The Sub-Culture of Mod Collecting
Vapers start using e-cigs because they want to quit smoking. However, while some are content with whatever e-cig or mod they have, some evolve to a different kind of vaper – that of a collector. Collectors seek out a variety of mods. Some look for old mech mods, some for first editions of a particular device while others go for exotic makes by high-end modders.
In the world of mod collecting, anything is fair game. Below are some examples of collectible mods and the kinds of collectors one might encounter.
A Collection of Collectors
There are vapers who collect based on a theme. In one vaping community, users were asked what they collect and why. Below are some of the more interesting ones.
One user says he only buys mods that have a serial number of “009.” He does not care how much he pays for a second-hand mod, even if the market value is cheap, as long as it has the serial number he wants. He says it is because the number nine is his lucky number, and whatever has a “009” stamped on it, he gets it – mods, atomizers, and even drip tips.
Another user is a hardcore Provari fan. He tries to collect all Provari versions, in all colors. Even limited editions. From the first ever Provari mod to the current P3, in all variations. A true fan through and through.
Some users profess of trying to collect all the mech mods that came out of Europe during the first few years of vaping. Particularly the Golden Greek telescopic mods by a modder named Imeo. The first year the GG was released, it was priced at about $180. Nowadays, a good condition GG mod can sell for as much as $1000.
While some collectors have a theme they follow, most just happen by accident. Many users see their collection grow because they upgrade their devices once or twice a year, or whenever a “better” mod comes out. Usually, these kind of collectors do not necessarily buy mods to watch their collection expand, but rather; they buy mods to get the latest units available. Many sell off their extra mods and e-cigs while others just let them accumulate out of nostalgia, or because they cannot be bothered to look for buyers.
Intentional or not, the collectors above make up the bulk of vapers who take their mods seriously.
Then there are the high-rollers.
Mods as Investments?
Collectors of any kind, especially those of the upper crust, justify their habits by saying “It is an investment.” Art collectors, car addicts, comic book geeks, watch aficionados, and many more, all these collect their chosen poison under the guise of investing. Does this apply to mod collectors as well?
Considering that some mods cost as much as $5000 and above, it is safe to say that there are some well-heeled vapers looking at mods as investments for the future.
In the same community of vapers above, many users look for exotic wood mods that cost upwards of $5000. Some want it badly enough that they are willing to pay for insured shipping at a premium. Sometimes, in the case of international buyers, buyers are prepared to pay for the travel of the seller to ensure a safe and secure transaction.
There was even a case of one collector, who also happened to collect classic cars, looking for a certain mod made out of rare wood. The buyer wanted the mod so bad that he posted a photo of his garage and offered sellers a pick of any one of his cars to trade for it. The cars being offered were restored classics. Think Ford Mustangs, Chevy Stingrays, Classic Camaros, and old Lincolns. If the cars involved were regular sedans or other everyday automobiles, this would still seem absurd, what more for classic muscle cars?
While $5000 mods are rare, they do exist. However, if one is expecting that these mods must be encrusted with diamonds and plated with gold, one will be mistaken. These are usually regular wood mods with a DNA chip inside. However, the woods used are stabilized, which makes for a colorful and unique device. Stabilized woods are fully dried and made stable, meaning they will not crack as easily. Some mods are made from 500-year-old wood as well, making them somewhat like “new” antiques.
Other mods that cost upwards of $1000 are usually limited edition pieces – devices with only one in existence, sometimes one of five. There are some that are special editions, such as devices built only for a particular event. At any rate, regular vapers might find the prices for these mods insane, but if you’ve ever collected anything in your life, you’ll surely understand why some vapers seek out these high-priced devices.
Is it Worth it?
From themed collections to high-end mods, paying top dollar or trading with classic cars, the question is, are mods worth it?
Every six months or so, new mods come out equipped with the latest technology. Most cost from $50 to $300. With the quick turnaround, will spending a small fortune on a mod be worth it? How about collecting a certain theme that is made up of mostly obsolete tech?
In the end, it does not really matter. Whatever keeps one off cigarettes is always good. Even if it means spending a small fortune for your collection, as long as one is happy, who is to judge? Vaping was intended to keep users smoke-free, if one gets additional enjoyment out of collecting them, then even better. Who says quitting smoking cannot be fun?