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When it all goes down...

Discussion in 'Nicoticket' started by Kent Brooks, Sep 7, 2016.

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  1. NicoT Vaper

    NicoT Vaper Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 2, 2016
    US of A
    Oh, and I am NOT trying any more flavors - see what happened when I tried Wakonda? Now I have to trade my beloved ACB for Wakonda ;) all because it is not available anymore. Good thing I stocked up on ACB :)
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Kent Brooks

    Kent Brooks Forum Supplier ECF Veteran

    Oh, I have a plan -- right now I have a fat lady, and I need a skinny lady. No offense to anyone ;)
    • Like Like x 4
  3. NicoT Vaper

    NicoT Vaper Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 2, 2016
    US of A
    I know you do... I hope you do! A superman's building a death star :lol:
    • Like Like x 4
  4. aznnp77

    aznnp77 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 29, 2014
    You would have thought that Indiana would be pro small business, less regulation, and pro jobs, considering your Governor is the future VP of the United States. I just feel like if people from Indiana could get ahold of Mike Pence and convince him how badly these FDA regulations are for jobs, that maybe he could whisper it into Trump's ear.

    I only bought from NT once, mainly due to the price. As a MTL vaper, I could probably afford it though compared to people that use cloud chasing tanks. Wish I could have tried Wakonda, but will probably try some if it comes back in the future.
    • Like Like x 4
  5. aznnp77

    aznnp77 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 29, 2014
    I'm curious to know why some vape shops are choosing to close right now. ITC was going to close at the end of the year, but changed their mind about a month ago. I've been saying all along, that even if the FDA doesn't repeal the death penalty on vaping, that they'll likely extend the August 2018 deadline somehow.

    I feel like you could prolong this for much longer (and still make money) if you went to "Just In Time Inventory," and made the liquid to order. It would require a little steeping for the customer, but it's a generally accepted thing in the industry.

    I actually know someone in my area that just OPENED a vape shop about a month ago, and I think he's opening more soon. So I'm not sure why Nicoticket is doing this now.

    If it's an adaptation thing, I feel like someone with a supposedly brilliant vaping mind like Kent/Clark could formulate a higher vg/ less nicotine version of their famous juices and still make them taste good. My ADV in max VG tastes gross to me, but there's plenty of people that buy max VG and still like it. I feel like you could go to 80/20 and still make it taste good. Even MBV does that, and I thought some of their stuff was pretty good when I first started.

    Kent has been active on this thread, and as they get closer to actually shutting down, I'd like to know more details on how they came to their decision.
    • Like Like x 5
  6. Deeks

    Deeks Full Member

    Dec 29, 2016
    Aberdeen, SD
    I was saddened to hear about NT shutting down but its completely understandable. I haven't purchased anything for close to 2 years from here until yesterday (diy guy). I wanted to help out a little, so I grabbed a couple of those Alliance RDA's for my collection :)

    Regarding the above poster. I'm pretty sure Clark explained that it was more than just about the upcoming FDA regulations. There was a combination of a lot of factors and I completely respect his decision. Also with the ever growing DIY community (guilty as charged) I don't know how an ejuice vendor could possibly keep above that curve in all honesty. Sure these big juice vendors make great juice, but its not rocket science to come up with your own recipes, in fact its quite rewarding.

    Either way, I'm sure Nicoticket will be greatly missed in the vaping community. For me personally I probably wouldn't have been able to stick with vaping if it weren't for stumbling across the website and getting my first Betelgeuse order!
    • Like Like x 11
  7. aznnp77

    aznnp77 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 29, 2014
    I don't DIY, but from what I hear the ingredients of PG/VG and nicotine are quite cheap. I also have no idea how much they're paying in rent, which I'm sure is their #1 expense. But based on the ingredients alone, I'm sure the margins are quite high on selling e-liquid that you make yourself. I liken it to a cup of soda that you pay $1-2 for, but costs the place 5 cents for the soda, and 5 cents for the cup.

