How To Start A Vape Shop

How To Start A Vape Shop - VapeMentors

Many first time entrepreneurs have started and grown successful vape shops in every state in the country. However, within a few short years many also realized that they didn’t have any formal business experience. VapeMentors was founded in 2013 by Norm Bour, a lifetime entrepreneur, to help these people.

After 30 vape business launches and 200+ students in our online community, VapeMentors has become the largest provider of business advice for vape shops, eCommerce sites and e-liquid brands.

This is article is a culmination of everything we have learned helping vape shop owners open a shop for the first time.


There’s a lot to know about opening a vape shop. Here’s what’s in this article

  1. Picking A Vape Shop Location
  2. How Much Does It Cost To Open A Vape Shop?
  3. Financing Your New Vape Shop
  4. Point Of Sale and Merchant Account Services for Vape Shops
  5. Wholesale Vaping Supplies
  6. Insurance For Vape Shops
  7. State Vaping Laws
  8. Federal Vaping Laws
  9. Vape U – Online Training For Vape Shop Owners

Picking a Vape Shop Location

Perhaps the most challenging part of starting a vape shop is picking the right location.

The best guide for picking a good location is our ebook “How to Pick a Vape Shop Location”. You can download it here:

 

Free Guide: How To Pick A Brick And Mortar Location

For now, here is a quick summary of how to pick a location.

How to open a vape shop built for success

  • Size: Stores that are too big are more expensive to operate. Too small is, well, too small. 500-1500 square feet is the sweet spot.
  • Branding: Spend the time needed to create a solid brand that will resonate with target market and location. Successful stores craft and communicate a consistent brand image from top to bottom. From the name of the store to the location to the décor and experience they deliver, customers know what to expect when they walk in the door. This is no accident.
  • Signage: Make sure your sign is visible from the street and there is plenty of parking.
  • Location: Your shop should be in a high foot traffic area that is located near an anchor store. Anchor stores are things like grocery stores, gas stations and movie theaters – basically anything that has built in foot traffic and widespread appeal. Don’t count on your store bringing in foot traffic on its own.
  • Competition: Research your market, and don’t skip this step! Even with a perfect location a vape shop cannot be successful if it does not mach your market and beat your competitors.

 

Here are our top tools for researching your vape shop’s competition:
  • VaporSearchUSA – Search for all the vape shops in your area to understand your competition
  • Yelp – Research your competitors
  • Google Earth Pro – Provides detailed demographic information for your market. Use it to understand age, sex and income information
  • CityFeet.com – The “Zillow” of commercial property listings. Use this to look up commercial listings

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Vape Shop?

This is a difficult question to answer with one blog post. Every shop is different, but here is what we say in general:

  • $25,000 for a small shop
  • $50,000 for a large shop.

There are lots of expenses involved in starting a vape shop. You’ll have to factor in the cost to design and build the space, your rent, licensing and insurance.  One of your biggest expenses is your inventory – starter kits, mods, parts, e-liquids, etc. This can add up very fast. But you don’t want to skimp on that, because after all, that’s your primary product and the entire reason people will visit your store.

To see a detailed guide on how it all breaks down, see this post:

Blog Post: How Much Does It Cost To Open a Vape Shop?


Financing Your New Vape Shop

One of the biggest challenges in starting a vape shop is getting the financing you need.

If you try to get a conventional loan for a vape shop, banks will put you in the riskiest category and charge you exorbitant rates. That is, if they’ll even give you a loan.

We recommend Ventury Capital. They have helped launch dozens of vape shops and will help you access the financing you need to get started and grow.

