ZampleBox And Craft Vapery – E Liquid Subscription Services (Expanded Edition)

ZampleBox And Craft Vapery – E Liquid Subscription Services (Expanded Edition)

ZampleBox And Craft Vapery

One of the more interesting developments in the vaping scene during 2013 and moving into 2014 has been the emergence of eLiquid subscription services. I previewed one of them last month, Craft Vapery , and promised that once I had experienced what they have to offer, I would report back. The time has come.

However, Craft Vapery isn’t the only such service to emerge, in fact it’s not even the first one to emerge. In this two-part article on the eLiquid Subscription Service category, Craft Vapery will be reviewed and compared to its biggest competitor, ZampleBox. Then, at the end of Part 2, I’ll provide my personal thoughts on which of them — in my opinion — offers a stronger value, as well as where I see this category of service presenting the greatest value to Vapers.

ZampleBox and Craft Vapery have their own standout features and, in my opinion, a weakness or two. I hope that by the time you’ve read this, you’ll feel a bit more confident in which service — if either — will provide you with the biggest value for your vaping dollar.

What Is An eLiquid Subscription Service Anyway?

Before I dive in and talk about the services of ZampleBox and Craft Vapery it’s a good bet that many of you, perhaps new Vapers or readers that simply haven’t yet heard of either service yet, may not even know what an eLiquid subscription service is. I’ll try to be brief, but it’s important to know what kind of service this is, and what they are all about before we can even begin to consider whether or not either service is worth your hard-earned money, or even if either one is even a viable alternative for you.

An eLiquid Subscription Service, or eSS, is a monthly subscription service where the customer, subscriber, or member, (depending on the marketing approach each company uses), receives a sort of “care package” of various eLiquids. For X-amount of dollars the customer/subscriber/member receives X-amount of eLiquid each month, around the same day each month. Depending entirely on the company you choose, you will have certain opportunities to choose certain characteristics of the eJuice you’ll receive.

You might want to be completely surprised, open to trying any ‘new-to-you’ eLiquid, or you might want to focus only on certain flavors or flavor groups.  ZampleBox and Craft Vapery offer different customization opportunities and you will want to know how they differ before making a decision. Both, at the time of this writing, offer you the choice of nicotine strength, which was something ZampleBox could not offer in the beginning.

Why Would You Want A Subscription Service For E Liquid?

And that is the crux of the issue, isn’t it? Why would anyone need a subscription service from ZampleBox and Craft Vapery to begin with? This question plagued me for some time while I was boning up on both companies and examining (vaping) the products received from both companies. First, Craft Vapery is the more expensive of the two. Expensive to the point that it’s difficult to understand why anyone would spend $33 for 45ML on eLiquid. At 73 cents per ML, without any guarantee that what you are going to receive is something you want to vape just doesn’t seem like a smart move.

ZampleBox, while much less expensive at $24.99 a month for 50ML of eLiquid, works pretty much the same way. In fact, ZampleBox was the first ‘ e Liquid subscription service’ and the first to gain any sort of momentum. And just like any business model, if there is even a spark of success you can bet there will be several more companies emulating that model as fast as humanly possible. In fact, just yesterday I learned of a third company, Easy Vape Club, that will soon launch, though their business model leaves much to be desired at this point in the game,  they too are attempting to jump on the subscription bandwagon. In any case, ZampleBox offers a much more affordable subscription, and it’s definitely aimed more toward the customer/subscriber/member that wants to explore as many different flavors as possible. Still, both companies beg the question; Who Needs It?

As it turns out, there are several reasons why you might want to belong to one of these services, (maybe both) Here are just a few reasons I thought of where an eLiquid Subscription Service makes sense:

1. Gifting – This, to me, is the most obvious reason why an eLiquid Subscription Service can make sense. Maybe  your spouse or significant other has recently started vaping, perhaps a family member or a friend are Vapers with a birthday or a holiday coming up and you have no idea what to get them, or even a spur-of-the-moment gift to anyone you know as a ‘thank you’ gesture… there are unlimited reasons for wanting to give a gift to someone in your life, and a gift of an eSS could make the best possible gift. And what better way to make a Vaper smile then to give him or her a monthly supply of new eLiquids to vape?

2. To Seek The Perfect Vape – If there is one thing all Vapers have in common it’s the desire to find that perfect vape. We search continually, buying new flavors of eLiquids, or trying out a new brand, especially brands we’ve heard about before, and we’re always taking suggestions from fellow Vapers, all in the name of finding that one eLiquid that helps us reach nirvana. If you can afford the subscription to an eSS then it is definitely one way to bring the search to you, and at the same time something fun to look forward to each month. With every package, every month, lies the ‘chance‘ that the perfect vape is waiting for you just inside. Pretty hard to resist, isn’t it?

3. Out of the Country – Whether you’re an expat or a citizen of the UK, Ireland, France, or 100 other countries, buying US eLiquid is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Having a subscription to either service means having a box of eLiquids delivered to your door every month, around the same time each month, which is a great way to bypass all the red tape and excessive shipping fees of ordering from one or two specific US based eJuice brands. With an eSS you have the opportunity to try several new flavors and/or brands every month without fail. When you’ve found something you like, well, you now know where to get more, while you continue to explore the contents of new packages of eLiquids that will arrive like clockwork for as long as you want them to.

