How To Buy Cigars Online: A Comprehensive Guide

by. John Benson


Four premium cigars of various brands



Unlike cigarettes which are a daily smoking product, cigars are something most people tend to light up on a special occasion. When you think about the fact that one quality stogie often costs MORE than a full pack of cigs, it's pretty easy to see why. They aren't cheap... so you better have a good reason to buy them.

If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion this summer, find a classy/luxury gift for someone special, or you just want to avoid being the punk at the next guy's night out who "doesn't," there's no denying that the internet is the best place to buy cigars.

Why is the internet so much better for buying cigars online than buying in a brick and mortar store?

Price = Lower.
Selection = Greater.


Um... how many more reasons does someone need?

editsNow, until the invention of smell-o-net or insta-delivery online, you can't put cigars on the web through a rigorous sniff test or get them delivered in real time. That said, many cigar retailer websites come equipped with reviews and ratings for many of the most popular cigars and offer free ground shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount.

Besides, if you're buying cigars that are mass produced like Swishers or Phillies online, do you really need to test them? And, if the money you save from buying online isn't reason enough to plan ahead and order in advance, you probably have other things to worry about than how you buy cigars.

Below, I've prepared a detailed list of eight helpful tips for buying cigars online. Some of the tips will be for first timers... other tips will be for the more advanced online shopper.

Good luck with your online shopping endeavors... and hey, happy smoking!

  1. Know what kind of cigars you enjoy most. Most online cigar retailers have a search function to narrow their inventory by origin. The top online tobacco shops will have countries of origin as a shopping category.
  2. Cuban cigars carry this mythology of the premiere cigar style. However, they are illegal to import or sell in the United States. So, if an American isn't travelling off shore - Cubans are not an option. U.S. retailers of cigars online carry high quality stogies that are produced with the same attentio n to detail as Cubans from across the Latin world. Cigars from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Spain, even the US - and other countries are often higher rated and better for smokers new to cigars.
  3. Want to find out what makes the difference in the product from different countries? There are several cigar websites out there that provide useful tips for first time cigar buyers on which countries generally produce what type of cigars. Aside from the attractiveness of the women rolling the cigars, though, typically the soil the tobacco is grown in and how its harvested is the biggest difference in cigars from different countries. Climate is definitely important for perfect cigars, too. Generations of fine women rolling them never hurts, either.
  4. Another important thing to know before buying cigars online is cigar size. Size determines how much tobacco is used in the cigar, the flavor, and length of time needed to smoke it. Cigar size is typically found online in the product details of a cigar pack or case when your shopping. There are about 10 cigar sizes, ranging on the large end from Double Corona to Panatela. There are a bunch of size tables available across the web if your preferred online retailer doesn't provide that information. (Word of advice: if you're buying a gift for a man or a group of guys - don't buy anything smaller than Corona size.)
  5. Cigar strength is pretty difficult to determine online because you're often looking at images of varying resolution. When shopping online for cigars (especially for the first time), consult the reviews and ratings of a cigar package before buying. Generally speaking, the darker-color a cigar has, the stronger (or more potent) a cigar is going to be.
  6. If you're new to smoking cigars, the best way to get started the first time is to order a sampler. Samplers contain a variety of cigars in differing sizes, potencies, and countries of origin. Most online cigar retailers sell a large variety of samplers at different price points and qualities of cigars.
  7. If you are a first time online cigar buyer, or if you've never bought from a cigar retailer before, make only a minimum order. If you find a selection of cigars that suits your tast, stay on top of your order to see how long it takes you to receive your cigars, how they are shipped, and what condition arrive in when you receive them.
  8. For cigar buyers on a budget that can stand a longer wait period, one place to buy cigars at a discounted rate is to buy them from Europe, Central or Latin America. Because the volume of tobacco product production is higher in those countries and the product isn't taxed, products are often cheaper to buy.
  9. Another online buying option is to go directly to a distributor or manufacturer. Many cigar distributors and manufacturers have monthly subscription clubs that can reduce the cost per purchase - they also offer deals on their direct sites that few online retailers can beat.


Old Henry is a Don Pepin Garcia cigar, made at the TACUBA factory in Nicaragua exclusively for Holts.


Author Bio: John Benson is a casual and social cigar smoker who enjoys buying cigars online as gifts for friends and family. He assists companies in the US and worldwide with marketing campaigns as a freelance writer and blog contributor. 


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