Are cheap poor quality juices KILLING the Vape Industry?

Discussion in 'Surveys and Polls' started by SergeiGrey, 11/3/20.

Are cheap poor quality juices Killing the Vape Industry?

  1. YES

    33.3%
  2. NO

    66.7%
  1. Hooked

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    I don't think the vape industry needs to be self-regulating, as @SergeiGrey suggested. We vapers need to be self-regulating and take responsibility for ourselves.

    It's easy to find out which are the well-known local juice brands - just go on to FB and you'll be overwhelmed by the ads. So if a vaper buys a brand that isn't well-known, it's a chance he takes. And if he wants to take that chance simply based on price, that is his decision. We do not have to become a nanny state simply to "protect" someone who may not be able to afford a more expensive juice.

    There are more than enough regulations in life and the vaping industry will no doubt become regulated in one or another in the future.
    However, to insist on quality of all juice isn't feasible. Firstly, how does one determine quality? Is the regulatory body going to tell the juice makers which concentrates / nicotine they must use? And how would the quality of these be determined in the first place?

    Secondly, even if something is defined as inferior quality, once again, it is the consumer's choice.

    IF a particular brand of juice does indeed make someone sick, again suggested by @SergeiGrey, then that does indeed need to be investigated. Has anyone ever heard of a "cheap" juice making someone sick? If it had, we would have heard about it by now, either on this forum or any other, or on one of the other social media platforms.

    Leave well alone. Respect the fact that some people will buy the cheapest juice that is available out of financial necessity - just as they would with any other commodity.

    It won't kill them - and it won't kill the vape industry either.
     
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  2. ARYANTO

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    My thoughts , When I started out I was petrified of the cost of juice ,wow r 800 for a Smok and r 200 for juice ??? madness.
    With some gentle nudging I found my flav profile and one of the biggest shops at the time had a budget range [and still have] , I bought these and then the Main big bottle for treating myself .Fleamarket here we come ''Jeepers look at this Nasty , only r 50 for 100 ml !'' Well it tasted like r 50 too , bland, harsh and too runny , Back to the drawing board , DIY yay ! Mixed like a mad Dutchman and quickly mastered the art of ''my juice'' Fortunate my efforts did not contaminate the
    planet and now I love my mixes and still buy my spoil juices [or win them on Ecigssa:campeon2:] , If it was'nt for those budget juices I would have gone back to Winstons.
     
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  3. SergeiGrey

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    @Hooked

    Good Morning

    I am planning/busy entering the market as a juice manufacturer, and I have done some research and this is an extension of that research. the Subject line is intended to spark debate.

    The 4 issues listed were findings from interviewing Shop Owners, Vaporista's (Like a Barista but a person that works in the Vapestore... just made this up... thought you would like it;)) and Store Managers in and around Gauteng. The questionnaire was standard for all 20 stores. But the sample size is too small hence this post to see how I can expand the dataset quickly.

    The 5 emerging issues are listed below.
    1. The shops are struggling because people spend less!
    2. People Vape less because it is no longer an enjoyable experience!
    3. New cheap juices come in 120ml 2mg, as a knock-on effect because we vape less of a lower mg Nicotine we are slowly weaning ourselves of the nicotine!
    4. Bigger bottles plus less vaping means fewer feet into Vape shops fewer feet means a lot less sales!
    5. What if these poorer quality cheaper juices start making people sick, this is possible because they are trying to make it as cheap as possible. By design and choice using cheaper concentrates and cheaper nicotine!
    6. Cheaper juices make vaping more accessible to teenagers because it is now affordable for them!
    Point 5 is a controversial one but that is a question that came to my mind NOT a finding, so I included it. The reason for including it is that I buy concentrate and nicotine at wholesale and I can honestly say that I don't know how they can put a 120ml 2mg flavour with labels and packaging in a store with a retail price of R150. Stores are looking for a minimum of 40% - 70% margin on a bottle.

    Which indicates that wholesale price is R60-R80? It raises a question in my mind? If you apply first principles thinking and break down the cost. Bottle, Label, Packaging, base liquid, concentrate, supply chain, distribution. Where do they compromise and is it a safe compromise?

    I would like to highlight that these issues are more prevalent in smaller mom's & pop's stores. But once again inconclusive sample size too small and not demographically spread. I can confirm that the stores are struggling, fewer feet, fewer sales, lower ticket prices, less revenue, and escalating rent.

