FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can you change an order placed online?
A: Once an online order has been submitted, it cannot be changed. However, our Customer Service Department may be able to cancel the order and allow you to resubmit it. Or they can place an order for you, making the necessary changes.
The time between the submittal and the packing of the order may be limited; be sure to contact Customer Service as soon as possible. We can be reached at: (561) 204-5091 between 9am to 5pm EST, Mon-Fri.
Q: How do I set up a new online account?
A: The new account sign-up process is embedded within the ordering process. Simply place whatever you wish to buy within your shopping cart and when you go to the checkout portion of the process, you will be prompted to do so as an "Existing Customer" or as a "New Customer."
Simply select the "New Customer" option and fill in the form. It will take just two minutes, and in the future you will be able to save even this amount of time, as your customer info will be saved in your own personal, password-protected online account. We strongly encourage you to use your email address as your account name and to write down your password in a secure location.
Q: Does Factory Direct Cigars have a return policy?
A: Yes. You can contact (561) 204-5091 to speak to a Customer Service representative who can assist you with whatever problem you may be experiencing.
Q: Why does my credit card keep getting declined?
A: If you are placing an online order for the first time or are a returning customer, the system will verify that the billing address AND zip code match the ones that the credit card issuing institution has on file as well as the 3 digit security code on the back of your credit card. This information is checked for your protection and to prevent online credit card fraud. Other reasons for declining the card could be that an incorrect card number is entered, the wrong expiration date is selected, and finally, the credit limit is exceeded by your purchase. If you feel that this decline is in error, please contact Customer Service at (561) 204-5091.
Q: Do you carry, stock, or sell [this brand of cigar]?
A: Good question. As our inventory of brands changes all of the time. First place to look is under our Cigars Listing. This displays all the brands we sell. Usually if we do not have the cigar you desire in stock, we will be able to ship it out to you within a few days. If your order is backordered, you will be notified immediately and your card will not be charged until we are ready to ship the item.
If you are unable to find the brand or cigar you are looking for within our online cigar listings, you should call (561) 204-5091 and ask the Customer Service representative if we sell the brand you desire.
Q: If I forget my login or password, should I create a new one?
A: No. On the left navigational toolbar at the bottom is a button for password help. This will allow you to access your login information if you cannot remember. Your login information will be sent to the email address we have on file for your account. If this does not help you, call (561) 204-5091 and ask the Customer Service representative to help you access your login information.
Q: Is there a "proper" way to light my cigar?
A: Here is the basic mechanics of "properly" lighting a cigar:
1. It is best to gently warm the foot with a flame for 10-15 seconds. Do not allow the flame to touch the cigar, just pass the cigar near and over the flame while slowly rotating it.
2. Place the cigar in your mouth, bring the flame near the foot, but again not actually allowing it to touch your cigar. Simultaneously gently puff on the cigar with shallow and quick puffs while slowly rotating it between your lips to help ignite the cigar evenly. The flame will be drawn to the cigar as you puff. If you wish you could also gently exhale/inhale through the cigar as you light your cigar, some people find this a more successful method.
3. Pull the cigar from your mouth, gently blow on the lighted foot, and examine the cherry glow of the foot to ensure that your cigar is lit evenly across its entire ring.
4. If not, repeat Step 2 concentrating on the unlit portion only.
The key to properly lighting a cigar is to do so slowly and evenly trying to ignite the tobaccos at the lowest possible temperature. Doing so allows for your smoke to begin cooler, smoother, and free of any harsh tar-like flavors.
Q: How do I cut my cigar?
A: The proper place to cut depends on the cigar. First you need to closely examine the head of the cigar. You are looking to see just how far the cap (this is the round of tobacco used to seal the head) extends down the barrel. On a parejo (a parallel-sided cigar) this is typically 1/4" - 3/8"; wherever the caps stops you should regard as your limit as to how far down you should cut.
The best cut is one above this "cap line" that will open up 75%-85% of the cigar\'s surface. You want as large an open cut as possible so as to allow for an easy draw, but you do not want to cut beneath the cap line as the cigar may start to unravel on you. Sometimes this means a thin cut of 1/32" is perfect, while other times you may need to cut 3/8" - it depends entirely on each cigar\'s construction.
For figurados such as torpedos, perfectos, etc. you may have to cut significantly more in order to open the head enough for a sufficient draw. How far is a personal question. Typically people smoke cigars with tapered heads because they like how the narrowing ring concentrates the smoke against the palate, so unlike with a parejo, most figurado smokers want less of the cigar\'s surface opened by the cut. And because of their shape, figurados seldom unravel even when cut beneath the cap line, so it really is a judgment call.
Q: Is this mold or bloom on my cigar?
A: Well, if it is a white or grayish powder and appears to be a flat coating on the cigar\'s wrapper (typically on the side most exposed to air), then it is probably "bloom."
Bloom, also called plume, is the dried crystallized oils of the tobacco forming on the wrapper. It is almost always an indication of a well-aged, extra oily cigar and is generally very delicious. Simply light up and enjoy.
If, on the other hand, what you\'re looking at is fuzzy, three dimensional, and/or blue, yellow, or green, it is most likely mold. Mold will typically appear in spots, beginning at either the head or foot first, and in splotches.
Mold is an indicator of over-humidified cigars; you need to ensure that your humidor is not too wet and take corrective action. If there is just a little mold, you can gently brush it off and enjoy the cigar with no hesitation. However, if the mold has infested the interior of the cigar, then it is a goner.
Q: Should I take the cellophane (plastic) off my cigars before I put them in my humidor?
A: It is a matter of personal choice. There are advantages and disadvantages either way.
Removing the cellophane allows your cigars to breathe better, which in turn will allow them to age quicker. Also, removing the cello will allow any excess moisture contained within the barrel of the cigar to wick away quicker, resulting in a better burn and draw. Plus, there is nothing quite as attractive a humidor full of "nude" cigars.
Leaving the cellophane on better protects the wrapper from chipping and/or splitting. So if you are someone who constantly moves your cigars around, leaving the cello on can save you from considerable wrapper damage. Also, leaving the cello intact makes it easier to just throw a cigar in your pocket to take wherever you wish.
Q: How do I calibrate my hygrometer with salt?
A: One of the easiest methods of verifying the accuracy of your hygrometer is to perform a Salt Calibration Test, which will always result in an achieving an exact relative humidity level of 75%.
The Salt Calibration Test
Tablespoon of plain table salt (NaCl)
Wide Mouth Jar with Lid
Bottle cap or other suitable small container (the wide-mouth ones that are used on individual serving juice or tea bottles are ideal)
Swizzle stick (or other such item to stir with)
Place the tablespoon of salt in the bottle cap.
Slowly add distilled water to the salt while blending with the swizzle stick. You want to add just enough water to moisten the salt so that it begins to meld into a thick paste. Do not add enough water to dissolve the salt!
Place the bottle cap with salt into the jar then add your hygrometer. Make certain that the sensor is exposed and not blocked.
Seal the jar tightly as the test will not work if there are any leaks.
Place the jar in a location that is free of direct sunlight and is a stable temperature.
Leave undisturbed for a minimum of 8 hours.
Check the reading on the hygrometer through the wall of the jar; it should read on or near 75% RH.
Remember, most small, inexpensive hygrometers are only accurate to within 3%; do not be surprised if it reads 72% or 78% RH. It is exactly 75% RH within the confines of the jar due to the salt paste reacting with the air, and what your hygrometer reads differently is the amount of error.
What to do about an off reading depends on the circumstances. If your hygrometer has an adjustment potentiometer, then by all means try to tweak it to exactly 75%. You should repeat the Salt Calibration Test after making any adjustments. If your hygrometer can\'t be adjusted and the reading is close, then don\'t worry about it - just remember that your hygrometer is X% off, either high or low.
You will find, over time, that you are able to judge the relative humidity within your humidor by simply touching and smoking your cigars.
Q: Why do some cigars require further aging?
A: Cigars are like fine wines; some are best enjoyed young, while others benefit greatly from being put away and enjoyed later.
All handmade cigars require a few months of aging to allow the excess moisture introduced during the process of their bunching and rolling to be wicked away.
After this period, it is a matter of personal taste. However, you will find that many blends mature and marry when allowed time to age and, typically, the heavier the blend, the more aging they need to improve them.
Some blends actually go through a period of time after they are made (referred to as the "sick" period). This is a time where the tobaccos have yet to marry and meld within the blend, and when you smoke the cigar it may actually taste bad. This period can last upwards of year in the heaviest of blends.
In addition to a more luxurious, mellow, and richer smoke, you will find that cigars allowed to age for a year or more will burn and draw better.
Aging cigars has always been a practice amongst the wealthy and most knowledgeable of aficionados. Truth is, aging will improve your discount bundle cigar immeasurably and we encourage everyone to try setting some cigars aside to be enjoyed later. Once you have enjoyed the experience of an aged cigar, we are certain you will understand the benefits of waiting.
Q: What is the Card Check Code or CCID the shopping cart is asking for?
A: For your protection, we ask that you enter an extra 3-4 digit number called the CCID. The CCID is NOT your PIN number. It is an extra ID printed on your Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express Card.
Visa, MasterCard, and Discover: On the back of the card in the top-right corner of the signature box. Enter the three-digit number following the credit card number. (See below.)
American Express: On the front of the card. Enter the four-digit number on the right directly above the credit card number. (See below.)
Q: The website freezes or locks up; why?
A: There are several possible causes that can lead to the website appearing "locked up," and if that is the case, you won\'t be able to read these lines until after the following possible problems have been fixed.
1. A frequent cause can be browser crashes. In most cases, restarting the browser will fix the problem. Sometimes, however, you may have to restart your whole computer as well.
2. Another frequent cause can be poor connections between the end user and the dial-up ISP. To verify whether this is indeed the situation, open a new browser window and try to access a popular website, such as yahoo.com, or cnn.com. (Note: Accessing your dial-up ISP\'s website is not relevant for this test as it is still within their local network.) If you can load those websites, then a bad connection is not the case; please skip to #3 below. If these websites fail to load as well, then there are still two possibilities left: your connection to your dial-up ISP is bad or was dropped, or your dial-up ISP is experiencing problems. Either case, you will need to call their support group.
3. If you can access other websites on the Internet but FactoryDirectCigars.com\'s site still appears "locked up," there is a slight chance that the connection between your dial-up ISP, the Internet backbone, and FactoryDirectCigars.com servers is interrupted at some point. Data on the Internet has to travel a number of legs (called "hops") before arriving to its intended destination. If any of the hops involved is down, then the connection as a whole is broken as well. The Internet backbone is a redundant system for the most part; however, if major portions are affected, then with all this redundancy, connections will still become disrupted. There is nothing you can or need to do in this case; more than likely that by the time you noticed the outage, people are already working on recovering from the outage.
4. The FactoryDirectCigars.com website is operated on a redundant server cluster employing load balancing and failover to ensure maximum reliability and security for data residing thereon. If, for any reason, you cannot access the FactoryDirectCigars.com website and you have items placed in your shopping cart, you can safely return within 12 hours and your items will still be in the cart, thus eliminating the inconvenience of repeating the shopping process. You will only need to proceed to the secure checkout area to place your order.