How Do You Know if an Electronic Cigarette Brand is Legit?

How Do You Know if an Electronic Cigarette Brand is Legit?

Let’s get one thing clear. There are lots of electronic cigarette brands currently on the market. It seems that every single month, there are more and more brands entering the market. There seems to be no limit to this. This is due to the fact that places like China continue to crank out electronic cigarettes in volume.

Please understand that the typical electronic cigarette brand it doesn’t produce its units in the United States, Europe, or Canada. In most cases, these pieces of hardware are sourced from the world’s factory. I am, of course, talking about China.

It’s not a surprise to learn that a lot of the big brands out there from Maxx, Juul, Tesla, Jak, White Cloud, Smok, Halo, Volcano, Blu, Hoosier, and Logic are either completely made or partly made in China. Why should this concern you?

Common Concerns about Important Electronic Cigarettes

The bottom line regarding imported electronic cigarettes is that it has nothing to do with China per se. There are lots of high-quality products made in China. The typical iPhone, for example, is made by Foxconn in Southern China. Foxconn, of course, is a manufacturing subcontractor for Apple.

The issue is not so much whether the product ultimately comes from China but the manufacturing processes involved. This is a big deal because when you buy an Apple iPhone, you can bet that Apple engineers are guiding Foxconn manufacturing engineers every step of the way.

All the manufacturing details from the specifications of the products itself as well as the actual machines that are being used to produce iPhones have to be approved by Apple. Apple’s overall manufacturing DNA is all over the iPhone regardless of the fact that it was assembled and manufactured in China using Chinese parts and labor. That’s one way to manufacture a product.

On the other hand, Apple could have easily chosen a partner that basically designed and manufactured the iPhone under a Chinese in-house brand. The only value that Apple added is to put its logo on the final product. It could have easily gone that way.

What’s the big deal? What is the difference?

It All Boils Down to Control

When you outsource any kind of manufacturing to China, you can adopt either of the models described above.

You can either use a very intensive outcome-driven manufacturing philosophy that basically obsesses about the nitty-gritty of the manufacturing process. This means that everything that goes into the final product from its screws to its inner chassis all the way to the software involved has to have the blessing and approval of the company behind the brand that will ultimately be put on the final product.

On the other hand, you can buy a product that, for all intents and purposes, was produced by a Chinese company from the ground up. They made all the decisions regarding its design. They handled all the products and internal components. They have the final and ultimate voice on the operations of everything that went into the product.

The only difference is once this material is imported into the United States, a brand was imprinted on the product along with printed materials. In this context, you’re essentially getting a fully Chinese product made by a third party and the brand is an afterthought.

Again, I’m not dismissing the quality of the ultimate product. It may well turn on that the purely Chinese electronic cigarette, vape pen, or any other kind of ecig equipment or supplemental equipment or accessory may meet world standards. This electronic cigarette or vaping device that you bought might be the best things since sliced bread. That may well be the case. However, the problem is control.

Custom Manufacturing Maximizes Control

Why obsess about control in the first place. When you have full control over the way a product is designed, manufactured, and handled, chances are you can also control the output of that product. In other words, the experience of people using that product in a range of circumstances can be controlled.

If you care about your brand, you have to obsess about that. You have to make sure that in all sorts of circumstances, people using your contract manufactured product will have a happy result. This means that your brand will continue to be popular. This means that people will pay a premium for your brand. This means that your brand will continue to be successful.

Of course, none of this is guaranteed. Even Apple had a tough time because when they rolled out a version of the iPhone, it turned out that when people put it in their back pocket, that initial version of the Apple bent really easily. The chassis was very soft. 

However, outside of those initial design slip-ups, Apple’s highly intensive contract manufacturing arrangement with their supplier in China turned out well. The Apple iPhone is a cash cow to Apple Computers.

Electronic cigarette manufacturing can definitely take this form. The great thing about electronic cigarettes’ designed and manufactured with this high amount of attention to detail is that the brand behind the electronic cigarette or vape pen or any other kind of electronic cigarette device can pretty much guarantee a specific experience or outcome. As you can well imagine, these brands would want to command a premium.

The Gray Area

Unfortunately, everything else can be a gray area. It really all boils down to the kind of quality the ultimate manufacturer is capable. _____ consideration, there is no shortage of electronic cigarette brands as well as supplements like ecig tags and accessories where the quality is a question mark.

For every manufacturer who could produce high-quality electronic cigarettes that can withstand the test of time and can handle quite a bit of wear and tear as well as abuse, there are many others who are basically going through the motions. They come up with a product that looks like an electronic cigarette, handles like one, can be used like one but, ultimately, falls apart sooner rather than later.

