Thoughts on B&M's, Clones and Pricing
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42
Like Tree62Likes

Thread: Thoughts on B&M's, Clones and Pricing

  1. #1
    Registered Supplier Jonathan Tittle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,607

    Default Thoughts on B&M's, Clones and Pricing

    So I'v been fortunate enough to come across quite a few vape shops over the past few months, both inside and outside of TN and for the most part, I've enjoyed visiting every single one of them, but I have a slight issue with a number of them. Let me explain.

    I've been to ~8 vape shops in the past few months and blown my vape budget many times over - it's a hobby I truly enjoy and I like to support local small businesses, but there's a limit to how far I'll support them. As of late, I've noticed more and more B&M's carrying clones (not an issue) and they're marking up the pricing to as much as 2-3x what they normally sell for and they're not even educating their employees on how to use what they're selling (pretty big issue to me).


    For the purpose of this thread, I'll give you a quick glance at my visit to Store #01 (no, I won't mention the name of the store).


    I walked into the stored and headed to the display case with the mods. I saw what was labeled as a Nemesis and asked if I could see it. The guy behind the counter said sure, handed it to me and walked off to deal with another customer. Ok, so he was a little trusting, no harm no foul, but he could have lost his job if I walked out with it I'm sure - but I wouldn't have done that.

    When he came back I asked if this was the real deal or a clone (I knew it was a clone), he said he didn't think it was a clone and then followed up with no it's not. So I asked if I could see the box and he said it didn't have one. Okay, so I asked how much it was and if they had more. He said it was $59.99 and yes, did I want to get one today. I gave him a shocked look and he asked what and I said well the one I was looking at from the dealer was a little over $200 and the clone was $22. He stayed quite and gave me that look of "uh, crap." About 2-3 minutes later a girl came over to help me since I was still looking across the case.

    In the display case with the Nemesis Clone was an I-ATTY, a Z-ATTY Clone (which was actually labeled as a clone). It was $29.99 so I asked if I bought it, would they happen to have some stainless steel mesh to go with it and she and the guy next to her, without blinking an eye, said huh? Why would you want to use metal. You should only use silica in rebuildables.

    The other guy then suggested that if I'm new to vaping, I should go with a Protank II or Mini. He said you can't rebuild them and that they're not the best, but you can replace the attys for $2.50 each (i.e. $12.50 for 5) and they perform pretty well.


    Before I left as I mentioned I'd have to look around and that'd I'd be back later this week, he then asked what I was using, so I pulled out my SVD, Protank II rebuilt with a micro-coil and cotton and told him about the juice I had in there (DIY juice). Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't have went into detail on all things, but the lack of knowledge for anything other than an eGO battery was a bit agitating.



    What are your thoughts? Am I out of line expecting that a store and their employees actually know something about what they're selling? Or that I think employees should be trained to answer questions about what they are trying to sell someone? The 2-3x cost on (clone) mods and RBA/RDA is bad enough, but lack of knowledge in general is a bit disappointing.

  2. #2
    Super Member ta2dave76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    413

    Default

    I went to a few local shops last week, and ended up at my main shop. One shop I visted, had clones for $90-$125, and very snotty employees. The other ones didnt have much to browse, some had some really rank juice and were pretty lacking on the customer service. If I ask to see the $90 Magneto, dont tell me I will be unhappy with it and try to sell me a Provari for $325.

    My shop sells clones, Sentinals for $40, Chi's and Nem's for $60 and the K100's with batt and charger for $80. They have always answered my questions, and have always shown me how everything works that Ive asked to see. They do this with every customer that comes in, and this is why this is my goto shop.

    Yeah yeah you can get clones for less than $30 from China, but most of the online vendors sell the clones for $40-$60 anyway.
    Atomo and Chi-U replicas. ChiDent & Chimbus, igo-L



  3. #3
    Registered Supplier Jonathan Tittle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,607

    Default

    The employees at this specific store weren't snotty, so to speak, they simply lack training and don't know what they're talking about and I feel, to a large degree, that it hurts the vaping community as a whole. How? They're selling something they know nothing about and at the end of the day, when a customer walks out the door with whatever they're pushing, they don't know any more than what they walked in with.

    The clones come from China regardless and I would guess that they're simply buying from FastTech, marking it up and then showcasing their severe lack of knowledge and training by not being able to tell anyone potentially interested in the specific product anything about it.

    They can't seriously justify $59.99 for a Nemesis Clone and just expect someone to know everything about it. They can definitely tell you how to turn on an eGO though. No doubt about it. Just defeats the purpose of them even having such mods in their store.


    Quote Originally Posted by ta2dave76 View Post
    I went to a few local shops last week, and ended up at my main shop. One shop I visted, had clones for $90-$125, and very snotty employees. The other ones didnt have much to browse, some had some really rank juice and were pretty lacking on the customer service. If I ask to see the $90 Magneto, dont tell me I will be unhappy with it and try to sell me a Provari for $325.

    My shop sells clones, Sentinals for $40, Chi's and Nem's for $60 and the K100's with batt and charger for $80. They have always answered my questions, and have always shown me how everything works that Ive asked to see. They do this with every customer that comes in, and this is why this is my goto shop.

