Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Safe to buy from China?

Ranger - 1-9-2018 at 08:55

I’ve been told that buying from China is a mistake, because of how likely it is that I would not get anything that I paid for. But then again, the people who told me that were buying phone cases, not condenser columns.
But from what I have seen on the forum, people seem to get what they ordered?
A lot of the reviews for Chinese eBay accounts seem like spam (multiple accounts giving good reviews multiple times) or maybe eBay automatically gives a review if the buyer never does it themselves? Seems fishy to me.
Also, I’m buying from eBay for single items, not large quantities.
I’d just like to hear some real people’s comments.

CobaltChloride - 1-9-2018 at 09:16

I bought all my ground glass glassware from deschem on eBay (Chinese store). I didn't have any problems which weren't solved. The glassware is also good.

I also bought many lab utensils from Chinese eBay and Aliexpress sellers without any problems.

zed - 1-9-2018 at 12:53

Well yeah. Some of the companies utilize fake feedback, and some of the products are crap.

But, the decent companies may be quite good.

Many of us have done business with Deschem, and most of us have been pleased with the results.

Decent quality at friendly prices.

American, German, or Japanese, Glassware is generally prettier, but it is much, much, much, more expensive.

woelen - 2-9-2018 at 11:09

I have ordered from chinese eBay sellers quite some materials. Electronics, element samples and a few chemicals. In the big majority of cases I received what I paid for and the quality was good. Only a few times I received material of questionable quality (e.g. electronic components, which were on the edge of being on-spec/off-spec) or I had to wait a very very long time before I received my item. But I can say that in 95+ % of all my chinese orders I was happy with what I received.

Elrik - 2-9-2018 at 19:25

I've bought a variety of glassware, a 0.01 resolution pH meter with 3 point calibration, and assorted other things from various chinese ebay sellers and, overall, am quite pleased.
With unlimited money I would buy from germany. Until then I will mostly buy from china ;)

Herr Haber - 3-9-2018 at 03:25

As others here, I like Deschem quite a lot.

The glassware is ok and the service is really good and reactive. Something's broken or missing ?
Sometimes they dont even ask for a picture.
Not that I got many items broken in transit. The people doing the packaging at Deschem are really good at what they do !

Heptylene - 3-9-2018 at 05:31

I've bought several pieces of glassware from chinese sellers (deschem among others) and most have been ok quality. I bought a few adapters and a flask which all turned out to be good quality. The notable exception was a dean stark apparatus whose stopcock was leaking and therefore completely unusable.

Actually I bought an addition funnel and 3-neck flasks from an european seller (isolab) and the joints were complete shit compared to those from chinese sellers on ebay. The joints were wobbly and didn't seal very well. So chinese or not chinese is not the definitive criterion.

As far as chemicals are concerned, I've only had good experiences.

highpower48 - 3-9-2018 at 07:42

Has anyone ordered elemental iodide from China? Prices for amounts look great. Any issue with Customs or anyone else? I would only be buying 100 grams.

JJay - 3-9-2018 at 08:01

Quote: Originally posted by highpower48  
Has anyone ordered elemental iodide from China? Prices for amounts look great. Any issue with Customs or anyone else? I would only be buying 100 grams.

Technically, it's illegal to import even one gram of elemental iodine in the U.S. without a license. (Iodide is a different story. It's legal to import. It's not "elemental" though.) It's also illegal to drive one mile over the speed limit, and have you been on any U.S. highway lately? eBay has obviously not received a letter from the DEA telling them to put a stop to iodine imports.

If you import iodine, it's pretty likely that a digitized photo of the customs declaration will be stored on a government hard drive somewhere. If you buy iodine from eBay, law enforcement will be able to obtain the name, zip code, and phone number linked to the purchase without a warrant if they choose. While it's extremely unlikely, they could probably legally get a warrant for iodine imports that they discover. If none of this bothers you, while it can't really be condoned, no one is going to stop you from buying some iodine from China.

[Edited on 3-9-2018 by JJay]

zed - 4-9-2018 at 16:06

Iodine is a "listed" chemical. Importing Iodine from China into the U.S., requires a license. Oh, the Chinese will probably send it to you. But, I grok that there could be legal problems. Homeland Security type problems.

If you are in the U.S., it is probably better to buy it from a U.S. supplier. Either that, or buy Potassium Iodide, and convert it. It's fairly inexpensive locally.

Abromination - 4-9-2018 at 18:22

I bought some glass from China off of Amazon today from Laboy and I couldn't be happier. Although I would advise them, do be careful with shipping from China.

DrScrabs - 4-9-2018 at 23:46

I did only buy chemicals from a known chemical supplier in china via email, never had any problem, friendly and quick support.

nimgoldman - 5-9-2018 at 07:05

Quote: Originally posted by highpower48  
Has anyone ordered elemental iodide from China? Prices for amounts look great. Any issue with Customs or anyone else? I would only be buying 100 grams.

Yes I recently purchased 250 grams of iodine crystals. Well packaged (muliple layers, sealed).

No problems with customs. Iodine is sold OTC in my country but only in small amounts.

I also buy from Deschem - no problems so far - they always add a paper sheet quick direct contact to resolve any broken glassware etc.

The packaging is little bit Ghetto (polystyrene box with stuff taped to it from inside - unpacking is like removing insects from spider's web) - but it works and I don't complain for the price.

The glassware is of good quality, I use it without problems so far.

Some pieces can be slightly off, RBF not exactly up to standard dimensions and one drying tube has thin glass (botched glass blowing) so it broke easily. But 95% is okay.

alking - 6-9-2018 at 09:09

I like deschem and nanshin on ebay. Both are good quality 95% of the time as others have said. Sometimes I've received broken things, stopcocks that don't seal right, etc, quite a few bubbles, slightly warped/bent (not a big deal, aesthetics only). Only once or twice has any of that made me ask for a replacement and they were happy to comply. I'm sure they would have replaced the others as well, but it wasn't worth it to me due to the wait; that's the main problem is 2-3 weeks shipping, then if it's messed up you have to wait another 2-3 weeks.

Herr Haber - 7-9-2018 at 03:58

True Alking, though if you chose to pay instead of their free shipping you'll get your order in less than a week.

Ranger - 10-9-2018 at 16:49

Thanks for the response guys, I'm confident now to order from China.
Ordered a distillation apparatus from Deschem. It's gonna be here in a month, got a lot of things planned for it.
About iodine, I also ordered some potassium iodide pretty cheap from this: (In case anyone missed that post a month ago)