Last week I posted the contest announcement for a box of Colombian Gold Perfectos and asked everyone to share with us their first cigar purchase experience. As of the time I am writing this article (Monday night) I am completely amazed by the type of responses that have been shared.
I find it amazing that everyone has had a good first experience, and even more amazing that due to that first experience you still purchase from that shop after a number of months, or years. I think it goes a long way in showing the benefits of finding a good local tobacconist for first time purchasers.
While I wish I could add to the list of fun stories, my first purchase wasn’t so great. I was gifted a number of cigars to get me into the hobby, these lasted for some time before I felt the need to start buying new stock to offset my old. When it was time to make that purchase I headed out to a local mall where I remembered seeing a cigar shop in passing.
This was the type of place that made their money on selling cigarettes and lottery tickets. I walked in and asked permission to check out the humidor (didn’t know if there was an etiquette at the time). I got the green light and headed in with a list of cigars scribbled onto a piece of scratch paper. After about twenty minutes in their small walk in humidor, I emerged from the rain forest like environment with a handful of cigars.
When I got to the cashier I placed my cigars on the counter and couldn’t wait to get home and light op. The woman behind the counter gave me an odd look then handed me a piece of register tape and a pen. She asked me to go back into the humidor and write down the prices of my cigars, she informed me she had no idea what they were. I went back into the humidor and spent another ten minutes fumbling around trying to find the prices on these cigars that I didn’t know much about either.
The experience put a bad taste in my mouth and as a result, I spent most of my money ordering five packs from JR Cigars. I found that the sticks were much cheaper and I was able to try a large variety. As time passed I found another cigar shop and ultimately began purchasing smokes from them. At this point in time I would guess that 95% of my purchases are made in my local shop, with the occasional online special being ordered from Cigars International and Famous.
If your first experience buying cigars was not a good one, do you think you would have stuck with the hobby or have been turned off?