When purchasing cigars it always helps to do a little quality control:
Touch: Squeeze the cigar gently. If it has been properly humidified and cared for, the stick should spring back to shape once you release it. On the other hand, a poorly kept cigar will either feel like a rock, or too spongy; chances are it won’t provide a decent burn.
Smell: An important test. Press your nose close to the foot of the cigar and breathe deep. The scent should instantly appeal to your sensibilities.
Above all, when checking the cigars inside a box, make sure the contents are of uniform color and have been properly humidified. Apply your touch and smell tests to a randomly selected one or two.