One of the common questions we receive here at Stogie Review is “I have some cigars I would like to ship to someone, how should I go about it?” With that being said I thought I would do a mini shipping how-to.
I prefer to ship cigars as follows.
Generally when I ship out cigars it is in packages of 5 (and sometime 10). I tend to like to recycle boxes from orders placed online, but often times the boxes tend to be a bit over sized. I want my cigars to be in the smallest container possible so that they have less chance of sliding around inside the box. What I have found to work very well is the VHS boxes found at your local post office. The boxes are generally big enough to fit up to 10 cigars, a note and a few business cards with adequate padding. Rather than paying a small fee for a such a box, I order them online. They ship in containers of 20 boxes and may only be used for Priority shipping. Both the boxes and shipping to you are free of charge. The boxes can be ordered via USPS
Any ziplock style bag will be sufficient to hold the cigars during transport but I prefer the ones that have individual compartments. These types of bags are typically ordered per thousand from numerous bag suppliers, but I like to get mine on cigar forums through a group buy. This reduces the cost significantly since I can buy per 100 rather than per 1,000.
The main reason I prefer to use individual compartments is that it tends to protect the cigars more than grouping a bunch together in one open compartment. In a situation where you send cigars that have no cellophane sleeve, they will have a tendency to rub against one another and can chip or tear small pieces from the wrappers.
Check out some of the popular forums for Group buys of bags as they can be a great way to build a positive reputation among other forum goers.
One particular bag vendor can be found here
this is where the frugal side of me comes out. I love to re-use packing peanuts and air filled bladders that I receive in my online orders. This is the most inexpensive route and I think it works out very well (especially the peanuts). Newspaper can also be used to keep your bag of cigars from sliding around inside the box.
Don’t be afraid to add lots of padding. Extra padding will ensure that you cigars will not get banged around inside the box and will reduce the chance of accidental damage during shipping.
I prefer to ship my cigars via USPS Priority mail. I have only had one incident of damaged cigars and there are generally few delays in shipping time. The online rate is $4.60 for up to one pound with free delivery confirmation.
If you decide to physically go to the post office and buy a shipping label be sure to get a delivery confirmation number. This can be used to ensure your party has received their package and is also used on many cigars forums as proof of shipping.
To sum things up:
1) Place cigars in an air tight bag (a humidification device such as a water pillow or humidi-pack is optional, but preferred)
2) Place bag inside small box (avoid envelopes as content will often times be destroyed during sorting)
3) Add lots of padding
4) Print or buy shipping label and apply
5) Drop the box off at your local Post Office
6) Wait for package to be delivered and rest assured your content will arrive safe and secure.
Does anyone else do things differently?