Despite all of the craziness happening in the vaping industry, there are still jobs being created every single day in the vaping world.
Some of those hired have a TON of information, and that's wonderful! You're ahead of the game, you've done your research, and you are ready to work.
For some of us though, getting prepared to work in a vape shop can be daunting.
Let me share a little bit of experience with you first before I start telling you what you need to know.
I started vaping in 2014. I started working in a vape shop in 2015. I had very limited experience with vaping, although I was learning how to build coils for RDA/RDTA/RTA devices prior to working in the shop.
About six months into working at the vape shop, I became a key-holder. I was able to open and close the store down with no assistance. Now, I am considered a general manager after working here for 4.5 years. I've trained several employees now, created a training manual, created checklists and implemented other opportunities in the store to make our jobs easier.
I know how intimidated I was to work in a vape shop. At the time, it was the whole "big bearded men" industry (or so it seemed in my area) and I'm a woman who stands less than 5' tall. My experience in training is your gain!
Everyone wonders "Where do I start?" There is so much. Boxes, tanks, RDA's, pod devices, e-liquid, helping someone transition to vaping from tobacco....there is SO much! I'm going to walk you through how I created our training manual at the store, things to note and more!
The first page of the binder is important contact information. This has all of the information for the employees and boss, as well as the fire department, police department, emergency medical services, and local hospitals.
After that, I have a "important things to note" page. This covers FDA guidelines and local outlines of their laws/rules. For this page, I have the following information:
1. No free samples.
2. No builds of any type for RDA's, RTA's and RDTA's.
3. Anyone who appears to be under the age of 27 must provide valid government I.D.
4. We reserve the right to deny service if an employee believes that you are purchasing products for anyone under the age of 21.
5. (Insert store name) employees are no longer allowed to handle devices.
6. FDA released a statement regarding cartridge style devices. Closed pod system products such as JUUL are no longer allowed to manufacture flavored pods other than tobacco or menthol.
Next, I go into battery safety. This warning is posted throughout the store as well for liability reasoning. Here is what is posted:
1. Do not put batteries in any liquid. Juice may get on your batteries, wipe immediately.
2. Do not put batteries in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Keep batteries in room temperature conditions. Keep batteries out of hot cars. Keep batteries away from heat vents and fires.
3. Ensure to use the correct charger (charger that comes with device) or correct battery charger.
4. Ensure that the batteries are put in device and charger correctly.
5. Discontinue use of battery immediately if wrap or insulator has any signs of tears, scratches, burns, or any other deformation.
6. Ensure that you are using the same brand of batteries. Do not mix two different brands of batteries together.
7. If your device requires more than one battery, ensure that the batteries are charged together, and discharge together. Do not charge batteries separately.
8. Keep batteries away from any metal. Do not put batteries near keys, change, or any other metal.
9. Do not put batteries loosely in purse/pockets/etc. Use a battery case/cover to ensure safety of batteries.
It also notes that (insert store name) is not responsible for venting batteries or battery dysfunction. Please contact the manufacturer.
Now, we get into devices.
I have it broken down by the display case. Now, we set up our display cases to start with 510 threaded (ego) batteries, then AIO devices (that are cigarette-like) and pod style devices.
With these devices, they are all built in batteries. I made sure to write down the mAh of each device, how the device charges, if it has a tank the tank capacity, etc.
So, for example, we'll use the Aspire Pockex AIO.
-1500 mAh battery
-0.6 ohm or 1.2 ohm coil
-2mL e-liquid capacity
-Glass is replaceable
I move onto built in sub-ohm batteries (Smok Prince Stick), built in battery box mods (VooPoo Mojo), single battery box mods (VooPoo Rex), dual battery box mods (VooPood Drag) and 3+ battery box mods (eLeaf iStick 200w).
I do the same idea as above (with the Aspire Pockex) as I do with each of these devices. I list out the wattage range, capabilities (temperature control, parental locks, fire button lock, wattage lock, etc.), and other options. If it comes as a "kit" then I'd list the tank with it as well.
For example, the VooPoo Rex Kit:
-VooPoo Uforce T2 tank (U2, U4, N1, N3 coils)
-Single 18650 battery
-TC mode (3 clicks on fire button)
This lists the device capabilities as well as the tank and its coils.
I move into tanks, which there is such a large variety. We'll use the Smok Prince Tank as an example.
