Choosing the product that you will stock and sell to prospective customers is one of the biggest decisions any retailer needs to make. This is no different for vape shop owners. And will be a big consideration if you are thinking of setting up a vape shop.
There are a multitude of brands, flavours, designs, devices and accessories available. Will you choose to sell UK manufactured products or those imported from abroad? When it comes to vaping and e-cigarettes, there are also regulations set by the Tobacco Products Directive 2014 (TPD) which you must ensure the products that you sell adhere to.
Where do you start when it comes to choosing a vape wholesaler for your vape shop?
Where can you buy your e-liquids and vape products from?
You can either choose to purchase UK manufactured products. Or you can choose to purchase products which have been manufactured and imported from abroad. Two of the big import markets are China and the USA.
Likewise, you can also choose to purchase your e-liquids and vape products directly from the manufacturer. Or you may choose to go through a vape wholesaler.
What are the benefits of using a vape wholesaler?
Vape wholesalers will typically understand that you are a retailer and that you are buying product to sell on to your customers. They may therefore offer better prices if you buy in bulk. The more products you buy the better the price is likely to be. And this is certainly something vape shop owners can benefit from since you will need to have a well-stocked shop and ensure you do not run out of product.
Larger wholesalers are likely to stock a wide range of products. They may therefore be able to supply all of your product needs. From e-liquids, to tanks through to accessories. This can mean you don’t have to go to wider range of supplies, potentially cutting down your admin time. Equally wholesalers may stock a range of different brands, allowing you to pick and choose products easily for your vape shop.
What factors may affect your choice of vape wholesaler?
UK compliance – All products that you sell must be fully compliant with the TPD. When you are sourcing e-cigarette or e-liquid products you must check that the products have been notified to the MHRA. There is a list of submitted products you can refer to here. Products to be sold to the UK market shouldn’t be supplied to you if they are not on this list.
Therefore, ensuring that your supplier is aware of, and complies with, these regulations is key. It is the producer’s responsibility to submit their products to the MHRA before they bring them to the UK market but as a retailer you must check this has been done before you sell any products.
Looking out for whether a wholesaler is a member of the IBVTA or UKVIA could also be a good idea as both bodies offer support on compliance to their members.
You can view a guide for retailers selling vapes here.
Product Quality – As a vape shop owner, you will want to ensure the quality of your products is high so that you satisfy your customers and ensure repeat business. Therefore, you will want to ensure that your vape wholesaler works to the high standards you would expect. Many wholesalers’ websites will provide details about where their products are manufactured and that their products comply with all of the relevant regulation. If the website doesn’t provide this information you may want to check directly with the vape wholesaler before you commit to purchase.
It’s good to know that if you do have any issues or concerns with product quality, safety or compliance you can report these to local Trading Standards or to TPDsafety@mhra.gov.uk.
Getting the best price – As a retailer, you will be aiming to make money. Therefore, getting the best price for the products you want to stock will be on your list of considerations. Shopping around to get the best price once you have decided on the products you want to stock is a good way to maximise your margins.
Speed of delivery – ensuring that your vape shop is well stocked will be important. To help this, it can be good to choose a wholesaler or supplier which offers a quick delivery time. If you are running low on stock or have a product which has proved particularly popular, being able to restock quickly will be an important role for your wholesaler to fulfil.
This will also probably be a consideration in whether you purchase UK manufactured products or import from overseas. Importing from overseas will likely take longer and have higher shipping costs. Something which will need to be weighed up against the novelty or quality of the products you intend to import.
Wholesaler benefits – In addition to providing products, some wholesalers offer other benefits too. These can include things such as pre and post-sale assistance, account managers, point of sale materials that can be used in your vape shop, product warranties. Look out for whether your wholesaler can add value to your business as well as provide high quality products at a good price.
As well as ensuring that you have the best products for your vape shop, you also need to ensure that you have adequate vape insurance in place to protect your business. Insurance requirements of a vape shop are very different to those of other retail units, so it is certainly worth discussing with an insurance broker like Anthony Jones who are specialists in this area. Contact us today on 0208 290 9080 or email us email@example.com