Here you’ll find answers to some of the questions we are asked most frequently. If your query isn’t answered here, please do get in touch with us.
A: That’s a fair question. We are a group of smokers with more than 6 years of experience in the cigarette trade and you can read more about our humble beginnings here. We have also been the leading vendors on the infamous Silk Road, shipping thousands of cartons each month to customers around the globe with one of our lovely parcels even becoming a part of a contemporary art piece. If you’re still not convinced, here are a few links to build additional context:
– Bitcointalk.org thread (reviews, photos and shout-outs)
– OpenBazaar reviews (decentralized marketplace reviews)
– Valhalla reviews (our reviews on a darknet marketplace that’s still alive and kicking)
– Grams InfoDesk (a brief and somewhat outdated summary of our activity on the darknet)
– OTC web of trust (we sold a couple of cartons on IRC chat, which was fun)
– Proof it’s really us (undeniable proof to show that we are who we say we are)
Above all, you don’t have to trust us – we welcome the use of escrow! You can find us on OpenBazaar via this link. Please note that you will need to install and run the marketplace software in order to access our profile. Alternatively, you can browse our profile here.
A: We accept Bitcoin (highly preferred because truthfully, accepting anything else is a pain in the arse), and debit/credit cards (Visa & Mastercard).
A: International bank transfer fees are way too high, and PayPal doesn’t allow tobacco vendors to use their payment system.
A: Bitcoin is a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank. It is a way to break free, a way for you to pay us without asking anyone’s permission. If this is your first time hearing about Bitcoin, here’s a short introductory video:
A: We ship everywhere in the world, well maybe except North Korea! “Simple airmail” is free if you order two or more cartons. Below that, it costs $2.99 and “Registered airmail” costs $4.99 per carton.
A: Shipping times range from 3 to 35 days, depending on the destination country. To most countries, delivery shouldn’t take longer than 2 weeks from the day of the dispatch. We’re still trying to wrap our heads around how the postal system works as we had packages delivered to the USA in 3 days straight, and sometimes it would take 35 days to deliver to France. We guess it’s fair to say that the delivery time is a bit random, and to our great regret, there’s nothing we can do about it.
A: To our great regret, we cannot offer faster shipping – UPS, FedEx and other express couriers refuse to touch tobacco products. We use Express Mail Service (EMS) and generally urge smokers to place a “refill” order no later than 4 weeks before the current supply runs out. This calculation accounts for possible shipping delays and should keep you out of trouble.
A: Yes, we do. Please keep in mind that shipments have to be signed upon pick-up/delivery.
A: It’s a neat white padded cardboard parcel from Moldova that looks like a packaged book, with nothing that mentions tobacco on the outside.
A: We strongly advise against it because you won’t be able to retrieve your package from the post office (if they hold it for you) with your ID and the shipment will then be lost.
A: Yes, packages shipped via the “Tracked airmail” option need to be signed for upon delivery. The ones shipped via “Simple airmail” will most probably not require your signature, but it ultimately depends on your local postie. What we know for certain is that in case you’re not at home at the time of delivery and the package doesn’t fit through the parcel door chute, you will need a valid ID to pick it up from your local post office. This is also why we do not recommend using fictitious names when ordering.
A: We bet you’re asking this because of our low prices (we’ve dwelled into that in our answer to the next question). Yes, they are 100% original, sealed and produced by their respective trademark owners in their own factories across Europe. All the cigarettes sold on our website are produced either in Ukraine, Greece, Portugal or Moldova, depending on the brand, and we are buying them directly from the big wholesalers, skipping the middlemen. We also pay all the duty excise taxes locally, so all of them have genuine excise stamps on the packs which you can verify. Please bear in mind that the warning messages on the packs may differ from the ones presented and will most likely be in Romanian or Ukrainian language.
A: It’s because we purchase and send them from poorly developed, Eastern European countries where cigarettes cost a fraction of the price you’re used to pay in the West. There are still huge discrepancies in the standard of living across this world’s countries and as long as this discrepancy persists (as long as you guys keep on borrowing), an arbitrage opportunity will exist and will be exploited. It is also useful to understand who is setting the cigarette prices in the West.
