Starting a new e-liquid business

EDIT: for a full explanation about price, creator incentives etc. see my other post in this thread, which is I think is the 19th reply.
My vaping journey:
Before I talk about the business idea, I have to first say thank you to all the ELR folks who have helped me and a lot of other people in becoming DIYers, It would have been a lot harder without ELR and its users. I think it is appropriate to few words about my vaping story as I never got around to doing that. So I started vaping back in I think 2010. Not sure what my device was but it was a closed pod system cigalike (might have been Blu). It was actually quite a good device. it had a slick looking mat black casing that looked and opened pretty much like a cigarette packet but it also had a battery that charged your pod when you put it in the casing.
Obviously initially it was just to help me give up smoking, but then something happened. I found one of my cartridges under the sofa which was still sealed, it must have been there for like 10 months and when I vaped it, it blew my mind as the taste was nothing like a fresh cartridge, it was an entirely different thing now. To this day that is the best flavour I have tasted. it was a mainly strawberry flavour. So from then on I was hooked on vaping, if nothing else, just to experience that taste again. So I decided to get some fresh cartridges and let it sit for a long time. but the company did something stupid. they made bigger pod devices which didn’t fit the casing (and never made it clear in their website) meaning that the lid of the casing wouldn’t close shut. so I stopped using their devices and never got the chance to try my stashed-away cartridges. Fast forward to 2016 and I started DIYing, and I got to know about steeping, which confirmed my suspicions that some e-liquids get better with time. I joined ELR in 2018 and have been mostly DIYing since. Depends how busy (lazy) I am (feel).

The Business:
Drum rolls…
The companies’ vision is to “is to empower and safeguard vapers by “open-sourcing” e-liquid recipes. This approach is key to achieving our mission of empowerment and safeguarding the user”. So it is a liquid recipe mixing website. Just like ELR but we also mix the recipes for the user and just like ELR all flavours will come with info about ingredients used. The plan is to have bottles of sizes, 5, 20 and 20 ml. 5ml mostly being for trying out new products. All e-liquids will be shortfill for the time being. The biggest challenge is how to design a production line that can handle such highly customised product. We are thinking of stocking the 1000 most popular concentrates. There is also a poll below. again any input will be appreciated and will help me eventually decide whether to commit or not.

  1. How likely are you to use such service
  • very likely
  • somewhat likely
  • somewhat unlikely
  • very unlikely

0 voters

Will this business be located in the US?

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So, let me see if I get this…

You have spent a lot of time on ELR, studying it so you can copy it, start a business based on it, use many of the resources gifted by ELR, and now you’re promoting the idea on ELR, asking the ELR community for thoughts and input? Is that about it?


So, what specific recipes are going to be used? I would honestly rather buy a “one-shot” from the recipes creator than a third party service. Is the recipes creator going to receive a percentage of what you sell if you use their recipe?


I initially voted no since I mix…but would be interested in what the pricing would be. How economical will this be?


I have been diving deep into the flavor and perfume industry. I don’t think an open-source model would be useful because
a. Truly understanding flavor science requires an intimate grasp of a certain subset of organic chemistry. Particularly, aldehydes, esters, ketones.
b. In almost all cases flavors are artificially synthesized. Even when the exact same compound could be derived from nature. People in general don’t like to hear this, nor any explanation for why it may be beneficial.

Short of that, sounds like you’re just cloning this website!
Feel free to PM me , I also have ideas for a vape business, and I may have some skillsets that compliment yours.

edit: How about neural network and heuristic AI that will predict a person’s favorite flavor for them, without them having to sample hundreds of flavors for years? I think a lot of biology, genetics, as well as neuroscience would have to be data crunched


Taking my badge off for a moment and commenting as just a vaper, I must also ask… if you are allowing folks to come peruse thousands of so-called ‘open source’ community built recipes, is there any intention of paying the user whose recipe is chosen for purchase? So someone finds a @JiM210 recipe and orders it, will that man bank a little coin?


That’s an interesting idea, but would it not suffer some of the same flaws as the digital entertainment industry?


I would think so!

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Hehe. I think the key is the snazzy names for the juices, and the pretty bottles, creating a mental association with the consistent flavor. That’s how Gucci or Chanelle does their ‘smelling molecules’ business


I wonder if they scrape recipes from other perfume sites and build a business on them.


A scent can of course be reverse engineered. With or without expensive lab equipment. But I think it’s more the also huge counterfeit cologne and perfume industry that does this effectively


Oh scrape data? Hmmm, I feel like ‘trying’ the flavor would be like a Capcha=D


What a strange thread…


You did get some parts of it right, but for the most part I feel you have jumped into conclusions, assuming the worst about my character and how I am here only to steal and take advantage.

Yes, I have been studying ELR everyday non-stop. but exclusively the forum. just reading and searching for questions I have. In terms of promoting, of course I am going to use ELR as a platform for marketing. there must be something wrong with me if I didn’t. I have messaged one member of the stuff about a month ago regarding becoming a vendor and never heard anything from them and since now I am about to commit money, I should see if there is a market. I have not mentioned the companies names and my intention is not promoting, but of course I am sure you will have your own opinion on that, which I have a feeling will be one of pessimism and that’s fine. but I think it’s best to give people a chance before thinking the worst of them and calling them names, especially given your position as a staff member. When someone has been working 12h+ everyday passionately on something that they think will benefit vapers like myself, it is very disheartening.
So really I do not know what I have copied. because it is up to mixers whether they want to put recipes or not. I am not going to steal any recipes. and regarding the functionality. I actually think ELR calculator and how you search for recipes and how you manage your stash is actually quite non-user friendly. and I have been designing the website wire frame from ground up. But has of course I might not even have the idea without ELR.
I will be writing a separate post in this thread that will address the incentive for creators and pricing and any other questions you have mentioned. I will also answer your individual questions after.


As a member of the staff, it is my responsibility to point things out. I am sorry that you got offended by it.

You also shouldn’t assume things. I never offered an opinion, nor did I vote.


No. Only UK. but anybody can still use the website for creating recipes and get rewarded when their recipe is used. However the reward points can only be used for purchasing e-liquids. I am thinking of implementing some sort of cryptocurrency, but don’t have the resources and know-how to implement it. but if and when I implement cryptocurrency, non-UK residents will be get the equivalent in that cryptocurrency which they can then cash out


Is this some sort of Etsy for vape juice? In your business model, do you envision allowing customers to see the actual recipe, or just a description of the flavor profile and the mixer bio? How do you intend to get recipes and mixers for your database/inventory?


the pricing will be (including the nic shot):
£5 for 4 lots of 5ml bottles
£5 for a 20ml bottle
£10 for a 50ml bottle

I am writing a long reply going through more details

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Not that they can see all ingredients, but they will be able to change it on the fly. Just like in here. In terms of where I will get creators. If I am correct in assuming that some of DIYers like me find it a hassle to do the actual mixing, will create recipes. of course not every DIYer is also creator, but at least that will be a start. if someone takes someone else’s recipe and uses it on our website. Then if the original creator one day decides to use our website, can claim that recipe and we will transfer the ownership to that person. However, it will probably be unfair to some users as they can create original duplicate recipes. so it is a balancing act and I need to think about it more. right now I am thinking of allowing this “transfer of ownership” for only the first year. but again I haven’t given it much thought as the operational logistics has taken almost 100% of my time.
But the DIY community is not that big anyway so I am hoping to attract non DIYers, for whom the hassle of mixing or the nictone hazard is an obstacle for them, even though they, like most of use would rather have their own recipe and know what is in it.