Vaporizers.ca is a family run business and was started to help spread the word on vaporization and show the world that there is a better way to get the benefits from plants and essential oils. Damon Inlow is the owner of Vaporizers.ca and took some time to discuss with me.
Mike: Damon, you have a category-defining keyword domain for your website. Did you register this domain through the normal process or did you purchase the name on the aftermarket? Tell us about the process.
Damon: Back in 2005, there was only a handful of American Vaporizer dealers, and we were the only Canadian vaporizer dealer. Not many people even knew about the concept of using herbs with vaporizers and very few people sold them. One big advantage of being the first vaporizer dealer in Canada is that we did have our pick of .ca domains. We decided to go with vaporizers.ca through the normal registration process.
Mike: The tld of your domain is dot ca, which represents Canada. How well have you found this tld to work for you as compared to a dot com name?
Damon: With our product, we wanted to focus on the Canadian market. The .ca has been good for that, but it certainly limits your United States rankings and search exposure. If your goal is North America, you definitely want a .com as well as a .ca. For a focus on the Canadian market only, the .ca domains are a great choice.
Mike: I don’t smoke or vape. The site mentions “a much safer and healthier alternative to smoking.” Is that a scientific fact or merely a guess based on limited information available?
Damon: Smoking is combustion; combustion produces tars and other toxins. If you remove the smoke part and vaporize, you then only get the essence of the herb. Some herbs, like tobacco, are still bad news, but most herbs are safe when vaporized. There are many studies on vaporization, mostly medical, that are easy enough to find. Israel has done a lot of those studies.
Mike: I’m not familiar with the laws regarding the devices. Are there laws in Canada and the US regulating the sale? Does that complicate things for you?
Damon: Vaporizers can be used with hundreds of legal herbs so there are no laws against them. The American Government tried to cause problems over a decade ago, but they lost in court. The court clearly saw how many legal herbs you can vaporize and its medical uses. We have dealt with many non-legal complications like PayPal issues and advertising restrictions.
Mike: Do you do any advertising outside of organic search engine results? Do you use Google AdWords or any other paid advertising results? If so, what has been your experience?
Damon: We use organic searches as well as some limited advertising. AdWords blocked Vaporizers many years ago as well as Facebook. It was a very unpleasant experience at first as they were very ignorant of the benefits of vaporizing and the policies were not clear at all.
Mike: What has been the biggest challenge running an online business? How have you navigated this?
Damon: Getting the page setup and getting those initial sales is tough for sure but we find the biggest challenges are the logistics. Not only getting the inventory to us but shipping across the country. Takes a lot of work and shipping is always a loss money wise. Every year rates go up and we lose more money on shipping. You can go dropship, but it’s hard to find a reliable one you can trust. Customer satisfaction is key and if your dropshipper fails, you fail.