Sciencemadness Discussion Board

buying from China

chemrox - 1-11-2014 at 17:37

I don't like China because they take advantage of having no environmental or worker protection. As the result and this is why I didn't vote for Al Gore, China is polluting the whole world and will manage to single handedly collapse the marine ecosystem in less than a decade. Did I say "single-handed?" I was mistaken. By buying from them I'm participating. However, TCI, Spectrum, Aldrich .. these have all been taken over by lawyers and discourage small businesses and private parties. Whereas the Chinese have discovered PayPal. They sell at 300-600% less than TCI. And why not? They don't pay, train or conserve. Global warming? What-me worry?

diddi - 1-11-2014 at 17:56

and the chinese are clever at manipulating market pricing as well, particularly in rare earth production. I guess it is a failure of other countries to compete in the manufacturing sector. it is easier to dig it up and send to china than to put in the hard yards and develop value added products in ones own country.

j_sum1 - 1-11-2014 at 18:29

Australia has a huge amount of mineral resources including 1/3 of the world's mined uranium. And yet processes very littke within its borders. If our environmental and economic concerns were actually the same as what the politicians regularly claim they are we would be investing in this area.
As for buying from China, I generally have few qualms. I am supporting a growing economy and one that is transitioning from a third world to first world. I know that not every dollar makes its way to the right place but boycotting the country is unlikely to help anyone lift themselves from poverty. In my observation, asian cultures have a very strong work ethic and I believe deserve some reward for their efforts. Environmental and other concerns are not likely to be affected greatly by our refusal to buy frm them anyway.

In any case, the Chinese (and others) position themselves well in the market by keeping shipping costs down. There is typically a hundredfold difference in freight when comparing China and USA. It really is no contest.

Edited to correct thumb typing.

[Edited on 2-11-2014 by j_sum1]

chemrox - 1-11-2014 at 19:47

Oh I'm not denigrating the hardworking peoples of China but the country's environmental and labor policies have undermined other nations economies and threaten the future habitability of the world. Indeed what we really need is a lot fewer people. The irony is our own businesses have pushed me into buying from them. Want a chemical business? Buy from China, purify and repackage.

BromicAcid - 1-11-2014 at 21:50

Love getting starters from China, goes something like this:

Me: Okay, pre-ship sample looks good. We need 4 x 200 L of material.
Them: That will be 14 weeks with shipping.
Me: You quoted me six when we discussed this.
Them: Oh, let me check <hear typing> yes, you're right, six weeks.
Me: Six to my dock or six to customs.
Them: Six to your dock.
Me: Okay, sounds good, send over a invoice and I can get the PO rolling.

Seven weeks later...

Me: Could you give me an update on the status of this PO?
My purchasing agent: There was some kind of delay in the production, it should be on the ship within the week. Then it's three weeks at sea before it gets to the port.
Me: <grumbling> Okay... thank you.

Eleven weeks from initial call...

Me: Any update on that starter? We're supposed to have material into QC by the end of next week.
My purchasing agent: Yes, I did get a chance to talk with the company, there was an issue in customs, it will be shipping out this week.
Me: Shipping... from China... this week? It's supposed to have already been on the boat! I need this starter.
My purchasing agent: Well, it should be in port in three weeks.
Me: And then another week for customs and then another few days to get here.
My purchasing agent: We'll pass along that this is a rush order to the vendor.
Me: They should know that it's a rush order.

Hang up phone, call the devo group, ask them to explore options to make the material in house at elevated cost.

Thirteen weeks from initial call...

Co-worker: Hey, your drums are downstairs.
Me: What drums?
Co-worker: ::Shrugs:: They got your name on them.
-Go downstairs to dock, check drums- Finally, my starter has arrived. Call the devo group and tell them they don't need to carry out the qualification run to make the starter in the kettle. Get all of my local starters moving. Get my process order for the final product released. Get the material crammed into the schedule in one of the 2000 gallon kettles.

Fourteen weeks from initial call...

Me: (Out loud to myself) Why the heck do I have an e-mail from purchasing saying my order has been delayed again? That showed up last week.

Fifteen weeks from initial call...

Operator: Hey, we were charging that starter... it's supposed to be a liquid right?
Me: Yeah... (don't like where this is going)
Operator: Does it freeze around room temperature?
Me: No, like negative thirty.
Operator: Oh... it must be really cold in the bay today.

Go out to the bay to inspect the drums. One of the drums is full of unknown solid, two are full of what look like grass clippings, one is pristine clear/colorless. Looks like someone spilled it on the floor then siphoned it out into drums. Call up the devo group again "Guys, when do you think you can make that starter in the kettle for me?"

Ninteen weeks from initial call....

Make the starter ourselves, made the final product and it is packaged, out the door, and on it's way to the customer.

Twenty two weeks from initial call...

Four more drums of starter show up. Pass QC just fine.

Thirty weeks from initial call...

