Have you ever asked yourself while in a place far from home, “Where is the best smoke shop near me?” Well, we certainly have. In fact, we at The Hip Cat Smoke Shop have been in your shoes on multiple occasions, so we can help.
Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best of the best smoke shops nearby. Distance is a major factor, of course, but what else is important to take into account? Should you consider the products? What about the products’ materials? Their prices? Accessibility? Customer service and reviews? There are a plethora of aspects you need to consider when you are in an unfamiliar place and need to find the greatest smoke shop nearby.
If you are in Fort Lauderdale or Pompano Beach in Florida state, then we got you covered. Come check out our endless options for your smoking needs, from papers and lighters to vaporizers and bubblers, we got you covered.
If you aren’t, not a problem! Below is our guide for the best practices for locating the best smoke shop in your area.
Conducting an Online Search via Google Maps
Now, this step may be the most obvious one: conduct a Google search. Use the power of the “best smoke shop near me” phrase by putting it in the search bar and seeing what happens. The browser will ask if it can access and use your location, which you should accept. Accepting this will lead to the most accurate and best results. Now what you need to do is to check out the Google Maps result at the top of the search results page.
You can already start narrowing down your options from here. The Google Map result allows you to filter a specific area and smoke shops by:
●Within five miles
You can investigate any one of the above options by clicking on them (either one or all at once), but we recommend first clicking on the map itself to get even more options with a wider and more readable view.
Now that you’re in Google Maps on the browser, you can more closely see exactly where the closest smoke shops are and how far it will take for you to get to each one. Note that you can also conduct this research in the Google Maps app. From Google Maps, whether it’s the app or in a browser, you can see a few red pins with white shopping bag symbols near your blue circle (your current location).
Now you have your nearest options laid out in front of you. You can further fiddle with the filters. Filter by “top rated” in order to see the most popular and highest rated places. You also have the option to click “within five miles,” “sort by distance,” and “open now.” You could even click all of these options if you wanted to do so!
Alongside these automatic filters is “more filters.” There, you can designate just how far you’re willing to go in terms of distance. Maybe you need to walk there and aren’t exactly willing to go five miles. You can adjust this setting to 0.5, 1, or 20 miles. “Any” is also a possibility if distance isn’t really an issue.
Maybe ratings are at the forefront of your mind in selecting the best smoke shop. Try “rating at least,” which allows you to view shops with at least 3.5, 4.0, or even 4.5 stars. You could even adjust “open now” by selecting any, 24 hours, or custom.
Using the Google Maps app does provide a few extra filter options for your search than the regular browser search. You can select places you have already visited or haven’t yet visited. You could potentially sort by relevance instead of distance as well, if distance isn’t too big of a factor for you.
Another important factor to consider here is the area’s safety. If you’re unsure of how safe your location is, investigate this further using a separate Google search or even by investigating some Facebook groups (more on those later). We want you to get what you’re looking for in a smoke shop no matter where you are, but we also don’t want you to put yourself at risk to get it. It’s not worth it.
Once you have applied all of the appropriate filters depending on your specific situation and you’re confident it’s a safe area, take a look at the revised map. Here are the best smoke shops available in your preferred area…so far.
Comparing Smoke Shops
Hopefully, your advanced search has rid of a good portion of unacceptable shops for you, and you won’t have to compare and contrast too many going forward. One of the more obvious next steps is to click each individual shop on the map to investigate it further.
When you do, have a look at all the categories available to you. You can see their hours and if they’re currently open. You also have the option to view photos and reviews. These are two of the most important parts of this search because if they don’t have any photos or reviews, then they may not be worth the trek.
Photos and reviews are an integral part in the selection process not only when the business doesn’t have them, but also when they do have them. Maybe the photos show all of their products, or they provide clarity that they don’t have what you’re looking for. Photos could even potentially show a list of prices for quick reference.
Reviews and ratings are one of your greatest assets, so be sure to investigate these almost immediately. They can provide you with authentic experiences previous customers had, so you can differentiate between if a shop is worth investigating or not.