We also recommend Fundera, and they also have a great blog post on the economics of starting a vape shop here>>

You also may want to look at non-traditional funding sources. Check out this list of new funding sources you may not have thought of:

  • Crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, KickStarter, and IndieGoGo – you may not get funding from strangers but you can send your friends and family there to get started
  • Peer-to-peer lending sites like LendingClub and Prosper – much like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending sites hand out literal loans with somewhat higher interest. You are more likely to get approved from one of these places because it’s not from a traditional bank
  • Online loan providers like SoFi, LendingTree and QuickenLoans
  • Personal credit cards – not the smartest use of credit cards and certainly the most expensive forms of credit, but if you have nothing else then you may need to take this risk. $30,000 is not an impossible credit line to obtain with multiple credit cards.

We also have an extended post about financing here

Blog Post: How to Open a Vape Shop With No Money


Point of Sale and Merchant Account Services for Vape Shops

Most merchant account providers put vape space businesses in a “high risk” category and charge high rates upwards of 3 percent or more.

TransAct giving us their low-risk rates (well below 2 percent), and offering the same bulk pricing rates reserved for large trade associations. Check out their rates here>>>

As for a good POS system, we recommend ShopKeep. NCR Silver and LightSpeed. They are the most highly recommended brands AND they offer programs that are specific to the vaping industry.


Wholesale Vaping Supplies

Whether you’re just getting started or are frustrated with your current supplier, we have a hot tip for you. Use VaporBeast for all your vaping hardware and e-liquid supplies.

One of the fastest growing wholesale vaping suppliers in the U.S., VaporBeast will do their utmost to get you started on the right foot, with low minimum order quantities and valuable guidance on the hottest selling products.


Insurance for Vape Stores

Batteries explode, and retailers should assume they are liable for lawsuits. Insurance will protect you from losing your entire business over a $10 battery. Think of insurance as an investment, not a cost.

We heartily recommend CALCO Commercial Insurance because they are one of the very few insurance companies that specializes in our industry. They offer General Liability (with or without Product Liability coverage) as well as property coverage. They literally wrote the first insurance policy for vape shops and are among the top experts.

Other insurers view and rate e-cigarette and vaping businesses as tobacco companies and apply the exact same exclusions to their insurance policies.

CALCO pools its vaping clients and uses the insurance premium as security, which results in preferred rates and expanded coverage that addresses the needs and exposures of manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers.

Another insurance provider is Lloyd’s.

Be aware that some brands are specifically not covered by your insurance. Get a list of brands that are not covered and do not carry these in your shop.


State Vaping Laws

State regulations on vape shops pose a much more immediate threat to your new shop than federal regulations. As of March 2016 we have no idea what the regulations will look like, but there are plenty of state regulations to worry about already.

Indiana, Iowa, California and many others are handing down regulation faster than we can keep track. While we can’t detail every legislation we can suggest some resources to do your own research:

How to research vape legislation in your state:

Don’t forget to use MuniCode to research zoning! There are many restrictions on proximity to churches and schools.

Blog Post: FDA vs State Vaping Laws: Who Wins?

Working With Your City to Obtain The Proper Licenses and Permits

Most cities require a business license to operate, and some may require a tobacco license, special use permit or conditional use permit.

“Special use permits” AKA “conditional use permits” are what cities give to bars, night clubs and other “establishments of ill repute” to impose a sort of “nuisance” tax. Because some cities don’t know how to deal with vaping they tend to categorize them in the same place as these “nuisance” businesses.

Obviously this is unfair but nonetheless you may run into this. If you do you may need to address your city council with your concerns. Special use permits often come with hefty fees so you don’t want to be required to have one.

Tips on working with your city

City councils meet regularly to discuss new or pending regulations in your city. They often have public hearings on new legislation, giving you the opportunity to offer your input on the regulations or on your specific problems. Get a schedule from your city to learn about the next public hearing on vaping.

If you do go, please follow these tips. Remember that you don’t just represent yourself, you represent the entire vaping community.

  • Be professional and dress as such
  • Don’t vape in city hall or at city meetings
  • Prepare a solid argument. Don’t just rant and complain
  • Be mindful of public perception

Blog Post: Overcoming State Vaping Laws In An Anti-Vape Community


Federal Vaping Laws

Federal vaping laws are changing a mile a minute and VapeMentors has a great training program for regulation newbies. It’s a 3-part email mini-course with videos and blog posts.