New invoice shows up for the last four drums which we never ordered.

diddi - 1-11-2014 at 22:49

oh, you have dealt with the chinese too :D

Me: you have sent the wrong product. I ordered lithium
Them: it is lithium
Me: then why did you ship it in a plastic zip loc bags with holes and why hasn't it completely oxidised away
Them: it is special lithium with very strong coating - does not need oil or argon
Me: it melts at about 500C this is not lithium
Them: send photos of packaging and product
Me did as requested
Them: yes this is lithium!
Me does proper analysis and finds it to be magnesium
Me: it is magnesium - I am sending whole order back/cancelling further orders and you are paying the shipping for return
Them: so you don't need lithium now
Me pulls last 3 strands of hair from already shiny head and starts packing up the order
time passes.............
more time passes............
Me advises that order is packed and shipping is xxx
Them: oh we see we make mistake. your lithium is sent now and you will receive in a few days
time passes.......
Me receives lithium at no charge and unpacks order, scoring some magnesium I didn't really need

its a shame magnesium does not promote hair growth:(

DrMario - 2-11-2014 at 00:06

I purchase a lot of stuff from China, mostly glassware. The latest was a set of bottles with phenolic caps and PE lining. Previous to that I got test tubes, Erlenmeyer flasks with stoppers, watch glasses, petri dishes, silicone corks and tubing, many beakers (way more than I'll ever need, so now I use the small ones as self-standing test tubes), graduated bottles and pipettes, glass stirring rods, PTFE coated mag stirrers, etc.
I got a few reagents, like nickel, copper and magnesium. And MANY other things.

Shipping was typically 0.

One time I had my money refunded because the item didn't arrive after a month.

I once got some contaminated reagent. This was still somewhat usable, but I'd be wary of purchasing reagents from the same vendor.

gardul - 2-11-2014 at 09:33

I work in international freight for a trucking company..... yeaaaaaah...... if you ever need anything shipped.. Don't use Yang Ming.../end rant now to stay reasonably nice...

chemrox - 2-11-2014 at 17:26

Don't EVER pay Chinese in advance! Unless you use an escrow service or paypal. Alibaba has escrow.

MrHomeScientist - 3-11-2014 at 06:50

This whole thread is great, particularly BromicAcid's story (great reading, that is, not great for you I'm sure). This type of stuff is why I do not buy things from China. They have zero quality control and if there is any kind of problem (there will be) they'll pull the 'ol language barrier on you. "We only send top quality for you super good service! No refund"

I did make an exception recently and ordered two packages of lithium metal from China. One was in a clear plastic bag and had clearly oxidized from atmosphere diffusing through it, and the other was in a metal foil pack. I haven't opened the metal pack yet, so I hope it's better quality. When I complained they gave me some barely readable jargon that convinced me it would be a waste of time to try to get a better product from them. They probably don't even know what is on their own shelves.

That's crazy with your drums Bromic. It sounds like they just grabbed whatever barrels were closest and sent them off. "This probably wat he want. He already pay!"

Dr.Bob - 3-11-2014 at 08:06

I have had heard of many problems with Chinese chemicals, such as Bromic's, but not in that scale. But many small companies I know have tried to import cheap chemicals that way, only to have similar results. Many times they will ship trash as a stalling tactic, just to buy time. Other people have found that they like to extend the amount of material by diluting correct material with other stuff, often sodium sulfate, silica gel, or other cheap fillers. I would dissolve a sample, filter and then concentrate to see if that is your issue. Many others have done similar things in the past, by leaving solvent or other traces in liquid chemicals to get the desired amount or yield. Checking the density, refractive index, GC, NMR or other test is always a good idea.

DrMario - 3-11-2014 at 08:29

I don't dispute that buying reagents from China is a risk, but for glassware, I have been 100% satisfied, without exaggeration.

diddi - 3-11-2014 at 16:03

I was looking to buy some sample bottles with ground glass seal. luckily I ordered a sample first. they were poorly machined, out of round and the seals leaked even after greasing. that said, I have also had quite a few good items from china, including reagents and metals, but the key for me is going to the right source.

HgDinis25 - 3-11-2014 at 16:12

Your generalizing an entire country, of course you're going to have bad experiences and good experiences, just like everywhere else. You can't simply say that China is a bad source because the guys you've dealt with were bad sources. I honestly think that, if you go to the right place, you'll get what you want, cheaper usually.

Speaking of my experience, I've ordered a few things from Chinsese suppliers and I've been saisfied in all of the orders. And the cost was always a fraction of what it would have costed me anywhere else.

Of course that this also poses moral questions. But that's a discussion that should be made elsewhere...

BromicAcid - 3-11-2014 at 16:35

On the whole it is cheaper to order from China in industry. However it is usually not as cheap as one would expect and the timelines do tend to drag. I had some personal dealings with a metal dealer in China through AliBaba to buy some ruthenium. Their posting said that the minimum quantity was 100 grams. I asked for a quote for 100 grams and they quoted for 150. I thought, "Fine, I can go with that." So I asked them to draw up a purchase order, the purchase order was for 250 grams! Ruthenium is not cheap and I don't have a ton of money to spend so I didn't want to go that far. When I told them that they informed me that they never sell less than 250 grams and that the quotes before were valid quotes but not for valid quantities. They were a Gold seller, one of the few that I could get a payment to so I bit the bullet and bought the 250 grams. First week it didn't ship, second week it did not ship and when I asked about it they said that I was a small customer and they have other orders to fill first. Out of the blue a package arrived. They had shipped it via EMS air which is about 3 days shipping. They insured my $1100 package for $50 and the customs form on the package said that it was a customer sample of plastic. What the heck was I going to do if that was lost? There was no writing on the powder inside, no CofA. I contacted the seller about the CofA and they assured me it was good material. Then the next day they sent me what looked like a scan of a photocopy of a photocopy. I sent a sample out of X-ray fluorescence. For any reasonable price I could not get a CofA via XRF. However for $15 I was able to at least get confirmation that it was a sample of ruthenium.