Smok Prince Tank:
-8 mL capacity with bubble glass
-5 mL capacity with flat glass
**Smok Prince RESA Tank takes a different glass size
-M4 (30-70 watts, 0.17 ohm)
-Q4 (40-100 watts, 0.4 ohm)
-X6 (50-120 watts, 0.15 ohm)
-T10 (60-120 watts, 0.11 ohms)
-Strip (40-100 watts, 0.15 ohm, mesh)
-Dual mesh (70-120 watts, 0.2 ohm, mesh)
-Max mesh (70-130 watts, 0.17 ohm, mesh)
-810 drip tip
The downside with tanks, is that there are a TON of them. Seeing what your store carries and offers will help you break each tank down.
Then comes e-liquids. I personally like to use Quizlet or flashcards to learn e-liquids, but there are plenty of ways to learn.
If you decide to do flashcards/Quizlet, on the "front" side, have the name of the e-liquid and on the back, the description.
For the training manual, I did it by company. For example, I'll use Savage e-liquids.
1. Harley Quinn: raspberry cookie
2. James Bond: strawberry, kiwi, dragonfruit, menthol
3. Claire Underwood: watermelon jolly candy
4. Frank Underwood: blue raspberry jolly candy
5. Hugh Jackman: coffee cake with strawberry whipped cream
6. Pinkman: peach strawberry
7. John Cena: banana waffle cone ice cream
8. Jason Bourne: pineapple strawberry slushie
It doesn't need to be an long, eloquent description. Just enough to understand the flavor profile. My co-workers were able to learn 200+ house e-liquids and 40+ premium e-liquids with this method.
We also carry CBD products, in which I broke down by type of CBD. By type, I mean tinctures, e-liquids, gummies, cartridges, topicals, etc. This isn't the case for every vape shop by any means, but I'll list a quick example if you do carry CBD.
JGO Party Pack
-1000mg in package
-50mg per gummy, 20 gummies per package
I also have all of the lab results from each CBD manufacturer that I could get my hands on. This is an ease-of-mind for customers who are concerned about THC levels.
This is everything that I have included in my training manual at the vape shop!
What an exciting time! There is so much to learn, and even after 4.5 years of working in a vape shop, I learn something new every day!
Let's look at helping a customer pick their first device.
Usually, these customers have no idea what they are looking at. That's where YOU come in!
I always ask a few questions prior to showing devices.
1. What cigarettes do you smoke?
2. How much do you smoke?
3. How long have you smoked for?
4. Have you ever used a vape?
These questions give you a general idea of their preferences.
I'll give you a quick dialogue here.
"Hi there, welcome to (insert store here). How can I help you today?"
"I'm looking to purchase my first device. I'm not really sure what I'm looking at."
"That's why I am here! I have a few questions for you first. What kind of cigarettes do you smoke?"
"Are they menthol or non-menthol?"
"Okay! How much do you smoke? Pack a day? Half a pack a day?"
"Usually about a pack a day."
"Definitely need to get you away from those cigarettes! How long have you been smoking for?"
"About 15 years or so."
"Have you ever used a vape? Maybe something from a gas station or a family member had?"
"Yeah, my buddy has this big box, it's too much for me though. I'm looking for something smaller. I don't know though."
So, this gives you an idea of what they would want. They don't want menthol, so don't recommend menthol e-liquids. They were a pack a day smoker. If they go with a pod-style device, you could recommend nicotine salts. If they go with a 510 threaded pen or a device similar to the Aspire Pockex, you could recommend an 18mg nicotine e-liquid. If they were to go with a bigger box, you could recommend a 9mg or lower.
Show them devices. Let them hold devices. Let them see how the devices work.
Explain to them that this is usually the most expensive purchase, unless they decide to upgrade their devices or if their device breaks.
Explain to them that it takes time to find a correct nicotine level and flavor that they like.
Remember, nicotine levels are based on device. Pod style devices can use higher nicotine levels while box mods should have a lower nicotine level.
You are READY to go into the vape shop!
Keep in mind, the employees are there to answer questions for you, and Reddit is a wonderful resource as well.
Take your time, learn everything you can, and help people quit tobacco!
If you ever have any questions, please feel free to email me! This can be on anything vape related!
Take care and CONGRATULATIONS on the new job!