As e-cigarette users, we all need a constant supply of e-liquid. Let’s be honest, though — that’s probably not the only thing you buy on a regular basis. Are you always itching to try the latest tanks and mods? Are you scouting for the latest e-cigarette coupon codes and sales? Well, today I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The real way to buy cheap e-cigarettes online isn’t to find the best coupon code or wait for the yearly sale. If you really want to find cheap e-cigarettes for sale, you need to go to the source — you need to buy e-cigarettes from China.
Why do Chinese merchants sell the cheapest e-cigarettes? Because that’s where e-cigarettes are made. Let me put it differently — you probably know that Foxconn builds iPhones for Apple in China. Would you pay 70 percent less for an iPhone without an Apple logo if you could buy it directly from Foxconn? If you want to buy cheap e-cigarettes online, you have an opportunity to do exactly that.
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Are you unfamiliar with buying consumer products from Chinese sellers? It’s actually much the same as buying from any other website. We’d like to explain just a bit, though, about what you can expect when you shop online for cheap e-cigarettes.
Why Chinese Merchants Sell the Cheapest E-Cigarettes Online
To understand why Chinese sellers have the cheapest e-cigarettes online, you first need to understand how the e-cigarette industry works. You probably already know that Chinese manufacturers make a huge portion of the world’s consumer goods. China makes roughly 90 percent of the world’s computers and 70 percent of all mobile phones. Most of those product categories, though, weren’t invented in China.
E-cigarettes are entirely different. The e-cigarette as we currently know it is a Chinese invention — and that has given China a unique level of control in the e-cigarette industry. Almost all of the world’s commercially viable e-cigarettes are made in China. There are a very few exceptions, but most of the e-cigarettes made outside China are boutique products that sell for high prices — and those prices are getting harder and harder to justify, because often, the Chinese e-cigarettes are better.
How the E-Cigarette Industry Works
In the United States and the rest of the world, the e-cigarette industry got its start when enterprising individuals started seeing e-cigarettes pop up on wholesale lists. E-cigarettes are cheap in bulk — a basic cigalike starter kit sells for only a few dollars — so companies around the world scrambled to be among the first to buy e-cigarette kits, package them in prettier boxes and resell them at many times the original wholesale cost. After all, nicotine sells itself. With a little marketing skill, the first sellers of e-cigarettes could potentially make a great deal of money — and many did.
To this day, when you buy a cigalike, you’re buying something made in China — regardless of the logo on the box. The things that make one cigalike different from another include the quality of the factory producing the hardware, the quality of the e-liquid the domestic vendor purchases and what accessories are included with the starter kit. As the industry matures, though, cigalikes are waning in popularity. These days, many e-cigarette users are buying mods instead. When the mod explosion happened, the Chinese manufacturers — many of whom were becoming very large companies by then — had a very big trick up their sleeves.
Mods Have Changed the E-Cigarette Industry
During the cigalike era, you could buy e-cigarettes online from dozens of different companies in the United States. The same was true in many other nations. As is the case in almost any resale industry, e-cigarette companies didn’t reveal information about their suppliers to consumers. You had to read e-cigarette reviews at a website like this one if you wanted to know what you were getting before you spent money.
After several years, though, the big Chinese e-cigarette manufacturers started to get big. Very big. Take a look at these videos:
As the biggest e-cigarette manufacturers grew in prominence — and high-powered mods started to become the norm — it became less and less common to see those large manufacturers selling white label e-cigarettes to American and other companies. They wanted consumers to know who was making their products — and consumers wanted to know, too.
The way things stand today is that most domestic sellers no longer attempt to obscure the identities of the Chinese manufacturers with whom they work. Instead, they highlight names such as Joyetech, Kanger, Innokin, Aspire and SMOK — because each of those names carries a reputation for quality and consistency.
Price Disparity Among Inexpensive E-Cigarettes
When you buy e-cigarettes online, are you paying the lowest possible prices? Are you sure? Take a look at some of the prices I found online when searching for cheap e-cigarettes with lots of power like the Wismec Reuleaux RX200S.
Quite a price variation! See GearBest’s page for the Reuleaux RX200S here. This one will even ship from a USA warehouse for an extra $2.00 if you like. Otherwise, there are no other shipping costs. As long as you’re willing to wait a few extra days, you can buy most any e-cigarette from China for the lowest price and no shipping fees.
Buying Inexpensive E-Cigarettes From China: What to Expect
The GearBest website isn’t like any shopping website you’ve ever seen. It’s more like a bazaar filled with merchants constantly calling out to get your attention. GearBest doesn’t just sell e-cigarettes, after all. They sell everything — computers, phones, clothing, robotic vacuums, drones — you get the idea. On top of that, there’s always a sale going on. Luckily, the sale URL doesn’t change. You can see the sale page for e-cigarettes here.
Keep in mind that shipping to North America and Europe from China can be a little bit of a lengthy process. If the item that you want is in a domestic warehouse, you can usually get free shipping and can generally expect your item to arrive in about 3-5 business days. If you choose the free shipping option from China, though, transit can take two weeks or more. So, be aware of that. Upgraded shipping options are always available as well, though.
How to Save Even More Money at GearBest
You can see an e-cigarette coupon code for GearBest at the top of this page. Use it, and you’ll save 15 percent on all cheap e-cigarettes that you buy. You’ll need to create an account at the GearBest website to use the coupon code. Sometimes, you may use the GearBest coupon code and find that it actually increases your price. That’s because you can’t reduce the price by a further 15 percent when buying discount e-cigarettes that are already on sale. Try the coupon code, and if it increases your price, click the “cancel coupon code” link to remove it. Check the sale page that we linked to above to see all of the current discount prices for e-cigarettes.
What If I Have a Problem Buying Cheap E-Cigarettes From China?
When you buy any product from an overseas vendor, it’s natural that you might feel a little trepidation about what you’ll do if there’s a problem. Here’s how returns work with GearBest.
First, there’s a three-day DOA guarantee. If you buy cheap e-cigarettes from GearBest and an item simply doesn’t work when you receive it, you can contact GearBest to arrange for an RMA. You’ll need to provide a photo or video showing the problem. After you receive authorization, you’ll arrange to ship the item back to GearBest. GearBest will refund your shipping cost though, as long as you keep it under $50.00. When GearBest receives the item, they’ll refund the purchase price.
Next, there’s a 45-day money-back guarantee. If an item fails within 45 days, you can return it for a refund. You’ll pay the return shipping fee.
Finally, most items from GearBest include a one-year warranty, unless a product page says that the warranty doesn’t apply. During the warranty period, you can pay to ship a failed item to GearBest, and they will pay to repair or replace it.
If you have questions about a product, GearBest also offers free basic technical support. The free support period does not expire — it’s good for the lifetime of the product.
Headline image source: Yida Xu, Flickr