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Ultimate Guide: How to Sell E-Cigarettes Profitably and Legally

If all the smokers in Britain stopped smoking cigarettes and started smoking e-cigarettes, we would save 5 million deaths in people who are alive today. So it’s a massive potential public health prize.

Professor John Britton

As we all know, e-cigarettes are developing in a snowball way, and their trend has become more and more evident in the past two years. Through our years of service experience, we have found that e-cigarettes have become indispensable businesses in many stores. It doesn’t matter if you open a smoking store, electronic products, or convenience and chain supermarkets.

More importantly, there has been positive news about e-cigarettes in recent days. After the UK was one of the first to recognize e-cigarettes and use e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, other countries have successively lifted the ban on e-cigarettes. Even the most authoritative “cancer” magazine’s early reports on Electronic nicotine delivery systems reducing exposure to tobacco-related carcinogens have become references to the benefits of e-cigarettes in many countries or media.

The market economy of e-cigarettes is continuously growing and provides a lifeline for agreements or business people who need to find new income lines.

No matter how you want to start an e-cigarette project, I hope the following content will help you save time and a lot of money, not to mention legal fees.

E-cigarettes imported and sold in countries such as the United States, or the European Union must comply with various standards and regulations. For example, we must understand the e-liquid requirements, RoHS, CE marking, documents, lithium battery standards, etc.

Rules and Regulations

In any industry, one of the first winning secrets we need to understand is the rules and regulations under which it operates.

It is essential to comply with the relevant national e-cigarette policies because all non-compliant e-cigarette products will be cleaned from your shelves. If we want to run a business safely, trading products that meet the standards is our fundamental rule. We don’t need to be confused about the requirements themselves. We will trade according to the laws of the game, and we will win better.

  • Tobacco Products Directive

    The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) sets requirements on tobacco-related products, including e-cigarettes and refill liquids, to protect children, set limits on nicotine levels, and ensure the quality and safety of tobacco products.
  • ROHS test

    E-cigarette products require ROHS (restrictions on the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment). Similarly, if you want to import, we recommend testing all electrical equipment in various government-approved laboratories.
  • EMC Test Reports

    The EMC test report provides scientific data to prove that the product met specific requirements under the directive. Unfortunately, only a handful of suppliers can give the EMC test report. As such, importers shall book a third-party EMC lab testing before importing to the EU.

  • General Product Safety Directive (GPSD)

    GPSD applies to all products sold in the European Union to ensure that products can be used safely even if there is no specific standard. Therefore, GPSD is also suitable for electronic cigarette products.

    This directive is significant for the safety of lithium batteries, which may explode when compressed or heated.

    GPSD is based on self-assessment, which means that you should aggregate all risk and product safety information into a document to demonstrate compliance. This includes a risk assessment of the user’s potential behavior when using the product.

    GPSD test standard

    GPSD testing is usually not mandatory, but it is in the interest of importers to assess general product safety, including compliance with relevant EN standards, such as EN 62133 and EN 60086-4, specifically for lithium batteries.

  • CE Marking

    Electronic cigarettes are protected by one or more CE directives, such as RoHS and EMC directives. The CE mark should be permanently affixed to the product, packaging, and user manual.

    CE label file

    Don’t expect the supplier to provide CE label documents for your products. Instead, you’d better give a digital CE label file, preferably ai. Or .eps format.
  • Declaration of Conformity (DoC)

    The DoC can be either issued by the importers or the manufacturers, which must include information such as:
  • Produce identification/SKU (e.g. E-cigarette Model S)
  • Product features / functionality
  • Contact of the manufacturer/importer
  • List of applicable EN standards or directives
  • Manufacturing location
  • Responsible individual

  • United Nations 38.3

    If your e-cigarette contains lithium-ion batteries, you also need to comply with UN 38.3 before shipping. UN 38.3 indicates that your lithium battery should meet relevant standards, such as:
  • UN 3090: Lithium metal battery
  • UN 3480: Lithium-ion battery
  • UN 3091: Lithium metal batteries containing or packed with equipment
  • UN 3481: Lithium-ion batteries are contained in or packaged with equipment

You must obtain a UN 38.3 test report to prove compliance; otherwise, your freight forwarder may not accept any lithium battery products shipped overseas.

