Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login ]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  
Author: Subject: Lab Glassware acquisition rant
Arthur Dent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 545
Registered: 22-10-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: entropic

[*] posted on 3-12-2010 at 15:19
Lab Glassware acquisition rant


In my quest to build myself a nice, functional lab for my modest chemistry work, I have been frustrated as many have by the high cost of quality chemistry lab glassware. I live in Quebec and the resources for inexpensive reagents and lab equipment are far and few in between.

So a few weeks ago while I was browsing on ebay, I stumbled upon an interesting, inexpensive resource for cheap glassware, it's called Scientific Equipment of Houston. Mhhhh, nice prices, i'll try a small order to see if it's worth it.

So I ordered $20 worth of stuff: A mortar and pestle, a round bottom boiling flask, a 100 ml graduated cylinder and three beakers. Scientific Equipment of Houston has an online store through Amazon dot com, so after entering all my info, I discovered that I can't pay through paypal, which annoyed me... so I had to pull out my visa card. Then there was the first bad surprise... Nearly $20 shipping! As much as the whole order!

Oh well, I carried on and finalized the order. The material got shipped on time last Wednesday Dec. 2, but I wasn't there so the UPS guy left a paper saying he'd come back today between 10 AM and 2 PM. Really nice of him to show up at 3:00 PM so I lost a whole day waiting for him. And then as he hands me the box, he says that there's a whopping 22$ customs brokerage fee... suddenly, my $20 order turned into a $60+ order!!! Aargh!

But the final drop in the bucket was that athough the packing slip has described all items as shipped, my 100 ml graduated cylinder was nowhere to be seen in the package, and the document mentions it has been included in the box!!!


My order... as received...

Uncle Bob is seriously pissed! So I sent Amazon/SEH a "slightly" energetic message asking them to please ship me my f*#&$ng graduated cylinder! Sorry for this rant but the cumulation of negative vibes just made me explode!!!

So I'm starting this thread in the hopes that people who had similar unpleasant experiences with glassware/reagent providers to please share them, so we could avoid the irritation. Also, if you had good experiences, please share them too! Maybe this thread could be a reference to various regional sources that are trustworthy and affordable.

I can mention a place in Quebec called Prolab Scioentific. I deal with them often for inexpensive reagents and quality material, but their prices are quite high when it comes to glassware/lab equipment.

I also discovered a place called Surplus2D that sells used/recycled lab equipment. Haven't been there yet (thanks to the nice UPS guy today) :mad: but they seem to have fair prices.

Phew!!! Thanks for letting me steam off a bit.

Robert


[Edited on 3-12-2010 by Arthur Dent]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Magpie
lab constructor
*****




Posts: 5939
Registered: 1-11-2003
Location: USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Chemistry: the subtle science.

[*] posted on 3-12-2010 at 17:17


Quote: Originally posted by Arthur Dent  

And then as he hands me the box, he says that there's a whopping 22$ customs brokerage fee...


I have bought lab equipment off eBay that was shipped from Canada. There were no customs charges. Apparently Customs charges are only incurred when purchases go north?




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Paddywhacker
National Hazard
****




Posts: 477
Registered: 28-2-2009
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 3-12-2010 at 21:02


Canada has excellent glassware suppliers. Isn't Manitoba in Canada?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Arthur Dent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 545
Registered: 22-10-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: entropic

[*] posted on 4-12-2010 at 07:11


@ Magpie: Well, any and all merchandise shipped from the US (or anywhere else) to Canada is subject to provincial/federal taxes as well as custom fees. The reality is that because of the sheer volume of postage, only one in 10 packages gets slapped with the fees. I ordered stuff about 20 times from Hong Kong (Deal Extreme) and never got the dreaded added tax. I guess it has to do with stuff that stands out. A big 8x10 box with "scientific equipment" on the label might be an easy target for customs officials.

@ Paddywhacker: Please tell me more! :D

Robert

[Edited on 4-12-2010 by Arthur Dent]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
cnidocyte
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 214
Registered: 7-7-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 4-12-2010 at 08:40


$20 shipping isn't that bad at all. I was about to order a relatively cheap ($120) hotplate from America until I found out the shipping was $150.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Steve_hi
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 196
Registered: 4-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 4-12-2010 at 09:20
Glassware cheap


Hi Arthur dent
I too live in quebec "Magog" I bought a lot of glassware from
indigo located in kitchener ontario delivery is between 10 and 20 bucks prices are very good especially if you buy by the case.
I ordered about 500$ of chemicals from Newhorizons in BC
shipping is free over 500$
http://www.indigo.com/
http://www.newhorizonsscientific.ca/
good luck
View user's profile View All Posts By User
mr.crow
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 884
Registered: 9-9-2009
Location: Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: 0xFF

[*] posted on 4-12-2010 at 11:43


Congratulations! You discovered how shitty it is to buy stuff from the States and especially amazon. UPS can go fuck itself.

Fortunately there are lots of real glassware companies in Canada that I have used personally.




Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Magpie
lab constructor
*****




Posts: 5939
Registered: 1-11-2003
Location: USA
Member Is Offline

Mood: Chemistry: the subtle science.

[*] posted on 4-12-2010 at 13:26


New Horizons has some interesting chems. But then I'd have to deal with the vagaries of customs. :(

Quote: Originally posted by mr.crow  
UPS can go fuck itself.


There are some good things about UPS, but price is not one of them. They provide tracking and they're not as nosey as your neighborhood mailman.




The single most important condition for a successful synthesis is good mixing - Nicodem
View user's profile View All Posts By User
mr.crow
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 884
Registered: 9-9-2009
Location: Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: 0xFF

[*] posted on 4-12-2010 at 15:18


Well they are good at delivering boxes on time.

Their brokerage fees in Canada are basically criminal. It has nothing to do with taxes or duties, just whatever they feel like. 20 bucks minimum and up to 1/3 of what its worth.

For my hotplate I got charged $90 extra.

Now let me rant about Amazon. Their US websites has tons of good stuff on it, but they won't let you buy it if you are in Canada. Whats so hard about putting a different label on the box? The Canadian website doesn't have anything I want.

I even called the customer service of a store linked to amazon and there was nothing they could do. Their US store had a part I needed but the Canadian one didn't despite being exactly the same. Lousy turn-key warehouse operations.




Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Arthur Dent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 545
Registered: 22-10-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: entropic

[*] posted on 4-12-2010 at 15:34


Excellent! Thanks for the tip! New Horizons sounds quite promising!!

@mr.crow: Yeah, I pretty much scratched Amazon off my list permanently. And eBay ain't far behind.

Robert


[Edited on 4-12-2010 by Arthur Dent]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
undead_alchemist
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 189
Registered: 12-1-2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: Tired, Cleaning up corporate messes at work!

[*] posted on 6-12-2010 at 17:07


The deal with customs and UPS.
Once a package is valued at $20 Canadian or more, UPS must broker the package.
Most the of charge is their brokerage fee. very little to due with tax or duties.
Main reason that my work brokers most of their own packages. even UPS.
Lots of time, customs will just stamp the papers if its under $50 and there is a line up
at the customs office.

Also UPS can be good for larger shipments.
My work gets a very nice discount for inbound shipments, 50% or better.
So shipments of a 100lbs or more don't cost very much.

Talk to your UPS rep. they might be able to help with the fees.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
digitalemu
Harmless
*




Posts: 38
Registered: 21-10-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 6-12-2010 at 19:17


Solution is simple, don't order from anone who ships UPS Standard to Canada as the brokerage fees are huge. In fact don't have anything shipped by UPS from outside Canada period. USPS is the only way to go as quite often the packages just slip on by if not of significant value. As well quite often a seller will fudge the item cost on the customs forms so that you will buy more from them.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
anotheronebitesthedust
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 189
Registered: 24-6-2007
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 6-12-2010 at 20:31


If shipped with USPS/Canadapost tell the seller to mark the item as less than $50 to avoid taxes and duties.

As Undead_Alchemist said, if it's shipped with UPS you'll need to claim it as $20 or less to avoid taxes and duties. Or have it marked as a sample or gift.

As for as Scientific Equipment of Houston goes, they're shit. They charge outrageous prices for junk, and the few times I've ordered from them the items arrived broken. Same goes for United Glass Tech, OnlineScienceMall, Avogadro's Lab Supply, Kantu200 and many of the other big sellers.

My favorite Ebay sellers are SibGene and Expediglass. Not to mention the dozens of various small-time sellers who are willing to negotiate.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Arthur Dent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 545
Registered: 22-10-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: entropic

[*] posted on 7-12-2010 at 05:04


I got a reply from the owner of Scientific Equipment of Houston saying he's quite sorry and that my cylinder would be shipped through USPS and at no cost (sample)... He also mentioned that broker fees are out of his control. Glad at least that he responded at all. Well I'll see if an when that missing item arrives!

Anyway, some of the local links stated above look and sound very promising, I'll be doing some shoppin' this weekend! Yay!

Believe it or not, that 100 ml graduated cylinder is a christmas gift! :o My little sister is a pharmacist and she breaks one at least 2 or 3 times a year, her supplier is extremely expensive. I'm such a geek! LOL

- Robert
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Steve_hi
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 196
Registered: 4-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 7-12-2010 at 12:49
sale at maker shed


Big sale at makershed.com 75% off
getting out of science stuff
I just ordered 89$ worth including shipping
saved 200$. Bad part is i had it delivered in vermont im not far from the border and for the savings its worth it.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
MrHomeScientist
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 1805
Registered: 24-10-2010
Location: Flerovium
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 9-12-2010 at 07:00


Quote: Originally posted by Steve_hi  
Big sale at makershed.com 75% off
getting out of science stuff
I just ordered 89$ worth including shipping
saved 200$. Bad part is i had it delivered in vermont im not far from the border and for the savings its worth it.


Wow thanks for this tip! I just bought $40 of stuff including shipping, saved myself $75. I got 25 different things, and a total of about 46 items (about $1 an item!!). They have a pretty small selection and their chemicals are in very small amounts (~25g), but if you are doing some small scale stuff and don't want to buy a pound off of ebay this is perfect. I found a few pieces of glassware for dirt cheap too. Things are going fast though - while I was ordering, one item disapeared from my cart because someone else bought the last one! Curse whoever got that glass funnel :mad:

Can't wait to receive my stuff - Christmas comes early this year!
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Steve_hi
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 196
Registered: 4-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 9-12-2010 at 18:25


Lol :DMy dear friend I bought a glass funnel I hope it wasn't yours
Their selection was much larger but they have decided to stop selling science gear and let everything disapear without replaceing it.
By the way I just recieved my shipment of chemicals from New Horizons in BC everything was good.
With 500$ purchase shipping is free I think but not sure that their prices are pretty reasonable.Total for this Order: $539.05


Products on order: 1 x Phenolphthalein, Powder ACS, 100 g - $16.25
SKU: 225-0208


1 x Sodium Hydroxide, 1.0M/1.0N Aqueous Solution, 1L - $9.45
SKU: 225-0271


1 x Bromothymol Blue, Water Soluable Powder, 1g - $6.95
SKU: 225-0042


1 x Acetic Acid, 1.0M/1.0N Solution, 1L - $10.50
SKU: 225-0003


1 x Ammonium Nitrate, Crystal Lab Grade, 500g - $9.50
SKU: 225-0021


1 x Ammonium Acetate, Crystal Reagent, 500g - $28.75
SKU: 225-0014


1 x Ammonium Nitrate, Crystal ACS, 500g - $19.95
SKU: 225-0020


1 x Glycerol, Lab Grade, 1 Litre - $22.95
SKU: 225-0124


1 x Hydrochloric Acid, 36 - 38% Concentrate ACS, 500mL - $15.50
SKU: 225-0131


1 x Methanol, Anhydrous Absolute ACS, 1L - $16.95
SKU: 225-0176


1 x Oxalic Acid, Crystals, 500g - $19.15
SKU: 225-0198


1 x Copper (II) Sulfate, Crystals, Lab Grade, Pentahydrate, 500 g - $14.95
SKU: 225-0088


