EDIT @ 11.40am: I might have jumped the gun with previous blog heading. Updated visual added to the end of this post 🙂
The Caravela is probably one of the most sought after mods in the vaping community, and it wasn’t until recently that I discovered why.
Quote from ECF:
It is one of, if not THE MOST rare and sought after e-cigarette mods in the entire world. Many of his mods are made with extremely expensive grades of surgical stainless steel and other precious metals, like Titanium for instance. It is not easy to find one either, I have personally never seen one up for sale.
Expensive materials aside, the main allure to owning a Vela isn’t so much in what it’s made of, but rather, how hard it is to obtain one. People have to put their names on waiting lists for up to a year before they are given the chance to buy one, making this a true hobbyist mod.
However, not everyone has the time or patience to wait a whole year for just a chance to buy one, so like all things in today’s capitalist world one can simply buy one from a reseller / flipper albeit at a heavily inflated premium.
People have been known to pay three to five times the RRP for certain versions of the Vela, and I have even seen a particular rare variant being put up for sale for RM25,000 (over US$8000).
But hey, if money ain’t no thang, then go for it buddy! Hats off to you because you sir, are a true connoisseur.
Recently, another option popped up for those who always wanted a Vela but couldn’t be bothered to wait the queue or pay the reseller price thanks to a cheeky local modder who started producing “custom” Velas.
Referring to my previous post (check point #4), this is the gentleman who couldn’t distinguish the difference between a custom and a clone and decided to use the former to describe the batch of counterfeit Velas which he put up for sale.
Ini custom made in Malaysia, bukan clone dari kilang Cina / This is a custom that’s made in Malaysia, not a clone from a factory in China
Pricing his wares at RM600 (approx. US$200) a pop, these things were anything but cheap.
Instead of wasting your talent by being a cloner, why don’t you just release your own mod?
It wasn’t long before an entire flame war broke out on Facebook, with both sides attracting their fair amount of supporters.
Those for it argued that not everyone could afford a Vela, and that those who could afford a genuine one shouldn’t discriminate against them.
Those against it countered that RM600 for a clone was a bloody rip off, and that the opportunistic cloner should have focused his talents on creating his own mod instead.
Well whatever your stand is, it wasn’t until today that hell broke loose and shit got real because Pedro, the modder of the original Caravela announced that Malaysia would be banned from buying his mods till this whole cloning fiasco got sorted out.
Genuine buyers who had been on the waiting list since last year were crushed by this news, resellers with Velas in hand wet their pants a little, and some sad folk who simply couldn’t understand the difference between hobbyist mods and user mods continued to be indifferent towards the negative impact that emergence this clone had caused.
I’ve probably said too much already by writing this post, so here goes my 2 cents anyway:
I feel bad for the hobbyists who have been saving up and queuing for their chance to own an authentic Vela, I really do. But as with all things aspirational, there will always be clowns who want to take the shortcut. It’s the same for someone who buys a fake LV bag over a real one; a true connoisseur would be able to spot the difference from a mile away.
The problem arises when someone tries to pass off the knock off as a genuine product, and it’s just a matter of time till someone does. It is also a matter of time till someone pays full retail for a clone, and realizes when its too late.
I can understand where the other side is coming from, but it’s a little funny they are getting butthurt too. If you buy a clone, then you will definitely incur the wrath of people who own the originals. That’s already to be expected. Maybe it’s jealousy that someone can afford the real deal while they can’t? Who knows.
For the cloner, I wonder how this will turn out? He did mention that his own original mod is coming out soon and I’m not sure if this drama will work to his advantage or against him?
For cloning in general, I’m not going to bullshit anyone by saying that I’ve never bought a clone product. I’m actually waiting for my Steam Turbine clone to arrive from China (I bought one even though I decided not to…), but if I knew that buying one would contribute to Malaysia being banned by Doc Dave, then I probably wouldn’t.
I have always believed that we should buy what we can afford and vape on what we like – regardless it’s authenticity – since our main goal is to quit smoking cigarettes, but as I journey deeper into vaping as a hobby, I am starting to better understand why certain parties are for / against clones.
(P.S. All the pictures above are of the cloned Vela)
EDIT: Saw this on FB not long after publishing this post.