Mike’s Cigars were founded by two brothers who were natural-born hustlers.
They started off selling hot dogs and peanuts in Flamingo Park, Miami, to raise capital to open Mike’s News and Sundries in the 40s.
But when war struck, they were both drafted to serve in the Army.
That was pretty inconvenient, but after the war, the veterans reopened the business in 1950 as Mike’s Cigars.
At the time there were very few cigar specialist stores at all, but it was a gamble that paid off. The cigar industry exploded in the states, and Mike’s Cigars rode that wave to the fullest.
By the turn of the century, Mike’s Cigars had established itself as one of the leading cigar vendors in the US, shipping thousands of packages a day.
In 2010 they opened a huge megastore, complete with a full-sized cigar bar and an inventory of over 10 million cigars. To me, it’s a little like an amusement park for cigar enthusiasts – I could get lost there for weeks.
Range and Samplers – Mike’s Cigars Review
Mike’s Cigars do not lack in terms of options. They have over 600 brands to choose from, so you’ll most likely be able to source all your favorites in one place.
They’ve also got a comprehensive sampler selection, offering a fantastic way to explore brands you might be unfamiliar with. It’s perfect for rookies to learn more about classic smokes, too.
The average sampler contains an array of best-sellers of various shapes, sizes, and flavors, so you’ll have something on hand for every situation.
By trying out a range of smokes at low cost, you’ll be able to discover what smokes fit your personality best and invest in a full box with confidence.
And if you want to go large, there are even better deals to be had with a wide range of double stack samplers. These deals are basically two samplers bundled into one.
Double the value, and double the fun.
Offers and Deals – Mike’s Cigars Review
Mike’s Cigars offer some useful coupons and freebies when you order a few cigars at a time.
Generally, you’ll get to choose from:
- Free shipping on orders over $100
- $15 off orders over $150 – so 10% off
- $25 off orders over $300 – slightly less than 10%. Weird that you get less for ordering more…
These deals are topped up by seasonal freebies (there’s usually always at least one running ) which tend to offer a sampler pack or some accessory for free, or a very nominal fee. We’re talking an extra four or five bucks for products that would normally cost fifty or sixty.
Mike’s Cigar of the Month Club
As far as cigar subscription services go, Mike’s Cigar of the Month Club is about as good as they get.
All members receive a monthly shipment including a premium 5 cigar sampler of your choice, free cigar swag (cutters, lighters, and cases), all dispatched with priority free shipping.
The higher tiers are for longer periods and represent even better value – in exchange for a larger upfront payment. The Platinum and Gold tiers also come with a free humidor to keep your deliveries in top condition.
Check out the table below for a full breakdown of the membership perks:
|Duration||3 Months||6 Months||12 Months||18 Months|
|5 Cigar Premium Sampler||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Free Priority Shipping and Handling||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Monthly Accessories (lighters, cutters, cases etc)||✓||✓||Luxury Accessory||“Even Better” Luxury Accessory|
|Free Humidor||✕||✕||✓||Larger Humidor|
Accessories – Mike’s Cigars Review
One of the things Mike’s Cigars does best compared to other vendors like Gotham Cigars or Famous Smoke Shop is accessories.
They’ve got a vast range of accouterments across the entire spectrum of budgets and tastes.
I’m a particular fan of their lighters. From classic flint, to single and multi-torch, you’ll be able to find the right tool for your needs – while also reflecting a little of your personality.
I was particularly intrigued by their “covert” lighters, including several pens that also function as flames.
Humidors, lighters, ashtrays – Mike’s Cigars really has it all.
Mike’s Blog – Mike’s Cigars Review
Cigars are more than just a product. For many, they’re a passion and hobby, too.
I always appreciate it when a vendor goes the extra mile to procure high-quality articles that further your experience. If I can learn a little about what I’m smoking, it makes the experience all the more rich and memorable.
Mike’s blog offers some really informative and well-written content. I particularly enjoy their pairing recommendations, which explain why certain whiskeys and wines go so well with some smokes.
There are some cracking selections that I would never have thought of on my own. Sometimes I’ll work backward from a drink in my cabinet, and buy a cigar based on that.
And so far, they’ve all hit the mark.
