As one of the most common questions we get from new people to the forum is “where can I buy cigars”, I thought we should start a permanent list. Add your suggestions here.
Here are the sites most commonly recommended by members of this forurm:
International (click here to learn more about how customs works):
Cigarplace.biz (good selection mainly just the regular brands, great prices, good service, discreet shipping descriptions, accept PayPal, active support on this forum)
Atlanticcigar.com (great selection few extra boutique brands, good prices, lil extra for shipping but its discreet)
MDCigar.com (ok selection, ok prices, shipping well priced, great service – only used once for FFPs)
Niceashcigars.com (great selection one of the best Ive seen, good prices, lil extra for shipping, ok service had a few probs, payment via Paypal)
Podmancigars.com (small selection, more aimed at niche/boutique lines with a bunch of regulars, have to email or phone through orders, but I find its worth the extra hassle)
cigar.com– great range, not the cheapest (but I use this as the recommended retail price for comparisons), they have daily/weekend deals & they ship with humidity packs. They do not ship direct to Aus, however they do offer free US shipping (so its cheap to get it to a forwarding company).
cigarsprintsale.com – run by cigar.com. This is a sale on an item where the price “freefalls” until someone buys or it gets too low (think reverse auction). All items purchased via this site have fixed free US shipping.
cigarbid.com – auction site. Great range of cigars in a freefall arrangement. Usually 30 – 60 freefall auctions at any one time. I’m yet to use.
bestcigarprices.com – excellent prices, range seems pretty good. Haven’t purchased from here. Unsure if ships directly to Aus.
famous-smoke.com – ship directly to Aus. First time international orders require supply of credit card statement to verify authenticity. 1st order also ships to billing address on credit card. Additional orders can ship to other address. Great service (very fast replies to email)
cigarmonster.com– sale site by famous-smoke.com. Daily deals with some great bargains. See above for additional info.
tampahumidor.com – fairly large range, prices ok for comparison. Personally haven’t purchased from here.
cigarsofhabanos.com– based in Hong Kong. recommended to me by a CA forum member – their shipping rates are pretty good to Aus.
purosexpress.com – Swiss based company offering cuban cigars. Prices are reportedly similar to cigarsofhabanos, however shipping is higher.
cheapesthumidors.com – range isn’t too bad, prices are dirt cheap. Includes humidors, cases, cutters, accessories. They ship directly to Australia as well. They also stock cigars, however I haven’t investigated their range or prices (as I’ve found others I do like). Reports I’ve had from other people suggest their customs declarations are very distinct if containing tobacco products.
ebay.com.au– you can usually find anything cigar-related (except cigars) on here. I got my humidor (at a price you wouldn’t believe) and ashtray off here. There are some great bargains to be had but before buying anything check one of the sites above to make sure you don’t pay more than you need to.
Places To Avoid:
http://cigarsemporium.com/ – run by a couple of dodgy dickheads. Avoid at all costs.
What About Customs?
Here’s some terrific information written by Khalil Parkar:
So after choosing your website of choice and buying cigars, then comes the next big hurdle of THE MAN!!! Only two things in life are certain, death and taxes. Little old Aus has to get her moneys worth from us dirty filthy rotten “tobacco smokers”. So here’s how it works.
If you buy from any of the Australian sites listed, you simply place and order and your item will come to you no worries. You are already paying duty at the retailer level, so if you want your cigars within a few days it’s best to order from locals.
When you buy from overseas it’s a different story and here’s the steps it occurs in;
1) You place an order and pay for your cigars online and pay for shipping (choose which ever method suits you, expensive fast shipping or cheap slow shipping totally your own call)
2) The shop posts the items.
3) You have a cigar to celebrate the shipping of your cigars
4) The item lands in Australia and goes to a Customs depot for checking.
5) Customs scan your parcel, realise you have tobacco in your parcel and then hold on to it. They will then send you a letter in the mail (snail mail) and say that you have a parcel with xxx g of tobacco in it and you have pay the duty. If you roughly use $450/kg of tobacco as a guide you’re right. You are paying for weight of TOBACCO, not how many sticks you have, not weight of the box it comes in etc. So yes if you want to know how much duty you will likely have to pay then do some research (yes that means you have to spend some time on googling) find out how many grams of tobacco you just bought and then work out how much duty you will pay based on the $450/kg rule. There is also GST charged on top but lets forget about that, it will be 5-10 dollars on top, big deal.
NOTE: NO ONE knows if your item is going to get stopped or not. Some items dont get stopped at all, some items get stopped, opened and let through, and some items get stopped and duty notice sent. Luck of the draw. Generally however, discrete shippers who identifiy parcels as “mens gift” rather than “Tax me, i’ve got cuban cigars” have better odds at getting through customs undetected, however you can decide if your morals are good with someone making a false decleration on an official document. In any case another thing that seems to help is smaller orders (10-20 loose cigars) tend to get through undetected copared to large orders of 3 or 4 boxes. Up to you to weigh up the cost of ordering multiple small items and paying postage or saving on postage and getting caught by the man.
6) You get the said letter (from number 5) in the mail, decide the government are bastards, plot how to screw them over, work a few cash jobs jsut to stick it to the man, then come to your senses and pay the bill for the duty on the cigars (there are multiple payment options but i’ve only ever used BPay, not sure what other payment methods are availabe)
7) Customs receive your payment and release your parcel and it gets posted on to you
8) YOU RECEIVE YOUR CIGARS AND IT’S A GLORIOUS DAY !!! IF you are lucky you skipped Step 6 and 7 and you smoke a cigar in celebration. If you were unlucky and got the dreaded, you smoke a cigar to calm down while plotting ways to get back at the man.
9) Take photos and post in the “What’s in your Humidor” thread.