It isn’t very often that something irritates me enough to lose my cool or get under my skin, unless its an email like the gut wrenching one I received yesterday. To you viewers, this is a prime example why I’ve written so many times on GuideToVaping that it’s very important to research everything vaping first, then act.
Read the following email…
Hello, I live in
city/state, and I went to vendorin city/stateyesterday to buy a starter kit for my birthday. They are the only brick and mortar e-cig store near me, which attracted me.
I feel they way overcharged me. For what they charged me, I could have gotten a Provari or Joyetech eVic, and then some. For a “starter kit” they charged me over $230.
- 2x Smoov Rev 1300mAh batteries (knock-off eGo twist)
- 1x Permanent atomizer (Vivi Nova)
- 2x Disposable atomizers (Nova heads)
- 1x Wall charger
- 1x Ego case
- 2x 2.2ohm cartridges (probably cartomizers)
- 3x Bottles of Pink Spot e-liquid
- 1x Bottle of Flavorz by Joe e-liquid
Looking online, like I said, I can find these much cheaper, and I could have gotten a really nice premium system for even less! I feel cheated, and the customer service wasn’t even that great – it was rushed, crowded, and not very informative – I didn’t even get a user’s manual or anything. I’m figuring out much of it on my own, and I used a friend’s Joyetech Ego-T for a while, which was ok. I hoped to get a Smoov 78mm Starter Kit yesterday, or similar, but the
vendorsalesman said I would burn it up fast, since I “hot box”.
I’m sorry if I haven’t gotten all the terminology right, but I know enough to realize that I was charged about double what I should have been. The kit I bought has a 90 day warranty, though I’m not totally clear on their return policy – I will find out. Since I invested over $200, now I’d like to buy something along the lines of a Provari or eVic, if I can return what
vendorsold me yesterday.
For this price, I feel I should have the best, and I didn’t get it yesterday. Any suggestions or advice you might have – best starter kit, best dealer, or anything else – would be so very much appreciated.
This unnamed vendor did right by directing him to an eGo Twist like kit, but they’ve overcharged him so much that he now feels disgusted with his purchase after learning that what he got wasn’t near worth what he paid for it. I understand that these vendors have to make a profit, but this is more than just making a profit, this is taking advantage of a newly converted vaper. When smokers just quit and explore vaping, they’re desperate and lack the needed knowledge. These new vapers are putting trust into this vendor that they’ll direct him to the electronic cigarette that is right for them and offer it at a fair and average price. That’s when this vendor gives his sells pitch, then sinks his teeth into the customer and sucks him dry.
I looked online to see what other vendors are charging for this starter kit and I found a couple for around $70.00 minus the 4 bottles of e-liquid he received. Compare the prices and you’ll understand the frustration this guy is feeling now after realizing he’s been ‘had’.
To you smokers or newly converted vapers reading this, please use this as an example and research electronic cigarettes before you make a purchase. We have many caring and well pricing vendors in the electronic cigarette industry, so don’t let this bad apple discourage you from these miracle devices. Just as some further info on this story, the guy that emailed me said the kit alone cost $150 and didn’t include the Nova heads, the wall charger or the e-liquid.
Although I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that people should research things before they make a snap purchase, whether it is for e-cigarettes or anything else, I actually feel a little bit of empathy for the vendor who is being bad-mouthed here. Online stores will always be able to charge far less money than retail outlets.
I currently operate an online-only ecig business and would love to set up a brick and mortar storefront. The rent, utilities and extra umbrella insurance coverage for the building, along with the salaries of extra employees, the FICA and Medicare contributions I would have to make on their behalf as well as even more tacked-on expenses related to Workers Compensation insurance left me with two options – charging nearly double what I was charging online or simply not opening a brick and mortar location. I chose the latter.
Of course, there very well could be those who are operating storefronts who are exposing themselves to greater risks and lawsuits by NOT taking the above into consideration. Those who are covering their “assets” probably aren’t ripping people off as much as you might initially suspect!
Unfortunately in this case, it isn’t a case of covering assets, it’s more about gouging the consumer at a price that is more than double of its average selling cost.
I understand vendors have to make a profit and I realize that products should cost more at a retail location versus an online store. That doesn’t mean you have to raise your price double what everyone else charges.
Think of this as a customer, not another vendor. Hell, even as a vendor you shouldn’t be comfortable with this.
Agreed that the price is more than what you can get it online for. I can’t say how much more it cost them because there is no indication of the bottle sizes for the e-juice. If they were 30ml bottles, they were “overcharged” by about $55 compared to average online prices for what was included here (and probably even more considering they claim they were knockoffs – whatever that means, since Joyetech has never invented a single product it manufacturers. I guess they were knockoffs of the knockoff). Obviously if they were baby bottles, it was certainly a bigger price difference. Considering the sky high prices in every tobacco shop, truck stop, flea market and mall I have ever seen e-cigs being sold, I absolutely agree people should be purchasing these things online. Sometimes, they just “have to” have it right away, though.
The customer received 10ml bottles, all overpriced. Knock off, meaning it isn’t a Genuine Joyetech eGo-C Twist. You’re acting like you agree with this pricing just because it’s a retail location. I’m sorry, but just because they have ‘assets’, doesn’t mean it’s right to completely rape the customer.
The point of the fact here is… this vendor is overpricing products and selling them to desperate people looking to hurry and make the switch. They are taking advantage of the people who lack knowledge about electronic cigarettes – and for that, I have no respect for them at all.
There is no such thing as a “Genuine” Joyetech eGo-C Twist. Ovale invented the eGo-C Twist – NOT Joyetech! I wrote a whole article about this at http://blog.e-cigexpress.com/2013/02/joyetech-they-arent-e-cigarette.html
Scott, I admit it – I’ve embarrassed myself!
Awesome article, excellent writing and very informative. Thank you for clearing that up.
Nice answer back in return of this matter with genuine arguments and telling everything about that.
When I first quit smoking, I tried the Blu e-cigs that are advertised on TV. I went to my local Vape shop for refills and was introduced to a new world. My local shop sold me the cheapest starter kit ($24.99) available. Their reasoning was: if I didn’t like it, I wasn’t out too much money. Three weeks later I returned and upgraded. They were very honest and told me I would be better off going high end now. I couldn’t afford the $300 for the Provari kit at that time. Instead I bought the next step up. Four months later, I needed to upgrade again. They again tried to get me to go high end. Once again, $300 was not budgeted. Every step of the way, they offered the pro’s and con’s of every piece of equipment. The end result: they were ALWAYS honest with me and I just bought the Provari from them. I only use their juice and stock up on atomizers from them.
Funny thing is: the day after I bought the Provari, I decided to try my hand at mechanical mods. Guess who get’s my business. I have been to other shops that had a better selection; but they were not as helpful or friendly. You can have a GREAT product with cheaper prices; but if a customer feels mistreated, he/she will go elsewhere.
I see it now when people come in for the first time; the staff treat everyone like Norm from Cheers (showing my age now). They have gone from 1 small (and I mean SMALL) shop to 4 stores in less than a year. Integrity is a great part of their business plan.