Ask The Readers: Retailer Loyalty

Stogie Talk17 Comments on Ask The Readers: Retailer Loyalty

Ask The Readers: Retailer Loyalty

As our cigar hobby progresses, we have tendency to buy product from a select group of retailers. We find it a comfort to purchase from these stores because we know that the chance for a problem is minimal, and in the event there is an issue, the retailer will rectify the problem without protest.

Some cigar smokers have a list of several retailers they shuffle through while others will only purchase from one or two. Some people even go as far as to willingly pay a bit more for product at one retailer over another simply for peace of mind.

I’d like to know where your purchasing preference lies. Will you willingly pay more for a product from one retailer over another, and if so, how much more are you willing to pay? Do you think that retailer loyalty is important in this business or would you rather find the best price and be done with it?

enjoying cigars since 2005

17 thoughts on “Ask The Readers: Retailer Loyalty

  1. Walt,

    I like going to B&M’s that are close me that being at work or home. I am willing to pay a little extra too as long as I am taken care of. I am a firm believer in customer service. If the clerk has no people skills and could careless in trying to sell me a cigar or not, I’m a gone with no chance of return.

    How much am I willing to pay? Well, I do my homework and if the price is way over that of the internet or other local B&M’s, sorry no sale! Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, because lets face it sitting in your local B&M that has several nice leather couches and a 70 inch TV sometimes more than makes up for the extra 2-4 dollar price that is being charged for the cigar you want to enjoy. But without those items in the picture again sorry NO SALE!

    Loyalty? You know it. Without us the consumer, the business if a goner! Again with that said, the business owner and staff need to go the extra distance to keep its customers happy.

  2. I will always hit b&m’s for singles to try or just a couple to restock my humi with, but box prices are just cheaper online. With a fixed income, I have to go where it is cheaper! I normally wont go to some shady sites to save a couple bucks, but I will research quite a few sites to determine the best price before laying out money.

    I dont see retailer loyalty being anything of a concern for the online retailers, just because of the volume of business they do. Locally, yes, it is a big deal! If you have 3 cigar shops in your area and 1 goes out of there way to help you, educate you, and make you comfortable, they would get my business in a heartbeat!

    Online retailers just dont have the overhead of a regular store and can offer better prices. I wish I could get everything for as cheap locally, but it will never happen unless manufacturers start putting strict price guidelines on the internet retailers (which wont happen due to the volume).

    Mike

  3. I would like to go to the shop in my town but in CA they are just so much higher then online. As far a online gos I like to use tampa H there prices are good, vary helpfun on the phone and alot of the shiping is free. They also ship there cigars with water pellows. I would pay more to get them from here just because so far every order has been smoth.

  4. I would like to support my local B&M but I just can’t afford to smoke if I buy everything locally. I buy a few sticks at the B&M and if I enjoy them I order more on-line.

  5. Unfortuently I don’t have the luxury of choosing just one because the shops in my area all carry different sticks. For example if I want a Kristoff I have to go to one, if I want a triple maduro I have to go to another, if I want a tatuaje I have to go to yet another..

  6. I have 3-4 retailers that I shop with regularly. Most of my business goes with one retailer and the remainder is split between the other retailers as well as some ‘too good to miss’ internet deals.

    I am willing to pay more for cigars when I shop at my preferred shops. I realize they cannot always compete price wise with some of the big websites, but you can’t beat the hello and the handshake, the comfortable lounge and great conversation with other BOTL that you get at a local B&M. Although I’ll pay more, I don’t want to be gouged, there is one shop that I like a lot but the prices are very high – I have to avoid it most times just because of the cost.

    On the flip side, there is a shop here that has the best selection and lowest prices in town but the owner is the rudest person I’ve ever met. I make it a point not to shop there, I’d rather wait for one of my other shops to get the new stuff in and pay a little more than to give them business.

  7. There are a few in my area but I like to call Emerson Cigars my only B & M . They are friendly and go out their way to accommodate your every need. Great shop, employees, patrons and owners!

