We have been undergoing interesting times in the vape space over the past few months. While there some states have attempted to ban certain flavors, many of these bans have been challenged in court and received favorable stays on enforcement. As a result of these vaping victories, the wholesale vape market has generally been cautious, but optimistic. We sat down with eJuices.co sales manager Alfredo Trevizo to get his take on these new developments, particularly concerning the questions that vape shop owners and retailers are asking.asking.
There have been victories in some states against the flavor bans. How do you think retail shops have responded? Have you seen any sort of change of behavior in your customers? What do you think is the reason?
They are cautiously optimistic. However, they understand that the battle is fought in two different arenas. One arena is their local and state laws, and the other arena is the federal arena. Even if the state overturns its local ban, shops are still typically wary that the federal government might over-regulate the products. While shops are generally optimistic given the successes in the state courts, they are still cautious in the way that they order because they don’t want to get stuck with products they may be unable to sell.
What kinds of questions are your customers asking regarding the state of vape? Are they still thinking of the flavor bans or how to attract new customers despite the sales environment?
Many customers look to us and other trusted sources as leaders in the industry. I regularly receive questions regarding legal policies, changes, and any general rumors that we may know about before the general public. Most of the time, we know as much as they do, because it is all public information. Some retail shops have seen a decline in new vape customers, but most shops still report that their regular customers have remained. Depending on the location, some shops are telling me that their regular vape customers have switched back to cigarettes. This is the last thing I want to happen. Most vapers report that they are scared of what the media has been putting out over the last couple of months. The successful vape shops are catering to their current customer base and figuring out how to sell more products to these current customers. Our typical response is to make sure you always have what the customer wants in stock. If a customer doesn’t buy it from you, they’ll buy it from the competition, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar establishment or an online marketplace.
Have your customers expressed interest in CBD? If so, what sorts of questions are they asking? Do you think they have the same enthusiasm for CBD as they do for vape products?
Some vape shops have diversified their product offerings to include CBD. Most have branded themselves exclusively as vape shops already. Some shops have found that the average vape customer is initially reluctant to buy CBD products from a vape shop because it’s already branded like a vape shop. They’re not attracting CBD-only customers because of the aforementioned reasons. Recently this has begun to change. We have seen a slight positive change in the shops that have rebranded themselves as a CBDandvape shop. So maybe shops should advertise that in addition to being a vape shop, they are also a CBD shop so they can appeal to both market segments in one place.
What sort of advice would you give vape shops and retailers?
We tell our customers to keep up the fight. We tell them to email and call the White House as well as local and state politicians. This does make a difference! Also, stay educated on the topics regarding vaping and vaping products. Educate your customers about what’s going on through newsletters, email blasts, SMS messages, and social media. It’s also a great idea to keep fast-moving eJuices and hardware on the shelves because a shop’s goal should be to cater to the demands of their customer base. The popular products that sell at your location must be in stock.
If you own a vape shop or sell vape products, let us know! If you have any further questions, comments, or concerns, you can always contact your eJuices.co sales representative or account manager.