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to those smokers out there

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  1. #1

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    to those smokers out there

    guess some of you travel to PRC quite frequently, anyone knows the answers to the following questions ( or part of it !? )

    a. what do they sell in PRC duty free shops, PRC made Marlboro or Made in Germany or other countries ( which? )

    b. what brands are available ( same as in HK ?), like Ice Blast and other fancy stuff ?

    c. what are the prices of the 3 most popular MARLBORO brands ( I presume Marlboro red, Menthol and ? ). Prices in duty vs PRC retail.

    Thanks for your input !!

    And with Marlboro I really mean Marlboro on the package, not other brands by Philip Morris International

    Last edited by Morrison; 08-11-2011 at 11:14 PM.

  2. #2

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    anyone with hands on experience, what did you observe ?


  3. #3

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    I can't be certain about where they are made but I suspect it is PRC made.

    In terms of brands, I've noticed that most duty free places (including HK) only sell the standard brands which would be Marlboro Red, Marlboro Gold (formerly Light) and Marlboro Menthol (standard one), only them I've seen any different ones is in HK which also carry the Crisp Mint (blue packet). I've never seen any of the variations such as ice, black or whatever in any other duty free I have been to.

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  4. #4

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    thanks. do you remember the prices ?


  5. #5

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    Not in China but last time I bought in HK duty free was 180 HKD, bought some in Thailand for 580 THB last month.

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  6. #6

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    a. what do they sell in PRC duty free shops, PRC made Marlboro or Made in Germany or other countries ( which? )

    Which duty free are we talking about? Lowu? Huanggang? Beijing/Shanghai?
    PRC made marlboro (the ones without the picture but with chinese words instead)
    They taste a bit off but still ok

    b. what brands are available ( same as in HK ?), like Ice Blast and other fancy stuff ?
    Rarely you get fancy stuff, just the basic white, reds, green and light green

    c. what are the prices of the 3 most popular MARLBORO brands ( I presume Marlboro red, Menthol and ? ). Prices in duty vs PRC retail.
    Duty free range about RMB10-15 per pack depending on which airport or duty free.
    PRC retail you can get various prices and pretty close to duty free.

    WARNING
    DO NOT buy "imported" cigarettes from PRC retail because 10 out of 10 times they are fakes. Which is why they can sell it to you at cheap ass price. They also taste horrible, probably because they put some crap industrial waste in the fake cigarette rather than tobacco. Also because of the fakes, no one buys it and what you get is 5 year old packs sitting on the shelf which has expired and taste horrible.

    Your solution is to smoke cheap stuff that the local won't fake (I'm serious). Derby and zhongnanhai are the 2 that I find quite close tasting to Marlboro lights. My driver wouldn't even touch derby because its so cheap that its beggar class to be smoking those. At least I know those are tobacco and not some chemical filled industrial paper

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  7. #7

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    Thanks for your input. I did not mean any specific duty free, actually I have assumed that the prices are all the same in duty free but it seems not, so that's an interesting finding.
    The thing about the fake cigarettes is true, there is an article about the city, somewhere in Fujian I think, which describes it very vividly. If someone is interested I can dig it out.
    Somehow it's good that people specialize on Marlboro, it just shows how profitable that business is. I have always assumed ShongNanHai is an expensive brand, did not know it's cheap

    Last edited by Morrison; 09-11-2011 at 02:22 PM.

  8. #8

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    oh yes each and every duty free has different prices,

    For Marl Lights, HK Lowu charges HK$170 per carton while HKIA $150, Huanggang/PRC side charges HK$15 per pack/150 per carton
    I'm not sure about lowu PRC side as no one dares to buy from that side, but I would think its in the region of HK$15 per pack

    I think shanghai the last time I bought was about RMB10 per pack but that was about 2 years ago.

    The duty free normally factors in rental, currency, local duties etc when pricing. HKIA used to be one of the most expensive for asian airports until the HKD crashed and now its one of the cheapest place to buy

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  9. #9

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    now that's really interesting, also the price hikes compared to two years ago.

    Marlboro is doing quite well in PRC shipment volume
    2009 up around 87% to 1.3 billion ( that is the same amount as they shipped in HK )
    2010 up another 15% to 1.5 billion sticks


  10. #10

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    I had to buy two packs of Mild Seven today, to convince our painter that my suggestion of scraping off a bit more plaster than he wanted was a good idea. $50 per pack at 711. No wonder they fake them in China.

    A friend of mine told me about a documentary he saw recently, where an overseas TV team went to some city in China to film undercover, apparently the whole city lives off faking cigarettes. He told me they sent samples to the lab and found manure (human) in it, and when they saw workers putting cigarettes together underground in cave like conditions with a mini hatch to go down, they understood how the manure ended up in the fake smokes. If you are interested I can ask him a few more details about that documentary so you can track it down (now if I would just remember who of my friends told me that story, we were on a junk boat a week or so ago and we had a big ice box with drinks!!).

    Last edited by 100LL; 09-11-2011 at 08:29 PM.

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