  • WEEE compliance

    WEEE compliance means ensuring that your batteries are recyclable and that every battery contains the WEEE symbol. The symbol shall be permanently, visibly, legibly, and indelibly printed on the product and its packaging.

    Member States Regulations

    Notice that each EU member state might have additional regulations for E-cigarettes products and E-liquids, on top of the Tobacco Products Directive. For example, the UK requires a child-proof and tamper-proof packaging of the E-liquid and sets specific requirements on the purity of ingredients.

    Therefore, we suggest that you contact the national authorities in your country before you import e-cigarettes and e-liquids to the EU.
WEEE compliance
  • T21

    On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and raised the federal minimum age for selling tobacco products from 18 to 21. It is illegal for retailers to sell any tobacco products (including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes) to anyone under the age of 21. The minimum sales age applies to all retail organizations and individuals, without exception.
Under 21 sign warning symbol.

We cannot cover all regulations in this blog. If you need more suggestions, please feel free to contact us at

Wholesale e-cigarettes: what you need to pay attention to

Finding reliable suppliers can be tricky. When contacting potential suppliers, you need to know a lot of information to avoid certain pitfalls. (If you are interested, you can check: 5 principles for finding a wholesaler

Of course, you also need to beware of some unreliable suppliers. What are their characteristics:

  • Fake certification: Some companies add their names to the required CE and ROHS certificates!
  • Fake and shoddy products: If it is very cheap, it is a good indicator! E-cigarettes are great value for money. But you need to consider product quality carefully. The wool is on the sheep. Please think about it for a long time.
  • The decline in quality: Some suppliers will initially manufacture or high-quality wholesale products for you, but then you will find that the quality level of the products begins to decline. This may be because some suppliers purchase some e-liquid and batteries of uneven quality to cut costs. The best remedy is to give him feedback and ask him to adjust. If he still does not change, please change the supplier immediately.
  • Non-compliant labels: unprofessional suppliers cannot provide relevant packaging or labels that comply with local policies. This will cause your product sales to encounter significant obstacles.

If your products are very diversified, I suggest that you establish more connections with several suppliers. Of course, if you can find a supplier who can trade simultaneously, let them be your agent to help you control this. Block risk. This will significantly enhance the efficiency of your work. Of course, you can include Maishou ( as your candidate partner.

How to open an e-cigarette shop:6-step guide

When the Oxford Dictionary created the “vape” word of the year, you knew that the industry was destroying mainstream culture-although it has been controversial.

You must not admit the authenticity of the data. But, according to the Quartz report, it is expected that by 2025, The e-cigarette industry is estimated to be worth US$61.4 billion. 

Business people with business insight must want to get a share of this lucrative industry. So, for novices, how to open an e-cigarette shop has become an urgent problem to be solved. But due to FDA regulations, taxes, and other essential logistics, starting any small business is not easy. Figuring out how to open an e-cigarette store and then run one may be a unique challenge. We divide 6 steps based on experience for your reference. I hope it will be helpful to you.

Step 1:make a business plan.

When you decide to start a project, please do feasibility studies and market research first. Choosing the right direction is more important than hard work. Writing a business plan will help you have a clearer view of your project:

  • Positioning: Do you want to open a physical store or an online store, and your product SKU plan.
  • Location: According to your selected city and region, do an excellent job investigating the area of interest.
  • Consumer group research: What is the purchasing power and quantity of the consumer groups around your store.
  • Regulations: Certain states or cities are banned from opening or selling e-cigarettes or displaying e-cigarette advertisements without a health warning statement.
  • Excise taxes: Although there is currently no federal excise tax on vape products, certain states and municipalities impose taxes on these products, either as a percentage of the product’s wholesale value or per unit or milliliter of liquid. This is very important. If the consumption tax is too high, it will lead to increased costs, prohibitive. Fatal will lead to business losses.
  • Name query: Log in to the business registration website of your state or city to ensure that Use the company or store name you want for you. Under normal circumstances, they have an online database that allows you to check the available terms through the search function quickly.
  • Registration attribute: If you are a sole proprietor, choose a sole proprietorship. If you want to protect yourself from liability through a limited liability company, you can select LLC, S-corps, and C-corps. They all include little liability protection so that they may be your best choice. There are many business entity options to choose from.

