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Top Cigar Retailers

By September 9, 2009

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Who is your favorite online cigar retailer? CigarCyclopedia.com editor-in-chief, Rich Perelman, measures online cigar retailers across the U.S. in brand pricing, breadth of product, shipping, and a new category, availability of real-time inventory. According to Rich, the Top 10 Online Cigar Retailers for 2009 are as follows:

1. Quality Fresh Cigars (CigarFox.com) of Troy, Michigan - Dan Jenuwine's family has been retailing cigars since 1946 and began a mail-order operation as the cigar boom hit its height in 1996. The site reports sales of more than 50 million cigars a year and previously finished 25th in the 2006 and 2007 ranking list. Quality Fresh Cigars scored 92.8 points out of a possible 100 to top the 2009 Rankings list.

2. Cigars International of Bath, Pennsylvania - Keith Meier's operation has been on CigarCyclopedia's Top Ten in all five retailer reports. Acknowledged as one of the nation's leading sellers of premium cigars, Cigars International piled up 92.0 points to finish second, its best finish ever.

3. BestCigarPrices.com of Stone Ridge, New York - Although CigarCyclopedia's ranking criteria has changed over the past five years, BestCigarPrices.com has remained at or near the top each time, compiling 91.6 points for third place this time. It has never finished lower than fourth and was the winner in 2006.

4. J-R Cigars of Burlington, North Carolina - Last year's winner, J-R Cigars, is the national leader in cigar sales and has been at the forefront of national cigar retailing for decades. It's still going strong today, compiling 91.4 points to miss the top spot again by just 1.4 points. J-R's shipping policy of $2.50 per item is still an eye-grabber and it offers an enormous selection of both premium and machine-made cigars.

5. Famous Smoke Shop of Easton, Pennsylvania - Another perennial Top Ten finisher, Famous has placed second, sixth, fifth and fifth again in the last four rankings. It is considered to be one of the largest (if not the largest) independent retailer of cigars in the country. Famous has a unique set of strong site promotions, including its own credit card (which gives instant rebates on a number of brands), "5-pack Frenzy" offers and much more.

6. Mike's Cigars of Bay Harbor, Florida - Another perennial in the Top Ten, Mike's ranked no. 1 in 2007 and has never ranked lower than seventh in the past five rankings. It is well-known for its owned brands, especially Bauza (made at the Tabacalera A. Fuente) and Licenciados (made at MATASA). It also offers wild samplers on its site and through its e-mail subscriber list that allows you to try two, four or 10 of five different brands in the same shipment, usually at 50-60% off retail pricing.

7. Serious Cigars of Houston, Texas - Serious is a newcomer to the Top Ten, moving up from 27th in 2008. It was one of six sites to have real-time inventory availability, showing customers if cigars are actually in-stock at the time of order. Ron Lesseraux's operation began as an online retailer in 1997, but he opened a retail store in Houston in late 2003. His philosophy: "If we like to smoke it, we carry it."

8. Holt's Cigar Co. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - One of the nation's best-known retailers, Holt's is the "home" of the Ashton, La Aroma de Cuba, San Cristobal and other brands manufactured and distributed by the wholesale side of the business known as Ashton Distributors. It has been in the Top Ten in all five rankings.

9. Atlantic Cigar Co. of Elmsford, New York - Atlantic was the top-ranked retailer in the first retailer ranking back in 2004. It has also been in the Top Ten each year, finishing in a tie for ninth last year. It's always among the low-price leaders and has "bonus cigar" offers on many of its brands as value-added gifts for its customers.

10. Mom's Cigars of Somerset, New Jersey - Mark and Alex Goldman have two Mom's Cigars outlets, are well-known in the trade for their wholesale operation known as the House of Oxford, and have what might be the quickest-to-use price sheet in all of cigardom.

Thanks to CigarCyclopedia.com for sharing their list of top online cigar retailers.

