Tips to Avoid Buying Fake Cigars

Even the most premium cigar assortments can be easily faked. Too often, cigar vendors will get hold of a bunch of unbranded cigars and will band them with popular Cuban branded bands. After banding the counterfeit cigars, the cigar vendors will place the cigars within fake boxes that directly replicate the boxes of trusted and well-known Cuban cigar brands. For new cigar smokers, and even some cigar aficionados, it can be extremely difficult to spot the difference between the produced counterfeits and the authentic products. To uncover Mr. Cigarman’s top secrets in avoiding the purchase of fake cigars, keep reading.


It’s all in the packaging!
A strong determinant in easily spotting a fake box of Cuban cigars is whether they have the proper packaging. To determine that you have bought an authentic box of Cubans, ensure that your cigar box has the following:

  1. A Habanos hologram seal on the top-right corner of the box
  2. A ‘Made in Cuba’ stamp on the left side of the box
  3. On the bottom of the box:
  • “Habanos S.A.”, “Hecho En Cuba” or “Totalmente a Mano”
  • A code to represent which factory the cigars were made
  • A date stamp

When inspecting a box of Cubans, be sure to check the above markings and be aware that many counterfeits may try to duplicate official packaging, but through featuring typos and missing stamps.


Inspect the cigar bands
If unsure of whether a cigar is fake, a skilful way to check is through scrutinising the cigar bands. Fake cigars will often be banded with labelling that has the following:

  • Embossing that has been duplicated
  • Missing information or misspelled words
  • Incorrect or low levels of colouring


Get to know your favourite cigars
Cigar-smokers who know exactly which genuine cigars they prefer will have the knowledge and experience to easily spot a fake. Your best bet to increase your ability to avoid buying counterfeit cigars is to be introduced to genuine cigars, through a trustworthy source, and learn the characteristics and attributes which define their authenticity. As there are so many cigars on the market, it’s important that your cigar merchant only stocks cigars that are authentic and are of the highest quality.


Find a trustworthy source
For cigars that you can rely on, visit Alexander Cigar Merchants. Our family-owned store offers you friendly and approachable advice, so that you always get the best out of your smoking experience. If you’re new to cigars, our friendly team of cigar experts can guide you through all your cigar options, based on your personal tastes and preferences. Give us a call today on (03) 9827 1477, to find out about our range of carefully sourced products from all around the world.

Alexanders Cigar Merchants
517 Toorak Road
Toorak VIC 3142 Australia

Trading Hours
Monday to Friday - 10.00am to 6.00pm
Saturday - 10.00am to 5.00pm