To listen to the entire show, with show notes, transcripts and comments, visit vapementors.com/vape-radio/Vape Radio 54: LIVE from Las Vegas! Vape Summit Brings in Crowds of Cloud-Chasers and More! Click To Tweet
What you’ll hear today:
To watch the video version on YouTube, visit http://tinyurl.com/vaperadio. Please note, YouTube does not play the pre-recorded audio interviews.
Welcome to Vape Radio the voice of the vape-space and your source for everything you wanted to know about the business of vaping. Whether you’re a brick and mortar location, developer of e-liquids or online marketer, you can learn from the first and the largest educational providers in the county, with your host and founder, VapeMentors’ Norm Bour.
Hey Paul, how are you doing?
I’m doing good, always looking forward to this show.
Well, you know what? This is show number 54, so, ladies and gentlemen, welcome. Here it is, April, and you know what? There’s always a lot to talk about in the world of vaping, and we always like introducing you to brand new people and, also, people that aren’t brand new but have been around for a while. We want to introduce you to NicSelect. A lot of times we make comparisons, in the e-liquid space, to other types of industries, and we always say the best margaritas always use the top-shelf tequilas. To try to get by with cheap tequila, you’re going to ruin a perfectly good margarita, and the same is true of nicotine. You can ruin a perfectly good e-liquid by using cheap nicotine that overpowers rather than enhances the overall flavor and experience.
That’s why it’s easy for us, here at Vape Radio, to get behind NicSelect, you can actually taste the difference in the quality. NicSelect has a very subtle flavor with a smooth throat hit. The best pharmaceutical-grade nicotine, like NicSelect, also happens to be the smoothest. Put simply, you do not want to be able to taste the nicotine, there shouldn’t be any type of aftertaste when you’re vaping strawberry or lemon or any other type of flavor. NicSelect delivers nicotine without a throat-hit or without a spicy aftertaste. NicSelect also blends beautifully with other flavors, regardless if they’re fruity or minty-sweet or sultry. That’s why it’s used by some of the top names in the e-liquid market, from cut-wood to space jam. In fact, demand has been so high that they’ve, actually, increased production of the nicotine blends and you can now buy NicSelect blend with either 90% PG or VG in 5 gallon pales, 55 gallon drums or the new 275 gallon totes.
Check out all the e-liquid brands listed on the NicSelect website to see if your favorite e-liquid is listed, if it’s not there you might want to ask where the nicotine is coming from because the best e-liquid makers select only the best, and that’s NicSelect, just go to NicSelect.com. I’m going to tell you guys, out there, that we actually have a theme today. Today’s theme is all about e-liquids because this is something that is becoming more and more prevalent, it’s more and more topical and they it, also, just so happens that the new course that we’re going to be putting out in another couple of weeks, called Vape U2, it’s just all about the e-liquid market.
If you’re interested in started your own e-liquids or growing the business you already have, starting May 5, the next Vape U, six pillars to mastering the e-liquid market, will be launching. Learn from eight of the top thought leaders that deal, specifically, in this very profitable but competitive market. The window to dominate the e-liquid space is not going to last forever since the FDA decision is coming, plus competition is fierce. If you want more information on Vape U just go to vapementors.com/vape-u. Okay, enough of that, let’s go ahead and dig in. As I said, this is going to be a little bit of a fanatic show, in the fact that we’re going to be talking a lot about e-liquids.
We actually have two amazing interviews that are going to be coming on, which I’m going tell you about in just a second. But I guess I have a question for you, do you have your own line of e-liquids or do you want to have one? You’re going to be hearing from two of the top experts in the industry. One of them is Tom Schrier, he’s the vice president of business development and sales at Alchem Incorporated. They are, in fact, the manufacturers of one of our new sponsors, which is NicSelect, and we’re also going to hear from Daniel Walsh with Purebacco.
You might not know their names, but, I’ll tell you, you are seeing evidence of their work every single day because Daniel is called the high-priest of vaping and, when you hear the interview, you’re going to understand why. We talk about the quality of nicotine and that is not to be dismissed, and Tom and I are going to be spending a lot of time on that, along with Daniel who’s going to be talking about the art collection. Now, we spent some time on the art collection before, this is the one that’s put out by NJOY, and I didn’t even know this when I first contacted Daniel, but he is one of the five artists.