What You’ll Learn In This Free FDA Training Mini-Course:

  • How the FDA Regulations from August 2016 will REALLY impact your vape shop or e-liquid brand
  • Definitive answers on how to handle sampling, coil builds and e-liquid production
  • PMTA – does it apply to you and your business?
  • Dealing with state and local politicians – how to win friends in your community
  • FDA vs state laws – who wins?

Free 3-Part Mini-Course: Beat The Regs, Save Your Business

 


Vape U – The Best Training For New And Established Vape Shop Owners

Finally, we want to introduce you to our online training community and courses. We believe these are the best resources available for new and existing shop owners.

VapeMentors has helped over 35 vape shop owners and e-liquid lines start and grow a business in the vape industry. We have more than 200 students online and growing every day. If you want to get started growing or founding your vape shop, checkout our online courses below.

Signup For Vape-U: Online Training For Vapreneurs

FREE eBook: How To Pick A Brick And Mortar Location

August 22, 2017

Double Your Vape Shop Revenue With This One Proven Conept

July 22, 2017

The 5 Minute Vape Industry MBA

July 17, 2017

Can Your Juice Brand Continue To Grow In A Challenged Market?

July 12, 2017

Is the Vape Industry Running Out of Juice?

July 10, 2017

Vape Instagram Hash Tags And How To Use Them

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VapeMentors on Social Media

  • Susan Thomas

    A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

    If you are you interested in obtaining a secured and fast loan at a rate of 3%? Just send an email to [email protected] to get an easy and reliable loan that you need today.

  • james kaufman

    Hi, Feel free to join us here as well https://x-cannabis.com it’s free and easy! – James

  • jeremy

    Hello guys,
    I am also thinking of opening my own vape shop in central Kentucky. My question was more about the supply-side. Do most shops go through large wholesale/distributors or personally import supplies from abroad? As i have heard that most of the hardware is made in china and liquids are made in america. what are the benefits of each?

  • Brandy

    Hello, I just returned from Roatan Honduras and as of this week they pay $6 for a pack of 10 cigarettes. I started doing some research with the locals and there isn’t any vape shops or kiosk available to them. Naturally, they would see mine have questions and conversations about it and the idea was born. I am going to be moving there in the next 45 days and would like to have a discussion with Norm. How do I go about contacting him? I would like to discuss a business opportunity with him. Maybe he can reach me via email. [email protected]

  • Zach

    Hi im zach and im doing a project about starting my own business and i chose this. it would be a real help to kow some of these topics: how much it is for Licenses and permits, the building plus renovations and all supplies needed for it. It would be a big help if you could help me out.
    Thanks,
    Zach

    • Hey Zach. Thanks for writing us. I do think that if you read this article and the “how much does it cost to open a vape shop” article you’ll have a good start. As for permits the only permits you need are a business license and a resellers license, but this all varies by state quite a bit. You’ll want to reach out to your local chamber of commerce and small business center to find out what they would require. I recommend MuniCode in this article for researching local laws.

  • cab206

    Hi, I have brought a shop in Algarve, Portugal and looking to open a vape shop/lounge. I know the TPD and EU have come down hard on vaping lately here but there are lots of smokers out there and therefore potential customers (tourists and residents), I was looking for advice in starting up and things to consider from personal experience, costs (stock) and what we’d need etc, margins, lower tax schemes etc. any help greatly appreciated, Thanks

    • Those are all great questions and need to be addressed and that is what we’ve been doing since 2013 with over 40 vape businesses. Those details are specific to you and cannot be addressed with a “one blanket fits all” response. We have training programs but you are a candidate for one on one coaching.

      We have programs from 3-10 hours long. Would you like to discuss?

