If you are fairly new to cigars and are reading this post, you may want to consider browsing your way to another portion of Stogie Review. Some say that Cigar Auction sites will steal your soul and transform you into an uncontrollable auction addict. Whipping out the credit card time after time to make payments on the hundreds of cigars that you unknowing accumulated over a very short period of time.
For some, the description above is true. As a cigar smoker we already have a passion for the products, add in the desire to win something and things can easily get out of control. For those that have a bit of will power, the auction sites can be an excellent place to pick up a bargain from time to time. The key thing here is “from time to time”
Before we get into how to successfully pick up cigars at a bargain, lets take a look at the auction sites at our disposal.
Believe it or not, many people try their luck at cigars on this very popular auction site. Keying in the term “Cigar” in the search form brings up lots of items. Included in the search results will be items listed as collectible bands.
Why someone is listing a Rocky Patel Vintage band as collectible may seem a bit strange. The reason for this is that the selling of tobacco products on Ebay are not permitted. To get around this limitation the seller will auction off a band as collectible, and it will coincidentally have a cigar along with it.
EBay Tobacco Terms
Cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco or coupons for such items are not permitted on eBay.com. eBay will, however, continue to be a forum for the sale of tobacco-related collectibles, (including tobacco related memorabilia and packaging) provided sellers comply with the above policy. These items are not subject to the same legal constraints. Prior to listing any tobacco-related items on eBay, sellers should read the ‘Additional Information’ sections to learn more about what tobacco-related items are not permitted.
Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions, including:
* Listing cancellation
* Limits on account privileges
* Account suspension
* Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
* Loss of PowerSeller status
Its isn’t uncommon to see the elusive Fuente Fuente Opus X listed on eBay as a collectible band. Held within the band may very well be an Opus X, or is it?
The danger of eBay is that since selling tobacco is not permitted, the seller can replace the cigar for auction with a cheap replacement. When the buyer receives the item and finds out it was falsely advertised there really isn’t anything that can be done. The seller claims that the item for auction was the collectible band and the cigar was just an extra that happened to be there.
By now you can see that eBay is not the paradise that it seems to be for cigars. I would strongly avoid trying to purchase any tobacco from this source, there is absolutely no guarantee that what you think you are bidding on is what you will receive.
Cigar Auction Sites:
So now that we know that eBay may not be the right place to bid on cigars, where can we find a reputable site? The answer lies within the websites of those large retailers that we all buy from. All three of the big names; JR Cigars, Famous Smoke, and Cigars International all have some form of auction site setup for your bidding pleasure.
All three work pretty much the same way in that you setup an account tied to a credit card. When an item being bid on is won, your credit card is billed and the items get shipped off to the lucky bidder. The option is even available, for some sites, to lump your weekly winnings together into one shipment to save shipping fees.
Cigar Auctioneer by Famous Smoke Shop
Cigar Bid by Cigars International
By now your think that this is awesome and you want to dive right in. Remember that description above about auction sites stealing your soul? Before diving in lets take a look at some common sense ways to keep you from getting in over your head.
Know the items:
The most important thing is to know exactly what it is that you are bidding on. Some of these sites may use a stock image that shows just one, or an entire box of cigars. Ignore the image and read the description carefully.
About a year ago I remember seeing a thread on Club Stogie which pointed out a person on Cigar Bid who was bidding on three lots, each lot contained a single Partagas 160. The unlucky bidder must have gone by the image rather than the description because he was winning the auction with a bid of $60.00 per lot. Do the quick math and you’ll see that this guy was going to end up paying $180.00 for three cigars.
Know what the items are worth:
Before you place a bid on any of these sites, STOP! Open a new browser window and navigate to the retailer page. Take a look and see what the cost of the item will be if you bough it outright. Far too often you will see a bidder who winds up paying more at auction than they would have at the retail page.
Most auction sites will list items for MSRP and show that the bidding starts at a fraction of the cost. The bidding may very well be a fraction of the cost but keep in mind these large retail outlets don’t sell at MSRP. They discount due to their bulk buying power. What seems like an awesome deal might just turn out to be a dud. Do your research before bidding and save yourself a lot of buyers remorse later on.