Return Policy and “Freshness Guarantee” – Mike’s Cigars Review
If I’m spending a chunk of change with a cigar site, I want to feel like I’m being looked after properly. We all work hard for our money – and that should be respected.
Most cigar outlets will offer a 30-day refund on defective products where the blame is with the vendor. For example, cigars that have been stored poorly and dried out, or have become damaged during shipping.
Mike’s Cigars satisfy that basic requirement – but beyond that, they’re actually a little disappointing. I find their return policy to be a bit stingy.
At Mike’s Cigars “buyers remorse” is ungenerously not accepted as a legitimate reason for a return.
Even if it was, all cigars must be returned in new condition – that is, perfectly sealed and untampered with.
With something like cigars, which depends so heavily on personal taste, I reserve the right to try things out and send them back if they’re not the right fit for me.
If you order a jacket and it doesn’t fit when it arrives, you can send it back. Why should cigars be any different?
Worse still, you’re liable for a cancelation fee of 7% if you change your mind before your order has even left the warehouse! That’s pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
Even their “freshness guarantee” sounds better than it actually is. It basically states that every effort is made to ship your product in properly sealed packaging designed to maintain the integrity of the cigar – referencing their hermetically sealed “water-pillow” packets.
“Guaranteed freshness”, they say. Sounds pretty impressive, right?
Well, that is until the next paragraph of their policy. Mike’s warns that ground shipping or cigar repackaging has the potential to compromise the quality of your order.
They’ll happily offer you both of these services, by the way – but the repercussions are your bad, not theirs. They warned you.
GROUND service is not recommended, especially in the summer By exposing the cigars to the hot conditions in regular postal service or U.P.S. trucks we sacrifice all of the benefits described above.
We strongly recommend to purchase the cigars in the ORIGINAL box that was packed and sealed at the factory, and ship cross country by AIR not by ground.Mike’s Cigars Freshess Guarantee
So, which is it?
“Guaranteed freshness”, or “hopefully freshness, provided you order in a specific way while avoiding several options you’re offered at checkout”?
Shipping – Mike’s Cigars Review
Mike’s Cigars offer two main means of shipping.
If you’re looking to save money, take advantage of their Super Save scheme. Shipping that way can take up to a week, but it’s only $7.99 – and completely free if you spend over $100.
Otherwise, you can get speedier delivery through UPS fulfillment. It will cost $5 – $10 more, but if you need something in time for the weekend, that’s the way to go.
There’s nothing worse than inviting the boys over for a smoke, only to find your cigars haven’t arrived, so make sure you budget a couple of days’ leeway in shipping time in case of delays.
|Shipping Methods||Delivery Times||Charges|
|Super Saver||5-7 Business days||$7.99|
|Florida One Day**||1-2 Business days||$15.99|
|UPS Ground||1-6 Business days||$12.99|
|UPS 3 Day||3 Business days||$15.99|
|UPS 2nd day||2 Business days||$20.99|
|UPS Next Business Day||1 Business day pm||$31.99|
|UPS Priority Overnight||1 Business day am||$38.99|
|Saturday Delivery||1 day||$69.99|
|International||Varies by destination||Varies by destination|
Reviews/ Testimonials – Mike’s Cigars Review
My personal experience with Mike’s Cigars has been great. Every order has arrived as described and properly packaged – but the real kicker is the speed.
Even with the Super Saver delivery, which estimates 5 -7 business days, I tend to receive my order within just 3 or 4.
Compared to some companies, where I’ve experienced delays that can last up to three weeks, this feels like a minor miracle.
I’ve done a bit of research on social media for other people’s experiences. Website reviews can be a little biased. After all, why would you publicize negative reviews about your service? Social media offers unfiltered opinions.
Fortunately for Mike, he seems to be getting a pretty good reaction worldwide.
Of course, there were some negative reviews – but they tended to relate to dissatisfaction with Mike’s Cigars’ strict return policy which is, in Mike’s defense, clearly advertised.
I’m not sure how you can blame the company and expect to be taken seriously if you haven’t taken the time to read the terms and conditions
What to Look for When Buying Cigars Online
When it comes to ordering cigars online, I’d consider myself an expert. My girlfriend might say addict, but tomato/potato.
Here are my top 10 things to look out for before putting your card down for an order.
If your cigar supplier doesn’t, perhaps you could do better. Just like my girlfriend. Wait – what?
Fast Delivery and Shipping
When you’re ordering cigars online, you want to feel like everything is just taken care of. Having to chase companies over late shipments or missing orders is not how I enjoy spending my Sunday.
Snappy shipping times make all the difference. If you’re in the middle of a grueling workweek, you’ll order something on Wednesday as a treat for the weekend. It sort of misses the point as a pick-me-up if the cigar doesn’t arrive for a month.
Another reason you’ll want fast shipping is freshness. The longer the cigar is out of the humidor, the more time it has to dry out and degrade. Even the best deal from timbuktu-cigars.net won’t compensate for depreciation in freshness and quality.
I understand that shipping cross-country costs money, but have a bit of context. I expect to pay a few bucks on top if I’m ordering singles, but a full box of cigars that can cost a few hundred bucks should come with complimentary shipping. If I’m spending a good chunk of my hard-earned cash with a supplier, it feels like the least they could do.
Any established cigar store should offer you options. I hate being coerced into buying more cigars than I want or need just so I can get hold of the brand I want.
To be honest, in this day and age there isn’t much excuse to not offer singles. Cigars can be an expensive business, and I reserve the right to try before I buy, so to speak. That way you can find which style and brand of cigar suits you best without blowing your whole budget in one go.
If your retailer doesn’t offer a single of a cigar you’re fascinated by, chances are someone else will – if you’re willing to shop around. At the very minimum, you should be able to find a 3 or 5 pack to experiment with, rather than being forced into a full box of stogies.
Safe and Secure Website
Safety should be a priority for buying anything online, not just cigars.
I mean, you’re offering up your credit card details, for goodness sake. Would you just leave them lying around in the street? The internet is no different.
Even if the website operators have good intentions, you need to make sure their site is technically up to scratch so your details aren’t intercepted by a third party.
Always check in your browser that payment pages use SSL and are properly encrypted if you want to stay safe.
Product Quality Guarantee
Whether you’re ordering a $10 stick or a $200 box, make sure you’re covered.
When you’re shipping delicate items cross-country, things can go wrong. You’ll usually be protected for 30 days by law if your product arrives damaged or tampered with.
But what about if you’re just not a fan of that particular blend?
Because cigars are consumables, companies tend to have different policies. After all, the store can’t resell a cigar you’ve half-smoked and decided isn’t for you.
That said, the best places to buy cigars online put their customers first, and use common sense. Look for a provider that will allow you to return a box of cigars within 7 – 10 business days provided they have not been excessively used.
Good User Experience
I’m not making a case for style over substance, but you can tell a lot about a company’s attention to detail and customer care by how their website functions.
If a company can’t put some effort into its storefront and show consideration for its user experience, what makes you believe that’s going to change once you press “order”?
I’ve wasted hours trying to find what I need on certain sites because they don’t have their categories for brands and types organized properly. Only to find that after all that, they don’t even have what I need.
Good sites will allow you to filter based on important criteria like price, shipping time, and availability. It’s all part of the service.
It’s important to access user reviews, so you can get a good indication of real feedback from fellow cigar smokers.
Before you order from any cigar retailer for the first time, you should consider the experiences of those who have gone before you.
Are they, by and large, satisfied with their experience? Do products tend to arrive as described, and on time?
Most reputable providers with have customer reviews on the product page, which will give you an insight not only into fulfillment but the item itself.
Because businesses have control of what appears on their site, you should also do some digging elsewhere to make sure you’re not getting an airbrushed perception.
My go-to resources are Facebook and Reddit. Through social media, you’re getting unfiltered opinions from real people, often supplemented with photos and video.
Once you’ve verified your source, you’ll want to check out some more comprehensive guides from cigar aficionados (such as ourselves at 7Gents!) to make sure that website is going to be able to deliver everything you’re looking for.
Overall, Mike’s Cigars is a strong recommendation. Besides a few quibbles about returns, everything is on point. Their shipping, range, and deals are some of the best in the business, and well worth checking out if you’re looking for a reliable way to buy cigars online.
Check back next week for our review of Thompson Cigars
Until next time,
Joe – 7Gents
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