A cigar aficionado’s cigar collection is only as good as their supplier, so variety is an important factor when someone is on the hunt for their next smoking experience. There are a number of reasons why true aficionados buy online rather than in person, but one of the main reasons is that online stores like Renegade Cigars simply carry more options than many brick-and-mortar establishments, regardless of how well-stocked they are. You might have to go on a veritable treasure hunt to find a specific cigar at a local store, but if you had taken your search to the web, you could have ordered a Rocky Patel Decade online within minutes and gone about your day as usual.
So, what about the other benefits of purchasing cigars online? Let’s explore the details below.
#1: Better deals
It’s true that both brick-and-mortar establishments and online stores run sales or offer other deals, but here’s the catch – you’re more likely to miss the deals at a traditional cigar store if you don’t go there regularly. Sure, you might get offers in the mail or by email, but those are less common than with online cigar stores.
If you’ve registered with an online cigar store, however, you’ll be the first to know about not only sales and special offers, but also new arrivals, limited-edition collections, and other opportunities. There will still be plenty of overlap – for example, you aren’t likely to get a higher percentage taken off of an online purchase vs. an in-store one – but you will have better access to a wider variety of deals. Because of this, you may not feel as much pressure to take advantage of whatever deal comes your way; you can take your time, and go for the deals that seem especially appealing.
#2: 24/7 access
No matter how passionate someone is about cigars, sometimes it’s just difficult for them to make the necessary purchases during business hours. Buying cigars online takes the timing factor out of the equation, meaning you can browse cigar collections at 11 PM while you relax after a busy day. Plus, there’s no need to worry about having to stand in line, arriving after the store has closed due to a traffic jam, or other logistical issues. This is especially handy during the holiday season when in-demand cigars are more likely to be sold out, and you’re more likely to have to wait in line.
#3: More customer service options
Even the most reputable retailers sometimes inadvertently sell sub-par cigars, and when that happens, it’s time to get in touch with customer service. Alternatively, you may simply want more information on a particular product before you finalize a purchase. Whatever the case, a customer service representative should be able to help you with your query.
As you may have guessed, online cigar retailers generally have more options for customer service than brick-and-mortar stores. They’re more likely to offer multiple options for online customer support, such as email, phone, or live chat. They’re also more likely to offer other online resources, such as knowledge bases, FAQs, or buyer reviews that could help you make a more informed decision.
#4: Greater convenience
Smoking cigars is supposed to be relaxing, so why can’t purchasing them be relaxing as well? The convenience of shopping online is something that most of us are already familiar with, and all of those benefits apply just as much to cigars as to clothes, groceries, or takeout. You can take your time looking at the options online, put together your purchase at your leisure, and checkout whenever you’re ready.
What about shipping, though? Cigars are sensitive to humidity levels, so standard shipping might not cut it. Fortunately, online cigar retailers are sensitive to that fact. They prioritize speed so that their customers will receive their cigars in pristine condition; depending on how close the nearest fulfillment center is located, you may even get same-day shipping. All without having to leave your house, deal with traffic, or wait for a staff member to assist you with your purchase.
#5: Wider selection
This was briefly mentioned earlier, but it’s worth discussing a bit more in-depth. Physical stores are usually limited by the inventory they can store on-site, and while this isn’t generally an issue, it can sometimes lead to unexpected bottlenecks when demand exceeds supply.
Can this happen with online cigar stores? Occasionally, but it’s much rarer. This is because they usually use fulfillment centers when shipping orders, so they’re essentially shipping straight from the warehouse. As long as they maintain a robust stock of each type of cigar, it’s much less common for online retailers to run out of stock.
What about the benefits of purchasing from physical cigar stores?
Even though shopping for cigars online has quite a few advantages, this doesn’t mean that making your purchases in person doesn’t have its own appeal.
- Getting your cigars the same day you purchased them
One of the main inconveniences of shopping online is that you have to wait for the cigars to be delivered. With in-person shopping, you’d be able to try out what you purchased as soon as you got home.
- Enjoying customized support
Online customer support is handy, but it won’t be quite as personalized as having the aroma profile of a cigar explained to you by a trained associate.
- Requiring fewer returns
Some cigar returns happen because you gambled and lost on a new type of cigar. Tasting notes can tell you what to expect, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll agree with them once you’re actually smoking the cigar. If you can smell them in-person before you buy them, though, that can eliminate some potentially pointless purchases.
Buying cigars online is a great option for any aficionado who enjoys the convenience of online shopping. It may not be the first choice for everyone – after all, physical cigar retailers aren’t in any danger of disappearing! – but it’s certainly the favored option for many.