If you remember, back, in January, we had another one here, his name is Randy from Poet, P-O-E-T, and we also had his guest, Josh, from Craft Vapory. We are now going to have the second of the five artists from the artist collection, and, if 2 is good, 3 is even better. In the next month, or so, we’re going to have George from Mr. Good Vapes and, so, we’re going to have, basically, 3 of the top 5 artists in the country that are sharing their information. The point is, guys, is that if you are already in the e-liquid market, or if you want to get into the e-liquid market, that’s what today’s show is going to be all about. We’re going to be spending some time on that in the next couple of weeks.
I want to give you a little bit of an update about some things that are happening overseas. If you listen to the last show, I talked about what I called the European crisis. Is that an overstatement? I don’t know. The reality of it is that the taxation issues going on in Italy are going to double the price of a 10-milliliter bottle, and I got some information from Tim Phillips, he is with E-cig Intelligence, one of the very, very most renowned people in the metrics of the e-space industry.
In Spain, there is no tax yet, the government is reviewing the idea, they temporarily decided against it, but, regardless, there is a huge drop off stores in Spain and in Italy. There are a couple of reasons, one is good old media, we always complain, or I always complain, about the media over here loving to jump on the bad story. They have the same challenges over there in Europe, and the fact that media loves to pile on the whole vaping concept. Also, some of the early entrants into the vape-space were getting crappy stuff from China, and the consumers were turned off, so that set of a bad trend. Also, in Italy, and several other, what I would call, fashionable countries, the growth was larger than the market could sustain, so what ended up happening is you went from 0 to, as until recently, about 3,000 different shops in Italy, and that has gone down by about 90%.
The reality of it is that even though we’re here, in the United States, listening to this, according to my statistics, about 76% of you are in the United States, we also have a huge overseas market. Pay attention to what’s happening over there because it’s always good to be informed. I want to give you all an update on NATO, that’s N-A-T-O. That’s the National Association for Tobacco Outlets. Again, if you listened to last show, we had Greg Martin who is the manager of the NATO show, on. I’m going to be out there, and, also, I’m going to be at Vape Summit.
Now, Vape Summit is more of fest, NATO is more of a trade show, but the NATO show, if you are hearing this in time, I suggest you get your butt out there because this is going to be one of the most eagerly anticipated crowds of speakers that you’re ever going to have anywhere. If you are in the vape-space, in whatever form, this event is for you, it’s not for the public at large, so I encourage you to go take a look at natoshow.com. Vape Summit, on the other hand, that is a fest, that is a party, but it’s a worthy one to attend.
What I’m finding here, as the national event coordinator for Vape Magazine, is that there are certain shows that are rising to the top and becoming significant and important. The guys at Vape Summit are two of the guys that are doing that, ECC is another, a couple of people from TPC, they’re doing a really awesome job as well. Don’t get dismayed if you go to an event and you feel it’s not really what you’re looking for because the reality of it is, is that the people who are doing it right are spreading really, really good content out there and bringing in really amazing speakers and a lot of amazing exhibitors as well.
I want to tell you more about the Vape U program that’s going to be coming out on May 5, and it’s all about mastering the e-liquid market. Here’s a rundown of what the six-week program consists of, week number 1 is all about business plans, models, and strategies, then we have e-liquid product development, we have legal challenges in the e-liquid market, branding and competitive positioning, customer acquisition, retention and service, and last, but certainly not least, social media NPR.
I’ve noticed an increasing number of people contacting us, who are in the e-liquid market, who are not questioning it, and that is understandable. We have a very crowded space, we probably have almost as many e-liquid manufacturers out there as we have brick and mortar stores, so we’re looking of somewhere north of 5,000, could be as much as 7 or 8,000. I want you to pay attention, just go to vapementors.com/vape-u and you’ll be able to get some information on what our curriculum is all about.
I have mentioned a woman by the name of Bonnie Herzog several times before, Bonnie is with Wells Fargo Securities, she is, truly, a very highly respected financial analyst. She reports on the business within, what we call, the VTM market, the vapors, tanks, and mods market, but she also reports on alcohol and tobacco and a lot of products that you’re going to find in the c-stores, or the convenience stores. She puts out these monthly or weekly newsletters, depending upon what’s going on, and she mentioned the new CDC campaign is called “Tips from Former Smokers”, which just started in March, which is real, really a bad sign. What’s happening here is the CDC is anti-vaping and they’re using some bad information, they’re definitely putting a spin on it, reminiscent of the way a lot of tobacco companies used to put spins on, to their advantage, many, many years ago. According to a CDC 2014 study, it says that 75% of e-cigarette users continue to smoke combustible cigs, they’re what they call a “dual-use smoker”. If you are a dual-use smoker, that’s not necessarily bad, but, unfortunately, the CDC is jumping on this and they’re basically saying that if you develop health problems from your good old combustible cigarettes, they’re also attributing it to e-cigarettes. The bottom-line is that the e-cigarette space is very much under target, that has a big bulls-eye on it’s back. I encourage you all to get involved with any of the advocacy organizations, like CASAA or SFATA. Now, there is one periodical that is, actually, a very, very good supporter of what we’re doing, and that’s Forbes magazine. Now I get daily blasts of anything that comes out up on Google Alert, with vaping or e-cigarettes or something along those lines, and there are several reporters over at Forbes that is, actually, very supportive of the e-cigarette industry. There a very highly respected magazine, and we hope that, hopefully, other magazines and other media will be able to follow their lead.
