How to Distribute your Products to Smoke Shops
Finding demand for product related to vaping like electronic cigarettes, vaporizers, grinders, glass pipes, vaping liquids, tubes/bongs etc., may not be a difficult task but setting up a reliable distribution chain to ensure delivery of product on shelves of smoke shops, where your product is in demand is not an easy task. Being regulated products you have to ensure that they are packed and distributed as per government regulations so you do not face any compliance issues. With growth in internet based marketing technologies it has become easier for buyers to reach sellers of their choice and order products online. But selling to single buyers will not help in rapid business growth so as a manufacturer you have to find reliable distributor that will get your product into right smoke shops in the United States.
The early visitors to these shops that originated in United States during 1960’s were frequented by college youth that used to spend time smoking pot in independently owned stores in relative privacy. The first head shops were set up in San Francisco and Los Angeles followed by Chicago and Texas that set the trend for these shops. As a manufacturer you have two choices to distribute your products which are, to purchase a smoke shop directory and make calls to each one to demonstrate your product or get a large distributor that can ensure that your product reaches every store where your buyers are likely to look for it.
Distribution through consolidated distributor programs
To improve your product portfolio and have better bargaining power with convenience stores, smoke shops and distributors you need to work with consolidated agencies like Checkstand Program. This national broker works with stores across the state and nation as one stop shop for both small and large manufacturers to distribute a wide array of products to independent c stores, smoke shops and gas stations.
These distributors know which smoke stores are best for selling varied products and their long term relationship with these stores allow them to experiment with new products which may not be possible if manufacturers approached the stores directly. They have a network of stores that allow them to release new products after conducting product demonstrations and market research to see if there is a demand for these products.
If you have a new vaping product like electronic cigarettes, vaping liquid, tubes or bongs then you can talk to these consolidated distributors which will be the right channel for marketing your products across a wide geographical area. They will first introduce your product into selective smoke shops and retailers that are have a large number of buyers and less competition and depending on the feedback from customers they will expand the outreach to wider areas.
Distribution of products on your own
If you are wary about selling products on a large scale and want to try out distribution in your local area alone then you have to establish a reliable distribution channel that can sustain the cost of selling it to end customer at a competitive price. Before trying to set a distribution channel you should purchase a list of smoke shops, which you can find at www.smokeshopsguide.com. in your area and start calling them, sending emails and samples of your product. Only after you demonstrate the products before smoke shop owners or store managers of these stores, they will decide to display your products or conduct a demonstration for their customers.
Once demand for your products increases in local area you can use the sales statistics to increase your client base across the state and also on national level. To have a stable distribution channel for your products you have to find distributors, which you can find at www.cstoredistributors.com that service convenience stores and smoke shops which stock your products and then also have a backup who can deliver your products if regular distributor backs out of critical shipments. When selecting a distributor for your products find an organization that already carries products similar to yours and know the care and due diligence required for distribution of these products.
Sales through internet
Today most vaping products are sold online as in some states it is illegal to sell these products in regular grocery stores. Some manufacturers want to try and sell their wares online first and depending on the demand expand distribution to other stores around the state. Selling small packages to individuals by courier can be an expensive affair if you have to bear cost of packaging and delivery yourself. The only way you can make money by distributing on internet based orders is to make bulk deliveries to stores or Smoke Shops Buyers that will sell your products in their area.
Selling in niche market
Selling in a competitive market requires research and market testing before attempting full scale sales campaign. If the research shows demand potential for your kind of product in that market then you can engage in all sales campaigns and distribution to avoid waste of resources. Since vaping products adhere to a niche market you may be confused about where to find smoke shops which can be easily sorted out by purchasing smoke shop list which will give you complete details of address and contact numbers of all such stores in a particular area. You can display products in these stores or give them out as samples to people visiting the stores with comments forms. Depending on the demand for your products in the area you can decide whether it is worthwhile to start distributing in that area.
When you are starting out into the market, having a strong distribution network is critical for its success, as no customer is likely to wait forever for his/her favorite product to come back to store shelves. With dedicated marketing and campaigning, it may be easy to get e-cigs into smoke shops but retaining hold of a particular brand in the market may not be an easy task to retain its position.