Decide what you are willing to pay:
Now that you know what you are bidding on and know what you would pay for it retail, decide how much the item is worth to you. When you make the decision on a final figure, set a proxy bid for that amount and walk away.
By walking away, the auction is out of sight and out of mind. If you constantly check the auction price you may begin to try and talk yourself into paying more for the item. The idea is to save you money, not cost you more. When you set a maximum bid you ensure that the worse case scenario is you don’t pay too much for the sake of winning an item.
One way to look at it might be that you want to save 20% on all of your purchases. So you take that $100.00 box of cigars and lock in your bid at $80.00. If you win and paid your maximum bid for the item, you still walked away with a deal. If you loose, try again next time.
The bottom line is that you will win some and you will loose some.
don’t ever put yourself into a situation where you enter a bidding war and you will be a
Cigar Auction Rock Star.
Do you have a cigar auction deal or
horror story your willing to share?
11 thoughts on “Become a Cigar Auction Rock Star”
Great advice Walt. I’ve saved a ton on cbid, but it was basically by bidding low on a lot of things and winning maybe 20-30% of my bids. Gotta remember that what you want will probably be reposted in a day or two. Of course with a couple hundred dollar a week runs before I quit I’ve pretty much saved myself into the poor house. 😀
Regarding cbid, the combination of ‘Quickies’ and once a week shipping are a casual, uninformed bidder’s bane.
The impression that a lot is ‘here today gone tomorrow’ can prompt overbidding due to so many peoples desire for instant gratification and not wanting to miss out on something special. But believe it or not, that super-special-one-day-only lot will be back again in 24-72 hrs to be sure.
Combine that with the reduced shipping charges associated with once weekly shipping, and 2-4 days a week of LOOKING at cbid, and suddenly you see a credit card bill of $300-$500.
There’s a reason cbid is called ‘The Devil Site’.
Excellent post Walt!!! Good information. I agree with what both Ratters and doc say above as well. All good advice for the bidder. My big problem is there are always good deals coming up and my humidors are stocked with for me, about 6 months of cigars. Good stuff but I’ve no room for more!!!!!! btw, that’s about 180 cigars, I’m not up to smoking more then one a day heh. So for some of you, my inventory is your monthly allowance LOL!!! But I find Cbid to work out ok if you accept the fact that losing is ok. Be more up tomorrow and look at the specials. Usually good stuff up and with 100+ up for bid, it won’t grow too much.
Fantastic article Walt!
wow… I really have nothing else to add, except to emphasize the importance of research! So many people on those auction sites don’t do their research and drive up a price, sometimes to over what you would pay at retail for example… Por larranagas are consistently going for 4-5 a stick, and people are missing the fact that the another retailer is offering the same product at $2/stick
When that happens… no matter how much you want the cigar…. just walk away!
Thanks Walt for the writeup. As a long time cigar smoker and lurker, I finally browsed over to cigarbid and actually won my first ever bid. All thanks to your advise. I got the lot for about $50 less than the CI “regular” price too (20 Media Noches for $70).
Thanks and keep up the great writing please!
Good luck trying to score 20% off on Cbid.
bids consistantly end at retail prices. only score is that shipping is pretty cheap.
With the increase in popularity I can certainly see deals getting harder to come by, but I’ve saved a substantial amount on occasions. It just takes patience and persistence.
Thanks for the comment
I just started using CBid and I am glad that I took the time to read all of your wise comments. When I made my first bid I checked out the web pricing from several of the online dealers and set the max price I would pay. I ended up getting two RP Vin 92 at about 50% of the normal 5 pack price, even the sale prices. However I was amazed at how people run the bid up and over the retail price. So far I am batting 1000 but its because of the great advice ya’ll gave me.
This site is listing cigars and they also let you sell your own extra stock that you may not want. Seem like they have alot of traffic cause the items are moving fast. The last time i checked it out they had over 50 different listing. The best thing is they are not charging anyone (seller or buyer ) !! Makes it free in my mind.. Thanks just passing the post !!!!
I agree with most of the advise except for using the auto bid feature. If we all use auto bid as suggest then there will never be any significant savings. Have fun bidding, but do not overpay and we all smoke for less!