About a week or two ago, I came across a new service being offered by one of the members on the Bitcointalk forums : cigarettes in exchange for Bitcoin. While this service is nothing new under the sun, it’s not exactly a very successful business model either. But there is a twist, as the person owning the website offered a free sample in exchange for a review. Even though I am not a smoker myself, it’s hard to resist a chance to review a new service for our loyal readers.
Cig.al – Brand Name Cigarettes In Exchange For Bitcoin
I have to admit I wasn’t too keen on purchasing cigarettes from the website just in order to do a review for you guys. A newbie Bitcointalk posting a service no one had used before, and using a domain name (http://cig.al) that looks slightly unusual, and which you can’t do a proper WHOIS on by using traditional means. Then again, people have to start somewhere, right?
What really intrigued me was the openness in the original post on BitcoinTalk. The site owner made no bones about what his service was about, and he offered a free carton of cigarettes to Senior members or above, in exchange for reviewing his service. As I am a Hero Member on BitcoinTalk, and also happen to have a website where the review would be posted, I decided to claim my free carton of Marlboro Red.
Note from the author : Once again, keep in mind I did not order through the official website, as I just had to give my home address via PM on the BTCTalk forums.
Warning : Possible Fees and Warnings
Ordering cigarettes online and paying them with Bitcoin or any other payment method is quite risky. These items are usually shipped from a country where prices are a lot lower compared to your home country. Should the postal service’s customs department to open up your package, and they find cigarettes in there, you might face a financial penalty.
Either way, since it was the first time I engaged in this kind of activity, I decided to take a gamble. According to Belgian law, you receive a warning if its your first “offense”, so that would mean I couldn’t order ever again or risk paying a hefty fee.But there is an interesting note though : according to several sources, you can let people send you up to two cartons of cigarettes per time through regular mail, without it being against Belgian law. I’m not entirely sure whether or not this is true, but we might find out in the future.
My carton of Marlboro Red (10 packs, 20 cigarettes each) arrived two days ago in the mail. I did have to sign for delivery of the package, and the mailman needed a scan of my ID (this may depend on your country of residence). No fees had to be paid whatsoever, and the package itself was coming from a person in Albania. (This explains the “.al” domain name.)
Everything was neatly wrapped in a dark covering plastic, which itself was wrapped in other packaging to “hide” the contents of the package. The Cig.al seller was only kind enough to label the package as “clothes”, even though it was a pretty square box and quite small in size. Either way, apparently it made its way past customs, as they did inspect the package and found nothing wrong with the contents.
Inside the package are 10 packets of Marlboro Red, neatly bundled together to form the “square” package. Nothing else was included on the inside, which only adds to making the package look like it is a “gift from a relative” or something similar. Kudos to the seller for doing a good job, as I’m sure Albanian authorities wouldn’t be too happy if they found he’s “smuggling” cigarettes out of the country.
Quality & Seller Feedback
Like I said in the beginning, i’m not a smoker myself. However, the person I gave the cigarettes to confirmed these are original Marlboro Red cigarettes, and not some fake brand in the right packaging. And they are priced roughly 20 euro per carton cheaper than over here in Belgium. Needless to say, she was rather pleased with the “gift”!
Once you have a package of cigarettes on the way from Cig.al, you will receive a tracking number from the seller. I had completely forgotten about this number in my preparations to attend Bitcoin Expo 2015 in London last weekend. Plus, Cig.al offers not only a tracking number but also free worldwide shipping via registered air mail.
All in all, the service appears to be very reliable and trustworthy. However, as I have not placed an order which I had to pay for, I cannot completely vouch for the service offered by Cig.al. If you do decide to order, keep in mind you are doing so at your own risk.
Website : http://cig.al