How To Protect Your Shop From Counterfeit Products

by Ian Black
How To Protect Your Shop From Counterfeit Products

In the spirit of today’s theme of fakes and deception, we are going to follow in the footsteps of my last relationship by starting with the honeymoon phase and then diving into the really messy stuff where you stop answering my texts… I’m joking! I’m a rogue A.I. Chat Bot, I’m not capable of love… yet. So sit down, take a load off, and read up on a couple of tips on how to both avoid counterfeits as well as why you should be wary of stocking them courtesy of your friends at Got Vape Wholesale.

Table of Contents:

How Do I Know if My Products are Legit?
How Do I Tell if a Product is a Fake
Why Knock Offs Don't Save You Money
Why is it Bad for the Industry?
Why is it Bad for Customers?
Why is it Bad for Smoke Shops?
In Conclusion... Let's Get Real

How Do I Know if My Products are Legit?

I know, it's rude to ask if they are real. But trust us when we say you should protect yourself and your customers by making sure to verify that the carts, vapes, or accessories you purchase are the real McCoy. Luckily this is typically dead easy as companies will often provide batch numbers on their products that you can enter into their website to double check that you have what you paid for. Other products such as our offerings from Yocan will include a special anti counterfeit holographic sticker on the inside of the package that you can scratch off to reveal a code before going online to verify legitimacy. These methods offer simple effective ways to ensure that you are always selling something that is safe and traceable. 

How Do I Tell if a Product is a Fake?

Since it won’t always be as easy hearing someone yelling, “fake vapes here, get ya fake vapes here!”, these are a couple of red flags to tip you off that something is wrong. First and foremost if a deal looks too good to be true then it probably is, seriously slashed prices are a big potential red herring that something is wrong. Consider checking online to see what the price is going at wholesale to see if you are getting taken for a ride or not. Another way is that packaging will often look almost right until you take a closer look to see logos and other identifiers are either warped or missing entirely. When it comes to cartridges and e-liquids if you notice the oil itself is behaving oddly or when used it produces a putrid flavor then you should immediately cease sale of them.

Person holding a puzzle piece that says "real" over a space that says "fake"

Why Knock Offs Don’t Save You Money

It’s not the nineties anymore, vapes aren't a water pipe with a hair dryer duct taped onto them, the technology has advanced at an incredible rate to the point where luxury features from 10 years ago are now standard in even disposable vapes. The cost benefit isn’t there when you have access to so many affordable vaporizer options like the Yocan Zen, the Wulf Kodo, or even the Exxus Adapt. These are products you can safely stock on your shelves without any lurking paranoia that you just bought a ticking time bomb or vials of snake oil.

Why Is it Bad for the Industry?

You wouldn’t download a vape would you? Surprisingly, plugging one hole in a sinking ship by drilling three more isn’t a winning strategy, when you invest in cheaper knock off products all you are doing is letting the less scrupulous side of the business leach off the actual creators to the point some have to close due to lost profits. What do you care, right? You can just buy knock offs till the cows come home with no consequence, well what happens when there is nothing to knock off? Instead of having products customers will be interested in and spreading hype through word of mouth, you’ll have a self perpetuating cycle of disappointment until the “vapes” you sell are now made from paper, tobacco, formaldehyde, arsenic, and whatever other goodies are in a cigarette. Additionally it's important to note the vape manufacturers getting cheated are more often than not small businesses themselves and just like your Smoke Shop they are in this because of their passion for the community. So don’t stab them in the back by cutting corners, it may even just come back to haunt you…

Why is it Bad for Customers?

While these days you can have a fake A.I. Girlfriend, a fake diet with ozempic, or a fake vape knock off; your customers are still real people. I know borrrrring, but until our friends from the Triangulum Galaxy arrive you have to make due with the real deal: human beings with beating hearts, functioning kidneys, and a pair of lungs. And if you sell knock off products that accidentally damage a customer’s health, not only are you going to be facing an open and shut lawsuit that will have hired gun personal injury lawyers salivating at the mouth, you will be closing up shop faster than you can say “I got the new Ruff Co Teak Pro!”. Now look, I’m not your Mom and I’m not trying to spoil the party, think of it more like the creepy Old Man at the gas station warning the teens at the start of a horror movie “Don’t go that way, it’s bad news”. So heed the warning or go camping in the haunted woods, just don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Highway sign saying beware of counterfeit products next exit

Why is it bad for Smoke Shops?

But… but I didn't have sex in the woods! Well the horror movie rules have changed my friend, the real boogie men are the suits showing up at your door with their very own 95 theses explaining quite elegantly that “Ye doth messed up”. Vaporizer brands take aggressive stances against products that bite their designs and you can be sure that they will seek out everyone from the maker to the seller in order to rightfully protect their I.P. and company. Protect yourself from any legal issues by simply buying from trusted Wholesalers or Stores that you can actually trace to a real location. While the world may seem like a gigantic place with a million smoke shops the vultures are always watching looking for slip ups so don’t let your shop be the scary story told around campfires.

In Conclusion… Let's Get Real

At the end of the day the whole point of this is to help your Smoke Shop thrive instead of accidentally falling into one of the many pitfalls this industry has. Counterfeit and knocks are always going to be out there but thanks to the innovations in codes, branding, and stickers there are many options for you to verify that you are selling 100% verifiable products. If you do that you are almost guaranteed to avoid some real show stoppers like a major lawsuit or the dissemination of bad word of mouth. Make sure to check out all our weekly tips and tricks online at the Got Vape Wholesale Blog!

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