Of course, the question then is: which is better?
To answer that questions, I look at a few factors, in order of importance (skip to the bottom if you don’t want to read!):
- User experience
- Customer service rating
First, let’s go over the most basic differences. Cigar Auctioneer has three types of auctions: one item/one winner, multiple items/multiple winners, and multiple items/one winner.
Cigar Bid has those categories as well, and also has “Quick Buy” and “Freefall.” Freefall lots are displayed with prices decreasing, live—I am actually not sure how much value these provide. Quick Buy lots are discounted packs of cigars that can be purchased for a slightly higher—though still highly discounted—rate on the spot.
One advantage I see with Cigar Auctioneer on the features side is the lot history function, which allows you to see the past, present and future lots for a particular brand—perfect if you know exactly what you want and have the patience to wait and be notified. This is a big plus for me. So on this category, the two websites tie.
There’s no quick answer here. Both have good selection, though I think Cigar Auctioneer has more mainstream brands than Cigar Bid does. As a fan of Davidoff cigars, I did notice that Cigar Auctioneer has more from that brand, but from what I’ve seen both sites have different product on display at different times. Cigar Auctioneer wins on this category.
Prices on Cigar Bid, though good, tend to be a bit higher simply because it seems to be the leader in auctions by volume. It’s pretty simple: if more people are bidding, the bids will go higher, as some have reported. On the other hand, Cigar Auctioneer sets a higher minimum bid price.
Cigar Bid and Cigar Auctioneer are fairly close here. Regardless of what website you are using, it is important to get multiple items shipped in the same box to save on shipping costs.
I’ve got to say, as much as I like Cigar Auctioneer in terms of quality and selection, I really hate the look and feel of their website. Cigar Bid does a great job of advertising the great deals that they have, and their daily newsletter does a good job of describing new products that go on sale. Cigar Bid wins this category easily.
Customer Service Rating
Probably the most important category, and in this case Cigar Auctioneer wins. Cigar Bid has had issues selling cigars that they don’t have—where the user wins the auction and is later notified that the cigar isn’t available (this happened to me twice). It’s a frustrating situation, and has been documented by other users.
Cigar Auctioneer, as far as I can tell, has stellar ratings with users and I can’t find any consistent negative reviews online.
At the end of the day, cigar lovers should be happy to have both sites operating. However, I (narrowly!) throw my support behind Cigar Auctioneer because they carry more of the brands that I enjoy, and make it easier for me to track when my favorite brands come on sale. But, note to the Cigar Auctioneer team: at least make those product photos bigger… please!
You can try out Cigar Auctioneer for yourself by clicking here