If you're planning to launch a vape dropshipping business, congrats! You're about to enter a booming industry that's primed to grow exponentially as vaporizer technology improves and more consumers turn to vaping as an alternative method of consuming THC. In this guide, we'll walk you through the different aspects of the industry and dropshipping in general so you're able to start on the right foot.
What is vape dropshipping?
Dropshipping is an order fulfilment technique in retail where the seller doesn’t hold any inventory, but forwards orders from their customers directly to a supplier, who stores the inventory and ships orders to customers.
The dropshipping process is simple. If you’re running an online vape store, instead of buying vaporizers in bulk and owning a warehouse, you send the orders straight to a third-party supplier to have them handle the stock and ship the customer's order for you. Over 33% of online stores use the dropship model, making it one of the most popular models for new entrepreneurs.
One reason the dropship model is so popular is that it allows you more time to focus on marketing your business. Your dropshipping supplier will handle order fulfillment and storing inventory, so you can invest your time and energy into generating traffic and driving sales.
Thousands of brands around the world turn to dropshipping because it’s easy to get started with low upfront costs. On top of that, you can manage your business from anywhere with an internet connection! Let’s explore the pros and cons of dropshipping vaporizers online.
Pros of Vape Dropshipping
Easy to Start - Starting an online business selling vaporizers is easy with the dropship method. You don’t deal with wholesale orders or warehouse management, so it doesn’t take much to get started. Even someone with no experience selling online can have a site ready in just a couple of hours.
Low Overhead - You don’t need thousands of dollars upfront for a vape dropshipping business. Everything can be built right from your computer, so there’s none of the expensive costs that are associated with a traditional retail model. Like renting out warehouse space for example.
Extensive Product Selection - One of the most difficult aspects of managing a retail store is knowing what products to buy. With traditional retail, adding a product to your catalog means purchasing it upfront with the risk of the items never being sold. The dropship model is much more flexible because you can add and remove products from your site without purchasing anything upfront. This makes testing new products easier and more affordable.
Scalability - The dropship model is designed to grow with your online store. While you may spend more time on marketing and other areas as sales increase, the day to day tasks required to process your dropship orders won’t change much as long as you have the right system in place for managing orders.
If you’re emailing suppliers every time you have an order or are placing orders manually, the growth of your business will be limited. It’s best to find automated solutions for dropship order processing so you can scale without worry.
Dropshipping Vapes: Cons
Less Quality Control - Since your dropshipping suppliers handle inventory and shipping for you, there’s not much you have control over when it comes to products. Suppliers manage quality assurance, packaging, shipping, restocking, and every other aspect of the product, so it’s important to find dropshipping suppliers you can trust to provide the quality of service and products your customers expect.
Having a good relationship with your suppliers will also make resolving any customer complaints easier on your customer service team.
Difficulty Processing Payments - Businesses selling vaporizers and accessories are considered high-risk due to the nature of the industry, so you likely won’t be able to work with popular payment gateways like PayPal. Instead, you’ll need to find and apply to a third party payment gateway that supports vape businesses. In the past, you might have had trouble finding someone who could process online payments for vape businesses, but there are a number of different options available today.
Less Profit - While not holding any inventory or shipping orders is a great benefit of the dropship model, it comes at a price. Dropshipping vapes online can be lucrative, but since you are not buying inventory upfront and taking the risk of it not selling, the price you pay to dropship a product will be more than what it would cost if you purchased in bulk upfront.
Luckily there is still plenty of profit to be earned with a dropshipping store selling vapes. Mainly because a lot of the top vaporizers on the market today offer healthy profit margins, even for dropshipping stores.
Choosing the Right Ecommerce Platform
Having the right platform to build and host your dropshipping store on plays an essential part in your success online. There are numerous factors to consider when choosing the one for you, but here are two of the most crucial considerations to make if you’re planning on starting a dropshipping business selling vapes.
Simplicity - Considering you will be using the platform you choose for a long time, ensure that it’s easy to navigate and run your online business with it. Is the platform easy to use? What level of technical knowledge and experience do you need to customize your site and business operations?
One good example is Shopify and WooCommerce. Shopify is made to be extremely easy to use, so it’s interface is simple and many of the technical aspects of your site are set up for you out of the box. WooCommerce on the other hand is an open source platform, so you’ll need to know more about the technical side of your business like hosting your domain. This doesn’t make one platform definitely better than the other, but it’s important to think about the level of effort you’ll need to put into setting up your business.
Designs and Themes - One of the primary responsibilities of your website is to attract the attention of potential customers. To do this, you must invest in a modern and well-designed interface for your store. Whichever ecommerce platform you use needs to have a broad range of themes and designs that you can apply and customize to fit your branding. This is an example of where the simplicity of your ecommerce platform is felt.
You’ll come across platforms like Shopify that have accessible website editing features and reliable, professional site themes. But there are limitations on the amount that you can customize. WooCommerce, on the other hand, provides many customization options. The only disadvantage is you need someone with coding experience to set up the perfect website.
Credit Card Processing
You’ll find that most popular payment processors like PayPal do not support transactions for products like vaporizers. Because of this, you’ll need to find a third party payment gateway who will accept transactions for high risk products like vaporizers. There are a number of these payment gateways available today.
Unlike other industries, expect the process of approval for these payment gateways to be more stringent. A few factors that are addressed when your application is examined are the start date of your business, the types of products you’re selling, and your sales history. Even without any sales history, you can still be approved to work with a third party payment gateway.
