With the digital revolution, many brick & mortar cigar shops are struggling to survive. Many smokers who wish to finance their habit through these economically challenging times are increasingly attracted to the lower prices online. But is it really better for everyone to shop for cigars online? Well, like so many things in life, the answer is both yes and no. Below, we will explore four considerations on shopping online versus brick & mortar retailers to give you a better sense of where it would be best for you to buy your cigars.
1. Beginners Should Start At the Store
First off, if you are a beginner cigar smoker, there are so many more benefits to going to brick & mortar stores before looking online for cigars. It is so easy for first time shoppers to get bewildered by all the information available online. On the Internet, both experienced smokers and newbies can review a product sit side by side, and it is often difficult for beginners to tell the difference. By going to a local shop, not only can a new cigar customer actually touch, see, and smell a wide variety of cigars, they can also talk with the local cigar smoking community and get personal advice. Many physical stores also sell single cigars, and many have lounges where smokers can test out their products.
2. Online Stores Have Larger Inventory
Most online retailers have larger warehouses than brick & mortar retailers, hence online stores have a larger inventory for people to choose from. While you might miss out on some local concoctions only available at local tobacco shops, most online retailers will have far more common and rare brands available on their sites than physical stores. One thing online stores cannot offer their customers, however, is the ability to purchase one cigar at a time for a new consumer to try. Most of the cigars available online only come in boxes, so smokers purchasing online should really have experience with whatever cigar brand they want to buy beforehand.
3. Difficulties With Customer Service
Another thing to consider about online retailers is that you won’t have a great deal of customer service support. Only the very large online cigar vendors, have customer service call centers to address problems. So, if something goes wrong with your order, you should prepare for long telephone wait-times in best case scenarios. In worst case scenarios, you won’t have a customer service representative to contact at all.
4. Online Stores Have Cheaper Prices
Of course, the main reason people buy cigars online is because they are cheaper. The wider variety offered on online sites, as well as their lower prices due to a lack of overhead expenditure, makes them a perfect option for regular cigar smokers. The only way to find out if buying cigars online actually gives you a benefit is to look at your own smoking habits and calculate the total cost of purchasing your items online.