Your Questions, My Answers (YQMA) Episode 44

Your Questions, My Answers9 Comments on Your Questions, My Answers (YQMA) Episode 44

Your Questions, My Answers (YQMA) Episode 44

This time around Mike and I covered four questions instead of the usual two while recording the latest episode of Your Questions, My Answers (YQMA). All was going well until we reached the last question, then the discussion seemed to go on forever as we debated cigar pricing.

To start off the show, Mike and I talked about repairing damaged cigar wrappers. From there we moved to talking about how to deal with an overwhelming Spanish Cedar smell as a result of a new humidor. We wrapped up the normal discussion with a question on temporary cigar storage.

The discussion became deep when Mike and I tackled a question on MSRP and how local cigar shops handle their pricing structure. In addition to the question, we referenced a forum topic by Rich Meade. The video runs for about 2 hours and 12 minutes

If you would like to submit a question of your own to be answered on a future episode of Your Questions, My Answers, there are several methods. Those methods include our Contact Form, Stogie Review Fan Forums, and Voicemail (610-572-2636).

enjoying cigars since 2005

9 thoughts on “Your Questions, My Answers (YQMA) Episode 44

  1. Wow great discussion topics. In the end I am copping out because I see and agree with both Walt and Mike to a degree. I find myself leaning toward Walt, but I buy cigars similar to the way Mike does. I’ve been to some local shops where prices are unacceptable and I simply don’t go there anymore. If I can’t find an acceptable price locally, I have no problem going online to shop. I just choose which online retailer I use carefully.

    With online shopping, you often don’ really know the storage conditions. On the other hand, I was at a tobacco warehouse in Tampa once and I saw no evidence of a controlled, humidified atmosphere. This particular company is a chain of tobacco stores (basically like big 7-11s for tobacco only). But for the most part, a good local B&M obviously stores there stock in optimum conditions, which is a huge plus.

    Like Walt said… At a good local B&M, there are perks you won’t find online. If I buy a bum stick I can bring it back for an instant swapout. Once your local tobacconist recognizes you as a frequent customer, he/she will probably start to give you breaks, free samples, a drink, and good conversation.

    On the other hand, in many cases online prices are so drastically lower then any local shop, that I can’t justify paying more, period. There are some great online sites that have great prices and the cigars arrive in good condition. As a consumer I can’t justify paying that much more just to “Support local business,” I’m not rich.

    In the end… I support and give plenty of money to my favorite local shop(s), and do a lot of box purchases online. This method works well for me. Sure, it’s annoying how some cigar companies raise their prices for what seems to be greed, while other guys like Perdomo aren’t. But in the end, there are so many cigars out there. We as consumers are in control for the most part.

  2. Whew, that was a long one. Honestly I prefer the two question 20-40min format, because it is more digestible. I also think that four topics is too many for just the two of you. When there were the three person YQMA the more questions seemed to work better.

    First of all, thanks for letting the conversation go on here, it was good to get clarification on what each of you think and why you think that way. It seems like you are both talking from different perspectives and although you are both buying cigars you each see them as different commodities.

    For me, I am never just buying a cigar, I am buying an experience. If I just wanted cigars I would do all of my shopping on line and give my business to the vendor offering the lowest price, regardless of service and with no loyalty.

    I am not just buying cigars though, when I go to my local shop I know the owner and most of the guys who are sitting around the lounge and we have forged friendships over many cigars. I also get great service, if I ask for something, the owner will either order it for me or tell me about another local shop who carries it. Because of the perks of being a regular and because I want to see my local guy be in business for as long as I am here, I give as much business to him as I can.

    Now, when it comes to pricing I live in California and we have ridiculous taxes on our cigars. This means that if I buy locally I am going to pay more than if I shopped online. As mentioned above, I want to keep my local B&M in business so that I can keep going to local events and maintain the smoking camaraderie with the regulars. So if I have a budget and the prices there are higher, I’ll buy fewer cigars or more of the lower priced cigars at my local shop instead of taking my business elsewhere. This just highlights the fact that each of our priorities are different and that directly effects how we buy cigars.

    MSRP and what different places charge for specific cigars is secondary to our priorities.

  3. You know, there is a 12-step group for compulsive talkers…it’s called On-and-on-and-on-and-on. The first 30 to 40 minutes was interesting and worth the listen. I have to be honest, though…after the first 15 minutes of the debate on pricing, there was little new being said and it just became background noise. Not that the topic wasn’t interesting, it just went on too long.

    For my 2-cents-worth…stores have to make money to stay in business. In both places I have lived, I have found a good semi-local store that doesn’t price-gouge and have given them the majority of my business. When I find online deals “too good to pass up” I take advantage, but I’d estimate that accounts for less than 10 percent of my total purchases. My local tobacconist, Burns in Chattanooga, stopped carrying all Nub cigars after seeing them advertised online for less than the price they were buying them for. I think this is a good example of a hard, but necessary, decision some B&Ms have to make. They are a good store and charge fair retail prices for Opux X, Anejo, VSG, ESG, and other popular sticks. I’m not opposed to the great deals from online vendors, either, but I have made the decision to do my part in supporting the “home team.” I just feel it’s the right thing to do.

  4. Hey guys,

    Great YQMA. Short and quick on the first 3 and long on the last topic which was great. I really liked hearing your points of view on the pricing and agree with some of both of views.

    On Walt’s side I can see how big business and big turns has it’s perks and that is why online has such great pricing due to cut wholesale pricing for them. I imagine their overhead is costly as well with storage, shipping , lots of empoloyee’s to pay, online systems, etc. But the difference can be quite large in prices sometimes that I have to think there is an unfair advantage on manufacturer pricing somewhere to the larger vendors. This really crunches the local shops and in turn forces them out of business.

    On Mike’s side I whole heartedly agree that I am on a budget and can’t stand to see my local shop outpriced on some items by a great deal that I want to buy. Although my shop is very comparable in pricing to the big online retailers on most brands. I love being able to go to my local shop and look at the product I am going to buy and give it a good once over and lite squeeze to verify it is up to my standards before buying and going home with them right then and not wait for shipping. Talking to the staff is also great. Supporting local business Is high on my priority because if it isn’t there for myself and others the city’s cigar lovers suffer along with me.

    All in all , I do think there should be some kind of pricing standards for the manufacturers to sell to all vendors online and local shops that could lower the pricing all the way around. Lets all agree lower prices on a product that is in demand means more sales all the way around. Online will always have a client base no matter what due to limited local shops and some people in this age of technology will only order on line. Where as cutting the difference in price breaks to the larger vendors receive over smaller local shops will increase thier sales and possibly the amount of local shops that could crop up and create more competition which hopefully would create even better prices for us brothers of the leaf.

    My two cents. Sorry , damn , that was almost as long as your video …..hahaha.

    Steven W.

  5. Yeah, a little too long… Okay, a lot too long. I could have gone and seen a movie in that time. Still, I appreciate the majority of what you guys do.

  6. As I’ve said before, I’m just fine with the longer videos. Didn’t mind this one at all.

    (I’ll in essence not comment on the discussion spawned by the 4th question. Complicated situation compounded by subjective opinions, and the issue seems to have no obvious solution. ’twas interesting, though.)

    Cheers

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