One of the most important elements of opening and running a vape shop is finding a reliable wholesale vape supplier. Unless you are manufacturing your own supplies, you’ll need to purchase them from somewhere else. Finding a reliable supplier of wholesale vape products is vital to your vape shop’s success. You’ll most likely need a dependable supply of hardware, like mods, tanks, and starter kits; vape batteries and battery chargers; e-liquids; and replacement coils on top of a variety of vape juices. Finding a reliable wholesaler for your vape supplies will keep your overhead low and your profits high.
What is a wholesaler?
A wholesaler acts as the middle-man between the manufacturer and your shop. They negotiate the best prices from the manufacturer by purchasing large quantities. They are then able to sell these supplies directly to your shop at a lower than the retail rate. While you might think it would be better to buy directly from the manufacturer and cut out this go-between, you may not be able to handle the necessary quantities to get the discounted rate, not to mention the space to store all of those supplies.
1. Proceed with caution
Almost immediately after you open your vape shop or even register your shop’s website domain name, you will get sales calls, e-mails, and letters from suppliers that seem just too good to be true. They will offer you wholesale prices that make your jaw drop. When the prices are unbelievable, don’t believe them. There are many companies out there dealing with fake products or clones. These wholesale companies may tell you their vape products are exact clones of the real thing. What might seem like a good way to save money now will only hurt your shop’s reputation.
2. Domestic vs. International suppliers
Working with a wholesale vape supplier overseas might seem attractive at first. The prices will look good, and items are always in stock. Since some of the manufacturers are also overseas, you might even feel like you have access to the newest products right away. There are, however, downsides: longer shipping times, little protection against fraud, and difficult or expensive warranty work. For most vape shops, using an international wholesaler won’t make much sense: the money you save by the price will be negated by the shipping costs, while increasing the risk of being stuck with inferior products.
U.S.-based wholesalers are often able to offer much faster shipping, superior customer service, and competitive prices. A great wholesaler also works with only the best manufacturers, eliminating the worry of counterfeit or fake products or supplies. These wholesalers will most likely work with international manufacturers but will have done all of the vetting work for you. Having domestic stock means you can get supplies right away without the wait you’d experience with international wholesalers.
3. What brands do they carry?
Chances are, you’ll want to offer the best brands. Unless you’re only going to sell an exclusive brand, you’ll want to have a wholesaler who has built relationships with the best manufacturers. This, in turn, allows you to offer your customers the best and newest high-quality products.
4. Where are they located?
You want to find a place that will allow for fast shipping. If you run out of a crowd favorite, you’ll want to be able to restock it quickly without paying huge fees for expedited shipping.
While this may sound like the closest wholesaler is the best, you also have to consider how they receive shipments from manufacturers. Since some of the best vape supply manufacturers are located in Asia, you want a wholesaler in the U.S. with easy access to Asian shipments. If your wholesaler, for example, is located on the east coast, you may run into longer wait times and higher costs. The wholesaler is paying more for shipping and passing that cost down to you. If you’re on the east coast, however, you can often take advantage of the west coast time zone by being able to place orders or have access to customer service later in the day.
Since the location of your wholesaler impacts shipping, make sure to understand the companies shipping policies and costs. Do they offer free shipping on orders over a certain price, on all orders, or not at all? If you’re running a small shop and don’t have space for large orders, you should consider how much shipping cost will impact your budget. When do they cut off shipping for the day? You’ll need to plan if orders need to be made early in the morning or towards the end of the day.
5. Warranties and returns
While you hope to never have an issue with the supplies you purchase, you do want to be protected in case there is an issue. One wholesaler might have better prices, but they have horrible policies in place for defective goods. Make sure to look for wholesalers that protect your interests and don’t leave you stuck with unusable stock or high return shipping costs, short return windows, or poor customer service.
Do you have any tips for finding the most reliable vape wholesalers? Please share by leaving a comment below.