Originally Posted by Johnsprm69
How do you know you're getting genuine Cuban cigars? I don't doubt that yours are real, I'm just curious.
or when all of that fails you know you got real cuban cigars when you yourself go to cuba and get them, last summer my mom went and brought me 4 boxes of cohiba
Interestingly, Cuba is one of the easiest places to pick up fakes. Not saying yours were, but I have some second hand anecdotal stories involving phonies from Cuba.
To your question, the answer is through experience. I've been doing this I'd estimate 7-8 years now. The guy who got me into smoking Cubans was and is my best friend. He had a walkin closet that he converted to a humidor. Let's just say that he had/has just about everything. He'd gift me cigars, I'd ask him questions, eventually I placed an order through him after I figured out what I liked. He ordered me a box, intact, which he used to teach me a lot about spotting phony packaging. I was already getting a feel for what a wide variety of different smokes tasted and looked like, so I now had a cursory knowledge of what to look for.
You've heard of the good old boy network? Well that's what you have to become a part of so to speak. Some general tips if you're living in the fifty states:
1. Do not deal with a vendor that will not deal with you on a first name basis. If they're not interested in protecting their reputation, there's probably a reason for it.
2. Research prospective vendors as much as possible. There are forums which do discuss sources. Find them and use them to your advantage.
3. Referrals from friends or known good sources are always good, but should still be treated as suspect. All other sources should probably be avoided unless you have other means of verifying their product.
4. Do not deal with a vendor that refuses to ship intact. That means unopened seals, boxed, and banded.
5. Do not deal with vendors that will not guarantee shipment. Reshipment or replacement should be guaranteed and covered at their cost.
6. When dealing with a new vendor for the first time, plan to fail. You shouldn't spend much more than the minimum amount they require to ship to your location on the first purchase. Plan on throwing that money in the proverbial trash. If it works out, great, if not, you were prepared.
7. For most boxes newer than Q1 2009, the new warranty seal is self destructive, and the label can be verified here:
If possible, when dealing with a new vendor, ask for a box with the new seals. If they don't know what you're talking about, or waffle, run like hell.
There's probably more I'm forgetting.