  • kylesd

    I am looking at opening a vape shop in the next 60 days. i am seeking
    guidance of how much stock i should carry 1. how many brands i should
    carry and flavors there after. i asusme there is such a thing as too
    much to choose from ? and
    2 as far as kits and mods how many should i stock – i have consistently
    and constantly on facebook vape shops post have seen “we are restocked” or X item “is back” – so
    obviously inventories are ( i think) being kept low – do you/does anyone
    have a sweetspot guestimation of this? regards
    to all!

    • My general guidelines:

      Inventory:
      60% juice/ 40% hardware

      Juice:
      10-15 lines and find the best of each manufacturer and don’t feel obligated to carry every one of their offerings

      Hardware:
      50% starter kits, 30% mid-range, 20% high end

      Norm

      • kylesd

        But spend no more then 5k ?

  • Hi Norm,

    I live in a booming part of Texas, a dynamic, growing city with lots of young people (a major university). We have a couple of vape shops that are always way over-crowded. I have researched put put together a mini-business plan. I love vaping personally. I want to share it with the world. I am determined and passionate and I know this will work.

    I know that the SBA and banks are reluctant to loan money for a vape shop. What do you suggest for financing?

    • One my special reports speaks to that specifically, but let me know if you need anything beyond that, Robyn.

  • jrk17

    Thinking of starting a shop in a small suburb outside of the larger city. The suburb is a very popular place to live and considered a “hipster” type of crowd. Lots of middle agers raising families. It’s population is about 6000. It is between 2 cities populations of 172,000 and 43,000. There are about 3 or 4 shops in the smaller one and about 6 or 7 in the larger. Distance of the suburb is almost in middle taking about 15 minutes to each city. Would this be something to look further into or am I just dreaming?

    • Norm Bour

      Possible dreaming and based in reality. Location and density are important questions and my normal “rule of thumb” is one shop per 30K but that is flexible based on how far people will drive. You were pretty vague so I’m not sure what else to offer.

  • SM143

    So I was approach by a friend to open a B&M shop here in Vegas. I am
    a first time business owner and having a hard time finding the right
    licenses to get going. Getting the runaround from B&M shops, and
    different licenses. Only got as far as EIN. Any help would be
    appreciated.

    • You really only need a license by the city for now which should not be a problem..

  • Blaise

    Hi, I’m attempting to start a web based vape business in Canada and running into a brick wall with payment processors, they all generally seem ok with B&M processing but refuse to do online processing. I would prefer to start this venture as online due to the higher cost and risks of B&M. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Blaise, we run into similar problems in the U.S. and that is because merchant processors and vendors look at this business as being risky. Pay Pal and E-bay have similar issues and my only suggestion is keep looking and possibly align yourself with a B&M and run their on-line store.

  • Mike

    Hi I have 10k and was wondering how much more I need to open a vape lounge ?

    • Norm Bour

      IDEALLY you should have $30K simply because you need operating capital after you open your doors.

  • Josh

    I am going to be starting a vape business. I was wondering if doing this as start out of my home would be a good idea? I currently fix electronics as a full time gig and was wondering if it would be a good idea to intertwine the two together?

  • Peter

    Hello,

    I was just wondering if you have franchise opportunities in Canada?
    If so, are there any regulations or licences that I would have to obtain?

    Thank you for your time,

    -Peter

    • admin

      If you are referring to BLO Emporiums, yes we can do Canada as well. Just to be clear, we are not a franchise, but offer a licensing arrangement.

      I just returned from a conference in Chicago and had two conversations with Canadians about doing business there and they indicated it is more closely watched than in the U.S. and though our major concern is the FDA and city and state regulators, the feedback I got was that dealing with regulators is challenging there as well.

      Currently, to the best of my knowledge, there is no MAJOR licensing other than what is required in your specific local area.

    • Yes, Canada is tricky and in come ways worse than the US!