    The objective of my research is:
    1. Sell in Vapestores?
    2. Sell online "ONLY" and pass the supply chain and retail space cost savings to consumers? Unfortunately, it can't be both.
    3. Brand positioning?
    4. Brand promise?
    5. Pricing and bottle size (R.vs 60/120ml)
    I want to thank everyone for sharing their views and opinions. It is giving me an invaluable perspective.

    For me, this post and thread is NOT about BEING RIGHT but it is definitely about GETTING IT RIGHT.

    Thank you
     
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  4. Hooked

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    Thank you for explaining the purpose of the poll @SergeiGrey. I can hear that you are familiar with Research Methodology and that you are taking this seriously.

    We do have a juice manufacturer on the forum - All Day Vapes - who sells directly to the public ONLY which keeps his costs reasonable. You might want to PM him for a chat @YeOldeOke.
     
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  5. ARYANTO

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    1. The shops are struggling because people spend less! :) Yes we all struggle
    2. People Vape less because it is no longer an enjoyable experience! :)No more ppl are beginning to see the benefit of vaping and a big % of current vapers won't stop because it became a hobby instead of a habit
    3. New cheap juices come in 120ml 2mg, as a knock-on effect because we vape less of a lower mg Nicotine we are slowly weaning ourselves of the nicotine!:) Don't agree , started on 3 mg and still on 3 will sometimes even brave a 6 mg.
    4. Bigger bottles plus less vaping means fewer feet into Vape shops fewer feet means a lot less sales! :) relate to point 1
    5. What if these poorer quality cheaper juices start making people sick, this is possible because they are trying to make it as cheap as possible. By design and choice using cheaper concentrates and cheaper nicotine! :) Most mixers are proud of their mixes and have struggled to get it on the shelf , they won't compromise their reputation to mix something scaly and sell it off , reputable shops won't sell dangerous juice , word travels fast in this community and if you are trying to pull a fast one you will see your axx.
    6. Cheaper juices make vaping more accessible to teenagers because it is now affordable for them!:) Back to shop and reputation - most won't sell to kids and if you get it at Fong kong mall it's not manufactured by the guy who made original Jam monster .
     
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  6. Puff the Magic Dragon

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    Please end my confusion.

    What is a poor quality juice?

    PG and VG are cheap as chips....so no worthwhile saving here.
    The cheapest nic generally available is White Label Scrawny Gecko. Many of our members swear by this product and have no problem with it.
    Concentrates vary in price. There is no evidence that the cheapest ones are in any way inferior. In fact two of the cheapest brands are possibly the most popular.

    "Cheaper juices start making people sick"

    See @Hooked 's comments. None of us has confirmed evidence of a juice making us sick. This even includes the fake ones.
     
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  7. Jean claude Vaaldamme

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    Yes the logic behind this study/research confuse me. Cheap poorer quality 2mg juices? Do Vapour Mountain sell cheap poorer quality vape juice? because last time I checked they also sell 2mg? Most top brands sell 0mg also?
    My logic would say the lower mg nic you use, the more you going to vape?
    Is the cost between 2mg and 3mg nic even mentionable?

    Nothing makes sense
     
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  8. Asterix

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    To be honest, when I first read the OP’s post, I immediately construed it to be a veiled attack on NCV’s “Slick” range. Still believe that’s the case.
     
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  9. Adephi

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    This is really a good thread and I hope we can continue to discuss this in a cunstructive way.

    But I find one point concerning.

    Vaping is a harm-reduction tool to help get people off cigarettes and tobacco products.

    Nothing else. Just that.

    If we start to lose that focus and concentrate purely on profit we are none better than the tobacco industry. Vaping is NOT there to get people addicted to nicotine. Its actually the opposite. Tobacco companies get people (including teens) addicted to nicotine.

    Now I don't have a problem with making a profit. Everybody got bills to pay and families to feed. I don't have a problem with overpriced items. If you make a juice thats R500 for 30ml that tastes like Scarlett Johansson's vagina thats great. But if you lose focus on what vaping is meant to be, you lost my respect and support.
     
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  10. Resistance

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    No offence taken.
    I like my job and believe me it's not about the money. I also still have pride in what I do. The sad part is a handfull of people appreciate it and the rest want to lowball me to save a buck to spend on themselves.
    And no offence intended!
     
