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How Much Does It Cost to Open a Vape Shop in 2023?

Nicole Flanigan

Written by: Nicole Flanigan

Updated on November 21, 2023

vape shop cost

The vaping and electronic cigarettes industry has grown tremendously in the past couple of years and boasts a total worth of $20 billion in 2023. Operating a vape shop is a great business, but you must know the costs of opening a vape shop in 2023 before jumping into this venture. In this article, I’ve listed the startup costs of a vape shop. So, if you’re wondering how much does it cost to open a smoke shop, keep reading to find out.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Vape Shop?

The total cost range to open vape shops in the United States ranges from approximately $25,000 to $50,000. The costs include the shop’s rent, inventory, licensing fee, and more.

Note: Remember that opening one up in big cities might cost a few extra thousand dollars compared to smaller towns.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the cost analysis for opening a vape shop in 2023.

Monthly Costs Average Cost in USD
Location $2,868
Inventory $15,750
Licensing and Legal Fees $7,58
Marketing and Branding $2,500
Technology and POS System $7,500
Employee Salaries and Training $5,500
Miscellaneous Costs $2,500
In total $3,7376

Location Costs

Location Costs

The first step to starting your shop is finding a suitable rental space. You can find some pretty great options on websites like Instant Offices, Craigslist, and Crexi.

The price tag on commercial spaces can vary quite a bit. You might get one for less than a buck per square foot in some areas, while in high-demand places like sunny southern California, you could be looking at around $50 or even more per square foot!

On average, retail store rent in the US is $22.95 per square foot. So, for a 1500-square-foot store, the rent is about $34,425 per year or $2,868 monthly.

Tip: If you want to make the place more personal with a few tweaks and renovations, add another $2500-$5000 to your budget.

Inventory and Supplier Costs

Inventory and Supplier Costs
Regarding your expenses, inventory is a significant part of the game, including starter kits, mods, parts, e-liquids, and more. It can add up pretty quickly, but you don’t want to cut corners on this because it’s your main product and why people come to your store.

Here’s a quick breakdown of inventory costs when opening a vape shop from scratch.

  • E-Cigarette Kits & Accessories – $750
  • Miscellaneous Vaping Accessories – $10,000 to $20,000

Pro Tip: Cut costs by buying wholesale. A 30ml e-juice bottle is about four times less in wholesale than retail

Licensing and Legal Fees

Licensing and legal fees are the most tricky part of opening a vape shop.

Besides the basic business licenses, tax numbers, and permits, the FDA treats vaping products like tobacco, so there’s a fair share of legal hoops to jump through before you can start your shop.

You can check out the FDA’s “This Is Our Watch” education program to understand tobacco regulations better.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the licenses you’ll need and their costs.

Note: These costs can vary from city to city and even state to state, and you might even need extra permits based on your location.

Marketing and Branding

Marketing and Branding

Marketing and advertising are extremely important for getting the word out about your business and attracting customers.

You can use internet ads on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Adwords to reel in customers. You can also get help from social media management services like Nearby Now, HootSuite, etc.

If you’ve got some extra cash, hiring a marketing team can save you time and help your business grow better. Lastly, don’t forget to get flyers for some offline marketing.

So, you might have to spend $2500 monthly at the start, but it’s all part of the game for getting your vape shop off the ground!

Technology and POS Systems

Technology and POS Systems

Your POS system is like the brains of the operation. It tracks your inventory, handles sales, and produces handy reports. But it’s not just about numbers – it also helps you manage your team, set up loyalty programs, and more.

When you’re starting, the POS software will cost you around $20-$300.

And don’t forget about the POS hardware, including the card reader, till and cash drawer, stationary, document printer, barcode scanner, and tablet/computer screen. This can cost anywhere from $590 to $2100.

You’ll also need around $6,000 for office furniture and gadgets, including computers, telephones, tables, shelves, and comfy chairs.

Employee Salaries and Training

Depending on where you set up your shop, vaping can be a bit of a controversial topic. Many people love it, while many don’t.

So, when hiring, keep this in mind. Your employees need to be able to chat about vaping with anyone who walks in, creating a friendly vibe.

Regarding pay, expect around $12-20 an hour, depending on the role. The average salary costs add up to $5,500 for at least two employees.

Pro tip: I’d recommend you keep at least $10,000-$15000 to cover a few months of employee salaries before your shop opens to prevent any inconveniences in the future.

Miscellaneous Costs

As for the miscellaneous costs you might bump into when you’re kick-starting your vape shop, keep at least $2500 in hand. Running a vape shop can be a bit of a wild ride, and sometimes, surprise expenses can be burdensome.

You might have to spend money on repairs and maintenance, staying up-to-date with permits and licenses, tackling those unexpected inventory hiccups, and dealing with security matters

Potential Revenue and Break-Even Analysis

The money-making potential of vape shops is pretty exciting. Initially, you might make around $300 to $600 daily, totaling about $10,000 on average in the first few months. That means you could earn back your investment in as little as half a year!

As your shop grows and performs better, it can bring in $1,200 to $1,600 daily. And if you’re in a big city, brace yourself because you might even hit $4,000 to $6,000 daily.
Once your business takes off, your yearly earnings could range from around $369,000 to an impressive $3,300,000!

Remember that these numbers are just estimates, and many factors, like the shop’s location, competitors, and marketing strategies, can affect the potential revenue. That’s why it’s super important to ensure good business planning and market analysis to get a more precise picture of how things might go.


The e-cigarette or vaping market in the U.S. is on a roll. It’s expected to reach a whopping $40.25 billion by 2028. So, if you’re considering diving into the vaping business world, now’s the right time! With an initial investment of $25,000-$50,000 and smart financial planning, your vape shop can bring in thousands of dollars in monthly profit! Don’t forget to focus on getting a good location and marketing your products effectively. It’s the secret recipe for launching a vape shop bound for success.

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Nicole Flanigan
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Further Reading

Planning to open a vape shop in 2023? Find out the total cost for a vape shop, from license costs to rent, inventory costs, and much more.

Read Now
How Much Does It Cost to Open a Vape Shop


How Much Does It Cost to Open a Vape Shop in 2023?

Planning to open a vape shop in 2023? Find out the total cost for a vape shop, from license costs to rent, inventory costs, and much more.

Read Now

Planning to open a vape shop in 2023? Find out the total cost for a vape shop, from license costs to rent, inventory costs, and much more.

Read Now