No, you cannot buy or sell vape gear on eBay, at least not anymore. Before 2016, many nicotine-related products were still openly available for purchase on eBay and other classified sites.
However, a recent change in U.S. policy has altered the buying process for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
E-cigs hijacked the market in recent years, reigniting the industry. Vape pens, drip tips, mods, and e-liquids gradually took the place of traditional cigs, and unfortunately, teenagers quickly jumped on the trend.
Due to the increased interest in e-cigs, vape mods, and the accompanying vape gear, more underaged teens were perusing sites like eBay to bypass the legal age limit to purchase electronic cigarettes and other products.
Buying and Selling Vape Gear Online
Sellers on eBay could previously post their tobacco products freely, including things like vape mods, pens, vape liquids, pure tobacco, and other vape stuff.
However, after the increase in vaping among teenagers, the FDA soon got involved and began holding buyers, sellers, and websites responsible for the illegal sale of any tobacco product.
Change in Applicable Laws Regarding Vaping
In July of 2016, the FDA announced a Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan to stop the sale and exposure of e-cigarettes to minors. In their efforts to limit the distribution of vape gear online, the FDA specifically reached out to eBay regarding the products available for purchase on their site.
Many companies (like eBay) were consistently given legal notice and civil warning complaints and instructed to remove the prohibited items from their site immediately. Those who chose not to comply faced legal repercussions.
Soon after, the law officially changed, and as of August 8, 2016, the sale of all vape-related products became illegal to anyone under the age of 18. (Later, anyone under 21.)
Because of this sudden policy change, purchasing vaping products online became nearly impossible as there is no viable method to verify the age of a buyer.
The Seller Struggle with E-cig Listings on eBay
Established sellers on eBay quickly saw their listings pulled regarding all vape-related items, including expensive brand name products, particularly JUUL and Voopoo Drag. Even more dumbfounding, eBay pulled some listings merely for containing vape accessories, like mods or drip tips.
Other sellers complained in eBay community forums, stating that some bigger companies were somehow pre-approved to vend these vaping products under a unique qualification, but this proved to be false information.
Community Guidelines for eBay Sellers
Per the smoking accessories policy and seller standards published directly by eBay, there are specific guidelines on smoking products and only a few exceptions to the strict system.
The company has explicitly stated that no one can list the following items on eBay:
- loose tobacco
- herbal cigs or tobacco (otherwise called shisha)
- ENDSs (including e-cigarettes, e-liquids, and accessories)
Ongoing Confusion with E-cigarette Searches
For the first few years following the policy change, some buyers and sellers continued to spot vape products on eBay, like a varying mod, e-liquid, or vape pen that was sometimes listed under separate names to alter the display results.
In June 2019, nearly three years after the legislative change, content creators started investigating whether vaping products were truly unavailable on eBay. Their search proved successful as they uncovered numerous listings for unregulated items available for purchase.
Small business owners, in particular, expressed frustration regarding the inconsistencies on eBay as they were missing out on extra money due to the stringent rules and regulations now in place.
Current Search Results for E-cig Products
After searching for vape products today in 2021, I did not have the same results as the aforementioned creators. I completed multiple useful searches in this area, and there were no viable results available, not even a single mod listed.
How to Buy Vape Gear Online?
As of now, smoking products are no longer available on primary selling forums like Amazon and eBay.
Instead, there are companies specifically created to buy or sell vape gear online, where you are required to confirm your age and region upon entering their site. These websites have successfully sold many products legally under the new laws.
However, some enthusiasts recommend you exclusively buy direct from the manufacturers of these products to ensure premium quality. This advice is helpful, especially if you buy an expensive product like a mod.
Some Vape Users Choose Entrepreneurship
Another option is available to those looking to make a profit on these products online. Some users are opening their own online businesses to sell vape gear. Still, you should tread lightly, as local and federal laws are constantly changing regarding the use and distribution of these products.
Final Thoughts on Vape Gear
For those interested in buying or selling vape gear on eBay, unfortunately, you will have to look elsewhere as the site has tightened restrictions on the distribution of these products. However, there are still outlets available to you for buying vape items online, even if you want a specialty mod that’s usually hard to find.