A: To put it simply, non-FSC cigarettes are simply “old-school” smokes with no fire retardants added to paper during the manufacturing process. Fire safe cigarettes are designed to extinguish more quickly than non-FSC cigarettes if ignored, with the downside of having to inhale whole new classes of funky chemicals (there are no findings published on the long term health effects on humans of inhaling them yet). Some consumers in the United States claim finding a noticeable difference in the taste of FSC cigarettes from non-FSC cigarettes, comparing it to a copper or metallic taste.
TL;DR: The cigarettes we sell have less funky chemicals in them and burn faster. Be careful when putting them off, but otherwise enjoy the clean, crisp taste of our tobacco! You can’t really get it locally.
A: That is a very common misconception, but buying cigarettes online and receiving them by post is perfectly legal. If you still feel funky about this, feel free to research this topic on your own and if you find a law that stops you from purchasing cigarettes online, please do let us know.
A: It does sound pretty damn good indeed, but it’s true – there’s a very real economic arbitrage opportunity we’re currently exploiting. Cigarettes are really quite cheap in Eastern Europe and we simply give you access to those prices, minus our cut (hey, it’s a lot of work).
A: The short answer is no. The long one sounds like this: it really depends on where you’re ordering from. There are countries like the USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and France that didn’t ever (for the past 6 years) ask our customers to pay any sort of tax, even in those rare cases when customs officials manually inspected the contents of the parcels. In other countries like the UK, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, an excise duty is sometimes applied. From our experience however, this doesn’t happen more often than about 10% of the time. The truth is that the mail volume is big enough for it to be impractical to scan and verify the contents of each and every incoming parcel, so only a few end up being looked at closely. The funny thing is that in some countries (e.g. Australia & New Zealand), the money that you pay us together with the requested tax will still end up costing less than buying the same cigarettes locally – and only about 10% get inspected in the first place!
A: We don’t do that, and for a good reason. Well, two actually. First, we don’t want to create an incentive to cheat – seizure notification letters are being ‘photoshoped’ and are in the wild already. Secondly, we want to avoid funding the refunds through an increase in overall prices – we’d much rather keep our prices as low as we can and share the (albeit rather small) seizure risk with our customers. In most countries (as explained in the answer above), this risk is either inexistent, very low or harmless (the final price still stays below the local market price).
If you happen to live in a country with tough customs and your package gets stopped and you’re unhappy about having to pay tax, you most surely have the legal right to refuse the parcel and have it sent back to us. We resend all the incoming mail right back to the customer, free of charge.
A: We will resend your order free of charge only if you can prove it’s actually been lost. For this, it needs to be shipped via “Tracked airmail” (we urge you to pick this shipping option to make life easier for all the involved parties) – otherwise we can’t really tell if it’s true, can we? We are not huge believers in free lunch.
A: You bet, although keep in mind that reselling tax-free cigarettes locally is probably illegal, while sharing with friends & family is definitely not :)
A: It’s us – our credit card payment partners are based in China and we have full trust in them. They don’t save credit card information and their bank negotiates transactions directly with your credit card’s issuing bank.
A: We took care of that – your payment is discreet and does not disclose anything about the purchase.
A: It seems like your card isn’t compatible with our payment gateway. It does happen every now and then and we don’t have control over this. If you don’t have any other cards, please check out our little Bitcoin buying tutorial (there’s no such thing as a declined Bitcoin payment). Alternatively, Entropay.com is a popular solution and if it’s something that floats your boat, please load around 10% more on the card to account for fees levied by them, to make sure you have enough money to checkout.
A: Because our payment gateway is located in China, there’s a CNY<->USD currency conversion happening (and a whole bunch of other processes which is why we urge you to use Bitcoin instead), which inadvertently results in a surcharge on top of the total charged. The exact amount depends on your issuing bank and we’re unable to determine beforehand how much it will be exactly, but it will revolve around 10%.
A: For two reasons. One is because we’re not allowed to sell tobacco products to people under 18. The other one is that we get a lot of pressure from Visa and Mastercard to detect and fight fraudulent payments. Providing this information is a way to decrease the fraud risk for everyone involved, and really is the only thing that allows us to accept cards in the first place! Rest assured that we neither store nor use any of your billing information.
A: Whoah, did we tell you that we love you? You can help us out big time by spreading the word about our little business, both online and offline. Namaste!