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Indie Retailing 101: Consumer Education to Reduce Return Rates

An interview with Anthony Carnevale from Calyx Labs

This week, Burning Tree interviewed Anthony Carnevale from Calyx Labs on the how proper product education can be used to reduce defective product complaints and returns. While this conversation focusses around vape cartridges (carts), the intent is that it should be used synonymously for other product categories.

The most important takeaways from the conversation are below but you can read the full interview here on the Burning Tree blog.


"[W]e believe education at the point of sale is the #1 way for retailers to help limit the number of complaints and returns they see related to vapes."


The Setup

  • Vapes are an increasingly popular product category but also suffer from the highest defect and return rates compared to other Cannabis mediums.

  • Higher return rates destroy your profitability and affect your customer's perception of your brand (even if its not your fault).

  • Educate yourself and your customers on proper vape cartridge storage and operation to easily reduce your defective product comploants and return rates.


1. Start with Quality

  • A reputable LP will only use vape carts that are meet or are certified by National regulatory bodies (FDA or HC)

  • If your LP can't or won't give you the manufacturer of the hardware, that is a red flag.

  • LPs should be proud to promote which vape cart manufacturer they use.


2. Proper Storage

  • Excessive sunlight, high temperatures, and humidity all can compromise the terpenes, oil viscosity, airways, and electronics leading to improper functionality and lower product quality.

  • Store vape carts away from UV & sunlight, preferably even in a fridge to keep the temperatures low (hint, hint, now you can suggest increasing cart size with your branded, odour proof stash bag to keep the carts safe in the fridge from roommates and children).

  • Encourage your customers to store your vape carts vertical to keep the airways clear and unclogged from lingering residues that accumulate over time.


3. Proper Use

  • A 510 vape cart will is not a dab rig nor a realistic means to 'cloud chase.'

  • Why? Because, "users will draw far too hard on their pens, burning the terpenes and flooding the atomizer. A flooded atomizer is the leading culprit behind leaking and clogging carts." - Anthony Carnevale

  • Encourage the tea sipping analogy for slow, gentle pulls on the mouthpiece to control the pull and reduce any buildup in the atomizer.


4. Clean, Clean, Clean

  • Regularly maintain your vape cart for consistent, dependable operation that allows the product inside to shine with each hit.

  • Isopropyl alcohol can be used to wipe down the threads to the battery to improve electrical connectivity and wipe up any leaking oils.

  • A toothpick or paper clip can be used to unclog blockages especially in colder months.


What's the Toke Away?

  • Check It - Ask your LPs or suppliers what brand of vape cart they are using to ensure you've got hardware that meets rigorous safety and compliance regulations.

  • Store It - Always vertical if you use it often, or in the fridge where the dark, low humidity, and cooler temps extend and maintain the terpenes, Cannabis, and oil.

  • Sip It Proper draws from your vape will reduce clogging the atomizer.

  • Clean It - Alcohol to clean electrical connections ands oils and toothpicks/paper clips to unclog blockages.

Interested to Learn More?

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