    Yeah yeah you can get clones for less than $30 from China, but most of the online vendors sell the clones for $40-$60 anyway.
    meanckz likes this.

  4. #4
    Slightly mad but harmless Verified Member
    Supporting Member
    K_Tech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Eastern Ohio, USA
    Posts
    2,175

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tactical View Post
    What are your thoughts? Am I out of line expecting that a store and their employees actually know something about what they're selling? Or that I think employees should be trained to answer questions about what they are trying to sell someone? The 2-3x cost on (clone) mods and RBA/RDA is bad enough, but lack of knowledge in general is a bit disappointing.
    I agree that a store specializing in certain merchandise should have employees that are very knowledgeable. They should at the very least be able to answer the basic questions. Knowing all the ins and outs of their wares would be preferable. I'd be more understanding of a store that just opened their doors and hired a few relatives than I would of an establishment that had a few months of operation under their belt.

    Prices are... well, prices should be set by what consumers are willing to spend, and it's the consumer's responsibility to educate themselves a little on what they're trying to find. I spent at least a few hundred dollars on crappy gas station e-cigs over the years before I got into vaping and started doing my homework. I try to check out as many videos, blogs, and reviews as I can, because I want to know what I'm getting into.

  5. #5
    Full Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    35

    Default

    I've been going into local stores asking for glass tanks......have been offered several tanks they said were glass but I knew they were plastic. Was even sold one as glass that I came home and googled......it's plastic. Lol. Turns out I like it so I bought 2 more (but it's still not glass). I've watched uninformed sales ppl actually tap it on the counter to see if it sounds like glass. Btw. Most said it sounded like glass but they were plastic. I'd like more informed ppl trying to help me. I'm a noob and I need real help.
    K_Tech and meanckz like this.

  6. #6
    Registered Supplier Jonathan Tittle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,607

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by K_Tech View Post
    I agree that a store specializing in certain merchandise should have employees that are very knowledgeable. They should at the very least be able to answer the basic questions. Knowing all the ins and outs of their wares would be preferable. I'd be more understanding of a store that just opened their doors and hired a few relatives than I would of an establishment that had a few months of operation under their belt.

    Prices are... well, prices should be set by what consumers are willing to spend, and it's the consumer's responsibility to educate themselves a little on what they're trying to find. I spent at least a few hundred dollars on crappy gas station e-cigs over the years before I got into vaping and started doing my homework. I try to check out as many videos, blogs, and reviews as I can, because I want to know what I'm getting into.
    I do my homework as well and I've been vaping on an off for 4 years, solid for the past year and a half now due to the numerous upgrades available. I know B&M's are pretty much free to set pricing as they feel, and that's not an issue. I don't mind spending a few dollars more to support a shop that treats me well, and makes me feel welcome or at home.

    This specific shop, I walked in today and felt so out of place and as if everyone there was there for a job, not because they truly liked vaping and wanted to be there because of vaping/helping others get into vaping. When it comes to pricing, seeing a mod $10 over what'd I'd buy it for online is no big deal, I'll lay down the cash. I'd spent $10 for shipping in most cases. But when the price is 2-3x or more, I find it slightly offensive and feel as if they're trying to cash in on the "dumbest" person who may not have the time or resources to do what someone with more time under their belt does.

    Me as an example - 18 years ago. When computers were all the rage in schools and while other kids were bragging about their crazy setups, I couldn't even afford my own nor could my family. I had to use the schools computers to do my work and I barely got by with that because of time constraints (they allowed 10-20 minutes online - dial-up). So to me, those other kids had a huge advantage that I just couldn't afford to have (we scraped by - the term paycheck to paycheck comes to mind). The same goes with vaping. Some people are in the same situation and expect their local shops to take care of them, not rip them off because they don't have the resources to find better pricing or means to research every single thread or review.

    Just my take on it. Obviously they are free to do as they please and my voice probably doesn't matter (if today was any indication), but it just seems wrong. Vapers shouldn't be taking other Vapers (or anyone for that matter) for a sucker and they should be training their employees up to the level of what they plan on selling, or don't sell it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pita View Post
    I've been going into local stores asking for glass tanks......have been offered several tanks they said were glass but I knew they were plastic. Was even sold one as glass that I came home and googled......it's plastic. Lol. Turns out I like it so I bought 2 more (but it's still not glass). I've watched uninformed sales ppl actually tap it on the counter to see if it sounds like glass. Btw. Most said it sounded like glass but they were plastic. I'd like more informed ppl trying to help me. I'm a noob and I need real help.
    Not had that happen, but I wouldn't put it past some. For some, it's an honest mistake. I'll give anyone a second chance, but lie to me twice and I won't be coming back.

    When it comes to being new, I can understand that as well.
    Ainokea and meanckz like this.

  7. #7
    Slightly mad but harmless Verified Member
    Supporting Member
    K_Tech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Eastern Ohio, USA
    Posts
    2,175

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tactical View Post
    I don't mind spending a few dollars more to support a shop that treats me well, and makes me feel welcome or at home.
    I agree 100%. There's a few local businesses that get my money all the time because I get treated like family when I'm there.

