SEEING THROUGH THE SMOKE
The Vaping Olympics: USA Vendors vs. Direct Chinese Manufacturers
By Steven Konowe / Vapers Helping Vapers
Very recently a quiet storm has been brewing in the vaping industry, one that has taken this quiet little thing we call an e-cig into a new realm of unconventional marketing. It seems that the direct Chinese manufacturers have come into the U.S. marketplace to put their stamp on their products in order to dilute the U.S. vendors that we have so loved and trusted for so long. In all fairness the fact that these Chinese manufactures are coming in here and selling direct has some positive quotations to this as well as the negative. I do know, however, that some U.S. vendors have altered their pricing to compete with this issue at hand. For this article I think we should look at all aspects pros and cons of this.
Pros of Chinese Manufacturers: Products at Low Prices.
Although you might pay a little more here, there are the benefits of dealing with a U.S. vendor. There is faster shipping and usually a better warranty on products. It is easy to have direct communication with a U.S. vendor. If you do your research you can find some U.S. vendors that are in direct competition with Chinese manufacturers. Amy McCann Baddi with www.usavapeshop.com is one of them. It is good to see that many U.S. vendors have lowered their pricing to accommodate the public. The other big pro to using a U.S. vendor is that they give back to the community at vape meets and with discounted products or helping with needs programs. When was the last time you saw a Chinese manufacturer go above and beyond like the U.S. vendors do? Also, I would rather put my money into this economy than another country..
Cons of Chinese Direct Manufacturers: Can Take a Long Time to Get Your Goods.
You also have to watch out for customs issues. It’s very important to make sure what you’re buying is what you’re getting. If your shipment does not come all together or a piece is missing, you will have to go through the drill of returning it.
Cons of U.S. Vendors: Can Be More Pricier than Chinese Direct Manufacturers. The Selection Might Be As Large.
While we are on this subject I would like to add a second part to this article called Clones or Knock Offs. I have as of late seen many different knock offs of brands com into the market and are selling like hot cakes because of the fact that you can get something that looks like the real thing for a lot less. This is an extremely controversial subject, so I am going to be as unbiased as possible. Vaping is a journey and what one person can afford the other might not be able to. Our goal as an industry is to keep people off of analogs in any way, shape or form. I have nothing against clones or knock offs. I personally think clones and knock offs are a good idea for those who want the real thing but can not afford it. In a way many industries are based on this principle. I have a St. John’s Bay JC Penny polo shirt that I paid $12.99 for, and I have a Ralph Lauren polo that I paid $59.99 for. The funny thing is I love them both the same. I just use them at different times depending on the occasion. The only caution here is that a knock off or clone should be labeled as such; it should not be sold as the real thing. I also think that a clone should be stated somewhere on the site and not made to seem like the real deal. The logo also should be different. We live in a society where this goes on all the time and this discussion I am sure will be continued as we evolve.