j_sum1 - 3-11-2014 at 16:40

[not entirely serious]
Are you saying you have spare ruthenium? I am sure there are some element collectors who would love you to package some up. You may as well recoup some of that $1100.
[/not entirely serious]

chemrox - 3-11-2014 at 16:44

I'm glad an surprised to hear that folks have good experiences with glass from China. I found it to be brittle and fragile with respect to shock. I also found it much harder to clean than American boro. I got Teflon beaker that came from China. Teflon has to be extruded and machined. The beaker was so crudely machined it too was hard to clean. Another Teflon vessel, a bottle, was so uneven inside that one had to guess at the true volume. These aren't my complaints though. I don't like the lack of QC. I don't like contributing to global warming and I deplore the pollution that is affecting the world beyond China.

AvBaeyer - 3-11-2014 at 18:51

Several years ago when I was gainfully employed at a biotech, we needed 50 kg of an intermediate to make drug for a scheduled formulation run and clinical trial. Our cost conscious outsourcing folks went to China for the stuff. Everything was great - no problem producing the material on our timeline at a cheap price and with best quality. As promised, 50 kg of material arrived right on time. The process chemist in charge took a sample and ran a use test to ensure that the material produced the correct product and the expected yield. Surprise - only got a 50% yield. Checked material, which was water soluble, by HPLC and it looked fine, same with NMR. Decided to recrystallize the stuff and found 50% of the delivered product was sodium chloride. Blew our timeline to hell and caused CEO to throw a hissy fit. It took another six weeks to get the pure material made by a reliable US company for about 40% more than we paid the Chinese operation. So much for saving money.


chemrox - 5-11-2014 at 16:41

I have a similar batch. The bastards are skilled at find an adulterant with compatible properties. I'm using n-hexane to recryx. However the writeup mentions cyclohexane. In any case I can purify it. Taking it step by step until I see white crx instead of umber colored material that is typical of the off the shelf product.
@Dr. Bob- I think a lot of progress can be made more cheaply by using TLC. If the adulterant(s) are inorganic maybe careful weighing and filtration will help fill in the picture. Here's cost comparison for an unnamed intermediate:

USA/Aldrich---------10g/$175 (any US City - straight to the door)
No labor laws, no environmental protection,
Shipping & handling: Global Warming Shipping Associates
If you want to get particular you can look up your favorite reagent in the US or UK and request a quote an Alibaba.

[Edited on 6-11-2014 by chemrox]

BromicAcid - 5-11-2014 at 17:36

Quote: Originally posted by chemrox  
The bastards are skilled at find an adulterant with compatible properties.
I know! A classic example is chloroformates, when they come from China they are usually swimming in phosgene and hydrogen chloride! Doesn't show up on the GC or analytical that they send along but if you perform a TCD on it you have might have 4% hydrogen chloride and 10% phosgene!

Best adulterant found in material from China so far was a bung wrench. Thankfully it didn't make it into a 2000 gallon glass-lined kettle.

Speaking of Aldrich, yeah, they are pretty expensive for a lot of things. Problem is that they want to carry everything under the sun. I have personally worked on catalog items that sell 10-15 grams a year in 1 or 5 gram units. The company will usually decide to maintain a smaller inventory of the item so there are no issues with shelf life. So I will make a 30 gram batch of material. Now anyone can tell you this is not economical, economies of scale really kick in for simple chemistry. But that is how many of the non-standard items are kept in stock. If you talk to a sales rep you can sometimes get a custom order instead of several pre-packs and pay a lower price (sometimes much lower) price. So I understand why things are so expensive from Aldrich, they want to carry everything so you can order what you want and get it the next day. On the other hand the Chinese companies will offer to produce compounds that are impossible or next to impossible to produce because they have never attempted, they just say yes no matter what.

Edit: Note that there are qualified vendors from China that do reproducibly produce quality material. Just that finding those vendors can be quite a chore.

[Edited on 11/6/2014 by BromicAcid]

Metacelsus - 6-11-2014 at 10:14

Laboy Glass is one such vendor. I've never had problems with them.

chemrox - 29-1-2016 at 16:12

There should be a sticky on chicom vendors. DO NOT BUY from:
International Chemicals Department Qingdao Branch
M:+86-18678936109 Skype:michaelzhang1017
E: W:
Address: NO.3,Dongzhong Road,Shibei District,Qingdao,266000,China

prices too good to be true. I've told lookchem and alibaba about them. Also complained to Western Union. Don't use paypal; they don't support chemical purchases.

arkoma - 29-1-2016 at 17:28

I've dealt with Chinese suppliers for glassware only. Deschem and Sam100086 on eBay. I can't say anything but "Good Service" from both.

blogfast25 - 29-1-2016 at 17:30

Quote: Originally posted by chemrox  
There should be a sticky on chicom vendors. DO NOT BUY from:

This whole thread is a testimony to your near-vindictive anti-Chinese bias, from start to finish.

