Top Tips for Trading Cigars
The past decade or so has seen a substantial change in the luxury goods industry, particularly for adult related products. Take beer, for example. The beer industry has gone through a massive evolution in the 21st century.
Where the focus used to be on the most beer for the cheapest price, this has changed to the highest quality, and most rare beers get the attention. Some breweries release limited editions, and people will travel to different states to wait in line to buy them.
This is a similar characteristic of the modern-day cigar industry. While core lines still dominate in terms of overall sales, most of the publicity and hype is directed to small-batch, limited editions.
This, in turn, has created a substantial secondary market for cigars. While most people will buy these cigars to age and sell later, which you can read more about here, there is a massive portion of the cigar community dedicated to trading cigars.
To better educate people who might be new to the cigar trading market, we decided to put together a few tips on how to trade cigars properly. Not only do you want to avoid getting taken advantage of, but you also want to make sure you are making an equal trade on your end. By following these steps, you can effectively join the cigar trading community.
Be Informed About Cigars
This is the first and most crucial step when attempting to trade cigars. You need to make sure you are up to date on the latest brands, limited projects, and trends. In order to understand what your cigars might be worth in trade value, you need to know their price, availability, and demand. This will get you a general idea of what you have and what you can get for it.
For example, even though something like a Padron 1926 is expensive, it is widely available. Something like the Tatuaje Monster Skinny Jason might cost significantly less, but due to its limited nature and unique style, is much more in demand in the trading community.
Research is key for staying informed. Not only should you read up on cigar news to see new releases, but you should also visit various cigar shops and websites to know the availability of different cigars.
If you notice that you have some smokes that are available in every shop, its trade value is not that high. However, if you came upon some cigars that you couldn’t find in any shop or site, there could be some potential there.
Use Trustworthy Sources
If you are heavily involved in the community and have some friends you trade with, just doing it between the two of you is perfectly fine. However, if you are newer to the community, it is best to use a reputable trading site.
They will provide a sense of security and ensure that all parties are actually sending out their cigars. Sites like Puro Trader, Boveda, or even Reddit have systems in place to track the trade and make sure everyone is on the up and up.
The forums on these sites will also be a good source of insight. You can engage with other cigar smokers to find the best trade options, and if you are looking for a specific trade, you can post on the general forum and see who responds to you.
Attending a cigar herf in person is also a great way to ensure that trades are protected. By doing it in person, it is a direct exchange, and there is no need for tracking numbers and waiting on UPS. Herfs are also an excellent environment to learn more about the community and the trading industry. If you want to read up on cigar herfs, check out our article from earlier this year.
Know the System
The cigar trading can be a bit confusing at times. Besides straight-up trades, there also other options, such as gifts or “bombs”. A bomb is when a member of the community sends another member some cigars and possibly alcohol as a sign of respect.
Nothing is expected in return; it is just sent out as a surprise. It is proper etiquette to wait a few weeks, and then bomb them in return. This isn’t required, but it’s a show of respect and appreciation.
Do not be surprised that even though a trade is agreed upon that the sender adds in some extra smokes. While this seems like a nice gesture, you need to be careful. If they send more than the agreed-upon cigars, it is a good form also to send them something as well.
While usually, the sender isn’t expecting anything, members on some of these forums can be vicious and will call you out. It is always a good idea to throw in a few extra smokes that weren’t agreed upon. They don’t need to be hard to find or very expensive, just some very solid and popular cigars to help cover yourself.