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

Printable Version  
Author: Subject: Advice for setting up small chemical distribution business?

Posts: 41
Registered: 16-11-2013
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] 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!
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Super Administrator

Posts: 2758
Registered: 12-3-2004
Member Is Offline

Mood: " I think we are all going to die. I think that love is an illusion. We are flawed, my darling".

[*] 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]

Rapopart’s Rules for critical commentary:

1. Attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”
2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Anatol Rapoport was a Russian-born American mathematical psychologist (1911-2007).

View user's profile View All Posts By User
Hazard to Self

Posts: 65
Registered: 2-12-2014
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] 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.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
International Hazard

Posts: 1351
Registered: 12-5-2011
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] 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...

Note to self: Tare the damned flask.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
International Hazard

Posts: 2475
Registered: 26-1-2011
Location: USA - NC
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] 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.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
Forum Hillbilly

Posts: 1700
Registered: 13-1-2015
Location: Florida PanHandle
Member Is Offline

Mood: I just don't know...

[*] 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.

They tried to have me "put to sleep" so I came back to return the favor.
View user's profile View All Posts By User

  Go To Top