Try and accept that loads of people (like me) have had very positive experiences with B2B purchasing from China and that you're essentially indicting a whole nation. There's a word for that...

If you're serious about doing B2B business with Chinese suppliers then go over there, select and meet up with a few hopefuls and build some decent contacts.

I've had some poor experiences with a Polish chemsupplier: should I start a 'sticky' warning 'not to buy from the Polacks'?

Similarly my experience with some US Companies, in particular with regards to refunds, haven't been brilliant either. Ditto?

You claim to hate ignorance, yet seem intent on spreading it.

[Edited on 30-1-2016 by blogfast25]

Dr.Bob - 29-1-2016 at 19:07

Anothe issue with many companies, but very common among the Chinese vendors is that many list huge lists of compounds on Scifinder and other catalogs, sometimes even claiming that it is in stock, but when you try to order, you find that often they do not have it, and if done by PO, they then state that they are out and it is backordered indefinitely. Again, some of them seem to be hoping for people that will pay in advance and hope to get it. The companies often then try to find someone to buy it from or make it, and often cannot. I have ordered almost a dozen compounds (out of 50 or more ordered) that have some back eventually with "we don't have that chemicals we claimed w had in stock a week ago, and cannot get it.."

One case was a chiral compound, which we had used the racemate of before, and 12 companies claim to sell one enantiomer, 8 claim to sell the other. Not one of the companies could supply it, a few said that they could supply it at a price of 10x what they listed originally, and with a lead time of 12 weeks. I am now trying to make it myself, from a chiral starting material and a simple few reactions. What fun. Published reaction does not work well in my hands. At least the 2-pyridyl fluoride reaction with an amine appears to have worked, so I am not a complete hack.

Herr Haber - 29-1-2016 at 21:20

My own experiences with China have mostly been B2C through eBay.
I've NEVER been disapointed. Even if the product was defective, wrong or anything I always managed to find a solution with the sellers.
Actually, a bit earlier today I was writing to 2 vendors from whom I had bought hardware. They were sorry to announce my order would be delayed by a few days (48 hours: like I care). They were SO polite I wish they also exported sales people.
As a matter of comparison: I'd put them on par with Amazon who have been nothing but perfect with Customer service.
Add to this that sometimes I place an order in China, another the same day in Germany and the order from China arrives first...

And as far as B2B goes, we recently had to order a container of CaC2 because production in Europe has halted. The price was excellent.
Taxes and customs just doubled it but hey, that's my country.

I recently ordered some glassware just to see how good / bad it is after reading a lot here on Sciencemadness. I'll make my own opinion when I get it ;)

JJay - 29-1-2016 at 23:59

I prefer to buy chemicals from the USA, but I've bought them from China a few times and have had positive experiences. Once the package was clearly opened by customs and a sample taken for analysis, with a note inserted by customs stating that the contents were consistent with the declarations. I'm not sure how common that is.

NeonPulse - 30-1-2016 at 03:40

Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
I prefer to buy chemicals from the USA, but I've bought them from China a few times and have had positive experiences. Once the package was clearly opened by customs and a sample taken for analysis, with a note inserted by customs stating that the contents were consistent with the declarations. I'm not sure how common that is.

Fairly common. i have had this happen several times. the fact that the declaration label written by the sender said it was a soil sample did not help any either. I think in total i have has 6 or 7 powdered/crystalline chemical orders opened for checking.
Amd as jjay mentioned with a small slip from customs saying how border protection is important Blah,Blah,Blah. you know it has happened when you see the package has yellow tape all over it that has "inspected by customs" in big black letters printed on it. just doing their jobs i guess.
I did get pissed off by that poor declaration which saw a 500g bottle of pentaerythritol opened for analysis. i was in a panic for the next couple of weeks waiting for a raid since this stuff only has very limited uses with no civillian uses...
Just recently i got some iodine for my element collection and from china. they packed it in just 2 ziplock bags-iodine! obviously it did what it does and sublimed around the joint. the whole bag reeked of the stuff and the printed sticker on the parcel had even gone dark brown the invoice inside was unreadable .I wonderd at the time what other nearby mail was contaminated. you think they would have used a bottle like any normal person would have. it was only 10g.

[Edited on 30-1-2016 by NeonPulse]

violet sin - 30-1-2016 at 04:58

I was ripped by chinese seller on ebay, 230$ for 20g Ir that turned out to be W... no recourse available since XRF test wasn't done for almost a year. they simply told me it wasn't their product, some one changed it out and it was my problem to sort out. still pretty chapped about that one... yaolihong2013 aka tianmao (ebay store)

every one else from china has been great. lots of good prices, decent shipping cost for the wait, easy returns on ebay. the one problem I have seen with alexpress or alibaba are the shipping costs... ex. Bi for 9-9.50$/kg but delivered it was 45$/kg. so no sale. can get better prices all said and done in the US if you buy a larger size. but the stated per lb, cost was WAY lower prior to shipping. same thing with other inquires; mishmetal, ruthenium off the top of my head. Ru was a good price after a bit of back and forth over cost, but out the door it was 970$/250g. not horrible, but 120$/oz isn't exactly a steal. watching a grand go out the door, makes a guy a little uneasy. backed out when work fell off for a few months

Morgan - 30-1-2016 at 17:26

The other day a little red silicone rubber stopper arrived, I think it was 75 cents and free shipping. I didn't really care, it was mostly just curiousity to see if it would get to me.

