In the last three years the number of e-cigarette retailers has massively increased. Not just vape shops but there has also been an explosion in the number of online stores and independent individual vendors selling products through sites like Amazon and eBay. In a way, the intense competition is good for us as consumers. In another way, it’s also bad because who do you trust? We have the good, the bad and the ugly all vying for your money.
Despite the fact that we are now in the post-regulation era of vaping the industry remains much like the wild west. The FDA did very little to address quality control or to regulate how e-liquid is made. Frankly, the so called experts have done everything except listen to vapers! Surreal. Of course changes will continue but right now it is still the wild west out there.
The showdown between the good, bad and ugly e-cigarette retailers is like gunslingers all trying to draw first. But which ones wear the white hats and which wear the black hats? Let’s get into it.
E-Cigarette Retailers Showdown!
The good e-cigarette retailers are focussed on product quality and the customer experience. Of equal importance, the good vendors of the leading vape products sell only authentic product. We see the good e-cigarette retailers as falling into one of three categories. First you have the US e-cigarette brands. Then you have the best online e-cigarette stores. Finally, you have some vape shops.
There are good and bad vape shops in every city. If you want to buy in person from a vape shop then perhaps check out the Yelp reviews. We can’t help you much when determining the best vape shops because that varies greatly city to city.
Also in the good column are electronic cigarette review sites like Expert Vaping. Especially Expert Vaping, actually. Most review sites sell chart positions. Our charts are determined by you. Our consumer review section is not interfered with in any way, shape or form. The proprietary algorithm that we use determines the top rated ecig brands based on reviews submitted by real customers. We work very hard to bring you information about the best e-cigs, mods and vape juices as well as vaping news and issues.
Watch Out For The Bad!
The bad electronic cigarette retailers are just that, bad. There are unscrupulous vendors out there knowingly selling clones through their vape shops or online stores. They can sell counterfeit products at cut rate prices that seem too good to be true. That’s because they are too good to be true. For example, a cloned Aspire Cleito tank can be sold for half the price of an authentic Aspire Cleito. It will look the same and have the exact same packaging. But the cloned vape product will be junk.
There are bad vendors that knowingly sell clones as authentic. The low prices seem great but when you get the product you end up holding the bag on a pure dud.
Clones and counterfeits are a pervasive problem. There are 600 e-cigarette factories in China. Some of them are among the most innovative, high quality manufacturers of vapor products in the world. Unfortunately most of them are dedicated to making copies of successful products using low quality materials. The bad vendors could care less. They just want to make the sale, get in get out and be gone. The bad e-cigarette retailers give the industry a bad name.
I wish I could tell you who the bad ones are. There are a number of shops and online vendors that are doing this. If you have been ripped off by a fake or clone let us know where you bought it.
How Can I Tell If I Bought A Clone?
How can you tell if you bought a cloned, counterfeit electronic cigarette? Well the leading e-cig manufacturers like Aspire, Kangertech, Smok, Joyetech etc are very well aware that their products are being knocked off by counterfeiters. To combat this situation, they have attached authenticity codes on all of their products including packs of coils.
You can go to the manufacturer website and enter the authenticity code to see whether or not you have an authentic or fake vapor product. If it is a fake, then the authenticity code will either come back as invalid or it will come back as already been having used hundreds of times. What happens is that they use an authenticity code that they know is real and when you see that the code has been used hundreds of times, or thousands, then you know you have a fake.
So, you have entered your authenticity code and realize that you have a cloned vape product. Now what? Honestly, not much you can do at this point. An authenticity code can verify you have genuine product but it does absolutely nothing to resolve the matter if you have a fake. If you bought a clone mod off of eBay there’s not much you can do. The seller is not going to refund or accept a return. If you bought from a sketchy vape shop, the owner will probably refer you to the Chinese manufacturer for a resolution which ain’t going to happen.
Ecig Authenticity Codes Don’t Help After The Fact
Authenticity codes are great for letting you know you’ve been ripped off but do nothing to prevent you from being ripped off. You can avoid this issue altogether by buying from authenticated vendors. A company should be able to show you a certificate of authenticity the verifies that they are selling only authentic product from each of the leading electronic cigarette manufacturers. We will give you a list of good e-cigarette retailers further down in this post.
The ugly e-cigarette retailers are this people who unknowingly sell counterfeit vape products. This happens very easily. If you go to a site like Ali Baba there are hundreds of e-cigarette distributors from China all claiming to sell authentic product. I get dozens of emails every day from Chinese distributors offering too good to be true prices on large quantities of leading ecig products. It is so tempting, it seems like easy money. Then, I ask a few questions.
This is the script? I ask the faux distributor if their products are authentic. They say “just like the real thing, genuine quality”. When you push a little further they say that they are selling 1:1 high quality vape devices. The 1:1 is their way of assuring the equivalence of their clones. But do the really use the same grade of stainless steel? Highly unlikely. Do they use quality electronics? Probably not.
If I did not have expertise in the industry, I would buy and sell these devices and be comfortable that I am giving people a good deal. There is not bad intent but rather a lack of industry knowledge. This is how so many clones end up being sold by otherwise ethical vape shop owners as well as Amazon and eBay vendors. Not intentional but at the end of the day you get screwed. That’s the bottom line and the reason why you need to be an educated consumer in a wild west marketplace.
Online E-Cigarette Retaliers Vs Brick And Mortar
This comes back to the age old question of which e-cigarette retailers are going to give you the best service and the best price. Buying ecigs online vs at a brick and mortar store. Our former position was that you get the best deals when you buy online That makes sense, that’s the way of the world these days. There are simply less overhead expenses so you get the advantage of savings. Of course the convenience of online shopping is pretty much unbeatable. Our current position remains the same although the climate has changed in the last 18 months.
There are hundreds of online ecig stores nowadays. Some of them rely on drop shipping and don’t actually handle any product. Drop shipping is when someone hosts a website and offers products for sale but does not actually have those products in inventory. Rather orders are funneled through an overseas distributor. You do not want to deal with a company that drop ships. They will not be able to handle your customer service requests or effectively manage any warranty issue. They will also certainly not be able to address the issue of selling clones or counterfeits.
You need to know who you are buying from. We recommend American e-cig companies or established online stores that sell only authentic product. Companies like Direct Vapor are verified authentic dealers of leading vape products. They have free shipping, warranty protection and US bases customer service to go along with the famous low price guarantee. Heaven Gifts is a SEVIA member and also a good choice although their customer service is not as good as Direct Vapor. Aspen Valley Vapes is another solid online e-cigarette retailer.
American E-cigarette Brands
American e-cigarette brands are vastly, vastly underated by many in the vaping community. The main criticism is that US comapnies re-brand popular imported products and then charge premium prices. Well, there is some validity to that but it is not true across the board. There are a lot of US ecig companies and some are exceptional. We will focus on the good ones.
Good American e-cigarette retailers are defines by the product quality and the vaping experience thus provided. We want to see and excellent warranty including a money back guarantee. Electronic cigarette brands that do not have the confidence to stand behind their product quality can quickly be ruled out. The best are also defined by superior, accessible customer service. You want a responsive customer service that is going to bend over backwards to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.
The best ecig brands are well aware of the competitive state of the business these days. They have to show that they are prepared to stand out and earn your business. That brings us to our first example of a premiere electronic cigarette retailer, Green Smoke. Any company that has sold over 50 million products is obviously doing something very right.
Green Smoke E-Vapor
Green Smoke E-Vapor has been part of the vapor revolution since the earliest days. They offer cigialike style e-cigarette kits. Cigalikes are generally considered an introductory, familiar product catering to the satisfaction of new adult vapers. But honestly even experienced vapers enjoy Green Smoke. Even after moving on to advanced mods many vapers still keep their Green Smoke e-vapor devices because they are just so good and convenient.
We have received dozens and dozens of Green Smoke e-cigarette reviews from everyday customers. Based on the ratings those folks have submitted to us, Green Smoke is currently sitting at the top of the best e-cig chart. We sometimes get criticized for having Green Smoke at the top of the charts and we get that. Many of today’s vaping aficionados are not fond of cigalikes. That’s fine. We love the new mods, too! But there is a place for Green Smoke in vaping. Not everyone wants a complex cloud chasing kit! For the casual vaper who is focused on convenience and simply wanting a satisfying vape, theres Green Smoke.
If you are wondering where to buy Green Smoke, the best place is online. This is one e-cigarette retailers that gets customer service, fast shipping along with a clear and concise website. So go ahead and check out Green Smoke. If you see something you like you will receive an automatic discount simply by using the link below.
