Date: July 2019
Author: Inspector Z

Rob Ayala, CEO of Cuban cigar retailer and online forum Friends of Habanos (FOH), officially launches Phase 1 of FOH Auctions. This is a rare and vintage Cuban cigar online auction platform.

“Simply, FOH Auctions is a 24/7 safe house exchange for aged, vintage, and rare Cuban cigars. In a manner that the market has not seen previously,” said Rob Ayala. “Our vision is to deliver a transparent cigar exchange where technology and member vigilance come together to deliver aged and vintage cigars in a secure trading environment.”

FOH Auctions

Operating since May 2019, has seen over 250 boxes sold under the hammer with an average price of USD$480.00

Unlike other traditional one-off aged and rare cigar auctions which are also available online, FOH Auctions is a 100% online, full-time operation allowing members to buy and sell on a daily basis. Importantly, FOH Auctions is a stand-alone platform, which will not fall foul of current or oncoming social media tobacco policy enforcement.

“Phase 1 of FOH Auctions is restricted to the sale of client-owned stock that is stored in our secure storage facility in Australia,” said Ayala. “Client-owned stock held in Friends of Habanos’ storage comprised of some 5000 boxes. Storage is meticulous at 16 degrees Celsius and 68% relative humidity.”

100% of the stock held in FOH lockers by private clients has been provided by Pacific Cigar Company (PCC), the authorized Habanos S.A. dealers in Asia-Pacific.

“When FOH Auctions is opened up to selected members selling, buyers are dealing with some of the most respected cigar personalities on the globe,” said Ayala. The combination of provenance and character leads to a far better end-result for sellers and buyers.”

The numbers

Since launching, registered users, web traffic and cigars sold under the hammer has been impressive. The numbers:
800 registered members as of 1 July 2019.
1500 individual site visits to per week.
4200 sessions per week. Approximately 400 sessions per day
Over 250 boxes successfully auctioned since May.
USD$480.00: The average lot auction price.
USD$5000.00: Highest auction price so far for a box of Cohiba Gran Reserva

Ministry of Cigars Friend of Habanos opens auction site
Rob Ayala

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