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Local Vape Shop Prices Out of Control

Discussion in 'General Vaping Discussion' started by Jazzman, May 9, 2019.

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  1. Jazzman

    Jazzman Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 24, 2013
    High Desert, CA
    I just don't get it. Most of my local vape shop prices are just absurd, to the point I can't support them even though I'd like to. Just today I went into a vape shop in my city and saw a Recurve RDA I'd like to try and they quoted me 49.95 for the RDA. What??? I don't blame B&Ms for higher prices than online shops and I'm OK with that to a point. But it finally reaches a price level that I consider gouging and I just can't support them to that degree.

    Even directly from Wotofo, the manufacturer of the Recurve, they have a price of 29.99. I consider that to be the full retail price even though the usual online shops go anywhere from 19.99 to 24.99 (and these are US vendors, not FT). So while I'm more than willing to support my local shops up to full retail price, adding another 60% over full retail is just a bit much. This same shop charges 60.00 for a Nord kit and most of their products follow suit.

    Look, I know B&Ms have a higher overhead both for the facility and employees, but it does reach a point of being unreasonable where I feel like I'm driven to online purchases which doesn't help the vape shop or the local economy.

    Probably the worst part is that after I visit a shop 2 or 3 times with the same results I feel bad for not supporting them and as a result I just don't go there anymore. So while I believe the shop owners have every right to charge whatever they want, I know there are others that feel the same way and don't go to these shops any more either. That can't be good for business in the long run.

    I have 4 vape shops within 10 miles that do this very same thing, and 1 shop (the good one) that charges full list for every thing. I'm OK with that and buy there frequently, even though I know I can get the same items cheaper online. They also have the biggest and nicest shop with the most employees and have been there the longest. They have a very loyal client base.

    It's not my place to tell them how to run their business, and I don't, I just tell them I'll think about it and don't go back. Just wondering if others feel the same about their local shops.
     
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  2. DeloresRose

    DeloresRose Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Apr 25, 2014
    toledo ohio
    I’ve worked a lot of retail. In order to keep the lights on, they must sell at nearly 100% mark up.

    Unless they can source products at very good wholesale prices, which requires moving a lot of stock quickly in most cases, they’re stuck paying retail themselves.

    I’m not sure how vape companies do wholesale- do many even offer it? What are their prices and buying tiers?
     
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  3. Eskie

    Eskie ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 6, 2016
    NY
    You're lucky to have that one shop near you that only charged list. Most have very high markups. And yes, it eventually erodes the business until it's no longer sustainable. But that's a problem for B&M stores in general thanks to online competition. The one appeal will be to the first time buyer who will have lots of questions and need guidance on their first purchase. Provided they get good information and service it may well be worth it to them. But even that group will eventually grow out of the in store experience.
     
    • Agree Agree x 7
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  4. bombastinator

    bombastinator ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 12, 2010
    MN USA
    Betcha it’s city excise taxes, not gouging. Or rather, not gouging from the shop.
     
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  5. smacuser

    smacuser Vapid Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jan 22, 2012
    Vape Augustine, FL
    Shops in my area have been slowly disappearing and I see a lot more Juul users out and about.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Mordacai

    Mordacai Ultra Member

    Jan 16, 2019
    UK
    Could be related to foot traffic. And if number of customers is almost none existent, they'll mark everything up to make up for sale losses.

    Bad practice and the final death throws of a dying business.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
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  7. gpjoe

    gpjoe Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 30, 2013
    Up North
    I'm guessing that their (most B&M shops) main source of income is from juice sales. The equipment is secondary, at least intended mainly for the new vapers. Most seasoned users are already buying most of their stuff on-line, though I will admit that much of the clearance stuff at one of my local shops is very inexpensive - I bought a brand new Hexohm on sale for 95 bucks, which is half of retail.
     
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  8. gpjoe

    gpjoe Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 30, 2013
    Up North
    ...and I also have noticed locally that vape-only shops charge more than tobacco shops that sell vape gear. The tobacco sales must be carrying the bulk of the overhead load.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  9. ShawnB85

    ShawnB85 Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    I'm with the OP, I have 3-4 shops within about a 10 minute drive. All their hardware is severely overpriced but they run some sales on juice & coils that make them more reasonable. I even went with their house juice for a while but learned quickly they don't actually make it. I asked for a certain flavor to be mixed 70/30 or 80/20 VG/PG respectively and they said they can only add nic, not change the ratio. I never went back to that shop since.
     
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  10. Uncle Willie

    Uncle Willie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I think if the OP investigates the current Vape Shop requirements within the Great State of California, there may be at least a partial answer ..
     
