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Author: Subject: Ordering chemicals as a graduate student?
dichloroethane
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[*] posted on 19-1-2016 at 01:33
Ordering chemicals as a graduate student?


I was wondering if any current or former grad students have any experience establishing personal accounts with the larger chemical suppliers? Is it possible to have packages sent to the universities chemistry dept. but pay with a personal credit card?

Also, does anyone know what an accounts payable address is? TCI asks for it when making an account.
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Loptr
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[*] posted on 19-1-2016 at 07:13


It really depends on how smooth of a talker you are, and what access you have to facilities. I would imagine that when dealing with a university, they would likely want to use a business account, or at least create one. They might even ask for federal tax id number, which you won't have, unless you just make it up, but it can be looked up with the IRS to see business information.

An accounts payable address? The business address for your business account. :)
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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 19-1-2016 at 08:59


I have had EMD Millipore drop-ship to my company's dock, and I paid with my personal credit card. What are you looking for specifically? I happen to have a lot of connections.



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JJay
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[*] posted on 19-1-2016 at 09:54


An accounts payable address is where they send the bill and/or receipt. Most businesses will let you set up a cash account, which will let you do away with any nonsense surrounding your university's tax ID. There are lots of ways of explaining why you want a cash account; something along the lines of, "I don't have time to do all that paperwork right now," or "University policy won't let us establish a credit account for this project," that is both honest and doesn't go into too much detail is fine.

I would think that as a chemistry grad student, you should be able to buy just about whatever you want from chemical suppliers. If you call up TCI and simply explain what you are trying to do, they will help you.

[Edited on 19-1-2016 by JJay]
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DrMethyl
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[*] posted on 19-1-2016 at 10:46


In my company sometimes I have paid with credit card, but it's very rare to do so. Payment is usually done via T/T. You could not pay via T/T ?? Everybody has an account. Easier.
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Dr.Bob
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[*] posted on 19-1-2016 at 11:22


Some of the smaller companies may let you order to a university and pay with a credit card, but most want to set up one account with the university to make sure they are legitimate and then anyone on that account can often order with a departmental credit card as long as the address to ship is part of the university. If you have friends in the univ. you might be able to get them to order it or provide the info to charge it and have it delivered to them. Depends a lot on what the chemical is...
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dichloroethane
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[*] posted on 21-1-2016 at 01:09


Quote: Originally posted by JJay  
An accounts payable address is where they send the bill and/or receipt. Most businesses will let you set up a cash account, which will let you do away with any nonsense surrounding your university's tax ID. There are lots of ways of explaining why you want a cash account; something along the lines of, "I don't have time to do all that paperwork right now," or "University policy won't let us establish a credit account for this project," that is both honest and doesn't go into too much detail is fine.

I would think that as a chemistry grad student, you should be able to buy just about whatever you want from chemical suppliers. If you call up TCI and simply explain what you are trying to do, they will help you.

[Edited on 19-1-2016 by JJay]


Hey, thanks for your advice!
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Intergalactic_Captain
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[*] posted on 21-1-2016 at 09:03


An experiment in social engineering at its finest. Don't know how much has changed in the last few years, but when I was in college I was successful in ordering from several mid-level companies - IE, not quite Spectrum or AE, but the ones that wouldn't ship to residential addresses - Simply by using my dorm and university email accounts. The logic was simple - All of the legitimate academic research was done through the major channels, and my method would stick out like a sore thumb to them - However, to a less-mainstream company, the "credentials" were almost always legitimate enough. Nobody is going to know that x department at y university orders with z account from xy research group at xyz location - however, just having set of numbers between x,y,and z is usually enough for them to say screw it, we're happy to take your money.

Your email accounts are worth their weight in gold as well. If you know how to leverage it, that @xxx.edu can get you loads of free parts samples and a leg-up in negotiating accounts and priveleges from innumerable sources. The same goes for non-university accounts - I created an email account over a decade ago that implies in its name that I am head of a chemistry department for a school district - As stupidly simple as it sounds, when I am asked to spell it out over the phone, and have to say ". . . as in Chemistry Department," the vast majority of people consider it legitimate. Need a school? Well, ship to XYZ "care of". . . Need a company? Same idea. Is it residential? Well, yes, technically, you've never heard of a business that exists residentially? And you know, we teachers spend a lot of money out of pocket, so ground shipment to my residence won't interfere with my classroom budget :) . . .

. . .Get creative and make sure whatever you decide to call yourself is tenable in the future. My business and job only exist in my head, but when you go back years later and reestablish ties, or just need the level-headedness to negotiate your way through something you shouldn't be able to do, it's all above board and they are the ones inconveniencing you. And again, if you are on campus, just try ordering straight to your dorm - odds are it'll work with few or no questions asked.









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[*] posted on 22-1-2016 at 16:02


I've never had any issues ordering from US (or foreign) chemical supply companies, even to my house.

Sigma has the worst rap to declining non-businesses, but even I've managed to get an account set up with them, it was easier than I thought. I had needed some polyester-monomer for a small hobby project I was doing, and explained to them that I wasn't able to find it anywhere else, yet they carried it cheaply. They were eager to set me up an account with no further questions asked.
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