Paying over retail for aged cigars or certain box codes.


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Hi all. Please forgive me if this topic has been discussed in the past or if my questions are a bit "noobish", but I would like the general concensus on this. Basically, this has to do with buying cigars from private individuals instead of retailers. Is it common practice, and is it deemed acceptable for individuals to raise the prices of cigars because of the age of the cigar or a certain box code on the cigar. For example, should I be willing to pay more for a box of cigars marked XXX JUN 06 than I would pay for a box marked YYY JUN 07. And, if so, is there a rule on how much of a premium should be paid for these cigars.

Another question I have deals with retailers. Some retailers will gladly supply you with a complete list of box codes they have in invetory. Now, if this retailer lists multiple box codes for the same cigars, how does one know which box to choose? Should I always opt for the box that is the oldest, or is there certain codes a person should look for when choosing cigars?

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Buying from individuals is really just a matter of free market economics. In the secondary market, the owner can set the prices they see fit. I could be wrong, but don't think that there is a standard etiquette that apply here. The owner could simply be saying that these are worth this much to me or this is the price at which I am willing to part ways with this specific box. On the flip side, it rally depends if that box is worth the premium to you. In any market that is thinly traded, there usually is a premium. I would expect it. But then this is just my opinion...

If there is no additional value from buying from individuals, why not buy retail?

Btw your second question is interesting. I would like to hear what others have to say. No opinion from me on that.

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When it is a private transaction, it's simply supply and demand...

Regarding your second question, El Presidente himself keeps saying that box codes are not all that important. When I have the chance, I do go for specific years, though.

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*Yes it is a case of what you're willing to pay as compared to what this individual is asking for them. When and if you have a trained eye you can pretty much tell if it looks like an authentic box. On the other hand, if this guy is just trying to make a sale, you can decide what kind of mood he's in...in other words if he just needs or wants the money, and you can negotiate. If he says, well okay, I'll just wait, then you can gauge if he's playing the hard sale, or seeing how serious you are. I don't think I would chance it if I were you, unless it's a good price for you that he wants, or if he's taking you for a ride. I would really wait and buy from a reputable retailer, and then tell your buyer YOU'D be willing to wait. His price may go down.

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I would only buy from a private person when the product in question no where to be bought from retail.

Regarding box codes, I have no idea.

I have had some glorious cigars from a box and then a different box with the same code could be iffy.

this is an organic product and so much is dependent on the housing and TLC given to it from inception to consumption.

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This is not simply an argument of age. There are known good years/vintages, and not so good ones. For example, I would rather have many cigars from '06 than '00 or '01, even though they're younger. Ask people if they have experience smoking cigars from the date codes you're interested in.

Another key is how well they have been stored. If you can't be certain about this, buying older cigars may not be to your advantage.

You also have to be wary of the terminology people use. Cigars that are 5 or 6 years old are not "vintage", and should not command a huge premium. Now, if they are 15 years old and a marca you like, and you can be reasonably sure they've been well looked after, that's different.

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To me, cigars are like fine wine. You have some great vintages, good vintages, bad vintages and legendary vintages.

If you took the time to age the cigars and then sell them. It is based on opportunity cost and time value of money. If it took space in my humidor, were aged them meticulously and are not available due to simple supply/demand, then the value should be higher if sold.

Can't expect to pay the same price as the current vintage for cigars that have been aged at least 4 years.

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