  • david

    Sorry, let me rephrase that. What I meant was, how are the fda regulations going to effect local b&m owners? Since manufacturers have to pay an application fee that can take years with a chance that their product might not even get approved. How would this effect local b&m owners?

  • david

    Do you think it is still safe to open a b&m with the fda regulations going on?

    • admin

      Of course. They are not a deterrent, just implementing prudent guidelines.

  • Susie

    I have read a few of the blogs and what people have written here at your site.
    I live n Texas (in one of the booming areas of Texas). There are no vapor shops within a 20 mile radius. In a one mile radius there are about 15,000 people and in a 5 mile radius there are about 47,800 people.
    I feel this is a good area to set up and start a vapor shop.
    I have done my homework and I need about $50K to start up the business. I have filled out the paperwork for the loan but I have not mailed it. I am asking for $75K to give me some extra capital in case we need it.
    I have estimated a 6 month plan with one paid employee. Right now, don’t need the income because I have a full time job. My paid employee will be my daughter.
    My question is: I am having a hard time filling out the 3 year plan for cash flow, balance sheet, break even analysis and my financial projections. Could you please help me? I have an established vapor shop’s business plan but I am using the business plan located at http://www.sba.gov and nothing makes sense to me. I have written my market eval sheet . Just having problems filling out the numbers.
    Would appreciate your help.
    Thank you in advance!

    • admin

      Susie, I know the SBA templates well as I used to work with SBA. They are good for YOU drilling down your business, but the bad news is that you will not get an SBA loan or any loan from any institution. This is just not in their wheelhouse and is way too risky for any bank. I have seen the situation you are in before and want to help. Developing a pro-forma (the financials) is a waste of your time, BUT you should do one for YOU to guestimate what you reasonably project to get out of it. ALL the material available on-line is generic which is why I developed forms and strategies specific to the Vaping Industry. I can help you flush out a Business Model and the pricing is on our site.

  • Sam

    Hi I’m looking to open a shop in wisconsin but don’t know what kind of license and stuff I need could you help me so I know what to do

    • admin

      As of right NOW there is no state license that restricts anything in the vape space. Your city may be another story so tread carefully. We teach you how to craft that conversation.

  • Opened just over a month ago, barely made any sales online what so ever. Not making enough to even stay in business, only making enough to pay the bills. If something does not happen really soon, my doors close really soon. I have gone to the swap meet in my local area twice, the last time is what made me the money to pay the monthly bills. No money left to get other products in. I am thinking that a brick and mortar shop would be better, but have no funds to do so at all. I need some serious help, as at the swap meet I killed the 2 other shops that had spaces their.

    • admin

      Wow, not sure where to go with this. Do you have a business model or business plan? If you are not making it on-line with minimal risk, I encourage you to not pursue a B & M which is much more costly. What kind of help can we offer?

  • Jim

    I live in a small city of 85,000-100,000 currently there are 3 vapor stores 2 nice larger ones within couple blocks from each other on the city’s southside with the smaller third store on the west side. All 3 sale their own juice from 4.00-6.00 range(10 ml). There is a nice retail space for rent on one of the busiest intersections centrally located for 600.00 month good parking,visibility the interior has glass shelving not much needed for move in for the most part. Could I compete using a nationally recognized juice I have been in smoke shop retail since 96 started as clerk eventually ran 9 stores at one time but never an owner currently have 34,000 total savings with the wife and myself free for the many hours needed per week we have no debt minimal bills no mortgage so should I move closer or run like hell thanks Jim

    • admin

      Move closer. In my world there is No Competition even though you may have competitors. Truly this space is large enough and even though it is getting more crowded, the strong WILL survive. Of the thousands of shops throughout the nation most are run by young, inexperienced operators and since I get a nationwide view I can see the tide shifting towards more experienced entrepreneurs.

  • Lovely

    Im planning to open a vape shop/lounge in Sacramento or near Sacramento. I found a lot of Vape shops in Sac. any recommendation where the best area to open one?I have $50,000.

