E-cigarette "Black Market" in Dortmund, Germany

Industry Insight by 2FIRSTS.ai
E-cigarette "Black Market" in Dortmund, Germany
2FIRSTS visited several tobacco shops in Dortmund, Germany to investigate the e-cigarette "black market" operated by Indo-Pakistani locals.

On September 12, 2FIRSTS conducted an on-site visit to several tobacco shops in Dortmund, Germany to gain deeper insights into the current state of the e-cigarette market in the city. According to our research, the existence of a prevalent "black market" for e-cigarettes in Dortmund was uncovered, with sales channels possessing a high level of concealment. Street corner convenience stores, mostly operated by individuals of Indian or Pakistani descent, were found to be the main players in this underground market.


According to observations at a Dortmund retail store selling e-cigarettes, when customers show disinterest in the products on the shelves, the store clerks proactively inquire, "Have you considered purchasing e-cigarette products with larger capacity?" They then introduce a 6000-puff e-cigarette, priced at just 15 euros. This larger capacity product, compared to e-cigarettes with a capacity of 600 puffs priced at 8 to 9 euros, offers a significant price advantage.


德国电子烟“黑市”揭秘:大口数产品普遍 销售隐匿性强

A customer is purchasing e-cigarette products at a retail store in Dortmund | Source: 2Firsts


During product demonstrations, store staff will showcase the products they are currently using to consumers. Upon confirming an intention to purchase, the staff will retrieve their smartphones to show consumers images of the different flavors available for selection. After confirming the desired flavor, the staff will close the countertop window and fetch the requested product from the deepest part of the storage room.


After the purchase is completed, the merchant will provide a legitimate invoice, however, the product information stated on the invoice is labeled as "tobacco products".


德国电子烟“黑市”揭秘:大口数产品普遍 销售隐匿性强

After buying many products on the "black market", the store will provide a formal invoice, but the commodity information is "tobacco products" | Source: 2FIRSTS

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