Skip to content

Are you a prospective vape shop owner in New Zealand? If you are, there are two very important things that you must understand before you begin doing business. The first thing is that the New Zealand government is likely to introduce new vaping regulations very soon, and those regulations – for better or worse – will change the NZ vaping industry forever. Those pending regulations, however, aren’t the focus of this article. Today, we’re going to discuss a much more immediate concern to the future of your business.

The next most important thing that you must know about running a New Zealand vape shop is that your fellow New Zealanders may not be your most important customer base at all. Consider these facts.

  • The adult population in New Zealand is around 3.8 million.
  • As of 2018, an estimated 100,000 adults in New Zealand vape daily.
  • The adult population in Australia is around 19.3 million.
  • As of 2019, an estimated 178,000 adults in Australia vape daily.
  • Nicotine e-liquid isn’t available through standard retail channels in Australia. Therefore, most Australian vapers import their e-liquid. The most popular sources for e-liquid in Australia are New Zealand vape shops like Premium Vape.

Australia doesn’t just have more existing vapers than New Zealand; it also has around five times as many adults – and significantly more smokers who could potentially switch to vaping and become your customers. There are around 490,000 smokers in New Zealand and a whopping 2.5 million smokers in Australia. As you can imagine, then, Australian customers are likely to become vitally important to any New Zealand vape shop – so you’d better serve them well. In this article, we’ll explain how.

Why Are New Zealand Vape Shops So Important to Australian Vapers?

As stated above, nicotine e-liquid isn’t available legally in traditional Australian retail outlets. That’s because Australian law considers liquid nicotine a controlled substance and doesn’t allow people to buy it without a prescription – and even with a prescription, nicotine e-liquid is only available in Australia from compounding pharmacies.

There is a second way in which Australians can get nicotine e-liquid, though, and that’s by importing it from abroad. Australian law allows the importation of nicotine e-liquid for personal use with a prescription. For vapers in Australia, there is no better place from which to buy vape juice than New Zealand. For the moment, at least, there are no restrictions on e-liquid flavors, bottle sizes or nicotine strengths in New Zealand – and that means virtually every vaping product that exists is available there.

In the United States, on the other hand, JUUL – the most popular vaping product – only has three flavors available. In the United Kingdom and Europe, meanwhile, the Tobacco Products Directive limits e-liquid bottles to a maximum of 10 ml and nicotine strengths to a maximum of 20 mg. Those restrictions make Europe less attractive to Australians as a source for imported e-liquid.

The best part about importing e-liquid to Australia from New Zealand is that the shipping speed is nearly as quick as it would be from domestic sellers. For Australians, buying e-liquid from New Zealand doesn’t really feel like importing it from abroad at all.

What Vape Gear Do Australians Buy From New Zealand?

Australian vapers generally buy the same vaping products as everyone else. Vaping hardware, however, doesn’t have the same restrictions in Australia that nicotine e-liquid does – so Australians have no real need to import their mods and other vaping accessories from New Zealand unless they’re simply doing it for convenience because they’re buying e-liquid at the same time.

There is one type of vaping product that isn’t legal in Australia, though, and that’s the closed pod system. That’s because closed pod systems only work with pods that are pre-filled with nicotine e-liquid. There’s no reason to sell a pod system in Australia if its pods are illegal. Some popular closed pod systems include the JUUL, the MyBlu and the Phix. Users of those vaping systems frequently get their pods from New Zealand, so it’s wise to stock them all.

The other vaping product that Australians love to buy from New Zealand is, of course, e-liquid. Those who use high-power mods and sub-ohm tanks need low-nicotine e-liquid, and people using pod systems and other small, low-output devices will want high-strength nicotine salt vape juice. One type of e-liquid isn’t significantly more popular than the other, so it’s a good idea to carry the widest possible variety of both types.

The One Thing That Australian Vapers Really Love

So, what’s the one guaranteed tactic that’ll bring Australian visitors to your New Zealand vape shop? The one thing that Australian vapers really love is knowing that they won’t have to pay shipping fees when they buy vape gear from New Zealand. Your domestic customers will also love knowing that the price they see is the price they pay. Find a way to build your shipping costs into your prices – and make sure that the meta titles and/or meta descriptions for your product pages mention the offer. That way, you have a good chance to capture traffic when people search for a product that you carry along with the phrase “free shipping.” It’s also a good idea to add a blog post to your website mentioning the fact that you ship vape gear from New Zealand to Australia for free.

Optimizing Your Website for Australian Traffic

The last thing you need to know about marketing your New Zealand vape shop to Australian customers is that you can’t just launch your website and expect Australian vapers to find you. To find out what Australian consumers see when they search for vape gear online, go to Google and type a keyword that currently brings traffic to your site. Click “Settings” at the top of the page, and then click “Search Settings” in the pull-down menu. Select “Australia” under “Region Settings.” Click “Save.” You’re now seeing what Australians see when they search for that keyword. Is your vape shop on the first page? If not, you have some work to do. You can start by making sure that the word “Australia” appears on your site’s pages. Are you offering free shipping as suggested above? Try adding “Free shipping on all orders to New Zealand and Australia” to your website’s header. You might also consider adding some posts to your blog that focus on the interests of the Australian vaping community.