    I read that it was a combination of multiple factors, and respect his decision as well. I was just stating that since he's in his final run and very close to officially closing, that he could possibly get into a little more detail about his reasons.

    The reason I ask, is because I'm just curious what kind of hurdles the FDA and possibly other Government agencies are throwing at him. I know about the age check. I know you won't be able to sample inside vape shops anymore nor are they allowed to help you with your gear. I know about Vapemaggedon officially on August 8, 2018 as of right now where you need FDA approval to sell any nicotine delivery products.

    I do see some shops closing up, but most of them are still open for business as of right now. Just wondering why a guy with such a following on ECF would choose to close so soon. If it's personal issues, he doesn't necessarily need to state them. But he's saying it's regulations.

    If we knew the specific regulations, maybe we could brainstorm and figure out a way to keep this community going. Because a lot of people are going to be SOL in less than 2 years if we as a community don't figure this out. We probably can't do anything about it, but to it wouldn't hurt to know, and maybe it could save or prolong another vendor from calling it quits so suddenly.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Deeks

    Deeks Full Member

    Dec 29, 2016
    Aberdeen, SD
    I get what you're saying. I also wonder if the FDA has been in contact with some of these bigger vendors. Or maybe that's part of the reason for closing this far ahead of time. He may want to avoid that headache all together which I can totally understand.

    I'll tell you what though, from professional experience, I have quite a bit of contact with FDA employees due to my job also with another Government agency, and even working on just administrative type things (i.e. policy and procedure) with them is an absolute pain. Not saying any other Government agency is much better but I can about imagine the nightmare the vendors that do try to hang in there will be facing.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Kent Brooks

    Kent Brooks Forum Supplier ECF Veteran


    We are currently out of bounds on the FDA requirements for CRC caps. The bottles with the droppers are fine, but the purple flat caps aren't. The FDA told us initially that bottles produced AFTER August 8, 2016 would need to be compliant, and that bottles produced prior to that date were fine. THEN, on August 8, 2016 -- they told us that ALL the stock needed to be CRC compliant (even the bottles produced prior). Basically we thought we were fine, but we aren't -- that's how the FDA works -- they tell you do one thing and then they require you to do something else -- fun, huh?

    Then there's the age verification process. We tried two different vendors, Veritad and BlueCheck. One asks for a damn Social Security Number in order for you to purchase a bottle of eLiquid... the other asks for a selfie (with your ID up next to your face), and then a second picture of your ID up close. I mean, really? Who's going to do that to buy some freakin juice? Not a big deal, until 40% of my online business dries up because people don't want to go through the process.

    In June all products must be registered with the FDA... and... I don't want to deal with it. Hundreds of man hours for a few extra months of business that is eviscerated by age verification... what would you do?

    Then there are the non-regulatory issues. Katy is gone, she basically ran Nicoticket... I haven't really been that involved for 2 years. Josh is gone -- he was our wholesale account coordinator... not a deathblow, but he was with me damn near 3 years. BOTH of them left because there is no future in this industry. Beau, the last of my original employees is still with me because I bribed him to stay... he has one foot out the door (same reason, no future in this industry). So, with all these labor issues -- do I want to hire and retrain people, or do I want to pack it up?

    The biggest issue is that our bottler is closing. We couldn't order a bottle if we wanted to? I could take production back in house -- I just don't want to.

    This business has made me a multimillionaire. It's never been about the money, but it's definitely not about money now. I could retire right now but I am going back to clinical counseling for a whopping 30k a year. I would do it for free, honestly - only 3000 hours of work between me and private practice -- about damn time I use my Master's Degree for something other than bragging rights ;)

    Now - the financial issues. One person above suggested that margins are rich, and they are if you are doing this out of your basement... but, people just don't appreciate the costs that stack up on a business like ours. Shipping is my biggest cost -- I spent half a million this year with USPS and UPS. I pay my people very well, $15/hour -- labor stacks up. When there's nothing in the queue those people still expect to be paid -- for the last year we have been working from 9am-noon because we are so fast at packing orders. I pay my employees until 3:30 - I piss 3.5 hours per employee down my leg every day. Rent is 2 grand. I'm sitting on over 100k worth of inventory (that is fast dwindling). I could go on and on - subscriptions to software alone are almost a grand a month (those are just the systems we use to make our business run).

