Hi Guys, I wanted to share some happenings in the hookah world today as I see it as a vendor and consumer. With that said I am not posting this to promote my business in anyway (HP is kind enough to have a vendor section where we vendors can promote freely,within reason and within laid out guidelines.
Here goes and this may come across as rambling so bear with me.
The import market is crap, plain and simple. I have been to so many wholesalers over the week and they are flooded with cheap Chinese hookahs, coals that will make you choke and shisha that is imo (and I smoke at least twice a day) unsmokeable. Not only that there are knock offs of everything, including knockoff knockoffs. I am not going to name names but it seems like 95% of the hookahs in the US are Chinese, some OK quality at best but mostly junk. That may be ok if you stock your store hoping for the next sucker to walk in so you can tell him how this great abc pos hookah is, take his money and never look back. The ones most of here at HP like are KM's and MZ's, right? Well guess what? KM's have been dry in the market for a few weeks and a lot of MZ's have been gone a long time ago. What does that leave for our respectable vendors here on HP, including myself? No stock....oh when are they getting more you ask, some vendors (and not naming names) will tell you oh yeah we are getting a ton very soon, next week most likely
The truth is the vendors are being to led on by the importers and the consumer is being led on by the vendor. I have been asked when the next shipment is coming in so I ask my supplier. It's been about a month since he has been telling me no problem any day now. I came to find out, the container hasn't left Egypt yet!!!!
Most of you who have been on HP for a few months remember when this happened a while back. The importers told us the same thing, don't worry, next week....every week for about 3 months!
Again not to promote me or any other vendor but you will need to dig around to get a KM or MZ today, email/pm or even call your respectable vendors and ask what they have and take what you can. The good thing about HP is that they don't let jsut any vendors drop in and post promotions and leave. You'll see that most of the vendors here are a part of the HP community and participate and contribute.
On the other hand if you want a worthless overpriced attempt at a hookah, made in china, copying someone else' copy, then SKYS THE LIMIT folks. Have at it
There is no limit on shisha these days, you can get what you want almost anywhere you want and at good prices. The only issue I have is that I haven't been "wowed" by any new brand of shisha in a long time. I can't wait until there is a new shisha that tases better than SB and is half the price of AF, wishful thinking, right?
Coals, there is so much I could say but I am too biased to give a fair opinion and will not use this post for self benefit. The good thing is coals are not running out anywhere soon.
Where am I going with all this? Who the heck knows but for those of you who have quality hookahs, really really take care of them as I am afraid good quality will not be around much longer. Maybe I'm nuts but I appreciate quality products. Prices are going up on everything and that includes this industry as well. I do have some hope though, some of the vendors you know (will not name names) are taking the initiative to import their own hookahs. I wish them luck and can't wait for that outcome.
Sorry for the negativity but it has been tough figuring out what this market has to offer. On the other hand, there are always people in any market who have cards up their sleeves. Hopefully there is something on the way and will be announced upon arrival and happy smoking days will be here again.
OK, rant over, time to smoke