by on August 8, 2015
Let's start this off by first saying I have never sold nor even made eliquid and have no immediate intentions of doing so. These are my opinions based on the near 5 years I have been part of the vaping community alone and should be taken only as that.
It's getting to the point in our industry that every Tom, Dick, and Harry that's been vaping more than a week and orders a DIY kit online wants to or has become an eliquid producer and vendor. This not only leads to a plethora of options for consumers but also seemingly larger amount of vendors that I do not think are doing things the correct or professional way. I'm going to go over a few things that I need to see in an eliquid vendor before I will in good conscience give them my money. I'm very selective of my spending and encouragement because I honestly want to see the vendors doing it the right way flourish and the rest that are shaming our industry either step up and meet a standard or go down in a miserable blaze.
With the recent scares of diacetyl and APs found in liquids I find it deplorable that every single company making the products we are inhaling hasn't stepped up and had their liquids tested and some that have haven't done anything about the results they've gotten. Some claim that the flavorings they use have been tested or that they are sold as Diacetly and AP free so they do not need to send their products off to be tested. This is entirely false. Diacetyl and APs can not only be found in ingredients of eliquid but also when they are combined, and as they age together. Yes, you can combine two flavorings that test clean and still create something that contains them. This is why the vendors I feel comfortable endorsing with both my money and my praise have either already had or are in the process of having their final, premixed, pre-steeped products tested for both Diacetly and AP, and have the results available for customers to see.
With the wide variety of liquids on the market today has too come an apparent need to have your own, different, edgy type of packaging and marketing to go with it. In order for a vendor to get my money their product must come in one of two types of bottles: Glass or PET plastic with child-proof cap. Seems the current craze in the market is either glass perfume bottles or the "unicorn bottles" with no child-proofing. What consumers seem to disregard or be ignorant about is what the unicorn bottles are made of. The unicorn bottles are made of a type of plastic called LDPE. LDPE plastic is soft, translucent white, and "squishy". The problem with LDPE is that it does not work well with the ingredients in eliquid which results in parts of the plastic bottle actually leeching into the liquid users are inhaling. Liquids kept and sold in LDPE will darken much faster then liquid stored in PET plastic or glass bottles and even eventually turn black as motor oil as the plastic leeches into it. Child-proofing should really be a no-brainer at this point. This is why vendors should not use it and why any vendor who does will not get my money or endorsement.
Labeling is another aspect of packing that is important to me when making my decisions. There is far too many vendors profiting from someone else's marketing scheme, neglecting on if their marketing could be construed as targeting children and not putting the correct info on the labels that should be there. I'm sure most are aware of what I am referring to when looking at brands like Sour Batch, Deez Nuts, and the plethora of cereal liquids. If you make a quality product you do not need to attempt to replicate another industry's marketing. I know too many vendors who have been around for years and are still very successful who have never resorted to this because the quality of product and service that comes with them keeps customers coming back to think this bullshit is necessary. If you want a fancy design on your label that's okay as long as it is your own property and there's all the appropriate information to go with it. Information like your website, the flavor name, the nicotine level, the use-by date, The PG/VG Ratio(not VG/PG or MAX VG), and the batch number accompanied by a safety warning to let consumer know to keep it in a safe place out of the reach of children and pets. And can we please get more creative and more taste with our flavor names? I am not the type of person who finds a flavor named after any type of excrement or toxic chemical funny or god forbid appetizing. The vendors I give my money and attention to have appropriate child-proof PET or glass bottles, have all the correct info and tasteful names on their labels, those who don't do not and will not. I will not endorse what I think is wrong with our industry nor encourage others to do the same.
I vape different flavors from different vendors but there's two things they all have in common. They're all made in a certified cleanroom and they're all sold on their own company's websites. It dumbfounds me to think others would be okay with buying a product they're inhaling from some random guy in a facebook group. If a person is not committed enough to at least drop the investment into their own website how serious could they be about the quality of their product?
Again I reiterate these are just my opinions and some of the things I want to see in a vendor before I give them my money or suggest them to someone else from a consumer's point of view. To the vendors that meet the criteria, Thank you. To those who don't, get serious about what you're doing or get out of the industry.
To the vendors..."Get serious about what you are doing or get out of the industry." Great statement.