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  11. DeloresRose

    DeloresRose Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Apr 25, 2014
    toledo ohio
    And if I were going to open a shop, that’s how I’d run it. Juice and starter kits and pods for profit, a few mid range, mid to advanced things to round it out.

    I would still visit the two that helped me get started if they were still around. They lost the business in a divorce. But their staffs were really super. The only one around here now, that guy doesn’t know beans. And he’s kind of a jerk.
     
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  12. GOMuniEsq

    GOMuniEsq Self-Proclaimed Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Aug 25, 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    Devil's Advocate:

    Karen buys a Voopoo Panda from an online store and discovers that it leaked in her purse and made a huge mess. She realizes that it's a hassle to get a shipping label to return it, so she throws it in the garbage and orders something else.

    Karen buys the same leaky Panda from a brick & mortar store and she's there the next day demanding a return. The store issues a credit for the hardware in good faith then attempts to RMA it. Voopoo doesn't cover leaks so the store eats the loss. Store owner eventually realizes that selling hardware is a net loss and raises prices accordingly.

    Store owner realizes that clawing for a 5% margin in the hardware market is pointless when he can earn 100% - 1000% margins on repeat e.liquid business with no returns to worry about.
     
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  13. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2012
    Ridgeway, Ohio
    [​IMG]

    "No one tell the original poster what the markup on e-liquid is."

    I rarely purchase from vape shops any more, and I used to work for one. No reason to spend double for something that you can get for far less online, unless you just can't wait a few days for postal delivery.

    However, shops have their place.
    • A "good shop" can help a novice get started with the right gear, explain and demonstrate how to properly operate their setup, and offer trouble-shooting tips should they occur.
    • Allow a customer to see and hold "in the flesh" a prospective item prior to purchase instead of relying on a photo or video. Size, shape, and weight can play a large part in overall satisfaction of an item.
    • Many vape shops have a flavors testing station or flavor sample bar. You can taste what a flavor tastes like prior to purchasing it.
    If you've never owned or operated a business before, you have no idea of the hidden costs the owner or manager incurs just to stay in business.
     
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  14. gpjoe

    gpjoe Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 30, 2013
    Up North
    Being retired now I have to be a bit more careful when spending my money but when I was working I would gladly buy something from my trusted B&M for a few bucks more, just to do my part to keep them in the neighborhood. Can't see/touch/taste if they go out of business and there are good people at this shop.

    I still go to the same shop to buy some of my high strength nic-salts.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Punk In Drublic

    Punk In Drublic Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Aug 28, 2018
    Toronto, ON
    And if your local B&M vape shop is not there, then another McBurger Kingbucks is just going to take its place. I enjoy a little diversity in my community.

    Being in Canada it is difficult for me to correlate. Once currency is converted, shipping tacked on, in most cases it is cheaper for me to shop locally. Even from within the city where high real-estate prices drives retail cost.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  16. Eskie

    Eskie ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 6, 2016
    NY
    Around me in NY hardware is roughly double or a tad more in a store than online. Commercial juice is within a few dollars, sometimes cheaper on sale. If I need a single bottle they stock, even with sales tax it's cheaper when you factor in the shipping costs you'd otherwise spend. But buying several bottles, some of which may not be stocked, ends up better online even with shipping figured in.

    But paying $5 for a single drop in coil only makes sense hen you didn't realize you were out and can't wait on delivery. Even then if it's anything other than Smok or maybe a few other big hitters, they won't stock it in the first place.
     
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  17. vapdivrr

    vapdivrr ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    sarasota,fl
    I really wouldnt know what local shops charge in my area because I have never bought anything. When I started vaping there was only one shop and it wasnt really close, so I have always purchased online. I have dropped in to a few, but they dont carry anything for my vaping style anyways. for juice, they never carry nets or anything over 12mg freebase, so again not for me.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Eskie

    Eskie ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 6, 2016
    NY
    Outside of nic salts it's hard to find even 12 mg for many juices out there. Clearly DIY avoids the problem but right now my access for that is limited and I'm forced to buy commercial.
     
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  19. rosesense

    rosesense ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 1, 2010
    South GA
    In over 9 years of vaping, I have never bought from a b&m. I went into one or two in the early days and was not impressed with the young know-it-alls working there or their selection/prices. I don't feel bad about it, either. I have had friends who won't shop online so they go to the local stores. I figure it evens out and many of the shops sell online as well so they have the best of both worlds.
     
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  20. DeloresRose

    DeloresRose Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Apr 25, 2014
    toledo ohio
    The guys at the shops I liked were young, but they were good to me. Answered my questions and helped me out as a newbie and never were condescending.

    And I know a lot of us crusty old farts who will not shop online for any thing, for any reason. So the B&Ms were nice to have around.

    But yeah, their selection would not do it for me now.
     
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