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Should "Big Box" Retailers Sell eCig Supplies?

Discussion in 'General Vaping Discussion' started by SpinDr480, Jul 4, 2013.

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  1. SpinDr480

    SpinDr480 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 9, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ

    I know some "big box" retailers (ie: Walmart, Target, Walgreens) have started selling the disposable "cig-a-likes" at some of there registers, but I was curious if this community would be in favor of them selling such items as eGo starter kits, cartos, clearos, juices, ect.

    Personally, I have mixed feelings on this, since I tend to try and support local businesses. However, I still lean more toward hoping the big chains will eventually sell these supplies. The reason being is that these stores have the power to make eCigs go even more "mainstream" Currently, many people have to order supplies online or have to go out of our way to a local B&M shop. I just think if these types of stores carried supplies it would make it easier/convenient for the masses to vape. I know my mother and grandfather wouldn't be willing to travel 20 miles to pick up eCig supplies, when they can just go to Circle K to get a pack of smokes.

    I am a huge supporter of local business and will always go shop at my local B&M for supplies, however I am also an advocate for whatever works to get the more people off the cigs and into vaping.

  2. Thrasher

    Thrasher ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    Madeira beach, Fla
    if walmart can get me mesh, silica and wire as well as pg and vg that is consistent and cheaper i see no reason to support "overpriced" vape vendors anymore. I dont like being overcharged for other aspects of my life why should vaping be any different?
    the mark up on some of this stuff is getting ridiculous. in the beginning we didnt know better and had few choices, but change is a comin - and its a bout time, we need more places with discount pricing like fasttech to finally give us the deals we deserve and if walmart wants to step up to the plate they get my money.

    if a place can make a profit off a protank for 13 bucks (they started at 30) what would they cost at someone with buying power like walmart? more products for less money and you would be able to get a few things not think man that 6 dollar igo is 15 so i can only get that today.
  3. Glen Snyder

    Glen Snyder Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Definitely pros and cons to that scenario. The biggest pro off the top of my head would be exposure of e-cig products to a wide audience.
    The biggest con would be advanced e-cigs aren't exactly plug & play and you're not likely to get any 'expert' advice like you may in an e-cig B & M.

    Edit: After a little more thought I want to say that IMHO there's room for Mom & Pop and Wally World in the market just like there is for many other products.

    Thrasher's lament is well noted and those B & M's that are using a 300% and higher markup will surely adapt or die sooner rather than later the way the e-cig industry is exploding atm.
  4. Thrasher

    Thrasher ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    Madeira beach, Fla
    this could very well be solved the way just about every other product does it now a days - " Learn how now!! get our instructional videos at youtube!, save yourself time and money""
  5. SpinDr480

    SpinDr480 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 9, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    If the "big boxes" did enter market at a lower cost for gear, I think the biggest room in the market for a local B&M would then be their local juices. Just like restaurant business, it may be cheep and easy to buy Domino's, but I would rather pay a few extra dollars to eat at a local pizzeria.

    Also, if more people have access to the gear then there will be more people in the market to go to local B&M for their juices. Maybe even a eCig "Geek Squad" as a service.
  6. Coastal Cowboy

    Coastal Cowboy This aggression will not stand, man! Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jun 13, 2013
    Alabama Gulf Coast
    There's no way a big box store could stock the variety of equipment and liquids and sell it in enough volume to make it profitable. If they could, they'd already be doing it. Big box outlets make money by turning inventory over quickly. The last thing in the world they want is a bunch of inventory sitting around, taking up space and eating overhead. So, in all likelihood the best you'll see are blister-pack starter kits and a few liquid flavors, sold behind the counter like tobacco products, at prices that save only a fraction off of those charged by mom and pop B&M stores. And, that's only if e-cig sales take off and multiply. Sales are growing, but it's still a relatively young market.

    The variety/volume issue is the same reason you have successful tobacconists selling high end cigars, pipes and pipe tobacco. They cater to a special demand that big box stores can't serve profitably. The same can be said about high end cameras and some specialty craft stores.
  7. Thrasher

    Thrasher ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    Madeira beach, Fla
    i also think they would do well to stay in the custom market with higher end mods and rba's and such, leave the clearos and 510 ego drippers to walmart.
    i really cant see getting a Sveo mesto semovar or ihybrid at wally world. but a 10 pack of clearos for 4.99? ooooh weee lol

    you do reailze those 23 dollar ego twists are price fixed and actually cost like 7 bucks, somewhere like walmart could easily change that crap by forcing volume discounts. (we will take 300,000 but we arent selling them for 20 bucks - oh dont like it then we will call vision) the exposure of brand in somewhere like walmart would have companies rethink this a little bit i am sure.
  8. upsetter21

    upsetter21 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Alameda, CA
    I believe this could occur if a manufacturer decided they wanted to market there. Walmarts, and even Safeway allow shelf space to be purchased. It would be cool to get cheap DIY supplies close to home, but it's unlikely to actual happen anytime soon imo.
  9. SpinDr480

