Retailers can purchase from distributors, sub-distributors, parallel importers, parallel import themselves, or use a combination of all sources.
A fake is anything made to appear other than it actually is, and is intended to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine. Fakes are produced by large professional groups, individuals, and everyone in between.
Sub-distributors sell product into the grey market to increase their own volume turnover, since the more stock they sell, the better discount they can get from their distributor.
Transactions, communications, and payment are normally done through third-party companies so that nothing can be traced directly back to the distributor/sub-distributor from where the cigars originated.
Buyers should always use caution with buying from an unknown grey market dealer, however the Grey Market in itself is not an indication of fakes.
All cigars can and are being faked and can be categorised as follows: · Fake cigars in fake packaging (total fakes) · Fake cigars in genuine packaging (replacement fakes) · Genuine cigars with fake bands in genuine or fake packaging (upgrade fakes) Fake Cigars can be non-Cuban cigars or cheap local Cuban cigars (handmade but normally with short-filler tobacco scraps).