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Cigar Tip: Saving Money on Cigars

8 May 2017

While the future of premium cigars may be clouded by the uncertainty of U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, one thing is clear: Prices are going to continue to rise.

Whether it’s a result of higher taxes, fees, wages, materials, transportation, inflation—or a combination of all of these—you can expect to pay more. That isn’t always bad. I think even the most fervent cheapskate would be hard-pressed to begrudge raises for low-paid Central American laborers and farm workers.

Still, costlier cigars can certainly impact many smokers. Looking for ways to maintain your level of enjoyment without breaking the bank can be tricky. So here are a few points to bear in mind as you try to keep your spending down.

Don’t buy hype. Frequently, you’ll hear or read complaints that some expensive cigar or other is over-hyped. That same objection could be raised about many low-priced smokes as well. Bundles will be pitched as being like a higher-priced brand or as seconds from a major manufacturer with only cosmetic imperfections. Maybe that’s true sometimes. But sometimes someone wins the lottery, too.

Don’t gamble. Sure, you’ve loved every cigar put out by such-and-such a company. That doesn’t mean you’ll love the next one. Be sure to sample a stick or two of any cigar before investing your hard-earned cash in a box. Better to miss out on the latest rare, limited edition than to have 19 of them sitting unsmoked in the bottom of your humidor as you hope (pray) they’ll improve with age.

Read carefully. Quite a few low-priced cigars use short filler. That’s not automatically a disqualifier, but you should be aware that short-filler smokes may, by nature, be inconsistent from stick to stick, burn faster and hotter, and have a looser draw than long-filler cigars.

Try shorter vitolas. Robustos and coronas usually cost less than Churchills, double coronas, or those monster ring gauge behemoths. Sure, you won’t get as long a smoke, but you’ll likely get more bang for your buck.

Save up and stock up. This is, for my money, the best approach. Make sure you’re on the email list for your local B&Ms and the big online retailers and check their sale offerings. Be ready when there’s a markdown on one of the cigars you truly enjoy, whether it’s at your local smoke shop’s annual sale or an online, daily discount. Also, be prepared when manufacturers alter packaging or strike items from their catalogs. Retailers rarely want old inventory on hand and frequently reduce prices to move it.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

2 Responses to “Cigar Tip: Saving Money on Cigars”

  1. Jordy Evans Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 6:42 am #

    If you really are serious about saving money on cigars, online auctions are a powerful tool to achieve savings. If you are disciplined it can be a very effective strategy.

    Another good strategy is to look for mispricing opportunities. Sometimes a ten pack will be much lower priced than a box of 25. Or a sampler of cigars will have a much lower price than if each cigar was bought by itself.

    Since moving to a rural area precludes me from going to a brick and mortar store very often, the mail order and online catalogs are very convenient.

    Some retailers will offer coupons or freebies if you buy more. Say 15 % off a $300 order. Or buy a box, get 5 cigars free. So it pays to order less frequently, but in larger quantities.

    There are always specials around Father’s Day and Christmas too.

  2. Risto Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 7:47 am #

    CP has the best prices. Look at the Padron special they are running for a couple days… I have scoured the online retailers and cannot find anyone that beats them. Some come close but no one beats them. (Maybe the monster site but I have had quality issues with them) Sure you can’t buy singles but fivers are better than having to buy a box to get a good price per stick. Do the math. I don’t know how’s they do it but who cares. As long as I get the best bang for my buck.