[Edited on 31-1-2016 by Morgan]

NeonPulse - 30-1-2016 at 19:15

We'll that's good to know about the Iridium powder since I do need some for my element collection ant it is on my eBay watch list. Looks like I'll be finding a different source for this.

j_sum1 - 30-1-2016 at 21:27

Hmmmm. Maybe I have a gram of powdered W instead of Ir too. It will be a long time before I can get it properly tested so I might just have to live in doubt for a while. It was not a huge expense anyway.

I did not buy it from the same ebay seller as VioletSin. (Although I have used that seller before.) But, as often happens, my seller used exactly the same graphic in their ad. That generally indicates the same supplier. Either that or affiliated sellers. It is the risk with ebay and element collecting unfortunately.

JJay - 30-1-2016 at 23:26

One thing I prefer about buying from China as opposed to Eastern Europe, Germany, or Turkey - at least the package label is usually written in English.

Atrum - 30-1-2016 at 23:47

So far I am satisfied with my sources in china for my glassware needs. I have only had one issue where the guy forgot to mail the package. However once I inquired about it, he promptly mailed it and I received it about a week later.

XeonTheMGPony - 31-1-2016 at 07:28

With china it is a bit of a game of roulette, 99% of my purchases of refrigeration gear and parts has been excellent as with computer stuff.

But like ANY online purchase read their ratings, read the description care fully and make sure the return policy is solid and you'll rarely have issues.

JJay - 31-1-2016 at 18:20

There is a new Chinese glass supplier on eBay calling themselves Reacware... so far they seem ok.

j_sum1 - 31-1-2016 at 19:04

I can vouch for Reacware. I have had personal contact with one of their sales staff and bought directly from him. Follow the link in my sig for details.

Not exactly new. They have an eBay front under a different name and have had it for ages. I think Interlabglassware and Reacware are the same. Payment goes through the same paypal account.

Anyway, I recommend making contact if you are after something. You can get the prices down a bit and the quality is good.

Get the details right.

[Edited on 1-2-2016 by j_sum1]

gregxy - 1-2-2016 at 12:45

I bought a 3D printer from China through AliExpress. Only $220 including shipping and 2Kg of filament. You have to assemble it your self, but All the parts fit perfectly and it works great.

Other things like PIC programmers, hot air soldering station have also worked well.

It's impossible to find these things made outside of China anymore.

JJay - 1-2-2016 at 18:32

Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
I can vouch for Reacware. I have had personal contact with one of their sales staff and bought directly from him. Follow the link in my sig for details.

Not exactly new. They have an eBay front under a different name and have had it for ages. I think Interlabglassware and Reacware are the same. Payment goes through the same paypal account.

Anyway, I recommend making contact if you are after something. You can get the prices down a bit and the quality is good.


Get the details right.

[Edited on 1-2-2016 by j_sum1]

I don't think interlabglassware is as good as Deschem but I love haggling :)

[Edited on 2-2-2016 by JJay]

zed - 1-2-2016 at 19:21

I've gotten terribly crappy products from Aldrich in the past.

Some sensitive chemical, doesn't sell quickly, and mistakenly sits un-refrigerated for a few years awaiting your order..... And well, you are going to be disappointed. Oh, you can send it back alright, but don't expect product replacement.....they might not have anything on hand, to replace it with.

Anyway, nobody else in the world seems to sell it. So, like it or lump it.

A common problem even with American suppliers, is that they take your money/order, and they never fulfill. When you check in with them, they claim it is back ordered.
Years can pass, and if you don't harrass 'em, you will never ever receive your materials.

It's just life.

diggafromdover - 2-2-2016 at 07:57

Just got a distillation rig from Reacware. Arrived in good order complete and well packed. Have yet to fire it up. Fulfillment took 17 days. Will post here and review on EBay after I use it.

Funkerman23 - 11-2-2016 at 01:59

I've ordered from Laboy a number of times and I'd have to say when they got it right, they got it very right.When not, usually they where polite and fixed the matter.Usually. That sodding language barrier gimmick has burned me though and they love to use it to their advantage! My very first order from them I had ordered a 1000ml sepp funnel and a 250 mL funnel, as well as other bits. The description was vague but it listed 24/40 joints, so I thought ( or rather, foolishly hoped)the funnels had joints on both ends. Nope! Only the top opening had the listed joint size! I am still dealing with that little stunt... But the Quality was by no means bad.The joints are not as precise as the US or German made versions but they worked well enough for everyday use.

Now I am eyeing either Nanshin Sales or Deschem for a patch order( IE: an order for all the things that I couldn't buy from other sellers, so I need to tie up the loose ends) and a 3 liter reactor. ALl I can say is I really hope the day I order, the glass blowers& the company as a whole are having a great day and make& ship it right. Almost always this is true and the product is acceptable.... but then again,if I weren't cash strapped I wouldn't be ordering reaction kettles from china. Chemicals? Better men than me have spoken.

