Choosing Between an Online Vape Shop and your Local Brick-and-Mortar Vape Store

What is the difference between purchasing e-cigarettes online and at brick-and-mortar vape shops?

In this article, we are going to review the differences between purchasing e-cigarettes and e-liquid online and brick-and-mortar vape shops. This should hopefully help you to decide the best way to buy your e-liquid and vaping gear. In the early days, the only way to purchase e-cigarettes and e-liquid was through online vape shops. Over the last several years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of vape shops around the world. You can now find e-cigs and e-liquid everywhere including supermarkets, convenience stores, petrol stations and dedicated brick-and-mortar vape shops. Purchasing e-liquid and vape gear online is very convenient if you do not have the time to visit your local vape shop and know exactly what you want to buy. Brick-and-mortar vape shops provide higher levels of customer care and you can actually try different e-liquid flavours before committing to a purchase. We find that brick-and-mortar vape shops are almost a community- vapers do not simply come into a vape shop to quickly grab a bottle of e-liquid, but rather see it as a way of socialising with fellow vapers and discussing their experiences. Our customers have described The Eliquid Boutique as the Best Online Vape Shop UK for Premium UK and USA e-liquid. If you do not not have the time to visit your local vape shop, you can buy some of the best e-liquid brands online with our reliable and fast shipping. 

The Rapid Growth of Vape Shops

Over the past few years there has been an enormous growth in vape shops that are opening their doors to customers around the world. In the UK alone, there are always a few vape shops opening up every month. It is hard not to bump into a friend and learn that their uncle or brother has started up a vape shop, an e-juice company or a vape-related business. Indeed, vaping is growing very fast and we are seeing a higher number of entrepreneurs who are jumping on the vaping gravy train. Vaping market is massive –just think how big the tobacco industry is and that the vape market will only continue to grow as smokers switch to vaping.

The growth in the number of vape shops in the UK and around the world is presenting vapers and smokers alike with more choice. Many local brick-and-mortar vape shops provide an excellent level of customer support to vaping newbies, you can sample different e-liquid flavours and socialise with local vapers. A drawback of this surge in the number of vape shops is the loss of quality. Many budding entrepreneurs are eyeing the vape market simply for a great profit potential. This can mean that some vape shops may not provide you with the level of support and quality you are looking for. Nevertheless, more vape shops means more competition, which should push up the standards of quality and customer care as vape shops compete against each other to win over vapers.

How to find a Vape Shop that is Right for you?

Find the right vape shop is just like finding a reliable and trusted plumber in your area. Before committing to a brick-and-mortar vape shop, you should visit several vape shops in your area and evaluate their e-liquid range, vaping gear and customer care level. Does the vape shop owner sound knowledgeable and helpful to your needs? Does the vape shop update its e-liquid range regularly? Is the staff friendly and helpful? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself in evaluating a vape shop and ultimately, you should use your judgment to decide whether you like a vape shop. If you do, great – you have a winner.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Brick-and-Mortar Vape Shops


Live Demonstrations – when visiting an online vape shop, you only have images and descriptions to go by, whilst by visiting your local vape shop, you can actually gain hands-on experience by sampling and touching vape gear and trying out different e-liquid flavours before buying. This will help you to save your money by ensuring that you buy an e-cigarette or e-liquid that is right for you.

Free E-Liquid Samples and E-liquid Tasting – rather than taking a shot in the dark and buying e-liquid from an online vape shop, you can visit your local vape shop where you can taste different e-liquid flavours and even receive free samples.

Experienced and Supportive Staff- local brick-and-mortar vape shops provide great levels of customer support. Whether you are a vaping newbie or an experienced vaper, you can talk to staff at your local vape shop about your vaping needs. The staff should be able to advise you on the best e-cigarette devices and e-liquid, which will allow you to make a more informed decision when spending your money.

On-site Support – speaking to customer support of an online vape shop can be a long process as you speak to a company representative, sometimes you may not be able to get through to the customer care team at all. A brick-and-mortar vape store can provide you with immediate customer care from the moment you get in through the door with a personal and human touch.