  8. I go to my favorite local shop when when craving something different from what’s in my humidor, or need to load up on something special for an a special occasion. I also like the local shop just to hang out and have a smoke. For most of my cigar needs though, I use my favorite online cigar store mainly because they have the deals or combos I am most interested in compared to other companies, so yes I stay loyal to this one retailer because they have a continuously nice line up of deals and combos.

  9. Retailer loyalty is huge in any business, but especially in the cigar business, in my opinion. I do my best to stay away from purchasing online and stick with the few shops I frequent in Chicago. Since I am a regular at more than one shop, the owners are typically okay with making deals with you when purchasing larger orders. Since I don’t spend a ton of money lately, I am okay with paying a little more for my local shops to help keep them in business when financial times are tough. I would only purchase online if I found something and a ridiculously low price, but that doesn’t happen very often with most of the stuff I want.

  10. Devil site, CI Joe’s Daily Deal, Daily Cigar, etc.

    I buy a couple of boxes/month locally and use Lonestar Tobacco and Serious Cigars in Houston Texas!

  11. I’d prefer to buy boxes online since they’re often a bit cheaper than in a shop, but depending on your comfort level with a B&M and frequency which you visit them, they may be cheaper. I guess in that case, I don’t have much loyalty. Buying individuals is where I’m most loyal. I’ll tend to buy more and more frequently at a B&M I like. As for paying more, I don’t know that I would unless they were extremely inviting. Elsewise, I’ll just buy, and if I get a bad vibe, I’ll leave the store to smoke.

  12. I often shop at the same B&M b/c i have formed good relationships with the staff and patrons. I don’t mind spending a little extra but lets not get crazy. I am fortunate to have a couple of shops close to me but only venture out from my “home” base to get new product. Although I have smoked through the entire humidor and my shop is not the quickest at bringing in new cigars I have a great time every time I go to the shop.

    I also believe we should spread the wealth because the more presence we have in the community the better the health of the cigar industry.

  13. Out of the several B&Ms nearby, there is only one I patronize, the others are overpriced to me (I’m a cheap bastard, if I can’t find anything $3 or under I get sticker shock!) I will do the occasional courtesy buy if I’m in one of the other shops, but that’s about it. I’ve also been known to patronize a friends shop some distance away via phone and have him ship to me. As far as on line, I’ve ordered from several vendors and never had a problem. There are certain purchases I will only make from an overseas vendor who I know personally, sure the same cigars are available cheaper, but when spending that much money, I like to know that I’ll get what I’m paying for.
    Pennsylvania is in the process of trying to sneak through a cigar tax. If that’s passed look for the likes of Famous and CI to be moving to Florida, and a lot of mom & pop shops closing. If you live in PA I urge you to call your senator and representative and let them know that a cigar tax won’t make up for the lost business and income taxes when these stores close or move.

    CigarCraig, hoping PA remains cigar tax free

  14. I think if it were a situation where the B&M made cigars, they’d earn loyalty with quality product, but since they are just a middle-man, there is little loyalty to be had…or deserved.

    Where I live there are 2 tobacco shops. One has a very small cigar walk-in humidor while the other has a much larger one. Neither have a great selection.

    When it comes to reselling price dictates where the buyer will go. If there were a local B&M with great prices and a some sort of lounge area that wasn’t full of hicks standing around smoking their cigarettes, I might visit regularly. Until then, I’ll buy from who has the best prices.

  15. I just bought a box of Cain Habanos from Dad’s Smoke Shop here in Cleveland on Friday. When I buy a box it’s usually from these guys. I try to keep these B&M’s going because there’s alot of history there. These internet companies don’t have to pay the regressive taxes that local B&M’s do. If we don’t take care of these shops we won’t have any place to go have a cigar and good conversation with other brothers of the leaf.

  16. I buy locally from my B&M when I’m exploring (I’m just now getting into cigars and trying to nail down what I like). However, their prices are about double what I can get the same sticks for over the internet, so no way can I afford to buy more than the occasional single from the local guys. I wouldn’t mind paying a buck or two more, but when they want $14 for an A. Fuente Hemingway best seller and I can get the same stick for $6 online, well… guess who wins.

    Local tobacco taxes don’t help the matter much I’m sure.

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