  11. Resistance

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    What I don't understand is the switch from 3- and 6-respctively to 2mg.
    (I'm not generalising)
    Some juices you can still find in 3- and 6mg but not all of them is what I'd like in 6mg.
    Yes some vapers still prefer the 6mg in sub-ohm vaping.
    The other thing is charge what you want to charge. Vape what you want to vape as long as it's not forced on me an I still have the choice.
    I will buy a comercial juice because I have tried it and I liked the flavour even if it doesn't check all my boxes whether it's cheap or not.
    If I can't try it it's rare that I'll buy it!.
     
  12. Timwis

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    I have not voted because i am not in South Africa so don't know if there is an issue with very poor quality cheap juice but don't understand certain points made such as point 3 because i believe larger bottles with low nicotine mg so we can wean ourselves off nicotine is a good thing on so many levels as long as like i said for some reason there isn't some major issue in South Africa i'm not aware of.

    We have high regulations in the UK with the TPD so e-liquid manufacture is fully regulated yet we also have very cheap e-liquid but they follow exactly the same standards as the high cost juices. I PM'd @RainstormZA a couple of weeks ago about a new manufacturer in the UK called twopoundeliquids who sell 50ml shortfills for just £2 and free delivery on £20 orders so 10 50ml shortfills delivered for £20 just add a nicshot to each (can purchase for just 50p a shot) to get 60ml 3mg e-liquid for just £2.50 a bottle, and i have had £20 a bottle flavours that were not as good when it comes to flavour.

    Like @Puff the Magic Dragon mentioned knowing how much it costs when DIYing using high quality nicotine, PG, VG and flavourings etc (factor into that manufacturers will pay much less (bulk buying)) i would suggest twopoundseliquid has the price right the other manufacturers to different levels are just being greedy.

    Going back to point 3 i agree with what @Adephi mentions as people are encouraged to give up stinkies mainly for health but as incentives are told it will also save them money and allow more control on weaning themselves off their nicotine addiction but you seem to be saying that's a bad idea so yes @Hooked beat me to it do you have ties with a e-liquid manufacturer who are losing business because other manufacturers are offering the vaper a better deal?
     
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    Last edited: 13/3/20
  13. Timwis

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    Can not argue with @ARYANTO points, seem on the mark to me!
     
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  14. SergeiGrey

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    @Asterix

    Morning

    There is really no hidden agenda. To put it into perspective it is called a competitor analysis. It would be reckless to say the least to try and enter a market without performing a competitor analysis.

    There are multiple vendors that play in that space not just "Slick" as you brought up, CBE, Vapology all seem to think it is the right approach. Maybe they have better data than what I have, they definitely have been in the market for long.

    There are multiple vendors within the competitor analysis that I performed.

    Sorry for creating that impression for you. I think one of my biggest take out so far is that Quality and Taste are subjective.
     
  15. SergeiGrey

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    This insight is great thanks for sharing. you bring up a valid point. In South Africa we don't have a regulation like TPD that I know of. As far as I am aware all we need is an ISO7 certified lab which only speaks to Air Quality.
     
  16. SergeiGrey

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    @Adephi

    I don't have a revert on this. You are absolutely correct the positioning of the statement is terrible. When I typed it, it made sense in my head. Thank you for challenging me on that statement. It opened my eyes.
     
  17. Timwis

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    The problem with regulation when it comes to vaping most of the world are in a catch 22 situation. Any industry that has got as big as vaping and involves health albeit harm reduction used as a switch from smoking needs regulation it really does. Most industries in vaping's maturity now would be screaming out for regulation and self regulation while most will do so with the best of intentions is open to abuse.

    The catch 22 is the war on vaping and governments wearing blinkers playing at dumb and dumber believing every flawed report with an hidden agenda that mostly comes out of the US means regulation wouldn't be based on science and truth but flawed studies and lies. In the UK we moaned when the TPD came into force but it seams that ended up putting us in a great position because the government and Heath England commissioned study after study believe it or not hoping it would possibly lead to a justified ban on vaping but what they did was followed the truth of the findings switching their position to be firmly in favour of vaping seeing it as at least 95% safer than smoking and the greatest chance the world would get to eradicating cigarette smoking.

    So regulation for most will mean unjust taxes, restrictions and possibly bans all caused by cash floating around in plain unmarked packages. Studies where the findings are already decided before the study even happens. But vaping is in a no win situation because self regulation leaves vaping wide open to attack as we have seen over the last few years, hopefully sense will become reality but things look gloomy!
     
  18. Vapington

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    As the creator behind Slick Eliquid Co. and Northern Craft Vapes I would like to poke my head in and add my 2 cents.