4. Educational – What better way is there to learn about new eLiquids then to have a few bottles of mystery juice delivered to your door every month? You may have been vaping only tobacco flavors, or bakery flavors, or fruity flavors, and now you’re not sure where to spend your ‘vape budget’ so that you don’t feel as though you wasted it, but still have the opportunity to try new flavors. By having a subscription you’ll have that opportunity to find out what kinds of new flavors, or new PG/VG ratios are out there, and which ones you like, and which ones you don’t. After several months you’ll know more about eLiquids and your own preferences for them, then you ever thought possible.

Surely there are more reasons for wanting to have a subscription to an eLiquid delivery service, so I invite you to speculate on those other reasons and post them in the comments section below.

So, now that you know some of the basics of eLiquid Subscription Services let’s jump right in and see how Craft Vapery delivered on the promises they make:

 Part One: Craft Vapery

To begin with, let’s have a little follow-up from last month on Craft Vapery’s subscription model.

Since I received my initial Craft Vapery package the company has lowered their base subscription model to $33. This $33 dollars buys you 3x 15ML bottles of eLiquid, a total of 45ML.

One of the better features of Craft Vapery’s subscription model is the ability for the subscriber to choose both nicotine strength and flavor types; which ones best suit the customer/member/subscriber. And while this can be a strength it can also be a weakness because you may get eJuice you’re already familiar with, which sort of takes the spirit of exploration out of the service, though many people find that option appealing. I would imagine that overseas subscribers would especially appreciate this option.

The cost, while lower than it was initially, still amounts to premium pricing for what are not necessarily guaranteed to match your idea of premium liquids. We’ll get into just what sort of liquids I received in just a bit. For now, let’s get into the presentation with Craft Vapery, from the initial website signup process to the first delivery.

Craft Vapery’s website is both gorgeous and very functional. Signing up is easy, straightforward, and fast. I love the process of signing up, and the extra little goodies that you can get are a real delight. Should you desire you can add a box of cartomizers to your package every month for a nominal price of $7.00, or a pack of Kanger atomizers for $7.00 (the atomizers are matched to the $50 starter kit you can add to your first package.) That Starter Kit consists of a eGo Twist (1100mAh), a Protank II, a 5-pack of atomizers, and a USB charger. Valued at $75, first time members can pick one up for $50.

During the signup process you choose from a selection of flavor groups, or a “surprise me” selection, indicate the nicotine strength you want, including zero-nicotine, and then simply checkout. You can go from A-Z in about 90 seconds. When your package arrives you’ll be greeted with a light brown/tan box with very little identifying markings for maximum discretion.

What came in my first Craft Vapery shipment was a trio of 15ml bottles of eLiquid. I selected nicotine strength of 18mg, the highest Craft Vapery allows right now, as well as selecting the flavor types of Coffee, Leaf Tobacco, and Cigarette.

I received the following liquids:

-Cyber Liquids “Cafe Royale”

-Doc Bailey’s Elixir “Coffee”

-The Force Vapor “Chewbacco”

While I like the idea of being able to choose the general types of flavors I’ll discover, I have to say in complete honesty that I found myself disappointed to receive two coffee flavors and only one tobacco flavor. While there could be any number of very good reasons for this, it does bear mentioning because it’s something that can and did happen.

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About The Author

Team Spinfuel is a group of passionate vapers that bring you honest, in-depth reviews and commentary on products, services, and the legal and political ramifications on vaping and ecigarettes. Julia Hartely-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, Tony Brittan, Nick Bessette and Keira Hartley-Barnes make up the editorial team (video and written) , along with John Manzione, our Publisher, and talented contributors like Mark Benson. Email any of the writers at admin AT, or just ask for their email address.

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  1. Scoops

    I am at the point now where I don’t go shopping for eLiquid anymore. I just let my 10 bottle/100mL Zamplebox subscription cover all my eLiquid needs. And I LOVE it! Service is wonderful, and I don’t have to stress about buying samples anymore. I don’t have to worry about buying eliquid any more. That for me is the joy. Along with the wonderful craft products I’m receiving.

    1. Staff

      Scoops, how much, percentage-wise, would you say your eLiquids that come in each month’s supply are liquids you wind up giving away or throwing away? What type of juice do you usually like? Most importantly, how good is ZampleBox in getting your package around the same time each month? Is it like clockwork or is it hit-n-miss? Thanks for your comment, and I’m happy you’re happy with your choice. :) – Julia

