How do head shops make any money?

I was recently in Manitou Springs Colorado LINK. Now they try to present themselves as this quaint family friendly area of antiaue shops and restaurants but they also have alot of head shops (remember Colorado legalized weed). I went into a couple out of curiosity and was like “ehh”. Bongs, incense, tshirts, etc… I wasnt that impressed.

One thing that struck me though was they tended to sell about the same junk as the next head shop and frankly, I didnt observe anyone actually buying anything. Most people were just tourists and sightseers like me. We wandered in, looked around, and left without dropping a dime. Then I got to thinking, real stoners and potheads, while being funny and laid back, really dont have much money.

So I wondered, how are these places making any money?

Selling glass is one big part. Buy blown glass pipes, bongs, etc and mark them up 20%. Profit! I’ve also seen shops that sell on consignment, taking a percentage of the sale.

In my collection I have a dozen or so glass pipes that cost me anywhere from $45 to $100 a piece, along with a “display” bong that was around $325. Although mine were all purchased from the artists online, many people feel safer at a brick and mortar where they can hold the piece, etc.

Please note that these pipes and bongs are intended for use with tobacco only.:smiley:

The stoners I hang with actually are all pretty well off. A few are retired, enjoying their pensions and 401Ks, others, like me, are still working and doing ok!

I guess online helps.

A lot of people who smoke pot aren’t stoners. They’re just people. Especially in places where it is legal.

Oh yeah, vaporizers also are really big! I bought mine online, but I’m sure they’re for sale in shops as well.

This has already been addressed, but you are making a ridiculously unfounded assumption. It’s like asking how a liquor store makes any money, since alcoholics and winos, while being loud and boisterous, really can’t keep a job.

In actuality, people who smoke pot come from all walks of life, with varying degrees of success and wealth.

How do these stores make any money? Like all retail establishments, they sell their wares. Things like incense are disposable, so people who like incense have to keeping buying it. Or, glass pipes break, and need to be replaced. Or, people like to own more than one (irreverent) t-shirt. And some tourists (especially those who go to Colorado and find the legal pot industry enticing or amusing) do actually buy some kitshe items as keepsakes or gifts.

Is this really so hard to fathom?

You must not be familiar with the OP.

Not to hijack in any way, but I drive by hundreds of stores for which I can’t fathom a successful business model, yet they persist year after year, strip mall after strip mall, town after town.

They can’t all be money-laundering fronts, can they?


Note that in business speak 50% markup is really 100% markup.

In proper business speak 50% margin is 100% markup. The terms are often confused by laypeople, but the serious business folks I’ve run across know the difference and use the terms correctly. The article you linked to appears to have been written by amateurs who don’t really know about this stuff and made up half of it.

Realistically, once the pent-up demand has run out, the majority of those places will probably close.

And you would be completely wrong. Lots of business professionals, especially in the IT field, are pot smokers.

I know some small business owners who are content running their businesses while taking home about what they would make working a 9 to 5 job. Hey, if they’re happy.

I’ve smoked pot with many fine attorneys, including some judges and prosecutors.

The “article” is an excerpt from a guide book for people starting out in retail written by a successful businessman.

I have no doubt he’s successful, but he’s still wrong.

Shit, I’ve smoked pot with cops!

Haha. Me too! Several of them around here are pot smokers. They also look the other way, if they happen to catch someone with a small amount of weed.

So at least they’re not hypocrites. :wink:

Do Colorado pot shops generally sell paraphernalia, too, or do you have to go to the head shop for “supplies”? Also, at Colorado head shops are you still expected to play this little game where you pretend the products are for “tobacco” wink wink?