EDIT: this didn't occur to me lasat night but when I had the trouble with the funnels this was years ago, back when they had that horrible half functioning early website of theirs. IT looked like something out of the 90's( if that) but now they have a easy to use and much better website and they have improved dramatically. So as far as glass goes its been good to great.

[Edited on 11-2-2016 by Funkerman23]

chemplayer.. - 12-2-2016 at 22:56

t-Butanol ordered... n-Butanol turned up.
Sodium bromide ordered... sodium bromate turned up.
Potassium ferrocyanide ordered... potassium ferricyanide turned up.

You just have to think 'happy thoughts' and 'what can I do with this' and keep going. Sometimes the mistakes inspire you to new ideas. It's just the way the world works if you are not a fluent local language speaker. That said 95% of the time the price+quality is great and makes up for it.

highpower48 - 13-2-2016 at 10:45

I have now made two orders from reware on ebay. 1st order was for a 500ml 24/40 distillation rig and a 1000ml Erlenmeyer flask. Order arrived very quickly , weeks before estimated date. The distillation rig was first class, the joints were well ground. The only issue was the 1000 milliliter Erlenmeyer flask came with no markings on it, such as Volume Marks. I sent a message to recware and they said they sell both Mark and unmarked glassware and to specify which you want when you order. They did offer to make a partial refund that I declined because I was going to use the flask as apart of the distillation system anyway to use on a hot plate so the markings were not that important.

My second order was for various Condensers and and fritted vacuum funnels and a couple of miscellaneous Flasks. Again everything showed up very quickly approximately two weeks early and everything was perfect. I will be making a third order to this company shortly and have no worries about It.

In my opinion the company is 100% honest and gives good quality and service.

Texium - 13-2-2016 at 13:31

Reacware is great. I got a 400mm Vigreux column column from them a couple weeks ago and it is made of nice thick glass, very heavy duty. It was wrapped up in tons of bubble wrap so there was no way it would break in transit. Shipping was fast, considering it came from China.

@chemplayer: I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't mind if sodium bromate showed up instead of sodium bromide :)

chemplayer.. - 13-2-2016 at 16:36

Actually I'll make one observation about Chinese manufactured products - if you're looking for a good vacuum distillation set up then the advice would be to be a bit cautious and don't scrimp on cost. Also buy everything from one single manufacturer.

The reason? Not because the glass is not thick or vacuum-proof, but we noticed in a couple of different components that we've got that the ground glass joints are very slightly inaccurate in terms of sizing. Not enough to make a difference for any normal set-up (certainly no leaks or anything when used at atmospheric pressure), but when you apply a strong vacuum it's enough to make a difference and prevent a proper seal.

To be fair this is happening when we use 29/32 joints which come from different manufacturers together though. It might not be the case if you buy the whole set-up from a single manufacturer.

JJay - 16-2-2016 at 08:35

One of my Chinese orders from almost a month ago has been sitting in customs for nine days. I have seen a lot of this seller's auctions, and they do sell a great number of suspicious items that probably wouldn't make it through customs if scrutinized, but it's just refractory paper....

Joe Skulan - 28-3-2016 at 02:39

I've had good luck with buying from China. I've bought glassware, including a 2 liter essential oil distillation setup that is a thing of beauty. It's also the only place where you can get metals in small quantities for close to spot price. I got 2kg of gallium for $420, including shipping last month, and plan to buy more soon for $150/kg. I have an order in now for Os at $12/gram, including shipping, and plan to get some Ru for $1.69/gram. My gallium shipment was held up in customs for a week, but that's the only problem I've had.

JJay - 28-3-2016 at 08:04

Reacware is definitely pretty awesome. Compared to Deschem lately, they are slightly cheaper, slightly higher quality, and ship slightly faster. They ship from the same address as Nanshin Sales, and I am told that they use the same PayPal account as Interlab Glassware.

I've had good luck with Pricechopper2011 lately too. Deschem has some serious competition.

chemrox - 28-3-2016 at 17:41

Buying via ebay is not relevant as there's protection at least to some extent. Same going through Alibaba escrow .. the other options require some serious vetting. These guys try to get bank transfers or western union. I've had good luck with vendors who provide good refs and even once with one that didn't. A lot of chicom sellers are street vendors buying and selling from whomever they find. They take no responsibility for the quantities and quality delivered. A 20 g sale turned into a 0.2 g. delivery. I dislike buying from China and eastern europe as by doing so I'm helping poison the world but it doesn't help to buy from Aldrich or any other US company because they repackage chicom goods.

[Edited on 29-3-2016 by chemrox]

NeonPulse - 29-3-2016 at 03:29

Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
Reacware is definitely pretty awesome. Compared to Deschem lately, they are slightly cheaper, slightly higher quality, and ship slightly faster. They ship from the same address as Nanshin Sales, and I am told that they use the same PayPal account as Interlab Glassware.

I've had good luck with Pricechopper2011 lately too. Deschem has some serious competition.

Price chopper has a few items of glass on offer and they post for free to my country I have gotten a couple of things from them and another store popped up recently is hydrion-scientific,they also have a lot of cheap glass of different types up for sale. There's loads of these type of sellers on eBay. They sell loads of junk and a few bits of glass thrown in. Glass is about the only thing I'm buying from now on. Most things made in China are cheap and nasty with very short life expectancy and next to no durability. It's just better to buy something locally that will last. I'd buy flasks locally but they cost a little more here.

wg48 - 22-8-2016 at 06:52

Recently I ordered some 24/40 ground glass jointed labware from China. 19 items in total including the plastic Keck clips. All very reasonably priced.