      1. Melissa Norman

        I don’t have the 100/ml one, but I do have the 50 ml sub from them and a similar one from Craft Vapery as well as The Drip Club and Vapebox which is a little different. I have my Vapebox, which while emphasizing juice AND hardware but I haven’t unboxed it yet, as I’ve been waiting for an optimal time to record it for the public. I have however received a month’s supply of the three main ones, being Zamplebox, Craft Vapery, and The Drip Club. I forgot, I also signed up for Vaipmail Club but haven’t received that one yet. For the first month, (April), I’d have to say Craft Vapery received the edge for me, containing the most amount of “premium juice” and juice we BOTH liked, (my husband and I share our subscriptions!). Sharing subscriptions is another GREAT way to make these services more economical and practical. The Drip Club’s service in some ways was the least impressive of the three, running into the problem that Zamplebox and Vapebox avoided by starting off as “invitation only”. I think that must have changed though because I don’t recall getting “invited” to join Zamplebox though. I ran into hearing about them through one of my vaping subscriptions on YouTube, watched a review on all three and signed myself up for them thinking it an EXCELLENT idea!
        While being signed up for so many juice/hardware subscriptions certainly isn’t appealing or even feasible for too many, I also remind myself what I received spending the same or MORE smoking traditional cigarettes! With these subscriptions I’ve received personal service, extra goodies such as handwritten cards, (even a birthday card!), extra samples, stickers, candy, etc.! My purpose though was to be suprised and hopefully stumble upon a few gems I would have otherwise never heard of our found, without them! So I knew what I was getting into from the start! I’d also like to say the Craft Vapery does offer in my mind a more “personalized” service, building upon the previous months service to provide you with an uniquely customized experience based on your preferences and your likes/dislikes! Customer Service plays into it as well and I fell that again Craft Vapery takes the edge here, while The Drip Club comes into a close second despite shipping delay issues they ran into!
        For us we ended up PIFing, (paying it forward/PIF), most of the Zamplebox juices, despite receiving the most juices from them. So my purpose in reviewing the three juice subscriptions to see which service I prefer out of the 3 has almost been met but not quite. I planned to give them all an additional month making it a total of 2, and in the mean time as I mentioned took on Vapemail Club and Vapebox but more for the hardware purposes. I will happily report back my experiences on all three and I plan to video document them as well as posting text and picture reviews on ECF (electronic cigarette forum).
        It would be great in the meantime if Spinfuel could do something on The Drip Club, Vapebox and Vapemail Club! I only heard of the other new service you mentioned in this article today but based on the limited selection of two vendors, one, Alpha already being featured in two of my subscriptions, doesn’t feel right or make sense for me. I apologize for hijacking the comment, but just thought you might be interested in someone else’s perspective since these monthly subscription things are really taking off lol!
        I also subscribe to Graze, an awesome snack monthly sub, and am soon going to be checking out The Dollar Shave Club I think it’s called…..but that’s another story! Vape on!

    1. Staff

      At the time of the writing of this piece the price was $40 a month for 45ML. We are happy to hear they have lowered their pricing. Thank you for your comment. – Dave Foster

  2. jarneskegge

    Hello again and thanks for another great article Mr. Castle.

    I am a Zamplebox member myself- signed up the very first month after reading about them her at spinfuel. My first month I got the standard package, and immediately upgraded for the next month.

    I have never been adventurous when it comes to juice. I will try to rebuild anything- but for the first 11 mos of vaping I stuck to tobaccos and bakery. Don’t gimme no fruit! No lemonade! No fragrant flavors from Captain Fancypant’s Vapor! I want my tobacco and some butter pecan- maybe some pankakes and leave me to it.

    In the back of my mind, though, I knew I was being a bit of a juice crumudgen. I mean, you shop most juice sites you find all sorts or fruits and drinks, candies, and cakes, flowers and nuts, licorice, absinthe, lemons, limes, fruit cocktails, cherries, mangos, papaya (what the heck IS a papaya?) pomengranates!- and that stuff makes up the MAJORITY of the selections. Tobaccos and “Classic” bakery appears to appeal to a relatively small audience-especially the more experienced they get.

    So I wanted to spread my wings a bit. The problem was I don’t like half the juice I buy,- even when I pick the flavors and teh vendor. So randomly ordering juice in new flavors from here and there just made the miserly part of me cringe.

    Then Zamplebox came along and I was like, “hey- yeah- let them pick the juice- surprise me!”

    And they did. First box had a sample from Johnson Creek -Island- which I had avoided for nearly a year because it was all fruity lookin.’
    I LOVED that juice. I immediatey bought more.
    I I really liked two of the juices- One I was cautiously optimistic about. Two I still have.

    That was the standard box, at that time it was about a little cheaper than it is now. I was promised at least 50ml and I got 90 in that box. There were 2 15 ml bottles in it.

    I went up to Gold (100ml minimum) the next month. I got more than a 100 ml in that box, over half I liked.

    This is getting long so I’ll wrap it up. The long and short of it: I have discovered a lot of juices and flavor profiles I would have never tried, that I really enjoy. The other thing I like about this subscription is that they don’t acept over 90% of the juice submitted to them. One of my pet peeves is flavors with a “chemical taste” or an after taste that justdoesn’t “belong.”

    I rarely if ever run into that problem with the juices they pick. The juices are well mixed and blended. Vapor is good. Flavors taste “right” even when not something I would normaly vape.

    It’s not my intention to sell anyone on a product. Paying 50+ bucks (after shipping) to have random juices sent to you monthly is definitely not for everyone. For me, though, it works.


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