Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, but for vapors who are tricked into using a fake version of their favorite e-cigarette or vape mod, it’s illegal and could be dangerous. When a product is manufactured outside of U.S. consumer protection laws, it may be made using poor manufacturing practices, contain low quality materials and even pose a health hazard – a serious concern when you’re inhaling through a product that uses li-ion batteries. So how do you verify your vape mod is authentic?
Cloned versions of popular e-cigarettes and vape mods began flooding the U.S. market several years ago. With designs that look virtually identical, many fake vaping products being marketed as the real thing are difficult to recognize and draw unknowing customers to invest in lower quality, questionable devices. To add insult to injury, the warranty that comes with genuine, authentic vape mods and hardware is null and void when you mistakenly buy an imitation.
The majority of these fake vaping devices come from China, where regulations are scarce and prosecution for copyright laws is even scarcer. And when the majority of product recalls in the U.S. are for products made in China, it’s reasonable for vapors to be cautious and search for only authentic vape products.
* PLEASE NOTE: Clones aren’t always bad – especially if you’re considering a mechanical mod. Find out the difference between a quality mod clone and a cheap knockoff.
Red Flags That You Have a Fake
Luckily, there are some easy ways to spot a fake. The most reputable companies provide ways to verify an e-cigarette or vaping mod is authentic; but here are some obvious signs that you may be dealing with a fake vape product.
- ROCK BOTTOM PRICE: A universal red flag for spotting a fake e-cigarette is the price. If it’s too good to be true, chances are it’s an imitation. Prices don’t fluctuate a great deal from seller to seller unless they are offering a ‘getting to know you’ promotion of some sort of clearance deal.
- NO AUTHENTICITY CODE: Be sure to look for authenticity codes on all of your favorite products. Established companies are introducing codes / keys to help customers verify a vape product is authentic. While many use a scratch off code that you enter on their website, new ways to verify e-cigarettes and vaping products are being implemented every day.
Vaping Product Verification
A growing list of companies are using advanced security tactics to ensure their customers are receiving genuine, authentic vape mods and hardware. Methods vary by company, here are some the ways to verify vape products:
One of the largest and most well-known brands, Aspire has been inundated with fakes. From the outside, even the best of us could be fooled by some of these scam products. To help their customers get what they pay for, Aspire recently introduced a new 3-step product verification system. It consists of a 3D hologram sticker that displays the word GENUINE in different sizes depending on the way it is viewed, a ‘scratch and check’ label on the box that reveals the verification code, and a QR code that takes you directly to their website for verification, once scanned.
If you’re unable to scan the QR code, just visit the Aspire website, input the code and learn whether the product is genuine or fake.
Eleaf has been proactive in providing a way for their customers to verify their purchases for authenticity. Their new, recently updated anti-counterfeiting method is a two step process. First, lift the plastic coating over the black leaf pattern and place the small black magnetic piece under the coating. Authentic vape products by Eleaf will display multi-colored stripes.
Then like many other brands, use the exposed code to verify authenticity on their website.
To ensure you’re receiving one of their genuine, authentic vaping products, Innokin has provided a simple, one-step verification system. Every product has scratch-and-check authentication sticker, which can be found on the reverse of the box or on the instruction manual. Scratch to reveal the verification code and enter it on their website to confirm your product was indeed made by Innokin.
In addition, many of Innokin’s devices have a unique ID within the settings for easy product authentication. To verify your Innokin device is genuine:
- Power OFF the device
- Hold the Power button , “+” or “-” buttons simultaneously for more than 5 seconds to reveal unique ID
- Once the number is revealed, enter it on the Innokin website to verify
One of the most recognizable manufacturers, Joyetech is no stranger to copy cats. With their pioneering innovations and strong reputation, it’s no wonder they’re a target for scammers. Similar to many vape and e-cigarette manufacturers, Joyetech includes a security code on all of their products, revealed by the standard scratch off method. One you’ve got your code, simply head to the official Joyetech website and then input the code into the security check box located here or on the home page.
With a wide range of vaping products and a long list of popular mods and accessories, it’s easy to see why Kangertech is one of the biggest victims of scammers and clones. To combat vape counterfeiters, Kanger uses a unique ID number on a holographic sticker, as well as a scannable QR code for easy online verification.
To verify your device, simply scan or enter the code on Kanger’s authentication page to make sure your Kanger hardware is authentic.
SmokTech has taken verifying vape products to the next level with a new security system – AB Verification Codes. The updated verification system requires two codes, both A and B, to confirm the product’s authenticity. This method will ensure a near 100% validated authentic Smok product. To use the AB product verification system, follow these simple steps from Smok.
The older sixteen-digit authentication code revealed using the familiar scratch off method will still be available until the new system is in full operation. Head to the Smok site via this link and enter the code in to ensure your Smok product is the real deal.
Tesla Cigs® Verification
Although not as widely recognized as brands such as Aspire, Eleaf, Kanger and Smoktech, Tesla Cigs is a large, global manufacturer with a number of unique vaping products that are often targeted by counterfeiters. Not to worry, though, the company provides a unique QR code with a scratch and check label on the back of all of their devices.
To ensure yours isn’t a clone or knockoff, simply scratch it off, head to the Tesla website, and enter the code to verify your device is authentic.
Vandy Vape® Verification
Founded in 2016, Vandy Vape is the newest company on this list, but they’ve definitely become an influential player in the vaping industry. With numerous collaboration projects with well-known (and extremely popular) Youtube reviewers, their products have gained a massive, worldwide audience. With demand for Vandy Vape products so high, they’re the ideal vaping products to knockoff and clone.
Luckily, they have a multi-step authentication system that makes it easy to spot a fake. On each box you’ll find a textured, holographic sticker that displays the Vandy Vape logo when tilted at an angle. It also includes a QR code that be scanned or entered manually on the Vandy Vape website for verification.
Wismec has rapidly grown into one of the worlds largest e-cigarette and vape manufacturers; thanks in large part to their attractive, innovative and high-quality products. Some of the hottest devices on the market are made by Wismec! Because of this, consumers should be especially wary of imitations, clones and fake Wisemc products.
As always, search for the authentication label on the back of the product packaging. The label will include a scannable QR code, serial number and scratch off verification number. Enter the number on Wismec’s website to verify your vape hardware’s authenticity.
If You Have a Fake E-Cig or Vape Mod
A good reputation is hard to come by, but easy to destroy. That’s why reputable companies work hard to ensure their customers aren’t being scammed. Never buy a device or purchase vape hardware that is missing an authentication method displayed on the box. If you’re shopping online, be sure you’re choosing only reputable, authorized resellers. These are some of our favorites:
If you discover that something you’ve bought fails the company’s verification test, return it, explain that the product isn’t genuine and ask for a refund.