All arrived intact except the pressure equalizing funnel. It had been wrapped in two sheets of paper and jammed corner to corner in a polystyrene box wrapped in black polythene. Surprisingly a glass thermometer that had been wrapped in only paper and black polythene arrived safely.

The problem is four of the joints don't fit properly and several more are suspect. They appear to have slightly wrong taper. For example all of my mail joints rocks in the female the joint of the one liter flask. It even cracked one mail joint I tried it with.

I not found a tolerance spec for the joints. I assume the joints should couple with no play as most of them do. I have tried some black ink on the joints to see the fit but it did not work But if I rotate the joint in the leaves a white mark on the circumference where it does fit. It also makes a different sound than the good fitting joints.

Does anyone know what accuracy I should expect and how the joints should feel or how to check them?

One more point. The shoulder/lip of several of the mail joints is below the shoulder/lip of the female joint. So the it would be impossible for the Keck clips to hold them together. In addition the Keck clips do not fit the mail joint they are too big. Are different standards for the clips. Everything was purchased as 24/40 or 24/29.

Incidentally I received a full refund on the funnel and the poor fitting adapter. Initially I was only offered a partial refund on the adapter and it was suggested I could sell it on., Hmmm.

Thinking about it I should have tried a dark colored paint ie a pigment paint not an ink containing soluble dyes.

WP_20160814_09_12_20_Pro.jpg - 347kB

[Edited on 22-8-2016 by wg48]

Cabalaba - 22-8-2016 at 13:05

If we're talking glassware, (and escrow, of course), it may be worth the risk. As long as you check for flaws in pieces you NEED to not implode, its worked for me. Then again, its also not worked.

But chemicals, now thats a different story. If you have access to MS, NMR, or some other ultra accurate tool, then go for it. Me, best I got is a column, TLC (2D), and UV-vis spec.

First, I think there should be a thread for chinese/Indian/etc chem suppliers- the good, the bad, the average.

Second, Ive bought chems from forgien companies. This is what Ive learned:
If youre buying drugs/drug precursor, youre chances are better that you'll get sometype of drug/drug precursor, melting points plus crystallizations are critical but only prove you got something related to what you wanted.
If youre buying chemicals, a legit company will offer samples BUT will almost always be very worried that youre just gonna get the sample and thats it. So if theyre concerned about future business, its a good sign. Also, no reputable company will expect anything but some form of escrow, if you ask and they say yes but then they also mention they prefer money orders/wire transfers, be weary. Don't worry if you have trouble speaking with chinese chem suppliers. The smaller companies tend to do business online only. Indian suppliers should speak to you though. Also, once you get a sample, and if youre happy, feel free to ask about their overseas clientele (are they companies, individuals, etc)? If they sell to companies, ask them for the overseas contact info for said companies. References can be falsified but its more evidence for which you can judge.

My favorite chinese chemical supplier didnt want to do business with me because I didn't have an EIN and I demanded a sample. Although he wanted a money order for the sample, it was 20$, so it was better for me that way anyway. He also had a list of escrow companies he liked to use but I convinced him to use paypal, which he eventually setup an account. Then for any orders above 100$, we used paypal. My only concern with this guy (and I think this company was one guy and maybe a couple of chemists), was he didnt properly ship things. He hid 500g of P4O10 really well, in triple sealed containers, complete with a whole bunch of literal bath salts, creams, and the like. Strange but for 180$ for actual dry P4O10, I was happy. I could never be 100% sure it was P4O10, but it behaved exactly as such. It was more hydroscopic than stuff I get on eBay. Plus it turned a number of my acids to anhydrides!!! I had about 90-92% acetic acid, then acetic anhydride, which promptly became GAA when I left it in a beaker, complete with crystals.
Ill try to dig up his email when I have time, but this was back in 2009 so I make no promises.

When I visited Pakistan, my friend's father had his friend give me a tour of a chemical processing plant, I think it made pharmaceutical precursors. The place wasn't very big, but clean and well designed. Seemed like a small but professional operation.

So we really need to have a running thread to relay info on foreign suppliers. There are really good ones out there. And if all you need is an LLC, spend the 200$ and get one for the EIN. Its definitely worth it. These places can be desperate for business plus often dont require 55gallon orders or 10kilo purchases, they may be happy with 1 kilo or a gallon or two.

[Edited on 22-8-2016 by Cabalaba]

wg48 - 22-8-2016 at 14:33

There are what I would call flaws in the Liberg condenser and in the broken funnel. More precisely poorly made glass joints that have bubbles in then and in one has what looks like a small crack.

I want to set up a polariscope to view any stress left in the glass. But I need to swot up on how to interpret the fringes.

I will be pulling a vacuum on them all linked together and running a discharge in argon in them. Should make a neat pic.

XeonTheMGPony - 22-8-2016 at 19:12

I just made a large order from deschem, been happy with the last order from them.

it is roulette so we'll see if this is as good as the last.

