Counterfeit disposable nicotine vapes exist. It’s an unfortunate and sad reality. The good news is that purchasing from a reputable retailer, whether an online or a physical shop, is the absolute best defense against inadvertently buying a bootleg vape like a counterfeit Elf Bar or a fake Flume.
Besides buying from a reputable retailer, which may not always be so cut and dried, there are a few ways to check the authenticity of your vape, if you have your doubts. Even if you aren’t concerned about your device, it’s a good idea to randomly verify your disposable vape purchases.
Elf Bar 600 - l. fake, m. NL/UK, r. GER
Verify the authenticity of your disposable vape
Every legitimate disposable nicotine vape is sold in packaging with all the verification checks included on the packaging. That means that you must have your original packaging to verify the authenticity of your device.
Somewhere on the packaging, you’ll find an authenticity sticker. This sticker will usually have a hologram, a QR code, and a scratch-off label hiding a security code. There may be an additional QR code for tech support somewhere on the packaging, so keep that in mind when looking for the verification QR code.
The main two ways to avoid buying a counterfeit vape are to check the verification code and to buy from a reputable retailer. The catch is that to verify via the verification code, you’d have already purchased the device—assuming you’re not scratching off every verification label in a store! And if you purchase online, you obviously can’t run a check unless you have the box in hand.
oCheck reviews of the store if you’re unsure
oSmoke and vape shops are advisable
oBe cautious of seedy gas stations that openly sell synthetic drugs and dangerous weapons at the checkout.
·Look closely at the packaging of the device for any signs of tampering. Authentic disposable devices come in factory-sealed packaging.
·Never purchase a disposable that does not come in a sealed package.
·Inspect the packaging for misspelled words or shoddy print jobs. Oftentimes, the most difficult things to “clone” or to counterfeit well are not the actual product but the product packaging.
oBeware of double printing (the text will look as if it’s been imperfectly printed twice)
oBeware of misspelled words, particularly of the product or brand name.
·Be careful with bundle deals that seem too-good-to-be-true.
Immediately cease usage of the device. Don’t buy any more vape products from that retailer. You can try and return it to the store you bought it from, but it’s unlikely to result in a refund. After all, if a store sells counterfeit products, it’s likely they don’t have any integrity, nor would they be willing to stand by the product.
As mentioned, counterfeit vapes have been around for a long time. Interestingly, there are a lot of vapers that willingly purchase counterfeit vape products. But that pertains to hardware only. The difference between something like an Elf Bar clone and a Kayfun clone is that the former is a cheap consumable, and the latter is expensive hardware.