Why does a Canadian vape company ship many of its orders from the United States?
The US is not only our largest trading partner, they are the gateway to North America for many China-based manufacturers. Until Commonwealth Vapes was established, buying from a Canadian company often meant buying products long after their US debut. The only other options were importing directly from China and facing either big shipping charges or extremely long waits, with uncertainty at every corner, or buying from a US online store. Unfortunately as Canadian orders amount to much less than 10% of an average American vaping websites’ business, most of these sites are bound to use their conventional means of shipping and will run into problems or delays either at the border or for additional shipping, customs and duty charges after the fact, resulting in another iffy scenario.
By establishing a Canadian business and shipping directly from an American warehouse we accomplish 3 things:
- afford the Canadian market the same variety and pricing as our American neighbors’
- prep and ship the order ready for direct delivery in Canada with no additional duty or fees (excluding some larger multiple orders – in the hundreds of dollars) that may be re-assessed by customs or require additional insurance and fees.)
- maintain a steady deliverable fulfillment time of 1 to 2 weeks
- tie our pricing to the more competitive US market
While a 2 week delivery is not ideal all the time (and not necessarily 2 weeks, we have seen deliveries from our US warehouse to a destination in a main Canadian city in 3 days with our standard shipping method), we believe that in many cases our approach provides the most effective solution for our customers. Any problems with stock status not reflected on the website at the time of order are immediately brought to the customers’ attention by email and a refund is offered and promptly provided.
There is a need in the vape marketplace for locally owned vape shops. They provide the best place to start, learn and replenish supplies. There is also a need for the online vendors who stock select products and offer 3-day delivery. Stocking a wide range of products, sizes, colors, and strengths puts pressure on prices though. In between those 2 models, we believe that here in Canada there is also a need for access to a wider variety of vape products and supplies at (hopefully) lower prices. Our US customers enjoy the same benefits, lower prices shipped directly to your door.
This system of delivery of e-cigarettes and vapes also allows us to focus more on the customer experience. We don’t subsidize our website with popups and advertisements and we try harder to make our product descriptions easy to read but informative enough to make a decision. Once you’ve placed an order we follow up quickly if there are any issues with stock availability, etc., and process refunds within 24 hours. We’ve added a note to the Shipping & Returns page explaining that our system is disconnected from online inventory for at least a few more months and all our stock changes need to be discovered and entered manually by us. We ask for your patience if we’ve stated a product or color was in stock but it’s not. We will substitute or process a refund immediately and we apologize if this happens to you. We are currently in what is turning out to be a long process of squaring the circle and having, at the very least 24 hour updated inventory counts for all products soon.
We are also hopeful we still be providing limited e-juices with nicotine from the United States as the proper labeling and procedures following Bill S-5 in Canada come into effect, most likely this summer.