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Unlike other articles outlining the best places to buy cigars online, this article also goes into detail on online cigar stores to avoid. That’s important, because there are some truly terrible websites to purchase cigars from, including companies that have terrible service or are straight up scams. So how do I determine the best websites to buy cigars online? After 10 years of personally ordering from a number of retailers, the most important components of a cigar store are customer service, price, selection, quality, and the usability of the website.
First, although not perfect, the website is easy to navigate, has a modern and mobile friendly web design, and makes it easy to sort product by price, brand, country of origin, ring gauge, strength, and more. Second, after a number of years of making large and small purchases with Famous, I’ve never had a bad order—never late, never any dried out product, no bait-and-switch orders, etc.
Third, Famous Smoke Shop still maintains Cigar Monster, which is a newer take on the old deal-an-hour fad of the early 2000’s. The benefit there is they have five packs of major brands that are discounted 20%-30%. Gotham Cigars comes ranked as the number two online cigar retailer for a couple of reasons.
Second, the website is very clean and easy to navigate, which might not sound like a big deal but if you’ve ever tried to shop on some of the more archaic cigar websites (*cough* Cigar Auctioneer *cough*), you’ll know that having an easily navigable experience is a big plus. When I wrote my last ranking in 2016, Smoke Inn was a runner up, with the caveat that its web design needed some work.
It still isn’t 100% intuitive to navigate, but the product pages are slimmed down and much easier to understand than most other online cigar retailers. Two other reasons Smoke Inn makes the list. First, they have the standard cigar selection, and second, they also have a huge selection of boutique smokes (good gifts for the enthusiast in the family).
The website specializes in five and ten packs from major brands, and really does have excellent deals. I haven’t purchased from this website personally, so I can’t vouch for the quality of the product, and hence why I strongly recommend Famous Smoke. But some of the deals are impressive, so if you’re a current cigar smoker it’s a website to look at.
Here are the cigar retailers you should pass over in favor of our recommendations above. I hate to say it, but even after writing my first article on online cigar stores more than five years ago, Thompson Cigars still hasn’t improved their reputation much. True, they have a A+ rating on Better Business Bureau, but if you look at the reviews page, you’ll find negative review after negative review.
Bad. I don’t have first hand experience, but here are some of the comments on my previous post about Thompson: “Please avoid Thompson Cigar…they did exactly what you said they would do…Back in the summer my boyfriend spoke to them about starting a monthly subscription starting September 11 2017…and told them he would call them first before he wanted his card charged…Well on September 1 2017 they went ahead and charged his card….
after all kinds of back and forth they refused to cancel the order and we would have to wait until after he received the cigars then call them back to have a return slip sent to him…2 months later he was still waiting, he finally got it after several months but at that point decided to keep them, which I’m sure was done deliberately so he did keep them…well they got $120.
I received an email acknowledging the order was cancelled. Much to my surprise, I received an email telling me it had shipped. When I called their CSC line, I was told there is nothing that can be done (is the CSC out of the country?) I usually order from another large online vendor but they did not have what I wanted to send and had heard good things about Thompson.