This is something that we usually don’t think of and take for granted when purchasing an electronic cigarette – The Grey Market.
So what is this Grey Market?
Well, it’s basically a Black Market of sorts for e-cigs with a major difference, it is out in the open and public rather than all seedy and underground as you probably imagined!
Some vaping shops and websites that you may visit monthly to purchase your everyday essentials sell products that are either not genuine, or come from an unauthorised source. The counterfeit items are bought in cheaply and sold as the real thing, and the unofficial items are usually sold at a dramatically reduced cost to RRP. Sounds great right? Cheap items to help save yourself a little bit of cash, what could go wrong?
Well here is the problem...
If you purchase an item from one of these outlets, you could be getting substandard and even potentially dangerous goods. You must check to make sure the item you are purchasing is genuine, most electronic cigarette manufacturers (Eleaf, Joyetech & Wismec for example) will have a scratch panel on their box which you can check on the respective websites to confirm the authenticity. If the items do not have these stickers on, or it appears to have been cut away from the box in some form, then you should avoid them at all costs.
Counterfeit items are usually made from very poor batteries which are missing the vital safety mechanisms such as short circuit protection and overcharge protection, which means they can be a fire hazard, especially if paired with an incompatible charger. On top of this, if you purchase from an unofficial store, there would be no warranty offered by the manufacturers/distributors or any company other than the one you purchased it from.
What Can I Do To Prevent This?
When you go into a store, you should ask where the items come from, bear in mind that if you are looking for a Joyetech/Eleaf/Wismec device, they never sell directly to shops in the UK, and are instead distributed officially by UK Vapour Brands Ltd & Totally Wicked Ltd. If the seller is confident in their items and has purchased officially, it would be from one of the above companies.
The same goes for Online shopping, you must check to make sure that the items are official, and ensure the company has a suitable returns policy that reflects their confidence in the products sold.
If you want to purchase an official device from Eleaf/Joyetech/Wismec then below are the websites you can purchase in confidence from:
And that pretty much covers this topic! As long as you know what to look for (Scratch panels for authenticity etc) then you should be able to always purchase the genuine article each and every time.