    SpinDr480 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 9, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    I could see them stocking something like a 3in1 pack, that includes a battery, EVOD and charger, then have some replacement heads to begin with. The way they are packaged like the one I linked from fasttech could even be sold behind the counter with the cig-a-likes. For juice, all they would have to start with would be a generic Red, Gold and Menthol flavor.
  10. Thrasher

    Thrasher ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    Madeira beach, Fla
    it also goes without saying there is no need for wally to also stock 300 differnt clearos like the mom and pop who is stuck with last years inventory. just stock whats hot, discount when it slows down (like they do with everything else) and move on to the next item.
  11. Rat2chat2

    Rat2chat2 ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 16, 2013
    Fantasy Island
    This is America.... everyone should be able to sell what they want. And also because this is America... I get to choose whose piece of the pie I contribute too. Same logic should be applied to Obamacare. Just my :2c:
  12. SouthernBliss

    SouthernBliss Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 19, 2013
    Athens, Ga, USA
    I don't expect to see a huge selection from any of the big box stores any time soon. That said I wouldn't be suprised to see the blister pack set ups at walmart sooner than later. I suspect it will depend on how much e-cig volume they are seeing via the Murphy's (they sell quite a few variety's and styles already) and the sort of price points they can get them for. Personally, I think the more people who are involved with e-cigs the better and I don't really care how that happens.

    edit- Is this going to turn into some sort of idiotic political discussion now? Why? Never mind. Count me out.
  13. soba1

    soba1 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    May 27, 2013
    Van Nuys Ca., USA
    Sorry don't wanna see the little guys go out of business
  14. Leithan

    Leithan Just a "Member" Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 19, 2013
    Fort Irwin
    Big box would be great to get E cigs into peoples hands at a fare price. And I agree that the only B&Ms that would have to worry would be the ones preying on new vapers. There will always be a place for B&Ms with juice and high end gear as well as those with good customer service and knowledgeable staff. I go to ace hardware, Home depot has better prices but chances are, I also need advice or instructions on how to fix what ever it is I'm there getting stuff for. You can walk into an Ace, describe your problem, they will know whats wrong, sell you what you need and then take the product back no questions asked if it wasn't the right part. HD, you might get lucky and get someone who has a semi good grasp of English. So yeah I think Wally world stocking EGOs would be good. The good B&Ms out there would have nothing to fear.
  15. SpinDr480

    SpinDr480 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 9, 2013
    Phoenix, AZ
    I sure hope it doesn't, my intention was more about getting "vaping" mainstream, and what the role of local B&M would still play if the big boxes did enter the market.

    In addition, I know Walmart and many of the big stores sell thousands of items on their website that aren't in the store. I could see them cutting a deal with a vender to promote their products online for people to order "Ship-to-Store" This way they could see if the market responds, and if they were popular the products would be in their store very quickly.
  16. tj99959

    tj99959 ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Aug 13, 2011
    Have the big box stores starved out the tobacco shops? State taxes on tobacco has in some places, but the box stores haven't.

    If I owned a B&M Wallies would be the least of my worries.

    Wallies has plenty of bikes, but if I want a "Trek" I guess I will have to go to a bike shop.
  17. Ref Minor

    Ref Minor Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 11, 2013
    That depends where the Vapeshops are making their money, those selling lots of egos and clearo's and a few higher end Mods and Mechs will be screwed.
  18. chellemmm

    chellemmm Chihuahua Queen ECF Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Change keeps business alive.
  19. Coastal Cowboy

    Coastal Cowboy This aggression will not stand, man! Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jun 13, 2013
    Alabama Gulf Coast
    Yep. That's the most likely future for big box stores and e-cig sales. In fact, FastTech already has a blister pack setup available (around $13 if I recall). NJoy, Blu, Fin and maybe a few other sealed cartridge types, too. That's about the extent that they'd go, and again that's only if sales really take off soon. The only real "victims" would be the mall kiosk vendors and other B&M's exploiting the noobs.
  20. tidegirl

    tidegirl Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 21, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    I agree with this, but the little guys need to do a reality check on their prices, at least in my area. I can walk into any one of 6? 7? 8?- I've lost count- local B & Ms and get many things. But a basic ego T kit with 2 650 mah batteries will cost about $100 or MORE, and we all know how bad ego Ts are. I hate to see all the local people getting ripped off. And don't give me the overhead argument, there are vendors who run successful storefronts with the same decent prices that they sell for online. There is no reason the rest of these guys can't do the same. I would like to see some competition to bring the prices to a reasonable level. Also, I feel in this global, digital day and age you HAVE to compete with online prices to stay alive. It is too easy for us to find out where to buy cheaper.

    Back to the original question, do I want to see vape gear in Wally world?... Well, when you take a look at the who has seen a vaper in the wild threads, many people here never see anyone else vaping. Like I said we have many B & Ms now, and I can barely walk out the front door without seeing another vaper. I went fishing, was on a boat with 57 other people including the crew and saw 2 other vapers. So I feel that exposure and local availability is the key to increasing the numbers. As much as I dislike the big box stores, I would love to see real vape gear sold there to get it in front of the masses.
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