The Best and Worst Places to Buy Cigars Online (2023)
Cigars are a delicate, temperamental, and hand made product, and there are thousands to choose from. That means that where you buy cigars matters big time.
Fortunately, among the 30+ places to buy cigars online, there are a handful of fantastic online cigar stores that can help you find the perfect cigar, get you a great deal, and deliver it quickly and safely. Unfortunately, for every great retailer, there are two more around with poor product quality, bad customer service, or that are downright scams (more on that below).
Whether you’re buying cigars for yourself or for someone else as a gift, you’re here asking ‘what’s the best place to buy cigars online’? You’ve come to the right place for an answer. I’ve been purchasing cigars online from a variety of retailers for 10+ years and have had enough experiences to be an experienced judge of the best online cigar stores out there.
So how do I determine the best websites to buy cigars online? The most important components of a cigar store are customer service, price, selection, quality, and the usability of the website.
So without further ado:
The Best Places to Buy Cigars Online
1. Famous Smoke Shop
Famous Smoke Shop won #1 on my first list of top cigar retailers in 2016, again in 2019, and it wins it again today. It is, in my opinion, the best place to buy cigars online. Why?
In short, it’s at or near the top of the list on all of the important categories: customer service, reliability, quality of product, etc. I’ve ordered thousands of dollars in cigars from Famous, and I know from experience that cigars will always be packaged securely, the price will be lower than any brick and mortar retailer, and if there are any problems, they’ll fix it without hesitation. Their shipping is also insanely fast – I often receive cigars within just one or two days of ordering.
On top of that, their website is fast, simply designed, and purchasing cigars with an account is a breeze.
They also operate Cigar Monster, which is a take on the ‘deal-an-hour’ fad of the 2000s. An old fad, but still a fun idea with some great deals.
2. Cigar Page
Cigar Page is runner up for one reason: stupid good deals. While its selection is a bit more limited than Famous, and its web design is a bit dated, it does have incredible deals on 5 and 10 packs of name brand cigars. Service is on point as well.
3. Smoke Inn
When I wrote my first ranking in 2016, Smoke Inn was a runner up, with the caveat that its web design needed some work. Then the website upgraded and it’s one of those great online cigar stores that just makes you want to buy more! Another reason Smoke Inn makes the list is that they have a huge selection of boutique smokes, and hard to find smokes—great gifts for enthusiasts! The website is run by a great team as well who are always there for questions or concerns.
4. Luxury Cigar Club
As the name suggests, Luxury Cigar Club is a new kind of cigar retailer. While the company has a modest online offering of brand name cigars, it’s main feature is a cigar of the month club. Choose between four different subscription levels, and Luxury Cigar Club mails hand picked selections of boutique and brand name cigars. For gift-givers looking to give the cigar smoker in their life a fun gift, Luxury Cigar Club is a great option.
The Worst Websites to Buy Cigars Online
If the above places to buy cigars online represent the best, the stores listed below represent cigar retailers to avoid.
I hate to say it, but even after writing my first article on online cigar stores more than five years ago, Thompson Cigars still hasn’t improved their reputation much. True, they have a A+ rating on Better Business Bureau, but look under the hood at the customer reviews and you’ll find that, as of this writing (1/15/2022), the company has a 1.3 out of 5 rating. And if you actually read the reviews themselves… they’re pretty ugly, with talk of signing unsuspecting shoppers up for expensive monthly subscriptions without their consent, which is, you know.. Bad.
I don’t have first hand experience, but here are some of the comments on my previous post about Thompson:
“Please avoid Thompson Cigar…they did exactly what you said they would do…Back in the summer my boyfriend spoke to them about starting a monthly subscription starting September 11 2017…and told them he would call them first before he wanted his card charged…Well on September 1 2017 they went ahead and charged his card….he immediately called them and told them to cancel it….after all kinds of back and forth they refused to cancel the order and we would have to wait until after he received the cigars then call them back to have a return slip sent to him…2 months later he was still waiting, he finally got it after several months but at that point decided to keep them, which I’m sure was done deliberately so he did keep them…well they got $120.00 but he won’t ever purchase from them again…Thank you”
“Thompson’s cigar club is a nuisance, as are their pushy sales people!”
Cigar Bid was actually on my “best” list in previous years, but due to my own personal experience they are now on my worst list. Cigar Bid is certainly a website to get good deals, but I’ve found a number of my orders were delivered with dry cigars inside. Cigars that aren’t humidified are mostly ruined, so this is equivalent to getting a box of wine bottles that have oxidized and turned into vinegar. Second, I had one order placed where I was then told they didn’t actually have the product in stock and let me know they’d be sending them somewhere else.
All that said – I have gotten comments on previous posts from purchasers who are very loyal to Cigar Bid, so take what I write with a grain of salt. I’m writing based on my personal experience.
If you want a full breakdown between CigarBid and Cigar Auctioneer, read my detailed breakdown here.
I’ve never purchased through Solo Cigars, but I’ve read on countless internet forums now that, not only do they sell fake Cuban cigars, but they’ve also been involved in creating fake accounts on popular cigar forums to try to get people to change their mind about the retailer. Just google their name and look at result 2 – 10. You’ll get the idea. Key point here is: always check the reputation of any cigar retailer you purchase from. Just google their name and add “reviews”.
Do you have a favorite cigar retailer that should be on this list? Or, if you have a question about a cigar retailer, or you’ve had your own experiences (good or bad) with an online cigar retailer listed above, drop it in the comments section below.
Affiliate disclosure: when you purchase something using the retail links on this or other Fine Tobacco NYC pages, we may earn a small commission. Our opinions remain our own!
February 11, 2022 @ 7:00 pm
Cigar bid is exactly as you describe.
February 23, 2022 @ 8:23 am
Stay away from Canadiancigar.com in Alberta.
Selling double fake Cubans
No box, wrong bands, who knows what they are.
It’s was so bad it was comical.
March 9, 2022 @ 10:54 am
I recently placed an order with Thompson. I noticed it was “processing” for a long time so I contacted them. They said I owed a balance from almost a year ago and two orders ago. I contacted Pay Pal who assured me the order was paid and I provided proof to Thompson. I also asked them if I had not paid why did you ship the order? Why did you process my other orders since then and why i am just hearing about this now. If I had not paid why did you not try to contact me and why did you send out other orders after that? Still no reply from them. I used to do a lot of ordering from them – they just lost a customer. I’ll make sure my friends know about this also.
March 22, 2022 @ 10:31 pm
Do you still stand behind your “full breakdown between CigarBid and Cigar Auctioneer” writeup? I find it highly inaccurate. Have you used either site in the past year?
March 22, 2022 @ 10:37 pm
Hi Jim, not in the past year specifically. I’ll return and purchase from both again and see how things go. I had some bad experiences with Cigar Bid—-as much as I liked it for years, the dry cigars and substitutes just weren’t acceptable. But granted, those aren’t recent experiences.
April 26, 2022 @ 5:06 pm
Jrcigars has been dependable and priced competitive. Famous also has been very good.
Pricing is close to the same, it just comes down to preference at that moment.
September 15, 2022 @ 1:25 pm
I Think JR is very good price and quality. Its just the amount of emails i receive from them every day. Like four or five a day. Also only buy when on sale.
May 17, 2022 @ 11:05 am
I don’t smoke cigars that are over a$100.00. I live on a limited income and have to find generic ones.
What is in your opinion some good generic cigars at the best price and where can you find them.
May 18, 2022 @ 3:37 pm
Do you have any experience with Holts? I have ordered a couple of times and had great results. I’m just curious what others have experienced.
August 18, 2022 @ 1:20 pm
Hey Brandon, I’ve used Holts and they were good. Been a while, but I’d use them again.
October 4, 2022 @ 9:02 pm
I just got their catalog today!
August 24, 2022 @ 7:16 pm
I got some of the discounted ones (Serie V maduro) and after resting for months in the humidor (they shouldve been properly humidifed) and after trying they taste like nothing. Having bought from other retailers, I remember these being flavorful, powerful and peppery. These are the worse in my humidors. It is possible that their dried out, old stuff is the stuff they sell at their “clearance” page.
June 2, 2022 @ 5:47 pm
cigars international is my most used site. no complaints at all, great customer service, great sales events.
August 29, 2022 @ 9:41 am
I just closed my account.at CI after an order has sat in a UPS warehouse.for 11 days and they said they can’t recall the order from UPS!
June 6, 2022 @ 3:55 am
I have been doing purchases with CI for over a decade but in the last 2 years CI has consistently mail wrong order (15 cigarpk. for 20pk ordered)…completely wrong order (ordered Romeo y julieta sent 5pk Camacho) and on and on..their customer service is the other problem consistently reassuring me that my account has been credited when it wasn’t or return order label has been sent when nothing had been sent..CI must have gotten its playbook from cigar mail order sca.com
October 25, 2022 @ 3:44 pm
On September,1,2022 I ordered 3 boxes of Cohiba Macassar cigars with a elegant wood case.Needless to say the cigars came with no box just the plastic liner.I was giving the cigars as gifts to friends when I arrived in Vegas.I called CI and was offered $25.,big deal when you have to go out and buy cigars at the last minute.
July 3, 2022 @ 4:20 pm
I think you people missed the boat on the best online cigar company, it’s Atlantic Cigars hands down. Join their website and their prices are phenomenal. Significantly cheaper then Famous, et al. In addition, they sell many 5 pack cigars and have very goods deals on various brands.
November 29, 2022 @ 5:53 pm
Totally agree! Only place I buy online.
July 14, 2022 @ 5:13 am
Cigar Country is one of the worst . $500 order after a month never arriving and refused to refund. Had to go through my credit card company
August 5, 2022 @ 4:48 pm
Thank you for rating these companies. I usually buy my cigars from a local smoke shop but took a chance on a deal I came across on Cigar page that looked to good to be true but I thought, for the price, if even half of them were good I wouldn’t lose any money. I have just place my 4th order with them and will have spent $144 on 45 cigars, just over $3 per cigar and all of them are name brand, Montecristo, Oliva and Gloria Cubana. Thank you for the review!
Stephen G. Council
August 11, 2022 @ 10:35 pm
You missed the boat on JR Cigars. They are as bad or worse than Thompson (if that is even possibe!). Their cigars always arrive late and with damage. I always have to sequester them in a separate humidor with a high humidity Bovida Pack for months to recondition them. Some sites are just not worth the time and both of these are in that category.
September 2, 2022 @ 8:31 pm
Thanks for tip on Cigar Page.
I use Famous Smoke Shop, Mikes, Holts, JR and C.I. pretty regular and have not had any issues with any of them as well. I’d say Mikes seem the best as far as packaging and shipping goes, that’s probably most important for myself. I feel like Holt’s has the selection most appealing. Price is a toss up, seems something I like is always on sale at one or the other every day hahahah.
Daryl T Katz
September 17, 2022 @ 6:59 pm
CigarPage is my go to site. Just this month I bought Olivia Serie G Maduro sampler 2.50 each cigar. I cannot find these anywhere else under 4 bucks and that would be a sale price. I also purchase many budget overruns and low cost off brands. I have never yet received an inferior smoke. Try the Class 34 around 2 bucks and sometimes on sale for less. Before I purchase I always check CigarPage first.
November 29, 2022 @ 11:59 pm
Thanks for your comments. I was wondering about Cigar Page. I saw the page and was skeptical so looked around and saw some bad reviews of them. I kept looking and found this page. Glad I did. I’m going to have to check them out now. They have a great deal on something I want.
September 30, 2022 @ 11:21 am
I recently used JR cigars to order, and the first time went well, but the second time I am waiting for an order they shipped 16 days ago. The options they gave me were to wait until the items eventually show up, or wait until they show up and then pay to ship them back.
October 3, 2022 @ 2:09 pm
I have used JR cigars three times, first and second time was ok, the cigars were a little dry, but I am still waiting on the third order. They shipped them sept.15th, and the tracking # shows them somewhere in NC. In transit, on the 3rd of Oct. I called customer service, and they said even though shipping says 3-8 days, they only count business days, and won’t even look for them until they are 14 business days overdue. Customer service rep seemed annoyed that I was contacting them, perhaps I interrupted their TikTok dance.