Comments

September 10, 2009 at 8:29 pm
(1) hmm says:

Looks rigged… I’ve never even heard of some of those shops…

September 11, 2009 at 9:17 am
(2) Amazing Cigar Bargains says:

I usually go with Cigars International/Cigarbid or Cigars.com because I live in Maryland and normal shipping usually gets to me next day…very nice

September 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm
(3) ken says:

I ordered from Serious Cigars and highly recommend them. Fast delivery and fresh product. They even ship with a hydro pack.

September 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm
(4) Israel says:

How about Uptown Cigar Company? After all, our cigars are stored in humidors….unlike the storage warehouses in almost ALL of the above places.

September 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm
(5) Chicago says:

Who voted for these unheard of places.I question if 8 of the 10 even exist.

September 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm
(6) Mike G says:

The list is quite real! I’ve purchased cigars from all but 2 ( #1 & #10 ) retailers on the list!

September 17, 2009 at 6:54 pm
(7) scott says:

Cigars International is the best, in my opinion.Followed closely by Famous Smoke Shop. Both deliver quality hand made cigars ffrom the top brands in the world. Their websites are easy to navigate and the product always arrives in tip top shape at my doorstep. Their prices are good too!

September 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm
(8) steve says:

Don’t see why Cigar.com didn’t make it.Have had great service with them. I have heard of all the others, some seem too small to be considered unless other criteria were used.

September 17, 2009 at 10:40 pm
(9) Janet G. says:

I regularly patronize Cigars International and Mike’s Cigars. C.I. have the BEST deal prices on their 5 packs
and other specials that are just plain RIDICULOUSLY great for us shoppers. Mike’s cigars have those great 10 or 20 or larger packets. Famous, JR, etc. all great to patronize and LOVE their picturesque catalogs. End of my commercial!

September 18, 2009 at 8:37 am
(10) James says:

Famous Cigars is my favorite, though I order a lot from Cigars International and JR as well. Famous has a very informative and easily navigable website, and they fill orders very quickly. Their inventory is also 1st rate. I just wish they’d get smart and carry 5 Vegas!

September 18, 2009 at 8:38 am
(11) James says:

Oh yeah — I agree with Janet on CI’s specials. They are fabulous. If you aren’t signed up to receive their daily and weekly specials, go there NOW and do it!!

January 15, 2010 at 9:52 am
(12) Tony says:

How about a place to smoke cigars. Weather permitting. There’s only about 5 weeks out of the year to truly smoke outside in Houston. So I changed that. I built a mobile cigar lounge here in Houston. If you want to check it out go to http://www.styxlounge.com Out humidor is small compared to a retail store or online, but the cigars I do sell are top of the line.

September 23, 2011 at 11:58 am
(13) Jerry says:

I never seen CigarFox.com before, I’ll have to look. I order from everywhere i have been getting most of my cigars from http://www.nhcigars.com

December 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm
(14) Mike says:

where can I find wholesaler a place that sell good quality cigars especially cuban cigars for great prices or discounted prices and can deliver internationally?

February 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm
(15) Selwyn Marock says:

I live in South Africa am looking for a supplier that can ship the range of Nub cigars to me/ my e-mail address is smarock10@yahoo.com

June 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm
(16) Barb Fierro says:

To get the most amazing wholesale cigar prices, contact Planet Wholesale in Phildelphia PA. They are the best wholesale dealer in Northeast US. Check out their product list and send them an email to get the latest prices. I got a great deals on Rocky Patel cigars. They are a bunch of young folks who have discovered found out the way to break the market with some of their amazing deals. They are growing at a tremendous pace and many cigar stores and cigar lounges are making great profits by buying cigars are wholesale price though them. Check them out….

February 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm
(17) Dominik says:

I also have been shopping at http://www.seriouscigars.com I like the real time inventory so I never order something that is not available. Funny I had been ordering form them online not realizing they have a store in my area!

Also I don’t know if anyone is familiar with the Texas Cigar Fest! Its an even they put on that is awesome. Lots of cigar brands are represented there. Tickets are $125 a person but you get a really sweet goodie bag that way makes up for the ticket price. Just thought I would mention it to anyone that is in the Houston area. They limit the event to 700 attendees!

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