    When it comes to pricing, seeing a mod $10 over what'd I'd buy it for online is no big deal, I'll lay down the cash. I'd spent $10 for shipping in most cases. But when the price is 2-3x or more, I find it slightly offensive and feel as if they're trying to cash in on the "dumbest" person who may not have the time or resources to do what someone with more time under their belt does.
    I would be offended, and that just seems unethical.

    Some people are in the same situation and expect their local shops to take care of them, not rip them off because they don't have the resources to find better pricing or means to research every single thread or review.
    Yeah, I'll say that I have certain expectations when going into a shop, and that MOST folks feel the same way, more so when it's a specialty store.

    Just my take on it. Obviously they are free to do as they please and my voice probably doesn't matter (if today was any indication), but it just seems wrong. Vapers shouldn't be taking other Vapers (or anyone for that matter) for a sucker and they should be training their employees up to the level of what they plan on selling, or don't sell it.



    Not had that happen, but I wouldn't put it past some. For some, it's an honest mistake. I'll give anyone a second chance, but lie to me twice and I won't be coming back.

    When it comes to being new, I can understand that as well.
    No, I'd say your voice matters, because it will be joined by other voices. You'll talk to your friends, they'll talk to their friends, and as a group you will vote with your wallets.

    I'm not in the same situation, mostly because the closest B&M to me is about a 90-mile round trip, but one of the guys at work just got into vaping after talking to me a few times. I gave him a list of the on-line vendors I've used, and liked. It's the same principle. Now we talk about deals and gear, and share information.
    1990FOXBODY and meanckz like this.

  8. #8
    Super Member ECF Veteran
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    okc
    Posts
    344

    Default

    I've been to every store in 15 mile radius
    1 loved but went back and got ignored
    2 to Dr office feel u had to sit at a bar read off the menu off the wall and ask for it as he's working with 5 other juice request very expensive for all stuff they carried
    3 father son set-up nice people but not a lot to look at
    4 saw a sign a block up from the house that said grand opining but on the door was a piece of paper that said be back at 3:15 it was 3:30 so ran to do a few things came back a hour later still closed. Wont be going back
    5 nice little shop with mods about 15 bucks more then online and great juice so i keep going to this one time and tine again
    okcmerlin likes this.

  9. #9
    Ultra Member madqatter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,374

    Default

    I think it's difficult for many of these stores to find experienced and knowledgeable employees to begin with, and even those with experience and knowledge may be limited by other factors.

    There's a shop not far from me, for example, that focuses mostly on mechs & RBAs, though they have some eGo batts & clearos. Everyone working there uses mechs with RBAs. I went in last week seeking a cheapie 510 dripping atty (something like this). They had no earthly idea what I was talking about. It wasn't just that they don't stock them, they'd never seen or heard of such a thing. Just wasn't in the realm of their experience. And I can understand that. Vaping is an extremely varied world.

    Many employees will be limited, also, by store prices and policies. Sure, if I was working in a B&M, I would know that Kanger heads can be gotten a lot cheaper than 5 for $13 and that they can be rebuilt. But that doesn't mean I'd be allowed by my boss to charge less than $13 or to encourage Kanger rebuilding. :/

    9/8/13 Magneto/Sig8W/MVP2
    VGan/PG-Free: ECF members with PG allergies

  10. #10
    Registered Supplier Jonathan Tittle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,607

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by madqatter View Post
    I think it's difficult for many of these stores to find experienced and knowledgeable employees to begin with, and even those with experience and knowledge may be limited by other factors.

    ...

    Many employees will be limited, also, by store prices and policies. Sure, if I was working in a B&M, I would know that Kanger heads can be gotten a lot cheaper than 5 for $13 and that they can be rebuilt. But that doesn't mean I'd be allowed by my boss to charge less than $13 or to encourage Kanger rebuilding. :/
    I can understand, to an extent, not encouraging rebuilds if you don't stock rebuildables in the first place, but considering this store has, on average, 5-8 rebuildables on-hand at any given time (seems to be ever-changing), and they sell silica and kanthal, albeit expensive, you'd think it wouldn't be an issue.


    Quote Originally Posted by K_Tech View Post
    No, I'd say your voice matters, because it will be joined by other voices. You'll talk to your friends, they'll talk to their friends, and as a group you will vote with your wallets.

    I'm not in the same situation, mostly because the closest B&M to me is about a 90-mile round trip, but one of the guys at work just got into vaping after talking to me a few times. I gave him a list of the on-line vendors I've used, and liked. It's the same principle. Now we talk about deals and gear, and share information.

    Yeah, it'd definitely not a place I can recommend. I did get a chance to try some juice, but when I asked about 3 flavors, I was told none of them were available because they were being reworked. Fair enough...remove them from the boards so people don't ask about them.

    It also seems the juice has went downhill or they're trying to get by with just enough flavor to taste as the others I tried were all super weak. Could be because I DIY now, or they could just be changing things up, not for the better.
    K_Tech likes this.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks