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Herr Haber
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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
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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
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 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]

Where there is a will
there is a way.

AllCheMystery!
violet sin
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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 International Hazard Posts: 1594 Registered: 28-12-2010 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood 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. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1pc-Silicone-Seasoning-Beer-Bottle-C... [Edited on 31-1-2016 by Morgan] NeonPulse National Hazard Posts: 417 Registered: 29-6-2013 Location: The other end of the internet. Member Is Offline Mood: Isolated from Reality! For Real this time.... 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. Where there is a will there is a way. AllCheMystery! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWbbidIY4v57uczsl0Fgv7w?vie... j_sum1 Administrator Posts: 5921 Registered: 4-10-2014 Location: Unmoved Member Is Offline Mood: Possessor of a tidy and organised lab. Now to mess it up again. 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. 10 new (short) videos on sum_lab. Junior science physical and chemical change series. JJay International Hazard Posts: 3440 Registered: 15-10-2015 Member Is Offline 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 Hazard to Self Posts: 73 Registered: 7-12-2014 Member Is Offline Mood: Tired AF 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. "Experience is my one true mistress and I will cite her in all cases. Only through experimentation can we all truly know anything." ~Leonardo da Vinci My inventory Recently acquired elements: Iodine , Cobalt, Tungsten, Silicon XeonTheMGPony International Hazard Posts: 1626 Registered: 5-1-2016 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood 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 International Hazard Posts: 3440 Registered: 15-10-2015 Member Is Offline There is a new Chinese glass supplier on eBay calling themselves Reacware... so far they seem ok. j_sum1 Administrator Posts: 5921 Registered: 4-10-2014 Location: Unmoved Member Is Offline Mood: Possessor of a tidy and organised lab. Now to mess it up again. 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] 10 new (short) videos on sum_lab. Junior science physical and chemical change series. gregxy National Hazard Posts: 421 Registered: 26-5-2006 Member Is Offline Mood: No Mood 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
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 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
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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
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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.

Enjoying second childhood with REAL chemistry set.
Funkerman23
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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]

" the Modern Chemist is inundated with literature"-Unknown
chemplayer..
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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
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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

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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

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chemplayer..
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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]

"When you let the dumbasses vote you end up with populism followed by autocracy and getting back is a bitch." Plato (sort of)
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 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition » buying from China Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues