– Issue 10



TALKING SHOP aims to be online hub for smoke shop talk

By now, we all know the power of the Internet. Cataloging data and curating directories is one of the most glorious parts of the modern-day web. Which is why this month, ERB Magazine is happy to introduce you to, a website that both smoke shop owners and their customers can benefit from.

The site — owned and maintained by A. Aros and Zalak “Z” Zaveri — is looking to cover the smoke shop industry from A-Z. The site can help people find smoke shops in their area, find out which shops are buzzing on Facebook and it allows shop owners to create profiles to advertise their business. We talked to Zaveri to learn more:

Question: What’s the purpose of

Answer: is a website for smoke shop news, product reviews and a smoke shop directory. Shop owners can claim their businesses on SmokeTalk and take advantage of the 100,000+ visitors per month that the site receives. It allows retail customers to find shops near them and see what the shop owners are talking about in their area. It also allows manufacturers and distributors to find shops very easily if they’re traveling and want to know what shops are in the nearby area. Our blog acts as a press release for new products/companies and also as news regarding changing laws in this industry.

Q: Where did the idea come from? What was it inspired by?

A: The owner and I initially launched many websites in the auto, healthcare and insurance industries back in 2005. The business was a big success for us and we let our sites just run on their own while Aros and I went our own ways with other business ventures. It wasn’t until in 2010, when one of our ad networks ( had a breakthrough in SEO (search engine optimization), which opened up new doors for us. We tested this new system on a website called which started taking over Google rankings within just three weeks. Having being involved in the smoke shop industry since 2006, we decided to open using our SEO techniques. The feedback from shop owners, distributors and retail customers allowed us to add more and more features to our site and they’re the real inspiration for us.

Q: How do you guys gather the info for the site?

A: David from Lucky Kratom graciously gave us a very big listing of smoke shop database, which we used to get the project started.  We also collect information from various sources such as Facebook and other business databases. Now we get 10-20 new listing per day from the shop owners themselves.

Q: For the consumer, how is it more beneficial than just using a Google search?

A: We provide data that is not available anywhere else, such as rankings for smoke shops based on the number of fans they have on Facebook. We also rank the most popular status of the day among 5,000+ smoke shops based on the number of “Likes” they receive within a certain time period. You can view the “most popular liked posts” on a daily and overall time frame and narrow down your search on a state level. For example, you can see which smoke shop in California has the most popular post among every smoke shop in that state for today, last week, or overall.  It’s a fun tool to see what the smoke shops in your area are talking about or when they have sales or events going on.

Q: For smoke shops, how it this beneficial to their business?

A: It’s extremely beneficial to smoke shops because we help the retail customers find smoke shops quickly and easily and with up-to-date information. We also help them learn about what smoke shop owners are discussing on a regular basis using our “most popular posts on Facebook” feature. This feature alone has given smoke shops free business from the 100,000+ visitors we receive each month. With 70% of our traffic being new visitors, the potential to gain new customer for a shop is endless.  All it takes is to claim your business on and attach your Facebook fan page, which takes only 30 seconds. It’s basically free advertising for a shop and I think everyone should take advantage of this. Shop owners can also add an image gallery, coupons and edit their shop’s description to display accurate information for our visitors (who are their potential customers).

Q: If a shop isn’t on your website, but wants to be, what should they do?

A: There are several links on the website, one at the top of every page where a smoke shop owner can sign up and submit their shop. If their shop is already listed, they can hit the “claim this business” button. They can also call 205-821-4744 or email and I will personally add them myself.

Q: What’s coming in the future for and your business?

A: We have big plans for a new site that is currently in development, which will be known as “SSI.” It’s too early to say what SSI stands for, but just know that this new site will bring smoke shop owners, distributors and consumers together in a way that has not yet been achieved in the industry. Just imagine a website where a shop owner can login and search for ANY product available in the smoke shop industry. When they click on a product, we will tell them all the distributors/manufacturers they can buy that specific product from. For the manufacturer or distributor, they can login and add or claim all the products that they sell, so the local shop owners can find their info easily and for free. SSI will also feature a built-in call management system to help avoid unnecessary cold calls to shop owners by various distributor/manufacturers. SSI will offer never-before-seen features that will provide opportunities for any manufacturer, distributor or a shop owner whether they are small or big. SSI will launch its beta version around October 2013 and hopefully ERB will let their readers know more about what this site is capable of when it’s ready to launch.

Q: Anything else you’d like to add?

A: The owner (A. Aros) and I (Zalak “Z” Zaveri) are thankful to ERB magazine for this opportunity to let the readers know more about and to help spread the word about the options available in the online sector of this industry. I would also like to thank our sponsors: Lucky Kratom, Eden’s Ethnos, Magnum Detox, WhiteRhino Products, Choice Kratom,, Real Feel E-Cig, Click-N-Hit, and Kratom Therapy. This project would not be possible without them.

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