    • admin

      That is a hard question to answer without having more information. There are surely criteria we recommend that has been written up in many of our reports and I do not believe you’d need that kind of money. What you may need is some guidance, which is where we excel.

  • junior

    I am new to the vaping world, but would like to offer my hometown a dependable, professional vaping experience. I am more than willing to learn more about your services and seminars to help point me in the right direction. I could not get any of the links to work on the blog.

    • admin

      Junior, I checked the links and they are operational.

  • junior

    Hello,

    Im looking to open a vape store. I see the potential i am just looking for the right person to help me out and get me started with funds also the know how.

    • admin

      Junior, that is a tall order and you need to read my special report called “How to open a Vape Shop when you have no $$.”

  • darrell smith

    Our estimated opening date is May 1st, 2014. We are new to the vaping world, but would like to offer our hometown a dependable, professional vaping experience. We would love to learn more about your services and seminars to help point us in the right direction. I could not get any of the links to work on the blog.

    • admin

      I just returned from a trade show and checked my site for broken links and have not found any. Here is the link to our programs: http://vapementors.com/our-programs-2/current-vapementors-programs/
      We can engage via Skype, you come to us or we can come to you. It’s really a function of commitment, time and capital available. Please communicate directly and we’ll be glad to help.

  • micheal holiday

    I would like to start a vape shop in central texas it’s has become a big business here could you tell me how to get the start up

    • admin

      I am unsure of your question. Are you looking for money or guidance, both or ??

  • Jason

    Hello,my wife and I have 20k and were currently searching our area for a retail location.We are in N.C. We have found a e liquid distributor but we have not found a distributor for any other products.We are hoping to open our doors in the next 90 days ,giving ourselves time for up-fit of the store we find.We are hoping to link up with someone to help us along.If you can assist us and perhaps you may have some in-sight as to which distributor(s) would work well for us,we are would be prepared to meet face face in the very near future.

    • admin

      Jason (and wife) good for you in making this decision to jump into the Vape Space. The money you have to work with is marginal since it is imperative that you keep something for reserves until you get started. We can help you with juices since we are opening a state of the art, fully automated FDA approved lab and will be operational in June. BEFORE you get started, have you asked: WHAT is my business about? WHO is my customer? This space is getting competitive and most jump into stage three before they ever flush out stage one, which is to develop your strategy.

  • aaron

    I want to get a store eventually however the capital won’t be there right now. So I was thinking of starting at a swapmeet until I could get enough experience and capital to open shop in retail. What should I start with? I’m leaning towards just starter kits then growing to mods after I have some healthy roi for returning customers.

    • admin

      I want to get a store eventually however the capital won’t be there right now. So I was thinking of starting at a swapmeet until I could get enough experience and capital to open shop in retail. What should I start with? I’m leaning towards just starter kits then growing to mods after I have some healthy roi for returning customers.

  • Ashli Weatherby

    I am wanting to open up a Vape shop in a small town on the outskirts of a larger city. I have found a place to lease for $390 per month but I only have about $2,000 saved up for anything else I will need. I am wondering if it is possible to start a small business with that amount of money or if it is extremely unrealistic. I have no idea what vendors to buy from but I am wanting something cost effective and good quality, I am looking into organic or natural liquids. I am ready to make this dream happen!

    • admin

      Yours is one of the most difficult questions to ask since we encourage entrepreneurship and do not want to squash anyone’s dreams. The reality is, you may not be ready…yet. The amount of money is not enough and if you read the special report on opening a Vape Shop without money, one of the options is to work at a Vape Shop and gain as much experience as possible. If you feel comfortable with knowledge and gain confidence you can then approach potential investors and partners to make your dream come true.

  • Bryan

    I am a current vapor. I am interested in starting my own, but dont have the funds or the credit to do so. I want to do a lounge where people can buy mechanical mods as well as E-cigs kits, batteries, etc and have vape contests, a tasting bar and coil building bar. I have it all thought ouot but no way to get funded. location is perfect and Im a perfect sales person. Help.