Getting back to some of the things that Bonnie has mentioned, is the e-cigarette market is still down. There have been something like 13 or 14 quarters of lower-than-previous e-cigarette sales, and there’s a lot of reasons for that. But the story is, is that e-cigarettes just do not have the stickiness of the vaping industry because flavor has always been a problem.
The reality of it is … I’m not sure what your particular motive is or your particular direction for why you’re listening to Vape Radio, we are the voice of the vape-space and we would love to know who you are. Are you in the business? Are you a “B-to-B” type of industry, or are you a consumer? Are you a casual “vaper”? We really don’t know, so we would love to know a little bit more about what it is you’re doing here, and how it is that we can help support you because the industry is not going away.
We have this monthly feature called “vape shop of the month”, and I’m very pleased to announce that our next “vape shop of the month” is called Waldo Vapes, that’s in Waldo, Missouri. The gentleman’s name is Jon Brower and he is doing a fantastic job. He launched his business back in June and he is consistently hitting some very, very solid numbers, I’m not going to reveal on-the-air what those numbers are. But I’ll tell you right now, my benchmark of what constitutes a winning vape shop is when you’re doing a $1,000 a day in gross sales, so if a vape shop is doing $30,000+ per month then they are well on their way toward success. If you’re doing it right then you should be able to hit those numbers.
There’s a couple of articles coming out in Vape Magazine on a couple of profiled stories, including Waldo Vapes and, also, another one called Vaporz Vault in Hobart Indiana, which is a client of mine from several months ago that I got an update from them, and I’m going to be putting an article together, for one of the magazines, on Vaporz Vault. The reality of it is, guys, that there’s a lot of really, really good stuff out there, but you cannot do it by accident, you cannot do it with any type of haphazard type of strategy, you have to really be behind it.
As we come to the end of section 1, I also want to share with you another sponsor that I mentioned last month, and it’s called Daley Displays. We say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and vaping is, of course, visually stimulating. Some of the top e-liquid brands stand out with attractive names, descriptions and pictures, but that does no good if no one can see them in your shop. We’d like unique sponsors, that’s why we like Daley Displays, because they create visually stunning display cases for e-liquids and other products. They’re US made, not shipped overseas, 50% thicker than imports and available in 48 hours for standard inventory, or just to 2 weeks for custom work. Put your best products in front of your customers, and catch their attention with clear, sleek acrylic, or choose your own bold, fun or fluorescent color to make your products really stand out.
Daley’s has stand-ups and wall displays for all your vaping products, so visit Daley, that’s D-A-L-E-Y, dayleydisplays.com. Enter promo-code “Vape Radio” and you’re going to get a free try-it center, which holds tanks for sampling, tips and sign-holders, you’re also going to get free shipping on orders over $250, or add promo-code “Radio” for an additional 10% off. You can contact us, here at Vape Radio, and we’ll introduce you to the team of pros. Just go ahead and visit vapementors.com.
Anyway, you are listening to Vape Radio, the voice of the vape-space, the number 1 world-wide source for information about the business of vaping, streamed direct to your phone or tablets. To be a part of our growing Vape Mentors community, head on over to vapementors.com to learn more, catch up on our past shows and learn how to grow or start your vape-space business. How about some nice outro music Paul? A little bit of reggae there? There we go. Don’t go away, be sure to join us for our very next show. We’ll be right back.
You’ve been listening to Vape Radio, the voice of the vape-space, and number 1 world-wide source for information about the business of vaping, screened directly to your phone and tablets. To be a part of our growing Vape Mentors community, head over to vapementors.com to learn more, catch up on our past shows and learn how to grow or start your vape-space business today.
Author: Norm Bour
Norm Bour is the founder of VapeMentors and the host of the award-winning podcast Vape Radio. He’s a vape industry coach, speaker, author and can be seen rubbing shoulders with the top influencers in the vape industry.