October 17, 2022 @ 5:59 pm
The absolute worst experience with an online cigar shop for me was Best Cigar Prices. Should be Worst Cigar Prices & Service!
October 25, 2022 @ 3:00 pm
I ordered some Oliva V lanceros (box) and Oliva V Melanio Robustos (10 cigars in 2x 5 packs in plastic) off cigarbid a month ago (same order).
Melanios are stale. After resting in my humidor for 2 to 3 weeks, no burn issues, but there is no flavor. I imagine these were dried out like you describe.
I tried a lancero a day or two after I got them and were flavorless also, but it isn’t fair because I didn’t let them rest. I don’t have high hopes for this box either.
November 27, 2022 @ 3:55 am
I think Famous-Smoke is hands down the best site for online cigar shopping. The selection is vast and the deals are very nice if you’re patient enough to wait for a sale. Not only that, but Arthur Z was one of the few guys in the biz who absolutely held steady on pricing during the cigar boom. I also like that over the years, I’ve become friendly enough with Gary Korb to get his input on new stuff to try.
JR when Lew owned it was awesome. Since the new owners took over, I’ve done maybe 3 orders with them. Also, JR
s website is so awkward to use, not worth my time.
CigarPage prices don’t seem very good to me. I was just looking at them. I see my old buddy Tim the beard is there now. Dudes, when he was at Cigar.com, there was no better merchant in da biz. The man flat out knew his customers.I wish him mucho success.
CigarBid is awesome and the stock is picked from the same warehouse as CI, so dry cigars??? Never had that problem.
CI when they have great sales is also awesome.
Holt’s same as CI.
Mike’s it’s been years since I ordered from them, but they were always good.
Atlantic used to have killer deals a few years back, but I don’t see them any longer. Always good service from them too.
I’ve ordered from all the big and well known sites over many many years. Never had a problem that wasn’t quickly resolved to my satisfaction.
November 30, 2022 @ 12:03 am
Thanks for your reviews. I was wondering about Cigar Page. I had never heard of them until tonight. I found a box of cigars I want that are mostly out of stock everywhere and if in are $40 plus more than on Cigar Page. I saw their website and was kind of skeptical the way it looked and I have never heard of them. I looked around and saw some bad reviews of their site, but I kept looking and found this page. Others here seem to like them also, so I will have to check them out. Thanks again for the reviews!
December 9, 2022 @ 12:20 pm
CigarPage is 100% Legit and they are excellent to deal with. It’s owned by Keith Meier the guy who was the main founder of Cigars International, Cigar Bid, and also the owner of Cigar dot com. He sold CI to a huge company in 2012 if memory serves. He got back into the cigar business in 2015 or 2016. All the guys I dealt with at CI on a regular basis back inn the day are now at cigar page. Sometimes, due to how fast they’ve become so huge, the shipping is a day late leaving their warehouse, but there aren’t better deals out there that I’m aware of. Famous, CP, CI, and CBID are the only online cigar joints I buy from. Never had a problem with any of them that wasn’t resolved to my satisfaction,very quickly. I’m a customer, not in any way affiliated with any part of the cigar industry at all.
December 17, 2022 @ 10:34 pm
Agree 100% on Cigar Bid. I had a similar experience with them accepting my order for two different brands and charging my credit card. One was delivered and the other was not. I kept checking their website for shipping status and at first it said they ran out and it was being reordered and then it kept saying out for delivery. After 30 days and for the next 90 days I phoned and emailed customer service no less than 10 times. Finally, and without ever responding to all the voicemails and emails, they refunded my money and the reference to my order disappeared from my account as if it never happened.
December 29, 2022 @ 11:32 am
Famous cigars by far is the best. Delivery selections, prices, and quality, please don’t ever change.
Michael J Hupence
December 29, 2022 @ 12:50 pm
I had a similar experience with Thompson. I was getting charges on my credit card that I couldn’t rectify. It was from Thompson. I buy quite a few cigars from Best Cigar Prices and Mike’s Cigar. I recently found a new site, Cigar Samplers and I’m very pleased with them. I recommend giving them a try. They’re fairly new and just starting up.