    Finally - even though people aren't closing, this whole industry is TANKING. We are down 40% year over year, and it's not because of anything we did or didn't do... everyone is down. That 40% was all upside because most of the costs are fixed. Without it, it's just not worth the RISK. It's just about the money, it's about risk.

    P.S I'm down, but I'm not out. I'm still going to make The Virus and Wakonda, I just need to find someone to do the bottling and fulfillment... there's more than enough demand for those two flavor to justify the trouble. The other recipes, despite being great liquid, just don't sell like Wakonda and The Virus. I have received 100s of emails about both -- IE, where is it? Where can I get it? Do you know any of your retailers that still have it in stock? What do I vape now that my ADV is gone? No such clamor about the rest of it, although people don't have any reservations when it's 70% off. :) Go buy some!

    Coupon Code: NewYears2017
    Value: 70% OFF
    Expiration: Until the last bottle is gone~!~
    • Like Like x 17
  10. NicoT Vaper

    NicoT Vaper Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 2, 2016
    US of A
    SIGH to the above...

    • Like Like x 4
  11. NicoT Vaper

    NicoT Vaper Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 2, 2016
    US of A
    In all seriousness, though, I totally understand where Clark is coming from. Started and closed 2 businesses of my own, it is a pain to see it die. However, no one just shuts the door on a whimp, by the time that decision comes to fruition, you (as a business owner) endure so much stress, so much BS that often is outside of your control and go through so much pain that at the end, turning off the lights, feels like a relief. Losing your good people is a whole different story...

    I'm certain, this was not an easy decision for Clark and am positive that he has his doubts; probably some days more than others. Do what feels right, Clark. If the wind in the industry changes, you may tap into it again.

    Now, how about that litter of Wakonda? ;) ...I joke, I joke......, do I? :)
    • Like Like x 8
  12. balance

    balance Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 23, 2014
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I've been speechless since the announcement that NT is going away. For a long time, I pretended that I hadn't really read that email, forum post, or other announcements that told me that my only juice source was shutting down.

    I certainly understand that the *!*!@# FDA regs have made life very risky, anxious, and stressful for the folks in the juice business, but ... WAKONDA!?! Add me to the hundreds askig, How can this be gone??? I've been mixing mine 1 part to 4 parts unflavored for a couple of months now to make it last. Really not sure what I'll do when I run out. Suggestions greatly appreciated.

    On the other hand, I am absolutely over the moon to hear that Clark made big big bucks making this great thing that got me -- and many others -- off cigs. So many other companies' stuff is awful, and in the grand scheme of things, so many other companies in other fields have made millions off things that hurt their users (cigarettes, soda, etc.) I'm grateful that Clark gave this his all and helped a ton of folks. I'm grateful that once I tried NicoTicket, I was able to quit cigarettes entirely. And I'm so very grateful that I was able to try NT before the deeming regs. And of course, I'm very grateful that the NuThouse accepts all and sundry in this big old community of vapers.

    Thank you Katy, thank you Josh, thank you Beau, thank you Clark, and thank you Nuthouse forum folk for helping me to stop killing myself with cigarettes.

    Live long, y'all, and prosper.
    • Like Like x 8
  13. Alawot

    Alawot Wakonda Warrior Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jan 25, 2015
    Lebanon, Ohio
    It's like a late Christmas gift to hear that there might be a future for Wakonda! My first NT order had a 15ml bottle of Wakonda in it. One pull on it and I instantly knew this was the juice I was searching for. That day I put in an order for a 60ml. I've even dedicated a mod to Wakonda. Ever since I got my 2015 Reo Woodvil it's only had one juice in it.

