Generally speaking, any product that you wish to purchase can be acquired at a discount online. More and more people are turning to Ebay, Amazon, and other online retailers to purchase items that were normally purchased locally. For example, I now order my k-cups from Amazon because I can buy the 80 k-cups for around $30 as opposed to paying $42 at Sam’s Club. The shipping is free so I am doing great by purchasing my coffee from Amazon. Because the other option to purchase is Sam’s Club, a large national chain, my conscience rests easy at night knowing that I did not do a disservice to a small business.
The Vape industry is much different. There aren’t any large national chains – well, maybe Fasttech would fall into that category but generally speaking when you buy a vape related item you are buying from a small business.
There are three categories of retailers in the Vape industry. Online only retailers who only sell online, brick and mortar retailers who only sell form their local storefront – they have a website but not for ecommerce purposes, and companies who have a brick and mortar storefront but also leverage the power of ecommerce.
I wholeheartedly support the third category because they are using all of tools that are available to them to grow their business. They are capturing market share by marketing on a national level but still offer a customer the ability to visit their store, try their juices, and see their products prior to purchasing.

Vape shops are often contemporary in their design. This is pleasing to the eye and offers a relaxing environment.

Brick & Mortar shops usually provide a comfortable environment to socialize with other vapers

The second category, brick and mortar only stores, have it tough right now. They depend on the local vape scene to support them. They may have a website but nobody can order from it. Their presence on the web usually consists of a Facebook page and a rudimentary website that is designed to drive walk in traffic to their store.
While I love walking in to my local vape shop and browsing the products I cannot help but wonder why more brick and mortar stores aren’t trying to compete on a national level.
The first category, online only stores, is what this article is really about. If I were going to become an ecigarette retailer I would probably start my business online to cut down on costs and generate some cash flow that would be needed for expansion. This is fine if you strategy includes opening a retail storefront and providing a valuable service to your community. The issue here is that some online retailers do not have that vision. They are here to take their cut of a 1.7 billion dollar and growing industry and then move on. This creates a problem for local vape shops since they depend on you to come in, sit down, and make a purchase.
Recently I went to my local shop to purchase some 22 gauge Kanthal. My local shop is just amazing in that they have a vape bar, a nice sitting area, and even a lab where you can use their tools to work on you gear. Rarely do I take advantage of these offerings however it is nice to know that I could if needed.
I was at the vape bar sampling some juice while I overheard a conversation between two fellow vapers. Vaper 1 said, “Dude, I just got this atty clone from Fasttech for like $12 bucks!”, Vaper 2 responded, “Man that’s sick, I get a lot of stuff from there because it’s so cheap. Shipping can be slow but I save a ton of money”. I’m thinking to myself, wow these guys are real ass-hats. They come here, sample all the juice they want, use the lab, and then go buy their gear online. Maybe they ended up buying some juice but they still could have supported their local shop buy purchasing their RDAs there.
I know what you’re thinking, “vape shops only carry expensive stuff that I can’t really afford all the time”. This is true, however a good brick and mortar store will carry products for customers that spend hundreds of dollars on the latest mod to the college kid who doesn’t have the money to spend on high dollar devices.
My local store carries a wide variety of items for every price range and we are already seeing an influx of RDAs that are authentic but also reasonably priced.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that your local vape shop provides you with a place to hang out, meet other vapers, and in some cases work on your devices. They are also experts on everything vape related and can guide you through the vaping world.
I know that you can buy things a lower cost online and that is fine since times can be tough and we’re not Warren Buffet. I’m simply saying that you should support your local shop since they support you – and the local vape community.