However, please be wary of some online reviews. Some are fabricated because companies and businesses pay people to write reviews for them, as they are aware of how important they are to potential customers. Fake reviews often have one or more of these qualities:
●Obscure formatting and spacing
●Very poor spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
●Overly dramatic optimism for the shop and/or its products
●Oddly abrupt and generic comments
If the shop appears to have a decent amount of authentic and positive reviews and ratings, then they are more likely to be trustworthy and worthy of your business. After all, you are looking for the best smoke shops near me, not the “somewhat okay smoke shops near me!”
Once you have narrowed your list down to the most trustworthy of businesses, you can have a perusal through their websites. Have a look at their products to better distinguish if they can offer you what you need.
Consider the product or products you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a bubbler, do they have them in the sizes and types you require? Are they made of the same material you want? If you’re looking for a specific type of tobacco, do they have it?
After deliberating between all of these many options and using all of the filters that apply to you, hopefully you have narrowed it down to a very small amount of smoke shops to choose from. However, your search isn’t over just yet. There are a few other steps you should take to finding the absolute best.
Social media can further assist you in narrowing down your search. It can provide you with more up-to-date information on the smoke shops you have lined up.
Social Media Accounts
Many businesses now, including smoke shops, enjoy posting their newest offerings, products, services, and even sales and giveaways on their social media accounts. You won’t want to miss any of these!
We suggest investigating their Facebook and Instagram accounts first and foremost. On Facebook, they may have updated hours, events, and other fun posts. On Instagram, you can see even more photos and videos than you might have seen anywhere else in your search.
Social media accounts could also pose as a business’ primary source of contact. If you have a particular question about a product, the shop, location, or really anything, you might be able to message them there and get a quick response. You could always call them, of course, but if you’re not in a particular situation where you can call them, then sending a direct message via Instagram or Facebook is a great option.
Their social media accounts can also provide more clarity on other concerns, like reviews, ratings, and overall customer satisfaction and feedback. Some customers may still rate and review businesses on Yelp or other websites, which you might have seen during your Google search, but a lot more people are heading to social media to post their reviews and experiences.
Social media accounts can provide you with more clarification on the nearby smoke shops’ hours as well. They may say that they’re open on Google, but if there is an emergency and they close early or they’re observing a holiday that they didn’t inform Google about, that could really throw you for a loop. Some businesses prefer to simply update their customers via social media.
You can also use social media in another manner: hashtags. If you head to Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter, you could peruse unlimited applicable hashtags. For example, if you are in New York City, you could search for “#nycsmokeshop” to find cool smoke shops in the city along with accounts, locations, photos, videos, and much more. You could try plenty of hashtag variations to yield the most results.
Word of Mouth
Getting reviews of places from people in the area is always a great way to find the best businesses nearby. Through word of mouth, you can find the “best kept secret” smoke shops that maybe Google doesn’t quite know about yet.
If you can ask people in your area directly, this wouldn’t be a bad idea. If possible, ask friends or family members for any suggestions they might have. If that’s not a viable option, you could even walk to nearby shops or corner stores and ask them about the best smoke shops nearby. It can’t hurt to get a local’s recommendation!
Facebook groups are one of our favorite ways to get more real insight on nearly any topic from local like-minded folk. Hop onto Facebook and search for smoke shop groups or anything similar in your area. There will undoubtedly be more than a few options there.
You might have to wait to be accepted into the group, which never takes long. Once you’re into a group, you can search within it for the best smoke shops near me. It’s highly likely someone has already asked the same question.
If that doesn’t yield enough results, keep playing around in the search bar and something will come up for you. You can find really great results this way.
If you don’t find enough relevant results that way, don’t be shy: post your own question! Ask the group members, “What’s the best smoke shop near me, guys?” along with your generic location and specifically what you’re looking for from a smoke shop, then see what people suggest for you.
Another great way to use Facebook groups is if you do happen to already find a smoke shop you’d like to try out, but you want some more information on it from locals. You can simply search a group or a few groups for that one smoke shop and see what people are saying about it.
Facebook groups are great for learning more particulars about a place, including safety. Google results won’t typically tell you a place is not really safe to visit except possibly in reviews from previous customers. Facebook groups, however, often provide this information for you.
It isn’t easy to find smoke shops when you are traveling or in an unfamiliar place, but if you use this guide, you will surely find them. There are plenty of unique, quirky, and fun smoke shops out there. Don’t be afraid to try as many as you can!