This is going to be a problem if you spent top dollar on your device. This won’t be as much of a headache if you barely spent any money at all. The problem is how do you know which is which?

It all boils down to the Base Manufacturer

As the consumer reviewing all this information, how do you make sure that you buy the right product in the right circumstances to produce the right outcome? This is, by no means, transparent because there are many electronic cigarettes as well as ecig products and accessories out there that may have seemingly independent brands.

However, it turns out that they’re actually just buying from the same ultimate manufacturer. This manufacturer would come up with a base design and the brands would basically just slap on their branding logo or icon on the final product. If you were to take that out, the underlying electronic cigarette or device pretty much looks the same across the board.

This might seem pretty straightforward but you’d be surprised as to how much these products can vary in terms of pricing. It seems like some sort of rip-off. It seems like they’re trying to pull a fast one on you.

That may well be the case in certain situations but not exactly across the board. There may not be fraud involved. In many cases, brands do this because they’re just drop-shipping.

How to Avoid Drop-Shippers

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that all drop-shippers of electronic cigarette products, may they be ecig pipe suppliers or accessory sources like providers of ecig tanks and e-liquids, may be decent. They may really care about customer service. They may really be truly concerned about the actual experiences of people using their products.

But be that as it may, when you deal with any kind of drop-shipping arrangement, you’re basically at the mercy of the ultimate manufacturer. If they are just looking for a quick buck, then it’s too bad for you that your ecig purchase didn’t last all that long. I mean what should you expect? It’s not like you paid top dollar for it.

At least this is how a lot of these drop-shippers think. They think that since they’re charging such a low price that people shouldn’t really expect all that much from their purchase.

There’s a lot going for that type of thinking because, as the old saying goes, if you pay peanuts, expect to get monkeys. In other words, you get what you pay for. This was true yesterday; it’s definitely true today; and will probably continue to be the case long into the future.

Unfortunately, it sucks to figure this out on a firsthand basis. You don’t want to learn this lesson, as vital as it may be, the hard way. So, how do you know?

Look for Drop-Ship Indicators

The best way to know is to ask the ecig supplier if they’re actually manufacturing the product. Look for any indication of manufacture in the United States or elsewhere. If the website says that everything is made in the United States or assembled in the United States, you are in a good place.

If the website doesn’t say this, ask them directly, “Where are you getting these materials? Where are the parts coming from? Where is this stuff being assembled? Who will back up the quality of the ultimate product?” If they can’t give you a straight answer, don’t do business with that brand. It’s that plain and simple.

Also, be proactive. Ask the potential supplier if they’re actually getting this stuff manufactured for them or whether they’re just drop-shipping. Depending on the answer they give you, you should have follow-up questions ready.

If they are just drop-shipping, this may not necessarily be a deal killer. This just tells you that you should be more proactive regarding information about the ultimate manufacturer. Do they have a track record of producing high-quality materials? Do they have a lot of complaints filed against them? Are there currently lawsuits against that ultimate manufacturer?

If the company is drop-shipping, what about the product would they guarantee? Can they guarantee operations? Can they provide the normal warranties provided under US law? What is the extent of their liability?

Similarly, if the company said that they have their own designs and they had it contract-manufactured, look into that. Explore what kinds of design parameters were involved.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is simple. You can’t be lazy. You can’t just assume that since somebody is selling you a product that there’s really not much you could do about it.

Believe it or not, there’s a lot you can do about it. You can choose not to do business with them once and for all. That’s the best way to send out a clear message. Alternatively, you can ask the right questions with the right operations so you can get in touch with the right source. There’s a lot you can do about the situation.

It is not something that you passively accept. It is not something that you can just lay down and take. If that does happen, please understand that it’s because you’ve chosen to handle things that way. Believe me, you’re probably going to have to live with the consequences of your decision.

So, do yourself a big favor. If you don’t want to regret your purchase and if you want to get the most value out of the things that you’re buying, ask the right questions. Be a bit more proactive. Take it to the next level. At the very least, look at online reviews and put it all together.

Please understand that bad news travels so much faster than good news. If for whatever reason the manufacturer screwed up, people will know. Most importantly, people will let other people know about it.

Armed with this information, do your best in doing due diligence. You may be saying that you’re not going to do all of this for something that costs less than $50 but, think about it, if you buy one e-cigarette after another because the product that you bought previously somehow some way isn’t up to the job, you can easily go through hundreds of dollars’ worth of faulty equipment.

That’s something that you don’t have to go through. You worked hard for your money. Isn’t it time that you gave your money the proper value it deserves? It’s your choice.