How many times has this happened to you? You’re browsing your favorite cigar social media platform and you see someone showing off their glass-top box of Cohibas they got for cheap through a dude on the beach who “has a cousin in the factory.” It happens often. There are a ton of fake Cuban cigars in existence, and lots of them make their way to social media. Some fakes are easy to spot, and others are well-done and much harder to notice. There’s a lot of money in fooling tourists who think they’re getting a great deal or Americans who don’t know any better. Fake Cubans are a huge industry!
I see fake Cubans pretty much every day on Instagram, and it always leads me to wonder: do I tell the person their Cubans are fake, or do I just leave it alone? Is it rude to tell the person, or would they rather know? I’m never quite sure, so I asked the CigarNoise crew what they thought. I found their answers pretty illuminating, and I bet you will too.
When you see someone post fake Cubans on social media, do you tell them they’re fake? Why or why not?
Ted: If it’s OBVIOUSLY fake, yes. Why? Because I know guys that would do that for me. Secondly, poor guy got duped once…if I let him get duped a second time, that’s on me. If I inform him of how to spot the obvious fakes and how to look for nuances in band designs and he STILL gets duped, that’s on him.
One thing about social media that makes it tough is that so few people take good enough pictures to distinguish the many nuances that can tip off the trained eye. I love how @cigarenforcer does his info so its easy for a novice to see side by side just how clearly fake even the good ones are.
People just need to get informed and do some research!
Dom: I don’t tell them because a placebo-esque effect might kick in, causing the cigar to taste like a legitimate Cuban to them.
Sean: If someone hadn’t already commented, I would probably direct message them if that was an available function of the format.
Dave: I’m on social media about 1/100th of the time that I used to be, so I haven’t really had to think about this in a long time. I don’t see the harm in arming someone with knowledge, though, as they can either employ it to their benefit or keep their head in the sand. And if they become hostile for whatever reason, our friendship wasn’t worth enough to them for me to be worried about it so it’s not a big deal to move on without them. I think most would appreciate a private message though, rather than the usual call-outs that have become popular with pseudo-anonymous, low repercussion, drive by social media accounts.
My take: I agree with a lot of what these guys said. If it’s someone I consider a friend, I’m likely to send them a private message to let them know. I’d rather they know they’re smoking something weird than have them think that’s what the cigar is actually like. I hesitate with people I don’t know well, and maybe I shouldn’t. So to find out, I asked another question…
If you were to post a picture of a fake Cuban, would you want someone to tell you?
Ted: Yes! I’d like to think at this stage of my hobby I’ve learned how to protect myself from the traps, but if I get duped and another sharp eye catches it, yes….tell me!
Sean: Yes definitely would want to know. But I would want to know if the person telling me has good experience with Cuban cigars.
Dave: Do it! Pride is a young man’s game. It’s impossible to live a mistake free life, but totally within my realm of possibilities to not repeat them.
My take: Every one of these guys would want to know, and they’d want to know why the person telling them thinks it’s fake. So here’s my takeaway: if I see someone posting a fake Cuban cigar, I should send them a private message with information about why I think it’s fake. Seems like we’ve solved this one!
If you’re interested in learning more about fake Cuban cigars, the Fakes section of the Cuban Cigar Website is a fantastic resource. I highly recommend reading it to educate yourself.
Let us all know in the comments – what’s been your best or worst experience with fake Cuban cigars on social media? And do you agree that letting someone know their cigars are fake with a private message is the way to go?