    Vape on Wakonda Warriors, May the Sacred Vapor Never Dissipate!
    • Like Like x 10
  14. quittingvegas

    quittingvegas Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 27, 2012
    Las Vegas
    Ahhh.. That post was so depressing. :evil:
    • Like Like x 7
  15. Pictor

    Pictor Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 27, 2009
    Well dear people - it's 2017 here now, so I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year full of everything you wish for.

    Clark - I hope the year brings you lots of contentment, a peaceful mind, and that somehow, you're still doing something with your wonderful Nicoticket! :)
    • Like Like x 10
  16. NiNi

    NiNi Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Paulden, Arizona
    Alrighty, Kent.
    Put in my last order, unless Wakonda shows up. Just my luck, I found it in a order months ago and didn't see the writing on the wall. *sigh*
    Haven't been on ECF for at least a year (who knows, maybe 2 or 3?) but just had to drop by and say "Thank you!" You helped contribute to my chucking the cancer sticks and I will forever be grateful. I don't know how long I've been analog free, but my quit date was January 10th, of some year.....maybe 2013? Never picked up another cig. EVER.
    Love ya!!!!
    NiNi aka Bernina
    • Like Like x 10
  17. aznnp77

    aznnp77 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 29, 2014
    Thanks Clark or Kent, people seem to be calling you both so I dunno. I was genuinely curious as to the reasons, and you explained them clearly to me.

    I wasn't aware that the industry was down so much as a whole. From all the news I hear, they made it sound like the industry was exploding still. I started vaping about 2 years ago, and where as I used to be one of the only ones doing it, it's actually pretty common now. I wonder if the reports of exploding batteries has anything to do with it. Maybe for newer vapers, but I figured most of the people already vaping would think it was user error.

    I just remembered, and I think I get it now. Two years ago, the industry hadn't evolved into big cloud tanks. I'm still using my KFL, and go through around 2-3ML a day of liquid. With these big airy tanks becoming the norm, I think people are going through more like 8-16ML a day at lower nicotine and higher VG. That's $6-12 a day on premium priced 30ml bottles. People just can't afford it these days.

    Although it's annoying, I would go through the age verification process if I had to. I mean, what is someone going to do with my ID? I'm sure Clark doesn't care what I look like. He's just checking off a box so he doesn't get fined. If it's the difference between smoking and not smoking I think most will do what they have to do.

    I wasn't aware that the employees were quitting. Yeah, retraining and having to deal with inevitable mistakes is probably annoying but understandable.

    Good to hear about the Virus and Wakonda. Would have thought that CLS would be on the list as well. It was a pleasant flavor, and the only one I ever bought from NT (the one time I purchased). I always wanted to try Wakonda, but the price was always preventing me. My ADV is a coffee flavor, and I realize now that I probably could afford Wakonda with the amount of juice I go through.

    It's also nice that you've got something to fall back on that is so fulfilling. Thanks again for the info.

    If you get bored and feel like describing the process of registering with the FDA by June I'd be curious to know that as well. Cuz if it's really that tedious a process, I need to be stocking up on mods and juice like right now, as opposed to closer to the August 2018 date.

    I'm still holding out hope that Trump and his pro small business, anti-regulation policies will somehow be able to save this industry. Maybe one of the bigger companies can do a study. A real one where they don't zap a wick with so much wattage to the point where it burns and creates carcinogens. I'm not blind though. I know there are side effects of vaping and it's not completely safe, but it's definitely safer than cigarettes.

    I'm also pretty confident that they'll extend this deadline. From my experience, the Government is never on time with anything, and deadlines are always extended. The only question is whether there will be any companies left by the time they announce the deadline, because they usually wait til the last minute to do that.

    I'm reading this Vaping Post article titled Trump on Vaping, and of course they begin the article with 2 long sections bashing his lack of experience to be president. It's laughable, not because of the politics, but because it's suppose to be an article about vaping. But I digress. I just had to comment about that.

