by Shane Eubank September 21, 2016
We all have our favourite vape reviewers. Some of them have reached six digit level followings- pretty astounding. They’re fun, they’re informative, and they try out all sorts of products from mods to e-juices and accessories, letting us know what they think of the latest products on the market so that we’re better informed. A few of them are highly technical and great for a behind the curtains look at how things work and why they function the way they do. Many more offer basic (and not so basic) how-to’s.
Like a lot of viewers, I watch reviews to get an idea on what I might want to buy next. What did reviewers think of a new mod or RDA I’m thinking of getting? How does it perform? Compare to other devices? And what e-juices are people liking that I might want to try? I know a lot of people watch them for basic instructions on how to properly use their devices or care for them. I’m lucky in that I have an in-house expert but most people don’t and, according to new legislation, a lot of vape shops can no longer assist their customers in the way that they used to.
If you go into a vape shop in Alberta, it’s not unusual to see an employee helping a person with their first set-up after they determine what they need based on their smoking history and personal preferences. They walk them through all of the instructions, then put the device together for them, let them sample the e-juices to choose their favourite, load the tank, get them to try it out, make adjustments if necessary and then, when the customer is happy with their set-up, they tell them to just come back and they’ll do it all again until the customer is comfortable doing it for themselves. Immensely helpful.
But in some places (and we could be next) that’s no longer legal. It’s illegal to help a person with a brand new device or show someone who’s never installed a coil how to do it or let them sample e-juices so that they don’t end up with something they hate. And that puts people at risk, at the very least of getting so frustrated that they just give up and grab that easy cigarette. I know how I was when I was quitting smoking: not in the mood to be f*cked around. If it had been complicated or annoying- no problem, I had a pack “just in case.” (You can see why the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries like this new legislation: the more difficult it is to make the switch, the easier it is for people to fall back on- or just stick with- old habits.)
This is where reviewers come in. Their input is more critical than ever- both to the general public, and to the vape industry itself. They can provide the information that a lot of vape shops can’t anymore, from general information about vaping versus smoking, to how to use a device, install coils, clean and care for products, and tell us the differences between e-juices that they’ve tried. In short, they’re going to be a godsend to vape shops in areas where new legislation has already hit. (I wonder if vape shops in the affected areas are allowed to play YouTube reviews on a loop? Because that might be useful.)
The ‘top’ reviewers out there are probably going to find themselves slammed by companies wanting reviews even more than they already were. But I really hope that we support those reviewers who have a small to mid-range following too, because we need reviewers to keep providing us with information and there’s only so much the guys at the top can get through. Besides, it’s nice to have a variety of people with different tastes and preferences that we can choose from.
I tend to prefer no-nonsense reviews with a fair amount of information about the products and (not going to lie) I support women vapers so I do follow them, though not exclusively. Shane likes the occasional entertaining video but for the most part he likes highly technical videos. In any case, there are a lot of reviewers out there that cater to a wide variety of interests, experience and tastes in addition to advocating for the industry. And as a vape community, we should support them. They are, after all, supporting us.
So head on over to your favourite reviewers some time and show them some love through subscribing, or commenting on their videos, and spreading the word. And maybe check out someone entirely new to you and see what they have going on. It’s not all about the massive giveaways: it’s about regular people providing us all with a *free* service that benefits us as an industry and as a community.
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