Favourite sizes & etiquette when buying cigars


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Out of curiosity, what is everyone's favourite cigar size, and what is the etiquette for you when buying cigars? 

When I first started out, way way back in the day, I smoked RyJ No 1 & 2s. I didn't store them correctly at all. I'd just buy several in tubes and they'd sit in a drawer and I might have one now and again but usually it was a special occasion thing. 

Then I started researching it all, maybe 10 years later. I smoked mostly robusto sizes for a few years. Now I've got a bit of an idea what I'm doing (not an expert by any means) and I find robusto's don't do it for me anymore. Too short and not enough. I've found I've embraced the double corona size. I wish I'd still been buying whilst VR DC's, SLR DC's and BCG were still around. My favourite of those still around is the Hoyo DC but I love all of them. When I smoke it's when one or two mates usually over. We have a three course meal. Break out the coffee, spirits and cigars at the end of that and the conversation and banter flow for several hours and that size keeps up with us. The lancero and churchill also work nicely as well. But anything in the smaller sizes I have I rarely touch as I don't have a social format they work with apart from a morning coffee with a mate now and again. I'd like to have a proper cigar humidor (have been eyeing off the Raching as getting an electric humidor is like finding aladdin's cave in this benighted continent) but rely on the tupperdor for now. 

On to the etiquette. I generally buy online from overseas in the hope of dodging the tax in Aus. Mostly I get reamed by our communist leaders who are happy for meth and weed addicts to get high on a daily basis at the taxpayers expense but anything that might be a health issue that would lose them votes and taxing to say they're fixing the problem whilst bringing in a stack of money to fund their Christmas party is a no no. Every now and again I get a lucky win against customs. Now my last order was from a reputable retailer and arrived today, after I'd paid the duty on it. Three of the four boxes were vacuum sealed and in good order. The last one the plastic had split and it looked like the cigars had been vaporising for a few weeks and were now dry and flaky. I felt a bit bad but I asked for a replacement box and sent photos saying they're not in good shape. The response so far has indicated I may have a fight on my hands. I'm not sure of my ground but I'm leaning on the it's not my fault they've arrived after 5 weeks in transit with them open to air. Has anyone had a similar issue and how have you handled it? 

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I have honestly never had any issues with any cigars I have ordered over the last 15 years thankfully but I certainly think you aren't out of line at all.

Product should always be expected to be in good condition regardless of the item or the shipping time.

I would certainly have done the same thing, and would definitely fight them for a replacement or refund.

Good luck, and don't give up the fight.
Receiving dried out Cigars is just unacceptable and should definitely be replaced or refunded by any good vendor.


As for favorite size, i prefer something roughly in the Robusto size give or take a little bit, but mostly love the belicosos, and order everything I can in a Belicosos.

Just like the size, feel and tapered head of them. Plus they always seem to have a great draw.

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I've returned a few boxes to other vendors and have had never had problems getting refunded or replaced.  Just notify them prior to sending that you aren't satisfied and give them the reasons why.  Ask for a return shipping address.  Even if they fight a little, it's just an attempt on their part to avoid the return if they can get away with it.  You shouldn't have any problems if they are reputable at all.

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My source plastic wraps the boxes and includes a Boveda pack to insure the box arrives in proper condition regardless of shipping time. The good vendors go the extra step to make sure the customer is happy. 

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Worst I had happen with a vendor was getting a different box of cigars than I ordered.  Were about the same value and size so I said I was happy with those instead.  All good.

Damaged cigars due to poor packaging should be on them or both of you to come up with a satisfactory solution.  They probably don't want them back.  How about offering to keep them and buying replacement box at a discounted price?   Or a discount code for next order?

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8 hours ago, loose_axle said:

The last one the plastic had split and it looked like the cigars had been vaporising for a few weeks and were now dry and flaky.

If there's no physical damage (which a vendor should take action on) you should be able to successfully acclimatize a cigar after 5 weeks exposure to open air. Shipping hermetically sealed is a vendor courtesy--not an obligation unless of course you specifically paid for that service in which case that fee should be refunded. 

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Regarding etiquette for a return for low quality/damage, I am fortunate to not have dealt with this yet.

IMHO you should do two things (if you haven’t already done so) before your situation escalates further. 

The first being, reread all of their shipping policies and packaging policies, etc. and understand if the reasoning behind your request for a return is aligned with what they have offered you, via stated guarantees on their website. It’s easier to have a discussion about what you think is owed to you, if it obviously violates their stated terms.

