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Delton Childs

Smoke Shop Blogger at Head Shop Hero
Delton Childs smoke shop enthusiast and product reviewer. D loves talking with friends about new products and innovations in the smoke shop industry as well as hanging out with his schnauzer Einstein at the park. Be sure to give him a shout on your favorite social network.

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Before working at a smoke shop I thought I knew about all the smoke shop stuff just because I lived the life as a lad. The truth is there are so many new devices out there I had some catching up to do. During my first week I was under the unfortunate assumption this stuff sold itself. I wish that were the case. On the very top shelf of one of our display cases there were three G-Pro Vaporizers. I really liked the G-Pro myself and wondered why they were just sitting there and no one was buying them. After all, they are generally high-end vaporizers, are convection vaporizers, & have a really sleek look to them. I think they’re pretty discreet as well. The first thing I did was jump on youtube and find some info about the product. I know a lot of those youtube review videos can be kinda corny but even the corny ones do their best to impart some important product info. Here’s the video I watched about the G-Pro:

This video told me everything I needed to know, pretty much, to sell this bad boy. This particular unit doesn’t work exactly like “vape pens”. It is a little confusing to some people but a little unique at the same time.  Here’s what I found out works for me to sell these things.

Place It Where Customers Can See It, Easily

I was in college once & I remember a few little things from basic marketing.  I recall a little conversation when discussing retail, which I thought I’d NEVER be concerned with, and it was all about product placement on the shelves in supermarkets and how there’s a real science behind it.  There is that “Golden Zone” where customers are more likely to pick from.  I ran a little test of my own to see if this “Golden Zone” would work for some of my high dollar vaporizers and BANG… I immediately sold my first.  I’m on week two with one of the “golden zones” in my large 7′ Display case and I sell a premium item from that display once a week so far.  Every item I place front and center is the next to go.  I love it.  I just put a Cloupour M4 Dry Herb Vaporizer there and I know I’ll sell it fast.

There are probably a few things going for that display case sales wise.  Firstly, being in the center of the display floor in a locked glass case gives an item a bit of an higher status in the shop.  Anything I put there, if arranged nicely and not thrown in, becomes a “feature item”.  People like the idea of purchasing a “feature item”.  Even this display has its golden zone though.  The display wasn’t really selling much until I started to use it like like a feature display should be used.  One of the first thing that was going wrong is that it was jam-packed.  try to give products a little room to breathe.  Featured Items are kinda like royalty in the sense that they’re entitled to occupy a larger amount of space.  In some glass display cases i feel like if there is no “king of the case” all items might be equally worthless in the eyes of the consumer.

You’ve Got To Be Able To Demonstrate Their Usage, Easily.

This is a challenge with some vape pens, whether its dry herb, wax or eLiquids.  I hate looking like I’m fumbling with the product.  Here’s the system I like to use:  I like to have one unit open, so I can demo a product’s usage (my demo unit) and then several others boxed and sealed.  With this approach you’ve got to have good employees on staff because you don’t want your “demo unit” to start missing pieces.  When that demo unit is the last one, you sell the “display” for a small discount.  No, this isn’t a new strategy but having visited just about all the smoke shops in my city, I don’t see this in practice much.  In fact, that’s how most department stores sell high dollar merchandise.  I distinctly remember this $300 KitchenAid Artisan Mixer at JC Penny.  There was one on display you could touch and boxes of the unit all around it.  I better be able to inspect that item and judge the quality all on my own before making that $300.00 buy.  Smokers are the same way, or even more OCD about their purchase because disposable income might not be as plentiful for smoke shop customers as opposed to JC Penny’s customers.

You could just wait untill someone who wants exactly what you have walks in the door and is looking to buy it at the price you have it listed at.  All those planets aligning in just the right way seems like a bit of a longshot so I like to increase my chances of selling items a bit more.  Otherwise I’m just skating through the day on a hope and a chance.  If you can clearly and concisely prove how a customer might use one of these vaporizers you can immediately create the wish to buy.  Creating that want is key to making the sale.  Expensive vaporizers are easy to use once you know how but are a little intimidating or may seem like they don’t work, especially if you’re over 30 and grew up with papers and water-pipe.  If you can explain briefly to someone how they can use it, share with them your knowledge and create a report with your customer you can sell whatever it is.

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