That said, we had a fantastic response from customers and non-customers both on the survey and via email and i thought it might be interesting to share our thought process behind the questions and some of the results with the public.
Some of the questions are irrelevant to anyone but us so if you filled in the survey (thank you to all 1500+ of you, we hoped you enjoyed the little surprise at the end!) and you’re wondering why some of the questions aren’t here, that’s why!
So. Question time. Its worth noting that this poll was completely anonymous, so we can only base opinions on the answers given…
First up, we asked where people had heard of us. We had a feeling that Facebook was probably the biggest driver of traffic for us. We were right, with 61% of you joining us from our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/18650UK) Almost 20% of you had come from Planet of the Vapes (www.planetofthevapes.co.uk) which is nice to see given the Facebook age is slowing killing forums which before big socials, were the primary source of information on just about anything!
How many cells people buy at a time is difficult to track in our software, so we thought this was relevant. Mostly so we can tailor our offers to customers. The 2-5 bracket took the win as you can see below
Question 4 tackled the long running debate between the LG HG2, Sony VTC6 and Samsung 30Q, given how similar these cells are. We dropped the ball on this one, not providing a “not applicable” option for those who dont use them. This may have skewed the results as it was a mandatory question but the results were interesting. (Personally, i like the colour green..)
Next we looked specifically at customers who purchase cells for vaping. We were keen to see what devices people were using the cells for and the results confirmed what we expected. Most people are regulated device users, with another chunk who use regulated primarily with a dabble in mechanical, me included.
Immediately following this, we asked vapers which was more important to them; Capacity (mAh) or discharge rate (Amps). The results were close, with a slight preference on capacity. I have to admit, i was a little disheartened to see this result. Not having to faff about swapping batteries out or carrying them would be fantastic, but when you’re placing a device next to your face, i really hoped to see more people pick the safety option of discharge rate over the convenience of capacity here.
Question 8 covered another debated subject. Who is the biggest charger manufacturer? This one did surprise me. I gave 4 options based on the largest numbers of them on other mediums (eBay, Amazon, etc. Unfortunately a hotbed for low priced counterfeits). Nitecore, XTAR, Efest (LUC) or “Another brand not listed”. Nitecore have been around a long time and despite the number of conspiracies and counterfeits that have trickled through over the years they came out on top, by a considerable margin. Personally, i prefer XTAR but purely on aesthetics, and because my VP4 Plus Dragon has an internal resistance check function that i dont need to leave my desk to use. Both are fantastic devices and deserve their share of the market but given the number of XTAR chargers sold by our closest competitor, the result was a pleasant surprise. Equally, the number of “others” taking only 4% i think really shows who the top players are here in the UK
The next constantly contested subject, the peoples favourite OEM cell manufacturer. We kept this simple, a shootout between Sony, Samsung and LG. This is one of a few questions i want to explore a little deeper in the future to see if its performance, price or a bit of both but the results are clear. With very little new development in cells usable in vaping from LG lately, Sony and Samsung are leading the way with new options in the form the VTC6A and VTC5D, and the 20S, 24S, 25S, 30T and 40T from Samsung.
With the rise of Chinese re-brand companies, we wanted to get peoples thoughts on the best of them. Vapcell, with their recent ability to source strong, new to the market cells and rate them in line with their true performance has given them the edge over their competitors. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing all businesses who re-wrap OEM cells do the same. Afterall, at the very least i morally wrong to sell someone something that doesn’t perform like it says on the tin. At the very worst, its unbelievably dangerous.
Whats this has shown us however, is that we missed something big here. Almost as many people who picked Vapcell, picked someone not listed. This is another question we have clear reason to revisit at some point. Was everyone voting that option for one company, or lots? We need to know!
Our full compliance with UK and EU legislation is what sets us apart from our competitors. Out of the literally hundreds of companies in the UK selling these cells, we are one of only 3 companies who are fully EU/UK legislation compliant. Unless you are buying cells from us or the two others (or a business we supply to as a wholesale customer), you are buying products that shouldn’t be on the market. We asked how much this matters to our customers. We’ll let the results do the talking here.
Before this next question, we asked where people got their cells from before using 18650 UK. The winner was the same, and its unsurprising. One of the only other compliant companies in the UK with a fantastic following and a business we have a great relationship with so it was great to see them come out on top with our customers who needed something we didn’t have at the time they needed it. We work hard to keep our stock level higher than demand but just with your favourite supermarket, occasionally we get caught short and its good to see that for the most part, if we dont have something you’re looking toward the only two other compliant businesses in the UK.
You might notice I’ve removed two company names from the above list. At 18650 UK we love competition, but not with companies who aren’t interested in playing the game by the same rules and for this reason, I’m not able to show their name here.
Those buying from “Another UK based business”, could well be vape shops or online stores we or our compliant competitors supply to. They could however, be other UK competitors who aren’t compliant. Its impossible to tell unfortunately.
Those buying from Alibaba, Aliexpress and similar – almost guaranteed non-compliant product and another hotbed for counterfeit cells. If you’re reading this. Please. Don’t risk it. It’s not worth the potential harm to your wallet or health.
Lastly, if you want to help stamp out counterfeit and poor quality cells, unsafe stated battery ratings and contribute to the wealth of testing data and information aimed at making vaping safer, please take a moment to look at the following page from Mooch – Mooch’s Patreon Page
If you haven’t heard of him, Mooch has a background in the very same work he has tirelessly carried out for the vaping industry for little to no return for many years, despite investing tens of thousands of dollars in equipment. For many, he is the first source of information on selecting the right cell for their purpose and his work in the industry from testing hundreds of cells and devices to actively hounding Chinese manufacturers has contributed to a huge number of industry changes.
He’s keen to quit his day job and work for you, full time. A couple of dollars/pounds a month makes a big difference. If everyone we’ve ever supplied to pledged just £2, we alone could probably keep him charged for a whole year!
What do you think? Couple of surprises? Us too! Let us know what you think on our Facebook page or drop us a line – hello@18650.UK.
Thanks again to everyone who got involved. Its been… interesting..!
Sales Director – 18650UK