    • admin

      Plans don’t manifest themselves my wishing and dreaming; you must develop an ACTION plan as to how to do this. You can open a shop without money or credit—there is a special report on this site that address that- plus another that addresses lounges specifically. You cannot run a business just with sales experience and we can help you along if you wish. Share with us HOW you plan to make this happen and share what resources you have at your disposal currently and let’s get you started.

  • Jim

    Hello,

    A friend and I want to open a vape shop/lounge. We both have been vaping for a couple of years now. We have a lot of knowledge about vaping ,but we are not sure where to start. We need to secure the funds needed. What would you recommend? We have figured that we would need $100,000 to do it right. Any help and guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    • admin

      Jim, good news on both fronts; One, you do NOT need $100K, not even close and what you DO need will be based on where you plan to open your tore. Some places will work with $20K, others more, but the other props you get is for asking BEFORE you plunge. We have several special reports including many that address this question. If you can share more about yourselves, like background and experience aside from vaping, be glad to guide you along. It’s what we do.

  • I am very much interested in opening a Vape Shop – I have been using pens for a few years now. I have been doing glass blowing for almost 7 years now and I have lived and breathed the smoking culture. Im ready to start my own vape shop / blown glass shop where I can also sell customized mouth pieces that I will create myself. Ive put a lot of thought into this, im ready to make it a reality. I’m in Northern California. Lets make it happen.

    • admin

      Awesome. How can we help??

  • I have a question. we just opened a vape shop in NYC and it’s been a few weeks and sales have been fair so far. I’m anticipating with the warmer days ahead we’ll definitely see more traffic. We’re looking for domestic wholesalers that we can deal with for quicker shipments for all our products from mods, starters and liquids. Do you know or can reccommend a few that we can deal with.

    All the Best,

    • admin

      Peter, send us some information on what you are looking for and we will provide a quote. We are wholesalers as well as distributors.

  • Ray

    I have a question I have a place for a vape store/lounge but want to know what would be needed city wise to open?

    • admin

      That is a city specific question, Ray. When you open a RETAIL spot that is fairly easy, but when you become a LOUNGE that can get tricky. I have a special report about that very subject coming up. What state and city are you in?

      • Ray

        Im in Texas

        • admin

          check with city hall, Ray

  • D

    Hi Norm,

    I am looking to sign a lease for a vapor shop, and was wondering if you have any thoughts on how the business should be categorized on the lease. Due to the uncertainty of future regulation of the industry and shops on all governmental levels, should it be listed as anything other than a “Vapor Shop?”

    Thanks,

    D

    • admin

      Have to tell you, we get a lot of mundane and typical questions and it is such a pleasure to get one that shows great insight and is unique! When it comes to “classifications” it depends on WHO is classifying you:
      YELP will probably show you as a tobacco store
      NAICS probably doesn’t have one for Vape Stores yet, though I have not looked. THEIR classification probably has little bearing on anything
      Your CITY business license probably also has nothing for vape, so you may be a hookah lounge or tobacco store, which are the most likely.

      That being said, for the LEASE, it is what it is and if they accept Vape Shop, then go with it. You may have issues with insurance (excess fire hazard) or with the fire department, but they are fixable.

  • James Shumate

    I am looking to open a vape store this year. I just relocated and found a major city with not a single store…YET. So I want to jump on this oppurtunity. I currently Vape and I am very knowledgable of the product base. Please email me.

    • admin

      James, Kudos for seeking advise FIRST before you go find a location and spend money you don’t need to. If there is a dearth of Vape Shops in your area that is great! We will communicate with you personally and share our insight. Meanwhile, please take a look at the Google Hangout we just finished about the Business of Vaping.