The next American E-cig brand that I want to talk about is Halo E-Cigs. This is a brand that all of us at Expert Vaping think the world of. Halo has been around since the early days and they are the company that made e-liquid production into a refined science with steadfast dedication to quality. In addition to industry leading e-juice blends made to the highest standards, Halo also has a large number of electronic cigarette devices. The have everything from cigalikes to the classic Halo Cigs Triton to more advanced mods.
You know, when the FDA announced their oppressive e-cigarette regulations, a lot of e-cigarette retailers feared the worst. While we still face a tough road ahead, we have to point out that when those ridiculous FDA vaping regulations were announced, Halo Cigs and parent company Nicopure were the first to take a stand. They were the first to step up and file a lawsuit to protect your right to vape.
Halo Cigs is one of the best American e-cigarette retailers. The product quality is exceptional, the e-juice is amazing and the customer service is fantastic. There is also a Halo Points customer rewards program that can save you some money. You can also use Halo cousin code Expert Vaping5 to get an immediate discount. The thing to do is to go and check out all that Halo has going on. See it for yourself and see what you think.
VaporFi Electronic Cigarettes And Vaporizers
If you are looking for American e-cig retail brands that just have a huge amount of vape stuff, then you gotta take a look at VaporFi. We are talking about a giant selection of vapor products. From the basics to advanced vape mods. They have vape batteries, parts, accessories and a massive line of e-liquids and vape juices. On top of that they also have dry herb vaporizers. A lot of people forget that you can also use a vaporizer for smoking. The bottom line is that VaporFi has a huge selection of stuff.
So, do you suspect me of exaggerating. Are you doubting me when I talk about all the products that VaporFi makes? Okay, feast your eyes on these facts. VaporFi e-juice comes in a variety of blends and well over 100 flavors. You can mix and match flavors to make your own e-juice and that takes the tally to over 30,000 flavor possibilities. There are over 30 VaporFi e-cig starter kits available including dry herb vaporizers. There’s 16 tanks including some of the best vape tanks and RDAs you’ll find anywhere. There are loads of vape batteries and 140 or more different vaping accessories. So, you can’t doubt me when I tell you there is a lot of stuff! How do you like me now?
The quality of VaporFi products is outstanding. They consistently grade out among the best electronic cigarettes based on consumer e-cig reviews and what we hear from our readers. Go take a look for yourself and see what they are all about.
E-Cigarette Retailers The Sell Authentic Product At The Best Prices
Finally, the e-cigarette retailers that we want to wrap this up with are the ones that sell authentic, premium quality imported vape products. If you are interested in getting the latest vape mod from Kangertech or Aspire, or perhaps the newest vape tank from Smok or Wismec, this is when you need to be vigilant. These are the products that are being copied and cloned by unscrupulous overseas factories.
Leading ecig manufacturers like Kangertech, Smoktech, Innokin and others often issue verified vendor certification to e-cigarette retailers that are selling genuine vapor products. That’s something to look for and can help you avoid clones. Direct Vapor is an online ecig store that sells only authentic product and they have the authenticity certifications to back that up. Now, Direct Vapor is a big player. They can offer low price guarantees, warranty protection you won’t get elsewhere and free shipping.
For smaller online stores or independent vendors, they do not have the same advantages. Often, they fall to the temptation of selling clones for bigger margins than they could dream of selling authentic product. But there are exceptions.
Authentic Ecig Vendors
There are many people in the vaping community who are passionate about what they are doing. Some indepenent entrepreneurs are doing things the right way. One example is Olympia Vapor Works. At Olympia they craft e-juice and sell authentic vapor products. They are proponents of ensuring that people access the best, authentic products and avoid being disappointed or even harmed by a clone.
Direct Vapor is the emerging leader in authentic vapor products. They offer leading vape juice brands that use only high quality ingredients alongside a vast range of authentic vape gear. We like Direct Vapor for a number of reasons. Number one, they are a no-clone zone. There is a peace of mind that you get as a consumer knwoing that you are not going to be ripped off by a counterfeit product.
You will be dealing with a US based customer support team that offers a limited money back guarantee and they directly manage warranty protection. That means that if something goes wrong with your device they won’t simply pass you off to the manufacturer.
Direct Vapor has a low price guarantee. If you see an authentic product being offered elsewhere at a lower price they will match it. On top of that they always offer free shipping. DV is certainly one of the best e-cigarette retailers.
So you have a lot to choose from! There is no reason to get stck with a clone or an inferior product.