Whether you call it shisha , moassel, molasses, or just plain flavors, the "stuff" that you put in the bowl or head of your hookah is, unless clearly shown in its original package to be otherwise, a flavored tobacco mixture. eBay strictly enforces its policy against the sale of tobacco on the site, but this has not stopped the proliferation of tobacco listings because a sad truth about the world of business is that it is filled with people who care less about ethics and the safety of their customers than they do about the almighty dollar, thus they see nothing wrong with lying about their products in order to make a sale. With four generations of experience in the hookah manufacturing business in Egypt under our belts, you can bet that we know the industry, the products, the market, and the customers who keep us in business. It is because we value our customers and because we hate to see anyone tricked into thinking they are getting one thing but end up with another that we decided to put our knowledge of the industry into a list of tips that you can pair with your own common sense to make an informed decision before making a shisha purchase on eBay.
Currently there are only two brands of completely tobacco-free shisha on the market. Soex, an all natural herbal product made in India, is found quite easily on eBay. It comes in boxes of 50 grams or 250 grams in a variety of flavors. The manufacturer had an independent lab analysis done of the product to show that it is, indeed, 100% tobacco, tar, and nicotine free and any legitimate seller of this product will be able to make a copy of the results of that analysis available to a buyer upon request. Black Label Premium, the other herbal shisha brand, is made in the USA and is available only through its manufacturer and a few online distributors. Other than these two brand names, there are no other tobacco-free shisha products on the market at this time, period. There is not a single brand of Egyptian shisha that does not contain tobacco; they all do!
As a buyer, you should be suspicious of a listing for Egyptian shisha that claims to be tobacco-free, as such a claim is false. There are ways that you, the buyer, can determine the truth of this for yourself:
- Look closely at the description of the item. Does it include a brand name? If not, ask yourself why. If the shisha really doesn't contain tobacco as claimed, why doesn't the seller include a brand name?
- Does the listing include a picture of the item in its original packaging? If it doesn't, you should ask yourself why. What is the seller hiding? Remember, the original package will give you all the details about the contents of the package, including whether or not the product contains tobacco or not!
- Look for clues about the product in the seller's feedback comments from buyers who have received it. Does anybody mention how it was shipped to them? Did anybody receive it unopened in the original container? Did anybody receive it in alternative packaging?
- If the item is being sent in alternative packaging, you need to be especially cautious. Do you know where that shisha came from, where it has been, how it has been stored, how it has been handled, or what it has been mixed with? Do you really want to take that chance?
- Ask for a brand name. If it is not Soex or Black Label Premium, the product contains tobacco.
- Ask if the item is shipped in its original package. If it is not, you have no way of knowing how safe the product is.