Is Cheap Eliquid Too Good to be True?

by Ruby Daub

Cheap Eliquid Too Good to be True

One of the main reasons people are switching from smoking cigarettes to vaping is the expense. With a single packet of cigarettes now costing as much as £10 and a bottle of e-liquid retailing for as little as one-tenth the price, it’s no wonder that price considerations are just as big a reason to switch as the potential health impacts.

But can £1 e-liquid really be a decent quality? Or is it a case of cheap being nasty when it comes to vaping?

Let’s find out.


Affordable Eliquids Aren’t Necessarily Bad

Here’s the thing about e-liquids. They’re not all that expensive to manufacture. Some flavourings are more expensive, and there’s always the cost implications of bottling and packaging, but a company that manufactures thousands of bottles per day can keep per-bottle costs surprisingly low.

High-end e-liquids can cost as much as £5 per bottle – still cheaper than cigarettes – but at the opposite end of the scale, an e-liquid costing as little as £1 can still be great quality.

But that doesn’t mean all cheap e-liquids are created equal. When it comes to testing an affordable brand, there are a few things you need to look out for.


Things to Look Out For #1 – Brand

Branding might seem irrelevant when it comes to e-liquids, but let’s run a little thought experiment.


Bottle #1

Strawberry Eliquid

Home-printed labels

No other packaging

No safety information


Bottle #2

Strawberry Eliquid

Professionally designed and printed labels

Exterior packaging

Full safety information



Which of those bottles do you think contains a liquid that’s been thoroughly tested? Which has an accurate nicotine dosage? Which will taste better?

Yes, branding might seem like a strange thing to look out for, but an e-liquid supplier that invests in their image has an image to protect – and that means higher levels of quality control than someone looking to make a quick buck!


Things to Look Out For #2 – Origins

Where does your e-liquid come from?

It’s pretty simple to import mass-produced, white label liquids from China and slap your own logos on it. But while this cheaply imported liquid is affordable, ten minutes on Google or YouTube will show you that in this case cheap definitely means nasty!

Instead, keep an eye out for liquids manufactured in the USA or right here in the UK. E-liquids made in these countries have to pass much stricter quality controls imposed by governmental agencies, meaning it’s far less likely that something unpleasant finds a way into your e-liquid.

There are plenty of UK-based vape manufacturers available, and many supplies direct to supermarkets and other retailers. Which brings us nicely on to the next point…


Things to Look Out For #3 – Retailer

Here’s the final thing to look out for. Who’s selling you this cheap e-liquid?

Much like with branding, it’s a case of who has a reputation to protect. National retailers such as B&M Bargains and Poundland stock British-made e-liquids, many supermarkets do the same, and of course, high street vape shops live and die on the quality of their products.

These retailers need to provide high quality products, even with their most affordable ranges, and the fact that they can buy in bulk lets them purchase liquids at a discount and pass on the savings to consumers.

Or, on the other hand, there’s the bloke selling cheap liquids on a trestle table at the market, our out of the boot of his car. Do you think he’s too bothered with things like quality? After all, he’ll never see you again.

It’s common sense. Choosing a retailer you can trust is key to making sure your affordable e-liquid isn’t cheap and nasty.

And that common sense applies to all three points you need to bear in mind when you buy one pound eliquids.

Choose an established brand with a commitment to quality, who manufacture their liquids in a country with strict health and safety guidelines, and who do business with trusted national retailers.


It’s not rocket science. But it is most definitely good economics!

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