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7 Ways to Tell If You Have A Fake Vape

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The increasing circulation of knockoffs makes it harder to ensure an authentic vape experience

The global vape market is on fire right now. Sales are up despite increasing regulation in many states, and Wells Fargo Senior Securities Analyst Bonnie Herzog projects the vapor industry could go as high as $5.5 billion this year. Longer term analyses produce forecasts of up to $43 billion in the next five years. This is likely thanks to exciting and innovative marketing campaigns, as well as an energized body of consumers pioneering the vape lifestyle around the world.

Unfortunately, such rapid growth and success seldom goes unnoticed by shady speculators. The sales numbers for APVs and MODs in particular have caught the attention of bootleggers and irregular retailers. This has led to an uptick in vape hardware piracy on the streets and via obscure e-retail sites.

Piracy Doesn't Pay

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Knockoff vapes carry injurious, sometimes explosive dangers with their low prices

This sort of unprincipled, fast-money profiteering is bound to have consequences. And it has; fake vapes have triggered waves of bad reviews from buyers convinced they were vaping off genuine products. Shoddy manufacturing results in injuries and deaths, which in turn generate negative press that ultimately hurts vapers as much as the vape industry itself.

So how do you make sure you've got the real deal and are not at risk of a vape mod literally blowing up in your face? We've got you covered with an easy guide to distinguish a genuine product from a "clone" or knockoff MOD.

How To Tell an Authentic Vape From a Fake

Without further ado, here’s a list of things to carefully inspect if you think you’ve been sold a knockoff APV or MOD, in no particular order:

Listed Price

The price for any mod is easy to look up via the manufacturer's website, or a on our website. Even if you choose to check for a general price consensus only after you've purchased the mod, you should be able to tell very quickly if you got stuck with a fake.

Build Quality

A major rule of production is that cost dictates retail price. When you buy a supposedly high-end vape for dirt cheap prices, it won't be long before you notice discrepancies. The seams along the side and bottom of the unit will be crudely finished. Chances are if you put on a video review of the exact model on YouTube, your experience with your mod won't match up with the reviewer’s observations regarding weight, feel and colors of the different parts.


Another good way to spot a fake is tactile response in the buttons. Generally, electronic personal devices (from electric shavers to toothbrushes) are designed to be functional and discreet. Their buttons are usually soft, producing little to no noise or sticking upon pressing. If you're vaping on a device with stiff buttons that clickety-clack whenever you take a hit, you've got a fake.

Friends With Your Vape

If you have a friend or acquaintance who owns the same vape you bought, ask him or her if you can look it over. You should immediately be able to feel differences in weight and build quality. Barring that, if the color of your mod is a shade or two off of your friend's vape, one of you definitely owns a clone.

Serial Numbers

These days, even cellphone cases come with serial numbers. These are essentially keys you can use to register on the manufacturer's website for two purposes: the first being to verify your product as genuine. More importantly, it could make you eligible for slight discounts on future online purchases as thanks for shopping with that manufacturer. If your serial is unrecognized, or your product doesn't even have a serial number, it's fake.


Another straightforward method of checking for an authentic vape is simply checking for a return or service warranty. A golden rule for shoppers: never trust hardware retailers who don't provide warranties.

Instruction Manual

Lastly, the content quality of an instruction manual is a good tell for knockoff vapes. It's easy to spot a raw translation to English from another language; if the instruction manual that came with your vape is barely intelligible, you've probably been snookered.

Buy From Reputable Stores

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Don’t look to save by shopping at obscure e-commerce sites with little to no reviews online. Reviews matter! MyFreedomSmokes has been online since 2008 and is one of the largest vape stores in the world. Just remember that haters gonna hate, so getting perfect scores for a vape store is well-nigh impossible. Here’s how we stack up with other top sites from FaceBook pages.

Also check out Google.  We get 4.6 out of 5 starts from 50 reviews. Ratings give you perspective ahead of time from verified shoppers, so you don’t have to wonder about the legitimacy and professionalism of an e-retail before you do business.

Stay Safe

Some advanced MODs grant you full customizability, requiring intimate knowledge of ohms and voltage settings to operate properly. You want to be sure you've got a quality vape in your hands with components you can rely on to function as advertised. Stay safe out there folks, and say "no" to fake vapes!