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Can Vape Shops Advertise Vapes For Sale Online?

Feb 16, 2023

If you want to sell anything to anyone, then it pays to advertise. But if you want to sell vapes, advertising can be easier said than done.

There are severe restrictions on the advertising of electronic cigarettes. In short, the law forbids you from advertising or else promoting vapes. This law extends to:

  • The press and other printed publications.
  • TV and radio (including “public or private contribution to radio programmes with the aim of direct or indirect promotion of electronic cigarettes and refill containers.”)
  • Event sponsorship.

Can You Advertise Vapes For Sale Online?

No. The law also forbids advertising through “informational society services”. This includes email marketing and internet advertising services. Try boosting a post talking about vapes on social media channels, or bidding for keywords relating to vapes and vaping on a Google Ads account. You’ll most likely find that the platform rejects your ads outright.

So How Can I Advertise My Vapes For Sale Online?

The law permits certain forms of online activity. You can talk about your vapes on your own website, or on other online spaces under your control. However, this content cannot be in any way promotional. It must be strictly factual – so a list of your products, and information on how to use them.

The same goes for retailer sites. You can provide factual information about your products, sales lists, and user guides. But you cannot post anything promotional.

People can post reviews of your products, so long as you don’t pay for them. They’re also allowed to blog about your products, or post about them on social media. But again, they must do so independently. You cannot pay people to promote your products on their own platforms.

Is It Worth Trying to Sell Vapes Online?

The severe restrictions on online advertising might discourage many vape retailers from even trying. Your customers can leave reviews, and they can post about your products on social media. So a good online promotional strategy could be to encourage (but not pay!) your customers to talk about your products online.

Ask them to leave a review, or to use a certain hashtag to talk about your products online. You could perhaps offer an incentive to do this, but the law may consider this to be financial reimbursement, which would of course be illegal.

Yet for this “organic” approach to online marketing to work, you’ll need some customers. So what chance have you got if you’re just starting out? How are you supposed to encourage loyal customers to talk about your vapes when you can’t advertise to potential customers in the first place?

Consider Selling Offline Instead

This is why you might find it much easier to set up an offline brick and mortar vape shop instead of an online vape store.

The law is a lot more lenient when it comes to advertising vapes offline. The following forms of advertising are permitted:

  • Cinema
  • Fax
  • Outdoor posters
  • Posters on the sides of buses (so long as the bus isn’t going to travel outside of the UK)
  • Leaflets
  • Direct hard copy mail (just not emails!)

And on top of this, if you open a shop on the high street, you’re going to get footfall. You can place posters in the windows of your shop directly promoting your products, which is bound to attract the attention of passers-by. And you can invest in posters around town, leafleting campaigns, and even good old fashioned mailouts.

You could run an online vape shop at the same time. Encourage your brick and mortar retail customers to leave online reviews, and in time you might see some good organic reach as your online reputation grows.

Specialist Support For Vape Shops

As the approved broker to the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA), Anthony Jones are specialists in the vaping and electronic cigarette insurance market.

If you are considering setting up a vape shop, you might have some questions about the insurance you’ll need, and the risks that you may face once your shop is open.

If so, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today on 0208 290 9080 or email us at ecig@anthonyjones.com.

Get a Quote

You can call us during normal office hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Outside of office hours you can either email us or leave an answerphone message and we promise to get back to you the next working day.

General enquiries:
020 8290 4560

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