Second, probably most important, is to remember that they have a side to their argument as well. If they are a reputable retailer as you say, chances are they have not become reputable by screwing their customers over. They may sincerely disagree with your interpretation re. reason for damage.  Polite, levelheaded discussion will always win with reasonable people over impassioned accusations and demands.

I hope you can steer the conversation back to civility, and it all works out for you! Good luck! 

 

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Got a box of LGC d5’s Spanish Regionals missing it’s paperwork and was sent another box for free. I wish more boxes were missing paper work in them if it meant free extra boxes 

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Thanks for all the responses. So far all the conversation has been quite civil and I'm sure we'll work it out. 

Although going to NXSCIGAR's response - I've read that even a few days to air leaves a cigar potentially ruined as oils evaporate, which whilst you can re-humidify the tobacco, are lost for good and leave them lacking in terms of flavour?  

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11 minutes ago, loose_axle said:

 I've read that even a few days to air leaves a cigar potentially ruined as oils evaporate, which whilst you can re-humidify the tobacco, are lost for good and leave them lacking in terms of flavour?  

This is why I don't do grey market anymore. Too much of this thing. No boveda, poorly packed and open to air. And I live in a desert. 

I loathe paying extra at times, but the piece of mind is worth it. Our host has always packaged to survive the apocalypse. And the other first market vendor does the same.

When I see that there's one box left at certain vendors I know there is something wrong with it and it'll show up with microfiber on every stick where they've been wiped clean of mold. I actually run a black light over everything and it's clearly visible. 

I've had one order that came with a surprise batch of wood mites. Vendor did nothing. And I paid for expedited shipping to have my order processed after a month...and then shipped.

Sorry, didn't mean to stray too far off topic. 

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9 hours ago, loose_axle said:

Thanks for all the responses. So far all the conversation has been quite civil and I'm sure we'll work it out. 

Although going to NXSCIGAR's response - I've read that even a few days to air leaves a cigar potentially ruined as oils evaporate, which whilst you can re-humidify the tobacco, are lost for good and leave them lacking in terms of flavour?  

If this were true then why would anyone ever drybox a cigar?  I mean if being exposed to air evaporates the oils essential for producing flavor then dry boxing would make the cigar smoke worse, not better.

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1 hour ago, Huckleberry said:

If this were true then why would anyone ever drybox a cigar?  I mean if being exposed to air evaporates the oils essential for producing flavor then dry boxing would make the cigar smoke worse, not better.

Perhaps it's a matter of time+exposure?

I bought some NCs several months ago from a popular website with their warehouse/operations in Pennsylvania. I'm in extreme west texas. Well, in the 8 days they took to get to me they had nearly completely desiccated. Just crumbled like something out of a movie.

Now I'll grant they probably weren't stored in the best condition for that to happen, but I can't help but think that being stuck for 4 days, half the  trip, at my post office or in the back of the local truck didn't help. 

I forgot to mention- no boveda, and the plastic wrap was tore open and lid half open. Perhaps they did a hasty quality check.

It was a horror show, I tell ya.

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Favorite size: definitely corona gorda by far! Just the perfect balance of RG and length IMHO. 
 

Etiquette: buying from online trusted vendors is a necessity being in the US. But then again, I haven’t had the best luck when buying in B&M stores in Europe when visiting friends and family, and the prices are higher. So I’m gonna stick with the community’s trusted vendors for the foreseeable future!

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2 hours ago, Enduin said:

Favorite size: definitely corona gorda by far! Just the perfect balance of RG and length IMHO. 
 

Etiquette: buying from online trusted vendors is a necessity being in the US. But then again, I haven’t had the best luck when buying in B&M stores in Europe when visiting friends and family, and the prices are higher. So I’m gonna stick with the community’s trusted vendors for the foreseeable future!

Pretty much duplicate everything in this post for me. Corona Gorda is definitely the best size, followed up by DC/Churchill. I only have a stick every weekend or so, so I generally like to sit down and block out a couple hours and just relax. I do like the shorter sticks to, but nothing over 52rg or so. My humidor won’t be full of 60+ers 

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10 hours ago, Huckleberry said:

If this were true then why would anyone ever drybox a cigar?  I mean if being exposed to air evaporates the oils essential for producing flavor then dry boxing would make the cigar smoke worse, not better.

Well that's why I was asking. I know people dry box for a few hours to a day at most but I'd heard two three days you're on the way out. 