    Edit: The article is extremely biased, and 80% of it is Trump bashing. But he pointed out that Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was an ally for vaping, and he's from a crucial swing state that won him the election. There's also another guy in CA named Duncan Hunter that's an advocate, but I don't think Trump cares much about California with the way people in the state have been treating him and them trying to become a separate state from the US anyways. There was so much political fluff there I couldn't even read the whole thing this late.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Megan Kogijiki Ratchford

    Megan Kogijiki Ratchford ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Jul 17, 2013
    Arvada, CO
    @aznnp77 Not Clark (Kent is his given name but Clark is his nickname given when he was a kid, he'll answer to both though :) ) but wanted to touch on a couple things from your post.

    First of all, yes, you need to start hoarding. The deadline is for registering any and ALL product (mods and juice) that did not exist before the grandfathered cutoff date of 2009. That means all tanks, mods, wire, wicks, and juice...everything. Every SKU (even juice in the same flavors but different nic levels even zero nic) need to be entered for FDA evaluation. I am not a numbers person though someone on here can show you articles quoting actual facts but they estimate it to be roughly 1 million dollars per each item (SKU) offered for sale by every vape store to be evaluated by the FDA with a strong possibility that they will not pass. While this verification process is going on the products cannot be sold.

    Taking it out of vaping, the FDA evaluates all products for safety for human consumption. Meaning, if say a bunch of independent scientists came up with a cure for cancer made up of very common components they would not be able to give that cure without years of blind studies, papers published to show its efficacy and safety, and millions of dollars to get it approved by the FDA. Years to get a cure they gave to a bunch of people who volunteered to get the treatment who are now living healthy lives but they cannot give that treatment to anyone else without facing strict government oversight.

    Back to vaping, we're talking about a grassroots movement that swept the country before the powers that be started taking notice. People like Clark who tried some juice from a store who decided that he could do better flavors than what he could buy and started mixing his own. Just folks trying to quit smoking. Yeah, their small start-up companies did well but they cannot shoulder the expense or scrutiny for surviving the FDA's regulations. It's a matter of cost versus outcome. The FDA, due to deeming vaping as a tobacco product, can do what ever they want. They can decide that only tobacco and menthol flavors are the only ones that can pass, no coffee, no danish, no fruit etc. They can decide that no one can buy these fancy tanks and mods. They can decide that we will no longer have refillable tanks but only cartomizers. They can decide to scrap everything and stick with the deeming law and everything available after 2009 is illegal.

    Right now we are okay but after the 2018 deadline we will no longer have what we do now unless we buy it illegally or make our own.

    There are many companies that are clinging to the hope that this can (and hopefully will) be turned around and are getting ready to get all their products passed by the FDA even though they know that a large percentage won't pass. They are trying, though many won't make it for whatever business or personal reasons. I have been strategizing since I got wind of this "vapepocalypse". I have spent years hoarding and buying gear and DIY supplies along with as much juice as I can to keep myself from smoking. I will be fine. The folks that come after us? They will not have vaping and an active and driving community to help them quit. Indiana has already passed laws making even owning vape gear illegal. This is bad right now.

    That being said it may be fine in 5-10 years when it's proven that vaping really works but what do these vape stores and companies live on till then? Remember, nothing designed or created after 2009 can be sold without being pulled for FDA evaluation.

    I will not get into the money or politics as they vary from state to state but there is that element too. And that leads down a very deep and twisted rabbit hole.

    Start hoarding today, it could be a very long time before vaping comes back...
    • Like Like x 5
  19. Sloth Tonight

    Sloth Tonight Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Jun 25, 2014
    Hoard. Learn to DIY. you will be just fine.
    The issue with it all is newer vapers not having access to good equipment and juice to get them in the door and off cigs. That royally P's me off.
    • Like Like x 8
  20. aznnp77

    aznnp77 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 29, 2014
    I believe this part of your quote is incorrect, or not phrased correctly. Not sure about the submission process, but I'm pretty sure these products are allowed to be sold until the August 8th, 2018 drop dead date. It's just that new products were not allowed to be introduced, but I thought the deadline for that was August this past summer.

    I don't want to get too sidetracked though. This is Clark's thread, and he's trying to liquidate his merchandise. I'll leave him now to give his updates.
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