy new regular production cigars right away" because Stogie Guys and other sites hype these cigars from when they are just an idea creating impatient desire for them.

    • Patrick Ashby Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 9:35 am #

      You're right, Ethan. We're certainly guilty of writing about new cigars when they come out (or before they come out). That's the sort of information our readers are interested in, and we're happy to provide those news-worthy items on a timely basis. We'll be doing so from this month's IPCPR Trade Show, for example, with live updates, followed by weeks of reviews of newest releases.

      My point here is that these hyped-up cigars often command marked-up prices when they're first released and demand is high. So if you're looking to save a few bucks, hold off on these purchases, read what others have to say about them, and decide months later which are worthy of investing in.

  2. Ashburn Dave Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    I'd add "Buy Samplers" to the list. While I prefer to buy boxes, just about all of the online retailers offer samplers of 10-20 cigars that are substantially less than the individual prices. For instance, CI sells a box of 20 RP Connecticut robustos for $75 and a sampler of 20 (5 of each size) for $50. Oddly enough, the "Quick Buy" price for the same sampler on CBid is $65, so do you research before bidding!

  3. scratch Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    I'm too jealous of that Guillermo Leon sale. I'd easily buy two boxes at that price, such a fantastic smoke. But you are right, the prices do drop a lot after they've hit the market for a year or so. Look at that huge price reduction on the macanudo 1968. The key is to really shop around, seems like every retailer has very different price bottom lines with different brands. Some can cut the price in half, and others can't budge.

    Oh, and always smoke at least 3 to 5 before you buy a box. I've made that mistake way too many times. No deal is worth it if you don't like the cigars.