In recent years, the sale of items online has seen a meteoric rise, thanks to Ecommerce giants such as eBay, Amazon and many others. This has also paved the way for many small businesses and individual sellers to set up online based businesses to sell their products, giving them an opportunity to expand their reach from their home town to across the globe. Advancements in postage security and packaging materials have also allowed for businesses to ship their products without worry of damage or loss and this has generated a new era of trading.
Our Havana House online store is something we’re hugely proud of, having shipped cigars, whiskies, coffee and many other items to countries across the globe! This is something that couldn’t have happened without the internet and the rise of Ecommerce. That said, although we’d love for all online sellers to be like ourselves: honest, trustworthy businesses, unfortunately, this just isn’t the case. People have used these advancements to prey on vulnerable and less internet-savvy customers which is why we have put together this article of the risks of buying from unaccredited online cigar sellers and how you can shop online with confidence!
Risks of Unaccredited Sellers
There are a number of risks that you should consider before placing an order with an online seller, whether this is for cigars or otherwise and we have listed these below:
Not Packaged Correctly
A hugely important element of Ecommerce is the packaging of products. Packaging can come in all shapes, sizes, colours and designs, with many companies offering innovative and recyclable solutions. The packing for cigars is hugely important as these fragile sticks can bend or break in the post, therefore, they need to be kept in rigid packaging with no space for them to rattle around in.
Additionally, poor cigar packaging could also lead to the cigar(s) going stale as they should not be kept out of the humidor for more than 2-3 days. To prevent this from happening, cigars should be sent in the original cellophane and should also be stored in zip-lock bags or something similar to prevent alterations in humidity. Equally, consideration should be taken when buying cigars from online sellers overseas as to the length of time it will take for the cigars to be shipped to you, as during this time the cigars could dry out and become stale.
Finally, for buyers who are purchasing cigars as an investment, the condition of the cigar and packaging (such as a lovely Cohiba box) is very important and will need to arrive in the very best condition. Where possible, communicate with any overseas sellers to ensure that they package suitably.
One of the more significant risks of using websites such as eBay to buy cigars and other speciality items is that quite often, you’ll be purchasing from an individual who may not have the expertise required to correctly identify the cigar or won’t have all the information about it, such as age, size etc. Although it’s possible to grab a few bargains on the online marketplaces, it’s also possible to be misled or oversold something which doesn’t match up to expectation. Shopping with a reliable and accredited seller (such as ourselves) will ensure that what you buy is what you’ll receive, they’ll likely have processes in place to offer refunds or exchanges if you’re not 100% as well!
As with all online businesses, there are people who look to take advantage of others, with many looking to scam innocent people out of their money. Using unaccredited sellers and stores could lead to you losing your money as they will accept payment but not ship the product.
We have compiled a list of tips for you to take into account to help you identify rogue cigar sellers and to assist with negotiating the potentially muddy waters of online cigar buying:
– Check reviews of the sellers, either using feedback, Trustpilot, Facebook or Google reviews. Make sure other people have used their service and see what they have to say about it.
– See if the seller has a bricks and mortar shop as this will likely indicate that they are a professional business, not just a guy with a laptop. People that have real shops will know how to handle cigars so realistically you should be in safe hands.
– If prices are too good to be true, they likely are. It’s very rare that sellers of premium cigars don’t know their value, so any stores offering a high-class stogie at a budget rate is likely doing something underhand.
– Be aware of additional costs such as shipping and customs charges. When buying items from overseas it can cost more to have them shipped to you than if it were from the UK, additionally, customs charges can be placed on the item which you’ll have to pay to Royal Mail as they pay the charge on your behalf. Customs charges are often dictated by the overall cost of the item shipped, therefore a more expensive product will incur a higher charge.
When buying your Cuban cigars from us, you can be sure that you’ll receive exactly what you pay for. With a number of shops located around the UK, our team will expertly package and dispatch your order so that when it arrives to you, you’ll have a smile on your face and a cigar in your mouth in no time! Check out our selection of cigars here or get in touch to find out more.