Buying overseas is also the way for Aus. Even if you pay duty you still come out way ahead of buying retail here. 

Do like all the answers on sizes too. Especially Trappers comment. I usually only smoke once a month or every two months so I concur a long smoke is always the way. But the comment about corona gordas reminds me I need to buy a box of RA Superiores to try. 

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I recently left a six pack of aged Edmundos sit out on the counter for about six days.  Took one on a business trip and smoked if after 4 hours in the car.  To be honest it was the best smoke I have had all year :).   I’m no scientist, maybe it could have even been better, but it was incredible as it was and I smoked it until I was burning my lips on the ash.

Of course it could also be just because I procured them from FOH.  

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Never bought CC cigars online that didn't have Boveda pack or sealed in a plastic wrap and I have bought from many online CC vendor's for many years . just sayin !!!

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Favorite size is a corona - will go for a petite corona to a corona gorda.  Have many more sizes in the collection, of course, but these are the sizes that are my favorites.

For your other question, keep reading and researching here on FOH to form your own opinion.  Many old posts here and even a few experiments done by the membership that can inform your opinion / experience with cuban cigars (I love the dipping in water experiment).  I subscribe to the belief system that CC's are pretty tough and can withstand extremes for a short period of time with little to no damage.  It's really about giving them your optimal conditions for the long-term.  I do however, freeze everything before it goes in my collection and let everything acclimate for 90 days to 6 months depending on the CC's age.  Then I try a CC and decide if it's ready or needs more acclimatization time down in the humi / tupperdore - if it's not ready I wait another 6 months and try again.  If the cigars seem dry when they arrive, they may sit for a year before I touch them.  If they seem wet, they may need dry boxing for several weeks before smoking.  It all comes down to a little experimentation on your part to get them where you like them and then some patience.

My view with vendors / suppliers is it takes some time to develop a relationship.  You also need to understand each vendor generally has a different business model they are working - understanding the model means you understand the risks, price, quality and warranty you are getting before you order.  I only buy from trusted sources (and I mean trusted by many members here) and only if I know the name of the owner and they answer my emails in a reasonable timeframe.  My experience has been once they know you are a trusted customer there never really are any problems.  

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On 7/9/2021 at 4:45 PM, NSXCIGAR said:

 Shipping hermetically sealed is a vendor courtesy--not an obligation unless of course you specifically paid for that service in which case that fee should be refunded. 

If a certain way of packaging is the norm for a vendor; then it is expected to be shipped as such.  That is part of the reason for using them vs. someone else. 

Shipping cigars from across the world via snail mail is a fool's errand if the box is not sealed.

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The good vendors go the extra step to make sure the customer is happy. 


This is the truth, be it with inspecting boxes, packaging and humidification.

My main vendor puts my smokes in vacuum sealed plastic, with just enough air in it to avoid crushing the Cigars by doing a complete vacuum.

Never had any issues.

The others I have used have shrink wrapped boxes, put singles in the 5 pocket bags with a Boveda, or in plastic of other sorts with a Boveda.

Also, I'm confident that if I ever had a problem, any of the vendors I use would make it right with no problem.

All have a stated condition guarantee and refund/replacement guarantee.

I wouldn't use someone that didn't


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16 hours ago, BrightonCorgi said:

If a certain way of packaging is the norm for a vendor; then it is expected to be shipped as such.  That is part of the reason for using them vs. someone else. 

Shipping cigars from across the world via snail mail is a fool's errand if the box is not sealed.

Unless a vendor states or discloses packaging methods or you're paying extra for a specific packaging method, those methods can change at the vendor's discretion. May not be the best customer service but we're only talking here about what the vendor is responsible for. 

I can tell you that shipping sealed was not the norm for online vendors in the 2000s. Several of the most popular still do not and just toss a Boveda pack in a bubble bag. Personally, I've never had a problem. I expect to have to rest any cigars in transit for 30 days. Packaging method is honestly the least of my concerns outside of preventing physical damage.

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  • LordAnubis changed the title to Favourite sizes & etiquette when buying cigars

My favourite CC sizes are usually long cigars like Lonsdale and Double Corona, but also enjoy other CC sizes such as Robusto, Grand Corona, and Petit Corona 😃.

For CC buying etiquette, I always stick with FOH 24:24 cigars. It saved me from buying dog rocket cigars and local B&Ms' poorly stored CCs for sure 😆.

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