Arg0nAddict - 22-8-2016 at 22:43

Over the past 6 months I have around 15 transactions with deschem all were perfect except once a tiny 24/40 gas inlet was missing and they sent immediately. I can also vouch for hydrion-scientific and nanshin for glass. I've used pretty much all the glass makers but I've chosen these three because I've spent at least a few hundred with each and never a real problen. I've ordered nanshin for their biggest kit towards organic distillation plus boiling flasks up to 2000ml and everything is premium except the coil condenser I thought the water went through the coils but the distillate does and the kit did not come with a still head adapter which does a 180 degree turn. When deschem had a sale going on a just got 75 and 105 degree non vacuum adapters for $10 instead of $20 for the real piece.

The problems come when ordering chemicals for instance I got six 100g amount of different things all in the silver foil bags. NO LABELS. So I open them think they are double bagged, nope. I have figured out a few of them but still have two mystery powders and obviously something is wrong because I ordered only one white chem and it's potassium iodide I could easily rule it out but I'm hesitant about picking the wrong one... it could be KCN for all I know and I'd rather not add acid.

It's been hit and miss for me with chems but the cost makes it worth the risk as buying from Americans the markup is huge and I won't lie I've been guilty of that but it wasn't out of greed it was to limit the amount of people who contacted me. If they contact me and ask if I'm willing to negotiate I know they are gonna buy so of course I'll talk with them but when I had things the cheapest like gallium I was getting 10+ messaged a day asking if I was a scam.

I can do good deals with Sodium Metal now that I have found the proper shipping documents to quote. And I accept trades too where no money is exchanged so that may help some people. It has to be in increments of 28g because the shipping thing says as long each individual container holds under 1oz (28.4g) and the total weight is under uhh I forgot over 2 pounds for sure. then there is no hazard charge and no sticker needed on the box but you have to be able to pack it so it's water proof and crush proof. So GalliumSource is basically lying their ass off to get your business. That's why they have it foil sealed in 28g packages. Bad business lying to customers. I'm sure they pay hazard on some things but it specifically says they pay for your hazard charge on sodium.... pfftt. I guess common sense should have told me it's broken down to 16 individual packs for a reason when they refused to sell me one foil pack. Anyway, that's American Business for you. Hahaha

Edit: in case anyone noticed how I said I bought the big organic kit from nanshin then 75 105 degree pieces from deschem even though the nanshin kit has those pieces it's because I am fairly.. well pretty bad OCD and I can't clip the still head and receiver together but if I got a second set for the specific purpose of clipping together it's fine. I know I sound nuts but I can easily hide my OCD around others but alone not so much.

Edit 2: chemicals that came unlabeled were from pickbestforyou

[Edited on 23-8-2016 by Arg0nAddict]

Arg0nAddict - 22-8-2016 at 23:14

Quote: Originally posted by chemrox  
There should be a sticky on chicom vendors. (SNIP) don't use paypal; they don't support chemical purchases.

WHOA, definitely use PayPal even if it's for a chemical. All you do is omit the chemical and write something less specific like business supplies or necessary project components. If they sent you an invoice just ignore it and send them the money to whatever email the invoice said. pay with a credit card through PayPal preferably the paypal business visa card, not the debit card you need actual credit.

You then have redundancy in your protection plan. I've never even lost a penny even when a company took payment and shut down before I got my order. First I told paypal and they didn't want anything to do with it so called up visa and said paypal won't refund my guaranteed purchase even though I used the VISA paypal credit card. I had a full refund before the day was over and it wasn't pocket change either. PayPal is so scared to lose their visa backers if you have the paypal visa card you pretty much can't lose your dough. Unless you break a rule and they can prove it. But that's why they have us read stuff before signing, right? To no what specifically gets you in trouble.

Visa is bigger than paypal so even if you specifically bought chemicals as long as you paid by visa credit the rules of paypal don't matter.

[Edited on 23-8-2016 by Arg0nAddict]

wg48 - 25-8-2016 at 14:01

I found a reference stating the accuracy of the 1:10 taper on standard ground glass joints (marked with S superimposed with a T).

The angle tolerance is +/- 2' (arcminute), thats a gap of 23um at one end of a 40mm long joint and 46um counting the tolerance of both halves of the joint. Typical cooking aluminium foils have a thickness of 24um. So if a can slide more than two sheet of aluminium foil in either end of a coupled joint its out of tolerance. (can be difficult on the inner end).

I found lipstick (improvised machinery blue, no it was not mine LOL) works to visualize the fit. Put four narrow stripes on the male part and assemble the joint. How it spreads indicates the fit.

Droso - 8-7-2017 at 17:40

Im thinking of ordering some aroma compounds (dimethoxybenzene, nerolin, etc) from China. Does anyone know of a reliable/trustful chinese company that offers them?


JJay - 8-7-2017 at 18:28

I think Argent Scientific might carry those. They're in Australia, not China, but I don't know why you would prefer to order from China. Member adk is the owner I think; if you message him or search the board you can find the email message for their sales department.

j_sum1 - 8-7-2017 at 21:59

Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
I think Argent Scientific might carry those. They're in Australia, not China, but I don't know why you would prefer to order from China. Member adk is the owner I think; if you message him or search the board you can find the email message for their sales department.

If you do go with Argent, contact directly. The website is pretty much a storefront atm and does not give much indication of what,s inside.