After lunch, my friend Paul and I stopped by The Vapor Spot. While there are hundreds of web site where you can purchase vaping goods, there aren’t very many physical stores, so I was curious and excited to see what this place had to offer. Seconds after walking in, I was greeted by the owner, JJ. He’s very friendly and customer-service oriented. You can tell straight away that he wants to make his customers happy. I asked him a bit about the shop, browsed around, and did some scouting for a video interview RPadholic N8R and I will be shooting there in the future. I left the shop thinking, “I want to hang out here!”
The Vapor Spot has a bunch of vaping gear and juices for sale. As you’d expect, there’s a higher markup than Internet stores since JJ has to pay for physical space and utilities. The idea is that personal attention and customer service will keep people coming back. I watched JJ work out gear issues with one of his patrons and he was very accommodating. The shop lets users sample loads of e-liquids. You can walk in with your own gear, buy some cartomizers for $1 a piece, and sample away — very, very cool. Those are two examples of how The Vapor Spot hopes to succeed.
One of the highlights of my browsing was coming across these gorgeous Pyrex tanks by Cirrus Vapes. These are hand made in the USA. At a glance, the quality seems excellent. The beauty was undeniable. I was very much smitten with these tanks. Paul had to smack me on the back of the head because I was just staring at (and possibly drooling over) these gorgeous products for like three minutes. The Vapor Spot is one of the few stores in America where you can pick these babies up.
It will be interesting to see if The Vapor Spot will succeed. From my brief visit, it seemed like a busy store with loyal customers. In many ways, it reminded me of an old-school record store. Remember those mom-and-pop deals that were super friendly and where you could spend hours hanging out? It’s totally like that. While many vapers use the Internet to learn more about products and buy goods, there are many people that would like to get advice and recommendations from an actual person. This is where The Vapor Spot can excel. Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon and new products are coming out all the time. It can be daunting and confusing for newcomers. Shops like this one can be a valuable resource to vapers.
Even though I generally hate the brick-and-mortar retail experience, I really hope The Vapor Spot does well. It’s a cool store that can help people find the right gear and e-liquids — cool stuff!
4 thoughts on “Vaping Diaries #4: A Visit to The Vapor Spot (Los Angeles)”
Why would you “hate the brick and mortar experience”?
You might hate it at a place like Best Buy where the Salesmen are idiots, but the reasons to go
to a brick and mortar store are ..
A) You want the extra help and experience from a pro.
B) You need it now.
C) You want to be with the people there (Community FTW!)
If you want the best price and are willing to wait and know exactly what you want then you are in the wrong place. It dose not make the place bad.
Brick and Mortar is perfect to fill the niche it can.
I hate it because there mom-and-pop stores are getting pushed out by the Best Buys, GameStops, Walmarts, etc. Keep in mind that I’ve only lived in big cities where family-owned small business are increasingly rare. So for me, the brick-and-mortar experience almost always means stores owned by large corporations. I absolutely love points A and B that you mentioned; they definitely have value and I appreciate that.
I go there for juice tasting now mostly. $1/ml isn’t bad considering you can sit there and try all the flavors you want. The staff is very nice, but their markup on hardware is close to criminal. I’ve seen many things there marked up over 100% from online retail. I hope they do make it but with online competition they’ll have to branch out or will lose return customers.
Thanks for the comment Dave. Yeah, I agree that some of the markups are high, but I understand that physical shops have costs that Internet stores don’t. I imagine it’s tough for JJ to find the right balance in an emerging market. I don’t envy him (but definitely wish him the best).
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