This year marked the debut of Starky Arias’ new company, Cigar Marketplace. For many years, the cigar industry has known Arias for his work. Arias is best known for his work as a creative director for many cigar brands, and for his tenure at Cigar Rings and Marketing Director for AJ Fernandez Cigars. With Cigar Marketplace, Arias launches a B2B platform that is meant to better connect the retailer and manufacturer.

In a nutshell, Cigar Marketplace is a way for retailers to purchase wholesale online. Arias has been signing up a list of manufacturers to participate in the program. At current press time, Arias had signed up companies ranging from a small company like Los Caidos to a larger, more established company like Oliva.

Retailers sign up via a subscription fee to use the service. As a part of the fee, there are incentives for retailers available based on order size, including free shipping.

When Cigar Marketplace launched, Arias was very clear that he was not looking to replace the traditional relationship between retailer and brand sales representative, but rather enhance it. This allows the retailers to place orders without having to wait for a sales representative to visit since many representatives cover a large geography.

On the other hand, for companies like Pure Aroma Cigars, Los Caidos, and Padilla who have a very limited sales force, it’s a chance to leverage the platform as well.

Cigar Marketplace also allows manufacturers to offer specials on wholesale orders, including buy x, get y free. This also included carrying over IPCPR show specials after the trade show as well.

Arias used the IPCPR Trade Show to sign up more retailers, and continue to generate awareness in the manufacturing community of his platform. It should be noted, Cigar Marketplace is not a platform for consumers to order product.

IPCPR 2019 Reports

Photo Credit: Cigar Coop