5 Tips for Vape Kit Research and Online Shopping September 08 2021
We often hear from customers looking for a specific vape system they have researched online only to find out that it isn't locally available. While we have a strong understanding of the various devices on the market and can usually point customers towards a good alternate, locating replacement parts for items ordered online can be hard. Not all customers can, or want to, shop in person, and we have "regulars" both online and at our Vancouver shop. If you purchase your vape products online, or like to do your research ahead of time, here are some helpful things to keep in mind.
1 - Vape regulations vary regionally. Get to know your local laws. In 2021 Canada introduced strict child safety rules. As a result many of the products listed on manufacturer or American websites have not been certified for sale in Canada. These items can be seized if shipped across the border but more importantly, it may be hard to find replacement parts.
Vape shops that are engaged with the community and advocacy will have news of major changes posted on their website as well as call to actions when proposed changes are being made. We post regulation and industry news on our blog's NEWS section and on our Facebook page in addition to sending notices to our newsletter subscribers.
2 - If ordering a kit from outside your region, are there compatible parts available locally? If not, make sure to include parts in your order. All vape kits have replacement parts. Whether it is a coil and/or pod, these need regular upkeep. Old coils and pods are the most common reason for leaking.
In BC the provincial regulations limit tank and pod sizes to 2ml but some devices, such as SMOK's Nord 2, Nord 4 and IPX along with the Voopoo Drag and Argus kits, have smaller BC compliant 2ml pods. These devices fit the same pods, it's just the pod sizes that vary. Even if you plan on placing all your orders online, having a local source comes in handy when the unexpected happens!
3 - Does the vape kit have open or closed pods? What does that mean - well, can you open the pod to fill it or are they sealed and prefilled? If pre-filled, are they cross compatible with any other brands? Pre-filled pod systems have limited flavour and strength options but larger brands like Juul and STLTH have third party options.
4 - Before you check out, make sure you have the correct e-liquid and coil combination. This is particularly important if you have selected salt liquids which aren't recommended for the higher wattage ranges common in sub-ohm devices. Traditional Freebase e-liquids can be used in any e-liquid device however the coil resistance is going determine how much vapour is produced. Sub-ohm coils (i.e. 0.4ohms) run at higher wattage ranges and produce more vapour than mouth to lung coils (i.e. 1.2ohm) which closer mimic the draw of conventional smoking.
5 - Be cautious with clearance items. If purchasing discounted items consider if Federal or Provincial regulations are about to change. Are the replacement coils and pods still available? Will the replacement parts be updated to meet the new regulations? Thunderbird Vapes will often post notices on the clearance section as well as our Blog to highlight items that are about to be removed due to regulation changes.
Consider if the replacement part is used in other devices too. For instance, SMOK will use the same coils across several different vape kits. For instance, when the original SMOK Nord became obsolete in BC, the pods were discontinued but Nord coils are still readily available because they are used in later models.
We saw many people come through the shop this spring with Caliburn kits they got great deals on, only to find out that the new certified CRC Caliburn G pods, don't fit the original model. While both UWELL Caliburn kits were well reviewed, only Canadian reviewers and shops would know to caution customers that one model was discontinued in Canada with no stock left from distributors. Other kits, such as Vaporesso's Xros saw a new version of the pod that fit earlier models. While the older style XROS kits also went on sale, the availability of updated replacement pods made them a better buy.
Bonus tip - If you are unsure about what's the best fit for your needs, reach out to the shop before you purchase. How easy is the business to contact? Have they listed a phone number? Consider, if they are hard to reach before you've made a purchase, how helpful will they be if you have problems after your purchase. If you are likely to want to speak so some one in real time, what time zone are they in? Keep in mind that their business hours may not coincide with your schedule if there is a substantial time difference.