I am still relatively new to the vape industry, but I have run into a few things I don’t like and I have seen a couple of things that I do like. I’d like to share a couple of them with anyone running a B&M Vape shop or thinking about opening one.
I want to start with the issue that gave me an idea for this post in the first place – That Nasty Clone RDA Taste!
There are shops out there that do something that I really like to see happen. These shops will build coils and wick a new RDA or RBA that they sell a customer. That is freaking awesome! There is a problem with that though. Sometimes these stores sell crappy clone RDAs and RBAs that have machine oils or even dust left over from manufacturing. These impurities often leave a bad taste in the users mouth, literally. This happens with some of the clones but not all of them.
Just this past week, a good friend of mine got his 1st RDA at a B&M. They were nice enough to build it for him but he got it home and it tasted bad. I asked him if it was the juice and he said that it tasted metallic. Bingo. That’s what I’ve noticed before and why I won’t build on something new I get until I soak it in vodka overnight. I had a similar experience when I 1st started vaping as well. I got a Kayfun clone and it tasted the same. I didn’t use it for weeks since I didn’t know what the problem was at that time. I expected the product to be vape ready on purchase. I finally researched and figured out that it was machine oils and soaked it in vodka overnight. The next day… boom! Now I love my Kayfuns. The same thing happened with my 1st RDA too.
My Suggestion to B&M Stores is to test your products out before selling. If they taste bad, do one of two things, either tell the customer what to expect and let them go home and clean it themselves or provide a solution in store. Buy a sonic cleaner, get some alcohol to soak them in store, or employ whatever other solutions are out there.
What a friend of mine that owns Zook’s Vapor in Memphis Tennessee does is tests one of everything that comes into the store. If something like machine oils are present, he tells his customers that they can either take it home and clean it up themselves or buy it now and come back and get it tomorrow. If they decide to come back the next day, he then cleans and builds it for them.
Why does this matter? New Vapers. Simple as that. New vapers don’t always know what that taste is and I am living proof. When a new vaper or someone new to RDAs or RBAs buys something and it doesn’t work out as planned or tastes bad, they get frustrated. When people get frustrated, they can give up on vaping and return to cigarettes. That’s what a friend of mine was considering. We don’t want people to go back to the bad stuff do we?
A couple of other random ideas I’ve seen before that I think are cool.
- Have your employees vaping products you sell. Don’t have an employee blowing fat clouds from a mech mod box you don’t even carry. Maybe go as far as to have your employees use eGo devices at work. I have heard from friends and conversations online that many employees make new vapers feel intimidated when they come in to buy a starter kit and their salesperson is using advanced devices right in front of them.
- Don’t let your employees talk down to vapers that don’t drip. What a customer, especially new vapers, need is what will work for them. Don’t try to push mech mods or high wattage devices on new vapers.
- Rewards programs. A new local vape shop in my town, Victory Vapors, has a rewards program where you get a free bottle of juice when you hit a certain dollar amount spent. I think that’s a great idea.
- Give smokers a discount on their 1st setup if they throw the rest of their pack of cigarettes in a box or basket. Have this box or basket visible to others that come into the store.
- Use Social Media! When a customer comes in to buy a setup for the 1st time. Take a photo with a smartphone and instantly add it to your store’s Facebook page and tag the customer. The customer sees this and so will their Facebook friends (depending on their privacy settings). This will provide some viral exposure for your shop. Also have Facebook pushing posts to Twitter for added exposure.
- Lounge Area! This is something I really like to see in a shop. I live a place where vapers can chit-chat with other vapers without getting in the way of customers that are buying stuff. I prefer to see it out of the way of customers coming into the store so they don’t see a bunch of cloud chasers as the first thing they see when they walk in.
- Ventilation. Get some exhaust pumping those clouds out of the store. I don’t wanna walk into a vape shop that looks like a night club.
These are just a few suggestions. Take them for what they are worth. I have never owned or worked in a vape shop so I can’t claim to be an expert on the matter. I can make these suggestions as a customer though.
I’ve visited quite a few shops in several cities in the time that I have been a vaper. If I could open my own shop, there are things from all these shops that I would implement in my store!
Feel free to chime in from a customer or store owner/employee perspective!