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Author: Subject: Advice for setting up small chemical distribution business?
zephler1
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[*] posted on 25-1-2015 at 04:23
Advice for setting up small chemical distribution business?


I might be flamed mercilessly for this, but here goes...

I have been in the science / chemistry world for around 20 years now. Because I have made many great contacts on the lab equipment and chemical supply side, I was thinking it might be nice to have some extra pocket change say by importing a 50kg barrel of NaBH4 and selling it in smaller portions from a website. I am in Canada. I wondering if someone can offer some advice as to what to do first to investigate this? Sure, I will contact FedEx and UPS, and obviously I will not be selling scheduled precursors, but is a regular citizen allowed to sell NaBH4 to another for instance? What about something like H2SO4? This is the nature of the types of questions am looking for answers to - I really appreciate anyone taking the time to help!
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Bert
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[*] posted on 25-1-2015 at 07:21


There are a couple of good sized threads on similar subjects here- Do a search.

I can't speak to Canadian laws, all my hazardous material shipping is done in USA. And I can tell you, here, it's fairly complex to do all the required compliance. My DOT compliance takes more time (and money!) than my BATF compliance does- MUCH more.

(DOT = Department of Transportation - BATF = Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives)

[Edited on 25-1-2015 by Bert]




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Hellafunt
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[*] posted on 25-1-2015 at 19:38


you should read " Excuse Me Sir, Would You Like To Buy A Kilo Of Isopropyl Bromide" by Max C. Gergel, its on our website here. Lots of funny anecdotes about the author starting his chemical business.
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Mailinmypocket
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[*] posted on 26-1-2015 at 05:26


This thread covers the topic, I'm sure tomholm could answer your questions as he is in the business of shipping chemicals. It sounds a lot more complex and requires a lot more training than you would expect...

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=41755




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Dr.Bob
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[*] posted on 26-1-2015 at 07:55


You might find it advantageous to find an existing business, like Tom or another small chemical company, to join with in a joint venture, rather than start from scratch, as the cost of getting the DOT paperwork, training, and process is not trivial, so if you can find an existing business that already ships anything hazardous, you could potentially work with them to expand their business, rather than build one from ground zero. Years ago I would not have said that, but the regulatory world has become the hardest part of running any small business that does anything "hazardous". So if you can build on an existing shipping process, that will save you a fortune.

The equipment market would be much easier, but right now there is a glut of used equipment on the market in the US, and Chinese companies are flooding the market with excess supply, so prices are dropping for many items, due to the low demand as more US science companies downsize. If you can find the right niche, like genetics supplies or something with less competition, you might have a chance, but the people I knew who were selling lab supplies are all leaving the field, due to no sales.
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[*] posted on 26-1-2015 at 17:57


Another option to explore is "drop shipping" thru an existing company. Perhaps that goes hand in hand with Dr. Bobs post...

I sell engine parts (scooter high performance) thru my own company but they are drop shipped by my supplier. In essence I have no real capitol outlay, and all the paperwork is done on the supply end.
You are simply an advertiser/sales agent, and for 30 bucks a month a web site is a deal you can't beat with a stick.
One sale covers your expenses, and buys your dinner. No need to pay 400.00 plus to "build" a site either. Muse is a free software that does it all for you.
If you can post here, you can build a web site.




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