Looking for a new water pipe to buy can be a daunting experience, let alone going to a smoke shop for the first time. It could be a walk in the park for others. The lingo used, the items sold, the atmosphere of the stores and the employees working make up a critical aspect of your experience. Getting some basic knowledge before going to a smoke shop for the first time can give some comfort to those who are new to the glass industry and the smoke shop scene. As a customer being privy of information on appropriate pricing, what questions to ask, what to look for when shopping and what not to do when in a smoke shop will allow you to have a pleasant trip. By providing you with some solid information on what to expect, what to look for and what to ask for on your first smoke shop trip, you will be prepared for what lies ahead, and you will be able to find out what to expect. Before you go to a smoke shop, you will need:
- A valid government issued ID (drivers license, passport, etc)
- Be over the age of 18 (21 in some states)
- Do not bring any dirty or used pieces with you
- Do not bring tobacco, dry herbs, or consumables with you
- Be respectful of individual store’s rules and policies
Research is key
The first recommendation is to start doing some research before you even go to the store. You ‘re going to want to know what the fair market price is for goods and what you’re looking for while shopping. Look at some online smoke shops and see what the prices are for some artists working, branded and unbranded pieces. Also be sure to look at the price of the accessories, because you’ll probably find something you’d like to accessorize your piece with.
The first thing to understand when you’re going to a smoke shop for the first time is the correct terminology to use and what can be asked of you when you arrive. It is very important for smoke shops to follow the regulations given to them, so be sure to follow the rules or you may be asked to leave the store. There are tons of people watching and waiting for us to slip into this industry, which forces shops to have little tolerance and strictly enforce the rules they have in place. The very first thing most shops are going to do is ask for your ID to verify that you are over the age of 18, unless you appear to be over the age of 35, you should be prepared with your ID in hand to show the clerk immediately. By having your ID ready, you show that you understand how things work and that you’re a serious customer. Everything sold in a smoke shop is for use in tobacco or legal herbs and concentrates. You should refer to anything with water in it as a water pipe (do not use the term “bong” and avoid “bubbler” because the term has a lot of gray area) and anything that does not use water is either a “dry” piece or a hand pipe. Also, you can refer to “dab rigs” as concentrated pipes without worry and pollen catch grinders. Anything you don’t know and ask, the attendant should be able to give you an appropriate term to use easily.
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