Buying cigars online is nothing like walking into a shop and getting the full sensory experience. But few areas are lucky enough to have truly good cigar shops.
Online cigar shops, although less exciting, offer both convenience and a wider selection. They are the next best solution for keeping a steady stock of top quality cigars at home in your humidor.
Unless you have found a good gas station cigar (which are rare) you want to know where to buy cigars online. These are the 4 best places to buy cigars online.
How We Selected the Best Online Cigar Shop
There are many bad online cigar shops. Limited selection, extremely long delivery times and outdated website design are common issues.
Another problem you will come across is the promise of very low prices. Of course, the catch is that the cigars are also low quality, not much different from what you buy at a convenience store.
So, we went searching for the most reliable online cigar shops with the best service. We made our selection based on the following criteria:
Just like when we walk into a proper cigar shop, we are not looking for the cheapest stuff. We want good quality at a fair price. The machine made cigars should be affordable and the more special handmade cigars can cost more.
We want an online shop with a wide selection of cigar types. The selection is important for being able to buy our regular ‘everyday’ cigar and the cigars for special occasions. The website gets bonus points if it offers expert advice on which cigars to choose.
The packaging should be safe for cigars. Undoubtedly, it will get tossed around and be exposed to different temperatures so good packaging is essential.
They are not Amazon so we do not expect next-day delivery. However, we don’t want to be waiting for 2 weeks, either. The shipping costs should also be reasonable.
Finally, we looked at the overall website UX. The online cigar shop should be easy to navigate, clear, informative and generally not testing our patience. There should be enough filters to narrow the search because we don’t want to scroll for hours.
Our 4 Recommended Websites to Buy Cigars Online
1. Best Place to Buy Cigars Online: Famous Smoke
Famous Smoke earns top spot for having one of the biggest selections of cigars and excellent service. It is convenient, affordable and delivers fast.
This is a great one-stop-shop for buying machine-made cigars, premium cigars and cigarillos. No matter what cigar you are looking for, you will probably find a good deal on Famous Smoke.
That being said, it does take away from the classy experience of buying a cigar. It comes across more as a discount store than a website for cigar aficionados.
We’re not sure what the reasoning behind the web layout is but Famous Smoke definitely jumps out at you. We are still undecided whether that is a positive or negative.
The website uses very big images which isn’t an issue by itself. The problem is that the search filters and the text is very small in comparison. In short, their website could be designed better.
Shipping rates are not the lowest but you do have plenty of options in shipping services. It isn’t the fastest service but that is not necessarily their doing.
All in all, this is the website you go to when you want to find a good deal. They also offer backorders which is great if you have a favorite cigar.
2. Best Service and Shipping: Holts
Holts is somewhat of an institution – it was established in 1898. With so many years of experience, you can expect great knowledge and customer service from Holts.
People that buy at Holts rarely buy anywhere else because the service is that good. Combine this with fast shipping and you have a winner in our books.
For example, Holts accepts returns of packages where you have only openend 1 cigar. Perhaps this will get you to try different brands of cigars.
One interesting feature of the website is their ‘cigar finder’ which is essentially the filter options. However, the focus filters are length, ring gauge and price which you can adjust to very precise preferences.
The drop-down menu is organized into intuitive categories, making your search much easier. They have an incredibly large selection of cigars for all occasions and budgets.
What they could improve about the website is its general look. However, this is merely aesthetics and doesn’t take away from how the site functions.
You can expect speedy shipping from Holts. All orders placed before 3pm are sent out on the same day and orders after 3pm are shipped the next day.
3. Best for Premium Cigars: Cigars.com
Cigar aficionados will be happy buying from cigars.com. This website offers more premium choices but this was a deliberate choice.
Combined, the founders of cigars.com have over 60 years of experience in the cigar industry. This shines through in the website content which is full of truly good advice, cigar recommendations and how-to’s.
You can easily spend an afternoon reading their blogs – with a good cigar in your hands, of course. Or quickly choose a cigar from their recommendation lists.
One disadvantage is that it may take a while to find a specific cigar. The only search filter available is to filter by region. You can filter more once you click on a brand but generally the options are then already limited enough that it’s unnecessary.
Another downside with ordering from cigars.com is that they don’t ship to all states. Be sure to check which regulations apply to your area.
Overall, this website is good for buying more premium cigars and discovering new cigars you might enjoy. They would score higher if they offered more search filters.
4. Best for Deals on Cigars: JR Cigars
JR Cigars has one of the biggest selections of cigars and excellent service. It is convenient, affordable and delivers fast.
Wave your cursor above any of the tabs and you will see a long list of cigar options appear. The categories are easy to browse through. You can find exactly what you are looking for using their advanced filters.
One of the great aspects of JR Cigars is that there is something for every taste and every budget. You can also be adventurous and order one of their sampler packs – prices start at $25 and go up to $100.
Besides cigars, this website is a good place to buy cigar accessories such as humidors, cutters or gifts. Check back frequently to catch one of their many special deals.
Shipping is frequent; orders placed before 3pm ET on Mondays through Saturdays are sent out the same day. The quicker it is delivered to you, the fresher the cigar.
JR Cigars launched Auto Ship to make ordering cigars even more convenient. By registering on the website, you can place a recurring order which will automatically be delivered at your preferred interval.
Enjoy free delivery by ordering some of the more popular cigar brands. Other orders have a standard shipping cost of $7,99, clear and simple.
There you have it; our top 4 websites for buying cigars online. Any of these online shops offer you great choice in cigars at fair prices.
Most offer sampler packages which are the best choice for when you are curious about different brands and makes. Since there is only one of each type of cigar, you won’t be stuck with an entire carton of cigars that aren’t to your taste.
It still doesn’t feel the same as walking into a cigar shop and starting a conversation about each interesting cigar but it does keep your humidor full. Plus, few brick-and-mortar shops are able to compete with the selection size that these sites offer.