Step 2: Register the business and obtain any licenses or permits.

After the business plan is formulated, it is necessary to register the business and obtain and comply with any licenses required by the respective local laws. This may be one of the most complex parts of learning how to open an e-cigarette store.

We should follow the government’s specific regulations on the sale of ape products (now including covering tobacco products with health hazard warnings on all packaging and advertisements). Each estimate has different restrictions, and for the United States, the FDA’s tobacco retailer and manufacturer regulations should be followed.

Of course, depending on different countries or states, you may need to obtain additional licenses and permits to open and operate e-cigarette stores legally; the cost of your passport and support will also vary depending on your location. Regarding the requirements of e-cigarette shops in your area, it is best to consult a lawyer and verify local regulations.

Step 3: Assess essential start-up capital.

When determining when to open an e-cigarette merchant, whether it is a physical store or an online shopping store, do not underestimate the cost of Kuche. Here’s a little trick, buy inventory through wholesale suppliers so that you can buy twice as much stock at half the price. Of course, you have to do your research to ensure that you do not sacrifice quality for quantity.

How much does it usually cost to open an e-cigarette shop? In a 2013 report, Jon Merton, founder of Vapor Craze in Long Beach, California, estimated that the minimum monthly cost of running an e-cigarette store is between $7,420 and $10,020, but this does not include products. The report also recommends that you have $50,000 to open an e-cigarette store and that you have enough money to cover the cost of six months.

Step 4: Purchase commercial insurance.

This step is significant. According to INSUREON, e-cigarettes agreed to pay much higher insurance costs than other retail stores. For example, the average annual price of a small business owner who holds a company’s general liability insurance policy is US$591.13, while the average yearly cost of an e-cigarette store for the same procedure is US$711.11. But the exact cost of your insurance policy will depend on risk factors, such as your estimated income, the value of your property and equipment, and the value, type, and quantity of your inventory.

Although you can buy insurance through a public insurance company, you should know that niche insurance brokers provide insurance specifically for e-cigarette store properties and products. So E-juices, health hazards and defective products, your physical store-all of the above issues are covered by insurance.

This is good for your future protection. But, of course, we all hope that it will never be used.

Step 5: Build a strong team.

For any business, talent is the core element to promote the development of an enterprise, and it is essential to establish and have an implicit and robust team. If you have identified a chain store or larger goals, to achieve them, you need to have an employee training manual and incentive system:

  • Through these two manuals training, employees can:
  • Learn about e-cigarette products
  • Identify problems with e-cigarettes.
  • Identify customer needs
  • Provide excellent pre-sales and after-sales services
  • Dedicated and passionate work

Don’t doubt the charm of money and encouragement. It allows you to see the most charming smile and service in the world.

Step 6: Marketing

For a project that has just started, advertising in magazines is a waste of time and money. Instead of spending money on things that make you feel good about yourself without real benefits, spending money on something that allows you to generate feedback quickly is better.

For example, to provide better customer service. If the customer experience is good and you are willing to refer you to a customer, you will reward it with a blind box gift.

Or print some flyers, and you or the clerk can take these flyers around the street and distribute them. The pilot must have a title or promotion for introduction and a map showing the street location where your store is located.

Suppose the local business allows you to customize some advertisements. In that case, you can consider making some conspicuous locations in the store selling posters and stickers and highlighting the benefits or preferential activities of e-cigarettes through the design or materials of the signs.

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