October 2014

How Much is E-Liquid Really Worth?


Company/ Brand Name
We all know that brand name goods cost more than the generics. I would call 5 Pawns a brand name whereas the vape shop store brand would be the generic. Are you willing to pay more for a name brand? Vaping 5 Pawns may be a status symbol to some.

Mixologist/ Flavor Creation
I think this could be one of the most important measures on how much e-liquid costs. Is the flavor unique, complex and tasty? Can I make it myself? Was it hard to create or did someone throw a few different flavors in the bottle and slap some cool name on it like “Wizards Tit?”

Freshness / Steeping
I always see people advertising fresh e-juice, but in my experience most e-juice tastes better when it steeps for a while. If a seller takes the time to steep e-liquid it could be a reason for a higher price.

This would be about the bottle, the label or anything else that looks related. It’s nice to get e-liquid in a classy looking glass bottle, but I think sometimes sellers go a bit overboard. I’m not interested in paying more just because a stupid plastic trinket is rubber banded to the bottle.

There’s a reason I don’t post many e-liquid deals; it’s just too hard to tell if the price of e-liquid is a good deal. There’s just too much range in price and variables to its value.

For the most part I don’t buy expensive e-liquid, I prefer to make it myself. With so many different e-liquid vendors it’s hard to tell who has the best e-liquid for the best price. For the most part, I won’t pay much for e-liquid. I know how cheap it can be made for and I don’t like getting ripped off.

Do you have a limit on how much you will pay for e-liquid?

If you want the cheapest e-liquid, your best bet is to buy all the ingredients separate and make it yourself. It can be very cheap; I pay about $0.06 cents per milliliter to make my own DIY e-liquid. You can even make it cheaper if you find deals like the ones I post on my website, http://VapingCheap.com.

However, if you don’t want to make it yourself and you still want cheap e-liquid, your best bet is a discount e-liquid supplier like Mt. Baker Vapor. It’s possible to get pre-made e-liquid for as little as $0.13 cents per milliliter when you buy a large 236 ml bottle and use a 10% percent off coupon code.

On the other end of the spectrum we have the super expensive “premium” e-juice lines. The well-known brand 5 Pawns sells a single 30 ml bottle of e-juice for $27.50. That works out to about $0.91 cents per milliliter. I personally have never vaped 5 Pawns because I’d rather spend $27 on a nice mechanical mod instead of a measly 30 ml bottle of e-juice. However, I’m open to trying a free sample if anyone from 5 Pawns is reading this.

The price on e-liquid can range anywhere from a few cents up to a dollar. That’s a huge difference considering all e-liquids contain the same basic ingredients.

Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are the base ingredients in e-liquid and usually make up for about 75 percent of the volume. They also happen to be the cheapest ingredients; even in small purchases the price drops below a penny per milliliter.

The other two ingredients, nicotine and flavoring, are more expensive but still relatively cheap. Nicotine liquid works out to about $0.15 cents per milliliter (100 mg strength) at My Freedom Smokes and flavoring costs about $0.17 cents per milliliter. If you were to buy these items direct from the manufacturer and in larger quantities the price would drop substantially.

When I discovered how cheap e-liquid is to make I started wondering what makes premium e-liquid worth so much. Here are the different things I came up with:

Quality of Ingredients
Like everything else higher quality usually means higher prices. I think e-juice companies should be more open about their base ingredients. If they have better nicotine, PG, or VG than other suppliers they should fill us in on how they know. Do they do any special testing? Most of the time I just hear words like “organic” and “premium” thrown around with no meaning.

Quality Control/ Lab
Is the liquid made in someone’s basement or is it made in an ISO 7 compliant clean room? How do they do quality control and ensure the product is made to the correct specifications? Sometimes I worry about all the new e-liquid suppliers popping up; just because you can make e-liquid doesn’t mean you’re ready to sell it.