    Your headliner firstly, is quite misleading and jumps to conclusions. Alot of the "cheap" or should I say cheaper eliquids are NOT poor quality, in fact I would say most of them (stocked in your average vape store) are actually at the very least average to good quality. How do you classify something as poor quality?

    You question how anyone could market a good quality juice at R150 for 120mls? Well I will tell you, it took an entire year to get Slick right (we did not compromise on quality - Authentic Chubby bottles/premium packaging and labelling/same nicotine we use in NCV products/same PG and VG we use in NCV products/premium concentrates and is manufactured and bottled in our ISO7 certified clean room - now here is where the costs are saved : Low nicotine (2mg max), Large Bulk buying of concentrates, bottles, packaging etc - this is a huge risk for manufacturers who have to outlay huge capital to bring costs down and take on huge stock piles in the hopes they can move them all, we manufacture, bottle and distribute it all in-house and lastly being clever on the use of concentrates and compiling the recipes (most important one!). We took a long time developing the recipes for this range, we had to work with low percentages of concentrate and come up with something that is still very flavourful (ADV material). Probably the hardest range Ive worked on but also quite chuffed with how they have turned out. Yes of course the margins aren't in line with our other products but that is expected.

    I have tried many of the other lower priced juice offerings and have been impressed with many of them. Our industry is adjusting to our market finally, we have been emulating the likes of USA and Europe for too long, South Africans do not earn dollars or pounds!!!

    To finish off, as with many industries there are options available for all budgets. There should ALWAYS be an affordable option(s) for the market.

    Have an awesome weekend guys!
     
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  19. Timwis

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    I think if you read the whole thread the members have corrected his thinking and have outlined your points
     
  20. Vapington

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    Nope you could manufacture in your basement and sell it. SA has no regulation.

    If your Air Quality is ISO7 rated it means its an exceptionally clean space which is why Air quality is important and tested.
     
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  21. Vapington

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    I have read through it yes :) I am just giving my point of view
     
  22. Timwis

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    Decided to vote anyway to bring up results and surprised how many said yes but they don't seem to cast their reasons in the thread?
     
  23. RichJB

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    Is that because juice is cheap or because there are too many vape shops? The vaping retail model doesn't make a great deal of sense to me. Smoking, at the height of its popularity, had a lot more smokers then than vapers now. Yet how many specialist tobacco stores could the market sustain? Not many at all. In addition, online retail wasn't available back then, it is now. That is going to cut foot traffic further.

    I also think that most people vape according to a monthly budget. If they spend less on juice, they will probably spend more on hardware. As a DIYer, I didn't spend less when concentrates dropped in price. I simply spent the same and bought more concentrates. Cheaper juice prices might affect a juice-only store. But how many vape shops fit this category? Most are general dealers who sell juice and hardware.

    People may be spending less generally but that is at least partly due to price reductions as economies of scale kicked in. When I started vaping, batteries were R200 each, dual cell 200W mods were R1500 and TFA concentrates were R40. Now you can get batteries for R100, dual cell mods for R600 and TFA flavours for R15-R25. This is a natural phenomenon in any emerging industry. How much did CD players cost when they first came out? Or wide-screen large LCD computer monitors? Or digital cameras? They were prohibitively expensive. As more people buy and the technology mainstreams, costs come down.

    Expensive juices aren't necessarily more enjoyable. If they were, nobody would DIY or mix one-shots.

    You say that like it's a bad thing? Isn't the whole idea of quitting smoking to also wean yourself off the chemical dependency that makes it more likely that you'll go back to smoking?

    Besides, the scientific evidence suggests that vapers auto-adjust their nic intake according to their needs, not according to the strength of the juice. If you vape a 59mg JUUL, you will get your nic high quickly and are less likely to vape often. Vape a 2mg juice and you will take more drags to keep your nic levels up. So theoretically, lower mg juice actually increases consumption. You are taking more puffs to not suffer nic withdrawal and thus consuming more juice = more sales.

    I don't think there any dangerously cheap brands of nic. It's theoretically possible that juice manufacturers could use cheap oil-based supermarket food flavourings. But I doubt that any who sell in stores (as opposed to flea markets and informal sales) would consider it worth the cost to not use TFA, FW, Cap and the other flavour brands favoured by the industry. It's very difficult to make supermarket flavours work in juice.

    How is this a bad thing for the industry's profits?
     
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