  • josh

    Hi,
    I am planning to open a vape retail store with lounge in WV. Can you guide me what should be % composition i.e high end,medium , low end mods and hardware I should stock. Also can you give me best starter kits and other highend/medium/low end mods I should start with to sell.Also the wholesalers who can give me decent price instaed of me connecting directly with china. Also WV is not rich state and so I am not planning more expensive stuff. Pls guide me.

    • admin

      Josh, You have some amazing questions and no real clear cut answers. Here’s why.

      The selection of mods will be based on your (and anyone’s) area and the type of clients that you have or would have. That is why RESEARCH is vital since you don’t want to stock items that don’t sell. It’s lost money. There are steps that I teach how to do that and some of it are in my Special Reports. Start there.

      As to juice, dealing with China is not the way to go for the unsophisticated or inexperienced in that area. And you have no need to. We can hook you up with everything you need based on what you tell US what you think will and is selling.

      Our company is a teaching platform to educate you on how to do things right.

  • Dave whaley

    I’m from Central IL and I’m committed to starting a Vape shop in my city. Would I have to come to California and attend a seminar to Learn this wisdom or can I achieve this knowledge online?

    • admin

      Dave,

      Thanks for your note. Most of our training and consulting on-line since that’s the world operates these days. We are finalizing an all day event here in Orange County on March 15 which would invite industry leaders, experts and educators if that is of interest, and we have several different programs based on your level of commitment and budget.

  • Michelle

    Hi- I am in the process if starting a retail store. I was starting an online retail website for vape products but found selling face to face was more successful. We have a location that we will start negotiations on next week. I am wanting to know what licenses the FDA will require once the new regulations go into affect. At this time, the city is only requiring a occupational tax license. Any information you can provide would be great.

    • admin

      Hi Michelle, congratulations and good for you! For right NOW the only thing we can deal with is what is before us, and that is working within current laws, including the FDA which is mum on the subject. No one knows with certainly WHAT they will decide, but most believe they will develop a category specific to e-cigs which will not be as restrictive as “medical device” and not as lax as “cigarette retailer.” Work with the city, understand what their hot buttons are, and stay in good standing. We are here to help in any of those discussions or anything else related to your store. Where are you located?

  • luis san juan

    Im planning on opening up a vape shop in puebla mexico but I cant come up with all the money to open it do you know of any companies that loan money out for this type of business

    • admin

      Luis,

      We actually have the means to help you open a store in Mexico as one of our associates is in Rosarito. We also have a distribution system ready to roll out in Mexico as well. If you can provide us some information on yourself and your business model that will help us determine our capability:
      – do you have experience in Vaping or running a business?
      – how much cash do you have to work with NOW to start a business?
      – do you have partners or associates that either provide cash or experience?

      Whatever you can offer will help us determine our abilities to work with you.

  • Michael Byron

    I’m thinking about. Opening a shop this year I’m vape iv been vaping for 8 months but I work 5 days a week I don’t know how much it will cost and how can I get a store up and running this year.

    • admin

      If you want to budget opening a store I would start with no less than $50K depending upon where you are. Finding a location, doing the improvements are part of it and you must allow for inventory. If you have limited or missing inventory you may lose a client before you have a chance to impress them with your service and your business.

      You should look at our http://www.LoveToBlo.com distributorship options, which would be a fraction of that and allow you to work on your own schedule.

  • I’d say it’s a great job to provide support for vape shops.As there are many people knowing less about e-cigs,your guide is great helpful to one who wanna start an e-cig store.Where do you get the e-cig source ?

    • admin

      Luke, thanks for the props. I get information from many places, from government, to Tobacco analysts to other blogs I read.

  • Hello! We just started a site Vapor Pens and would love some of your input. May I email you too?

  • kathy

    Hi there! I opened up a vape shop in mid August and we were doing well for a while, but recently sales have dropped dramatically. I am wondering if you would have any advice and if it would be possible to meet with someone from your company. Thanks!

    • admin

      Hi Kathy,

      I would be honored to help you! Direct e-mail is [email protected]. Where is your store located?