eJuices.co is your trusted partner in wholesale vape. However, did you know that eJuices.co started from a single vape shop, the Vapor Loft? Building partnerships with vendors can help your business succeed through various avenues—whether you run a brick and mortar shop and/or use e-commerce solutions such as PoweredByeJuices.com. We sit down with eJuices.co president Paul Davey, who will answer some questions on how he turned the Vapor Loft into what you see here today at eJuices.co.
You founded a shop called the Vapor Loft. What were the biggest challenges for you then, and are those challenges still present now? What has gotten easier or harder?
I was introduced to vaping in 2010 as a harm reduction method. I was a smoker for 27 years. There weren’t a lot of options for vaping back then. Someone opened a shop in Laguna Beach called eCig City that was the first brick and mortar vape shop. That’s where I went to buy my vape products. Knowing about this, I started helping people switch to vaping. There was so much interest in vaping that every Friday at lunch, I would take everyone’s money to eCig City to buy their vaping products and bring them back to my coworkers. Then VapeRev opened in Los Angeles County, and when you showed up to the shops, you’d have to get a number and wait an hour or two just to make a purchase. There were so many people lining up at these shops. That’s when I decided to open the Vapor Loft in Orange, California in 2012.
Back when we opened the Vapor Loft, we were dealing directly with China. You’d have to buy in bulk and be up at strange hours because of the time difference. A year later, CEO Billy Wilson and I got together and were talking about how to fix the distribution issue. We put up a website for the distribution of products and Billy started getting emails for a price list and other stuff related to wholesale. That’s when we founded eCig Distributors as a landing page and started selling hardware. Later on, we moved on to eJuices themselves and shifted our focus there. What you see on eJuices.co today is basically a continuation of that idea; we were one of the first e-cig distribution companies to use drop shipping.
Right now is a unique time because of all the FDA regulations. Back when we started, there was little regulation of vaping products. It was totally like the Wild West. Many eJuice manufacturers were creating them out of their own homes. Ever since regulations came into place, nobody’s doing that anymore. Everything is being made in laboratories.
What would you say is the vape shop's biggest challenge today outside of the threat of flavor bans and regulations?
The biggest challenge would be getting products from brands that can’t keep up with supply and demand. Just like any vape shop, we’ve got brands we have on backorder, and conversely, we also have brands we can’t get out of the warehouse.
What are some innovative things a vape shop can do to attract and retain customers?
Know your products and have the latest and best products available. They need to have a good variety of stuff because everyone’s taste buds are different. You have to keep an open mind. The more professional-type vape shops tend to do better because of the way their shops were set up. The ambiance of a shop will matter, but your mileage may vary—some people might like that hole-in-the-wall feel. So many of them popped up at every corner, and many of them were run by young adults who didn’t know what they were doing.
What would be some general advice that you can give to vape shop owners in this current climate?
We’re going through a lot of the same things that vape shops are undergoing as well. The uncertainty of PMTA. Shops should be mindful of new products produced after August 8, 2016, as well as know the current laws and regulations surrounding vape. There are many different challenges with floor taxes like we are experiencing here in our home state of Nevada, and flavor bans that are present in localities and states are also challenging to shops. Always use the latest age verification technology and ID everyone coming into your store to be compliant with T21 legislation.
That’s it for our segment of Ask The Expert! If you have any questions or concerns, you can always contact your eJuices.co account manager or sales representative.