1 x Aluminum Nitrate, Nonhydrate Regent, 500g - $14.95
SKU: 225-0331


1 x Potassium Permanganate, Crystals, ACS, 500g - $27.50
SKU: 225-0230


1 x Sodium Bisulfite, Lab Grade, 500g - $18.95
SKU: 225-0357


1 x Formaldehyde, Solution 37%, 1 Litre - $9.95
SKU: 225-0119


1 x Potassium Nitrate, Crystals, Reagent, 500g - $19.95
SKU: 225-0228


1 x Potassium Dichromate, Crystals, Reagent, 500g - $29.95
SKU: 225-0220


1 x Sodium Borate, Lab Grade, 500g - $11.25
SKU: 225-0257


1 x Starch, Soluble Powder Reagent, 100g - $16.00
SKU: 225-0288


1 x Sodium Hydroxide, Pellets, Lab Grade, 500g - $19.50
SKU: 225-0270


1 x Charcoal, Activated, Powder, 500g - $28.75
SKU: 225-0067


1 x Barium Hydroxide, Crystals, Lab Grade, 500g - $22.50
SKU: 225-0030


2 x Barium Nitrate, Crystals, Reagent, 500g - $51.00 ($25.50 each)
SKU: 225-0031


1 x Barium Chloride, Crystals Reagent, 500g - $15.00
SKU: 225-0028


1 x Chloroform, Reagent, 1L - $47.00
SKU: 225-0069


1 x Calcium Nitrate, Crystals ACS, 500g - $15.95




[Edited on 10-12-2010 by Steve_hi]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
mr.crow
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 884
Registered: 9-9-2009
Location: Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: 0xFF

[*] posted on 9-12-2010 at 20:27


Awesome, I should try them out

It says KMnO4 is restricted :mad: how did that work out? They have Ac2O too, haha




Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble
View user's profile View All Posts By User
undead_alchemist
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 189
Registered: 12-1-2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: Tired, Cleaning up corporate messes at work!

[*] posted on 10-12-2010 at 10:35


Its on the Health Canada precursor list
But the thresholds are high.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Arthur Dent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 545
Registered: 22-10-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: entropic

[*] posted on 10-12-2010 at 16:58


Hah!

I just found alibaba's cavern!

I just got the following treasures:



I paid $85 for all of the following:
30 ml bushner funnel - Kimax
125ml separatory funnel with teflon stopcock - Kimax
300 ml 3-neck flask Pyrex
10 ml burette
ground glass stopcock thingamajig
teflon stirbars
clamps
and a handful of glass tubes and pipettes

Now that's good stuff! The 300 ml 3-neck flask Pyrex is worth more than that alone!!!

Surplus2D in St-Jean Sur Richelieu, Quebec.
http://surplus2d.com/

Sadly they don't have a catalog and you must go in person to visit their "treasure room" but anything from $3 conical flasks and $5 pyrex beakers, they have a crapload of the finest lab stuff you can imagine! Even 4-liter 4 neck flasks and gas chromatograph analyzers! Dang!

Robert
View user's profile View All Posts By User
undead_alchemist
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 189
Registered: 12-1-2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Member Is Offline

Mood: Tired, Cleaning up corporate messes at work!

[*] posted on 10-12-2010 at 18:01


Nice find.

Quote: Originally posted by Arthur Dent  
Hah!

I just found alibaba's cavern!

I just got the following treasures:



I paid $85 for all of the following:
30 ml bushner funnel - Kimax
125ml separatory funnel with teflon stopcock - Kimax
300 ml 3-neck flask Pyrex
10 ml burette
ground glass stopcock thingamajig
teflon stirbars
clamps
and a handful of glass tubes and pipettes

Now that's good stuff! The 300 ml 3-neck flask Pyrex is worth more than that alone!!!

Surplus2D in St-Jean Sur Richelieu, Quebec.
http://surplus2d.com/

Sadly they don't have a catalog and you must go in person to visit their "treasure room" but anything from $3 conical flasks and $5 pyrex beakers, they have a crapload of the finest lab stuff you can imagine! Even 4-liter 4 neck flasks and gas chromatograph analyzers! Dang!

Robert
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Steve_hi
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 196
Registered: 4-12-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 10-12-2010 at 18:22
An address please


Quote: Originally posted by Arthur Dent  
Hah!

I just found alibaba's cavern!

I just got the following treasures:



I paid $85 for all of the following:
30 ml bushner funnel - Kimax
125ml separatory funnel with teflon stopcock - Kimax
300 ml 3-neck flask Pyrex


would you have an addresse and or telephone number please im not far from st jean sur richelieu. I'd like to visit them.
10 ml burette
ground glass stopcock thingamajig
teflon stirbars
clamps
and a handful of glass tubes and pipettes

Now that's good stuff! The 300 ml 3-neck flask Pyrex is worth more than that alone!!!

Surplus2D in St-Jean Sur Richelieu, Quebec.
http://surplus2d.com/

Sadly they don't have a catalog and you must go in person to visit their "treasure room" but anything from $3 conical flasks and $5 pyrex beakers, they have a crapload of the finest lab stuff you can imagine! Even 4-liter 4 neck flasks and gas chromatograph analyzers! Dang!

Robert
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Arthur Dent
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 545
Registered: 22-10-2010
Member Is Offline

Mood: entropic

[*] posted on 11-12-2010 at 04:05


Quote: Originally posted by Steve_hi  

an address please


http://surplus2d.com/

It's right on their website, they even have a map to get there:

Surplus2D Ltée.
813 St Jacques
St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Qc
Canada J3B 2N2
t. 450-346-7460
f. 450-346-7638
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Bikemaster
Hazard to Others
***




Posts: 120
Registered: 8-10-2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 11-12-2010 at 08:29


If you want more picture of their glassware, go there: http://www.lespac.com/outils-materiaux/equipements-professio...

View user's profile View All Posts By User
peach
Bon Vivant
*****




Posts: 1428
Registered: 14-11-2008
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 14:13


Not wishing to lessen your sorrow, but loosing that much on glassware or orders has become second nature to me now.

I've had funnels turn up, that cost well over a hundred pounds a piece and that are supposed to be professionally blown, looking like they've spent 10 minutes doing it. Wonky bits of tubing, wavy lines in the seals and an oddly brittle nature that suggests they weren't actually annealed, let alone checked.

And special PTFE thread to taper caps that are 45 pounds each, minus the shipping and whomping UK tax, that don't fit the standard threads they're advertised for, only that company's own version of the threads - not mentioned on their site (and this company sells through Sigma).

I had a pump turn up not that long ago that was virtually new, apart from the casing being cracked from the shipping; meaning, it was wrecked. It took TWO MONTHS to even get a reply from the shipping guys.

But less than 24h for them to take my money, and a mere two days to ruin the pump.

I've had so many examples of that I've genuinely lost count. Which is why I've had to become the legal eagle on the consumer rights act, and started opening court claims against the tarts.

Answer, or get sued.

There has always been pressure on big companies to baffle the consumer with legal jargon. Even more so now with the economic problems. There are companies everyone in this thread will have used who are doing it. If you get through to their legal teams, it all degrades to fluffy 'good practice' policies as some excuse for them not sticking to the consumer rights act.

In the same way that reaction may look complete, when it's not, what they say may look like it's legally watertight stuff, but it's far from it - even if that company is say, eBay and paypal.

Do yourselves a major favour, READ the consumer rights act. You will immediately become better than any other consumer I've ever met, and see them shafting the rest.

[Edited on 13-12-2010 by peach]




View user's profile View All Posts By User
 Pages:  1  

  Go To Top