Smoke Drop has partnered with a third-party payment service to offer entrepreneurs dropshipping vapes a faster route to finding the best banking partner. You can check the requirements and apply directly to any of the payment services below:
Finding Vape Dropshipping Suppliers
While vaporizers are extremely popular among consumers, the industry is still young. This means your options when it comes to dropshipping suppliers are limited. The process of finding the right dropshipping supplier can be difficult and costly because of this, but knowing where to look and what to look for can help.
Let’s examine where to look for the right vaporizer dropshipping suppliers.
Where to Search
Directly contacting manufacturers is the most common method of finding the right dropshipping suppliers that will ship your orders. Most manufacturers don’t sell to the market, though, they have an extensive list of wholesale suppliers they can give to you. With the list provided, you can start contacting them to know if they’re offering dropshipping services.
Smoke Drop curates various quality vape dropshipping suppliers for you. In the app, you can run through different suppliers and their products, add them to your Shopify or WooCommerce shop, and begin selling in just a few clicks.
Here are a few reasons dropshippers use Smoke Drop:
- Wide selections of products
- Inventory Sync
- Automated Order Processing
- Integrations with Shopify and WooCommerce
This is probably the first thing you’ll do, but there are things you need to consider, such as:
- Widely search the web – Google provides a plethora of results when searching for dropship suppliers, and so, it’s best to dive deeper to find the right suppliers for you.
- Use Search Filters – You can slim down results by using search modifiers. The Search Engine Journal provides a good list of modifiers to use for searching.
Another way of finding suppliers is through online directories. The most reliable directories will categorize suppliers by industry or niche and screen suppliers to ensure they are decent. Accessing a supplier database usually requires a one-time fee. Thus, it’s best to make sure that quality dropship suppliers who offer vaporizers are available before buying.
What to Look For
Excellent suppliers have automation for their dropshipping services. It hurts to know that you partnered with a dropshipping supplier who has a great catalog of products, only to find out there’s no integration feature, so you have to get all product information manually from their website.
Automatic inventory updates, one-click product sync, and automated order processing are more forms of automation that make both setting up and scaling easier. When the inventory updates and order processing are delayed, it can hurt your business, and you don’t want that. Thus, automation is a must.
One of the most critical focuses when partnering with a supplier is the quality of products. Because of the nature of the vaporizer industry, you don’t want to sell products with irregularities and sub-standard qualities. You must ask about manufacturing procedures when choosing suppliers and even buy sample orders to verify product quality yourself.
Your supplier’s location significantly affects the time for delivery, so it’s best to find suppliers with warehouses around your audience.
Take note of how alert their customer support is when you’re finding potential suppliers. Red flags for you are questions going unanswered and long periods of waiting for a response. If there’s an issue with the product, customers will ask for help, and you should have an open line of communication with suppliers to fix the problem quickly.
Smoke Drop makes it easier for you to find the right supplier. We have carefully selected a collection of trusted, reputable suppliers with high-quality products. We assure you every supplier is checked using the requirement above and other criteria, too.
Determining What to Sell
Where to Start
Choosing which products to sell is a difficult process. There is a lot of variety available when it comes to vaporizers, which can make the decision feel overwhelming. Are you considering putting up a general store with all kinds of vapes or focusing on a specific niche like dry herb vapes? You can do both, but it’s worth it to do product and market research before taking any step.
Study your competitors before deciding what to sell on your website. Familiarize yourself with how they market their products and if there are gaps your business could fill. Grab the opportunity to test numerous products as there’s no charge in adding and removing products from your dropshipping store.
What’s the cost to send a product to your customer? When a customer orders, it is then forwarded to the supplier who asks for payment to fulfil the order. Included in the product cost is also the shipping charge. Remember these two costs when considering potential products to market on your website.
There’s nothing worse than getting numerous orders for one product only to find out the supplier ran out of stock. You want suppliers that have high inventory quantities available or restock products regularly.
Lastly, check the product quality. Although it’s the supplier who ships products to customers, it’s your brand that customers see and deal with. Thus, ensure that the quality of the products you’re selling meets or even exceeds their expectations and bespeaks your brand quality.
An excellent method to know what kind of products to sell is following the market needs. Doing extensive market research can help you recognize the marketable qualities of your products and find the right target audience.
Let’s take a look at where you can get information about trends in the vaporizer markets.
Google Keyword Tool
Using Google Keyword Tool is an excellent way to find trends and other keywords related to popular brands and products. You’ll likely have trouble finding keyword data for terms like “vaporizer” so consider alternatives like SpyFu for keyword research.
Besides the Google Keyword Tool, you can get additional information from Google Trends. It has similar features, but with more modern metrics. A quick search for “Puffco Peak” on Google Trends will provide an example of what a trend in the vape market looks like.
Consulting with an attorney before deciding to sell vapes online is recommended due to the fast-changing laws and regulations on these products in the US. Although Smoke Drop cannot instruct you about what and where to sell, there are many resources out there like the FDA website that help you familiarize with federal, state, and local regulations.
The Wrap Up
It’s not easy to build a successful vape dropshipping business. While it’s an easy process to get started, achieving success is an uphill battle. Some entrepreneurs experience failure with their one or two stores before the business becomes thriving, and others build a successful business the first time.
Remember, there’s no guarantee a business will become successful, but there is an excellent opportunity to build a successful business dropshipping vapes online. The continuously increasing popularity of vapes among consumers and changing laws are crucial factors make starting a dropshipping business a great opportunity..
We hope our guide helps you with your research. While you heard already that this is a jam-packed market, fret not, with the right products, suppliers, and methods, you can achieve dropshipping success.