Immediate Availability- when buying your e-liquid or e-cigarettes or mechanical mods online, you will have to wait at least a day. At a brick-and-mortar vape shop the goods are available there and then, which is ideal for immediate gratification and last minute purchases. We recommend that you plan your vaping needs in advance, in which case, buying from an online vape shop is the most efficient option. For example, don’t wait to reach the last drop of your e-liquid. If you know that you are halfway through your bottle then simply order more e-liquid online so that it arrives through your door when you eventually run out.

Disadvantages of a Brick-and-Mortar Vape Shop

Limited Choice – whilst most brick-and-mortar vape shops have a wide array of vape products and e-liquids, others are quite limited and so you may not find an e-liquid or e-cigarette you are looking for. If a vape shops has not sold its existing stock, then it is unlikely to order more stock in order to maintain their liquidity ratio and a healthy cash flow. Buying at an online vape shop can present you with more choice both in terms of e-cigs and e-liquid because online vape shops tend to be more efficient in pre-ordering their stock.

Biased Advise – when you visit a brick-and-mortar store, you may well get biased advice because it is in the best interests of a brick-and-mortar vape shop to sell you their vaping gear and e-liquid. For example, a vape shop owner may recommend you an e-liquid that does not sell as well in the hope of getting rid of not popular stock. By buying from an online vape shop, you can compare many products online, read vaper reviews and make an informed decision yourself.

Higher Costs – it is generally more expensive to buy e-liquid or e-cigarettes at a brick-and-mortar vape shop simply because a vape shop operates with higher overheads and staff.

There are certainly pros and cons to buying at an online vape shop and buying at a brick-and-mortar vape shop. Buying your e-liquid and vaping gear at your local vape shop helps to support the local community and economy, but this comes at a personal cost. Buying your vaping gear and e-liquid online gives you more choice and lower prices. If you are busy or simply do not want to venture out to a local vape shop, buying online is certainly cheaper and more convenient, both time and money wise. Dealing with a local vape shop will, on the other hand, provide you with a more personalised experience with one-to-one support and a human touch to your shopping experience.

When should you buy your e-liquid and vaping gear at a brick-and-mortar vape shop?

  • If you are new to vaping, then you may want to visit your local vape shop where you can talk to experienced vapers.
  • If you are looking to try new e-cigarettes and taste different e-liquid flavours, you may want to visit your local vape shop instead of taking a plunged and buying online.
  • If you like being a member of the vaping community and enjoy interaction with like-minded vapers.
  • If you are dedicated to supporting your local business.
  • When should I buy my vaping gear and e-liquid at an online vape shop?
  • When you know exactly what you want to buy and would like to buy in bulk to save money.
  • Online vape shops provide more discounts and special offers. If you are looking for great deals, you should shop online.
  • If you are busy and do not have the time to visit a local vape shop.
  • If you do not have a local vape shop in your area, you may just have to buy online instead of travelling further out.

We recommend that you check out your local vape shop, if you have one. Buying your e-liquid and vaping gear at an online vape shop may be convenient and cheaper, but if you are a passionate vaper, there is nothing better than meeting like-minded vapers. Vape shops are usually full of interesting vapers and it is a perfect opportunity to make new friends. It is worth to remember, whilst the media focus on vaping is mostly in the light of smoking cessation, vaping is becoming a hobby for many like Sub Ohmers, Cloud Chasers and Drippers. Vape shops are also very fun, you can try new e-liquid brands, chat to the staff and just have a good time. This is not to say that you should go to your local vape shop whenever you want to buy something. If you are buying a mechanical mod, sub tank or an advanced e-cigarette that is generally quite costly, it pays to visit your local vape shop so that you buy an e-cigarette that is right for you. If you are looking to buy e-liquid, it may be cheaper and easier to buy online. Whenever you have some free time and feel like socialising, visit your local vape shop. When you are busy and have less free time, just buy your vape gear online. Variety is the spice of life – you can always alternate between buying online and at your local vape shop.

The Eliquid Boutique was rated by our customers as the Best Online Vape Shop UK for Premium UK and USA E-Liquid Brands where you can shop with confidence. 

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