Who We Are is What We Do
Running a vape website and branded social network has been an eye-opener. Right from choosing an e-commerce provider through to establishing the site with search engines the waters are swarming with sharks. I have had to cancel credit cards and reverse charges to PayPal almost every time I went out in search of a paid solution to a problem.These would be dangerous waters at the best of times but in the controversial realms of vaping it can knock you on your back.
I doubt if there is an online vape store in existence that hasn’t lost it’s credit card processing services at one time or another. Border hops with merchandise can be frustrating for the average online store but try adding a controlled substance like nicotine to your mix of offerings. And of course if you’re looking to boost traffic through advertising keep in mind that most words in vaping are not allowed in Google AdWords, Facebook and the like.
According to people I’ve talked to the majority of online vape store startups are abandoned within a year. So what keeps us plugging? The Community. The vaping community is as much a phenomenon as vaping itself, and that’s not to mitigate the huge positive impact e-cigarettes have had on society at large. Beyond the benefits obtained by adopting the lifestyle there is truly a community of support that grows and shares and provides encouragement.
Vapers are an extremely broad cross-section of humanity but we share an addiction that created turmoil, cost and health issues. We’ve come away from it with a new found optimism and an eagerness to share in what we’ve learned. I am continually blown away by the courtesy and patience of customers and suppliers alike in the vape industry, and I’ve been in a few other industries to compare it to.
How often does something come along that not only releases you from a psychological ball and chain but also replaces it with something enjoyable? I can’t really think of any other instance. And it’s not just one thing. We replaced a health issue, an odor issue, a cost issue and a sociological issue (we may have denied it’s existence while we still smoked, but there was a stigma attached to the last 25% of the population that couldn’t seem to quit). But above and beyond what we substituted, we also added a hobby, an interest and a community of like minded souls. That’s pretty awesome.
The hobby aspect was a bit of a surprise. I initially considered all the fiddly diddly stuff as a nuisance I would have to overcome but it soon became an enjoyable experience even with a basic kit. Maintaining the unit, charging, refilling and replacing coils. “Will a different resistance coil really make a difference? Oooh, that’s nice! I wonder what they’re saying online. “Hmmm. A lot of people seem to prefer these drip units with rebuildable decks but it sounds hard.”
So you hop online again or visit your friendly guy or gal at the corner vape store and the next thing you know you’re posting pictures on social media of your awesome builds. Sharing is caring and there is a lot of sharing going on in the vape world. People are only too happy to share their experience with the latest mod or e-juice and offer helpful suggestions when you’re stuck. And so relationships grow.
So yeah, we began the journey with stars in our eyes and encountered a few surprises along the way, but we’ve also gained a good deal more than we bargained for in the process.