Whether you’re a consumer or a vape shop owner, you’ve probably noticed that most of the vape shops in your city have one thing in common: They all carry much the same selection of vaping gear. That’s because they all get their products from the same distributors with the same product selections. The manufacturer-distributor-vendor sales model is how the consumer electronics industry has worked since the beginning. Major electronics manufacturers don’t want to work with small businesses; they want to work with distributors that order products in bulk. In the vaping industry, sales have traditionally worked the same way – but some clever vape shop owners have begun to subvert the traditional sales model using factory-direct sellers. Let’s learn more about it in this post from eCig One.
Why the Traditional Vape Industry Sales Model Works
There’s a reason why most vape shops continue to acquire their products from traditional distributors. It’s because the traditional sales model – for the most part – works. Wholesalers operate domestically, so they can get products to retailers quickly. In the traditional wholesale model, it’s the wholesaler that waits for products to arrive from China. The retailer gets the products at a fair price and receives them in a couple of days rather than a couple of weeks. A good wholesaler makes the buying process simple, fast and painless.
Why the Traditional Vape Industry Sales Model Doesn’t Work
As many benefits as the traditional vaping sales model may have, there are also some reasons why buying products through a wholesaler may not always be the best path toward profitability for a vape shop. The first reason is something we discussed at the beginning of the article: Vaping distributors all have much the same product selections. The way for a vape shop to compete in a crowded market is by differentiating itself, and differentiation isn’t easy when every vape shop in a city has more or less the same products. If your vape shop doesn’t differentiate itself, there’s no reason for people to choose your shop rather than someone else’s shop.
The second issue with buying from traditional distributors is that it can be difficult to know whether you’re actually getting products at the best prices. Is your wholesaler sourcing its products direct from the factories in China, or is it actually reselling products from a much larger distributor? Many online vape shops will happily sell their products to both businesses and consumers, so it can be difficult to tell whether a “wholesaler” is actually a wholesaler or just a retailer willing to sell products in bulk at slightly smaller margins. In some cases, a product can pass through three or four warehouses before it reaches the end user who ultimately buys it. Each time the product changes hands, its price increases. The closer a vape shop can get to the original Chinese manufacturers, the less that shop will pay for its products.
Going Factory Direct Subverts the Traditional Vape Sales Model
If you want to make your vape shop as profitable as it can be, you need to get your products at the lowest wholesale prices possible. If you want to differentiate your shop from the competition, you need to carry products that your competitors don’t have. The way to solve both of those problems is by eliminating the middlemen and buying from a seller with direct access to the Chinese factories. Could you use a bulk lot of variable-voltage vaping batteries that cost less than $3.00 each? Of course, you could; you can easily triple your money on that investment.
What’s even better is that when you buy from a company that has direct access to the factories, you’ll get products that your competitors don’t have – and that’ll set your shop apart from the competition. The landscape of vaping product manufacturers is much, much larger than just SMOK, Aspire, Vaporesso and the other big names. There are many smaller manufacturers as well. Although their names might be unfamiliar to you, those manufacturers produce products with the same level of quality and perhaps even greater potential for profitability. Try a few bulk packages and see how they perform for your shop. You might be very pleasantly surprised by what happens if you make the decision not to carry the exact same SMOK mods and tanks as everyone else in your city.
Going Factory Direct Also Works for Vapers
If you’re not a vape shop owner, you may wonder how you benefit from the existence of these factory-direct vape product sellers. After all, you’re not personally invested in the profitability of your local vape shops. The benefit for you is that you can buy from those same sellers. Factory-direct sellers of the type described in this article make no distinction between selling to businesses and consumers. As a consumer, you can get the exact same deals – and you don’t need to buy in bulk.
Buying Factory Direct Isn’t for instant Gratification
Buying from a factory-direct vape wholesaler gives you access to some of the most unique products in the vaping industry at the best prices. It’s a big win for retailers and consumers alike. What it isn’t, though, is fast. If you need lightning-quick shipping from China, you’ll pay for it – and that’ll cut into your savings. If you’re a consumer, you’ll have to get used to waiting a week or two when you buy vape gear. You’ll need to decide whether you prefer quick gratification or big savings.
If you’re a vape shop owner, buying factory direct will mean that you’ll have to change the way you manage your supply chain. If you’re buying from a traditional domestic distributor, you’re probably enjoying quick delivery times. It may only take a few days before you receive your orders, and that means you can procrastinate a bit when you order products. When your orders are being fulfilled from China, though, you’ll need to order your products well in advance of when you actually need them. That’s going to require careful supply chain management, but you’ll benefit from vastly increased profitability.