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Author: Subject: How far would you drive to participate in co-op "group buys" of various products & summer picnic??
RogueRose
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How far would you drive to participate in co-op "group buys" of various products & summer picnic??

It seems that many suppliers of chemicals or equipment are located at a distance too far to be considered convenient and often have restrictions of sale for various amounts (minimum quantities for reasonable pricing).

If an arraignment could be made to have a central distribution center (or multiple, say 2-4, to cover greater areas) how far would you be willing to drive to obtain these materials?

When I say materials this could be anything from raw metals (sheet, bar, pipe, etc), drums, chemicals, feedstocks, food products (covers a VAST range of items from Baking soda, sugars, dextrose, molasses, honey, bulk grains/feed, oils, salts, preservatives) to pool chems, acids, bases, alcohols, solvents as well as agricultural supplies (plant nutrition, animal nutrition, soil additives, pesticides, etc) and finally all other non-regulated materials & chemicals (building supplies, pottery supplies, glass blowing supplies, paint supplies, essential oils, fragrances, etc).

We'll use Washington DC as an example. There is a large population within 60 miles and almost 3-4x as much in 90miles.

If a yearly or every 6 months group effort were made, would that be worth the drive? So it would be like a huge pre-planned ( exchanged before hand so sale & pickup garunteed on pre-ordered products) swap-meet hopefully with a day of good food any possibly entertainment (if members saw fit) - pig roast & members specialty goods for eating, swap and trade.

I ask because I am looking into the feasibility of a large co-op LLC which partners with other smaller Co-ops throughout the region. I have contacted many of these and they all have similar answers: they are very interested as they lack the expertiese to know alternatives to "name brand" solutions for things like slug-repellent (Diatomaceous earth - where a 3lb bag is $15 or a 500lb tote for$80).

In my area there is a great possibility to pull together scattered communities to help the small farmers compete with the ever growing price increases on all the essentials to run their farms and almost all have MANY friends who have almost identical needs as most people here for access to products at reasonable prices and at defined qualities.

Note: There may also be great possibilities for creating an intra-network trading relationship with qualified members for either their skill, expertise, products or implementation of proper procedure for a myriad of applications/procedures (think building efficient machines to do what they need). I know some members in co-ops like this and the benefits can be amazing (sharing food, harvest parties, personal help - barn raising type help - borrowing heavy machinery, getting old machinery very inexpensively, etc).

So, if something such as this were available, how far would you be willing to drive to be a part of this - meaning the "hub" is the pick-up location).. If it was DC, is Richmond too far? What about all the way south of VA. What about Philadelphia/Camden. What about Allentown or Trenton?

I think this would be an awesome way to meet a ton of good people and have a good time while advancing everyone's passions and interests in a healthy and productive manner.

[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]
Melgar
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I can get a lot of very interesting chemicals in New York City. Trouble is, minimum purchase is often a gallon for liquids and never less than a pound for solids. I wouldn't mind swapping some of my extra stuff (nitric acid, potassium cyanide, 30% hydrogen peroxide, 28% ammonia, nitromethane, etc.) for either reagents or glassware.
elementcollector1
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This system has been partially implemented already - I recall being part of a distribution effort from Seattle Pottery Supply. It worked fairly well, if I remember correctly. I'd be interested in a larger-scale effort, but we'd have to be fairly careful about law enforcement/DEA getting wind of it.

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RogueRose
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The biggest question would be that of location. I've done research on this before and found that the mid atlantic has the highest population density with Philly or Baltimore being somewhat in the middle and could include say a 120 mile radius reaching south of Richmond up to NYC, all of the East coast from NYC to the NE of Virginia - reaching West there is Fredrickburg, Haegerstown, Altoona, Chambersburg, York/Harrisburg and everything in the East of that.

That would be a very large population center to have enthusiasts from all kinds of hobbies and interests come together.

I want to make it clear that this isn't an effort to provide items that are specifically restricted/listed or watched! As I have been involved in MANY different hobby groups from metal/wood working, pottery, glass blowing, soap/candle making, sewing/knitting/wool spinning, unique plastic art, cooking, gardening, farming, viticulture, pyrotechnics and obviously chemistry. (kraft beers, cheese & wines anyone???)

I think some kind of big bash where people who "do things" /AKA "Makers" could all come together for a long weekend of an organized flea-market and also festival style happening would be an amazing thing to happen.

For decades there have been HHHUUUGGGEEE music festivals where people set up camp for a long weekend and get to enjoy those of like minds. I think this could be really neat if something similar could happen.

Tinkerers/makers/hackers/builders/experimenters of the US UNITE!

It could do a few things all at once:

-Provide community and social networking
-A great way for entertainment & maybe meet fantastic people
-Give a chance to display and share wares if you so desire (set up sales table)
-Demonstrate skill craft, etc

Behind the scenes there could be the "administration" working to distribute goods/products purchased as the co-op(s) - They are brought in to a distribution hub, and re-distributed in packages/crates for individuals who ordered/payed. Packages are picked up whenever a person needs to leave (must give some notice -hour(s) at peak busy). The rest is all handled P2P or B2P or P2B or B2B.

We did something like this years ago with about 14,000-20,000 and it worked out well, each person only spent about 2 hours on-site making sure their "contribution" went where it was supposed to and everyone left happy.

[Edited on 7-6-2016 by RogueRose]
Melgar
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Yeah, a lot of the chemicals I can get here, I can get mostly on virtue of the fact that they don't need to be shipped via a courier; they can just be bought at a store. I can also get hydrogen fluoride, if anyone needs that for any reason. Incidentally, you pretty much need potassium cyanide if you're ever going to do anything serious with gold or silver-plating. Every other salt produces a markedly inferior result.

I kind of like the idea of going somewhere outside of NYC to do chemical reactions that wouldn't fly here. Hopefully we wouldn't all get arrested if there's a detonation on the premises? Controlled, of course. But it'd have to be close enough to a train or bus station that those of us without cars in NYC can get there easily enough.

[Edited on 6/7/16 by Melgar]
Dr.Bob
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The DC area, or just south of it, preferably, makes a nice area for swap meets. There are some great sources of chemicals near there, in it is within 4 hours of much of the mid atlantic area.

I get up that way almost every April, so if people wanted to do that, I could likely provide some glassware and maybe even a few chemicals. It would be great for heavy things as well, like filter flasks, latticework, etc. If people are serious, we can make some plans more privately.
Praxichys
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I am definitely interested but I am based North of Detroit. The shortest way there is to drive through Canada, but there is no way I'm getting through customs with all sorts of chemicals and glass!

What about Pittsburgh? It would be just under 6 hours for me to drive, a day trip. Philly/DC is too far. At 11 hours, I'd need to get a hotel, and that would be prohibitively expensive.

I do have a lot to offer. I have access to this list of chemicals and I also run SynthSource.org, where many SM members have participated in group buys. I have sponsored many of the group buys with the proceeds I take in from my YouTube channel.

careysub
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It would be nice if there were a West Coast location. Maybe the Bay Area? People from So Cal go up there all the time. California is 1/8 of the nation.
Melgar
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If people are still interested, early to mid August is a good time of year if you're hoping the weather will be nice, at least in the mid east coast. Plus, I'll be in North Carolina around that time period, so that'd be great for one of us!
aga
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 Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys with the proceeds I take in from my YouTube channel.

What ?!?!

You can actually make money with a utoob channel ?!

Gonna get me one.

Texium

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Despite the fact that many of the main population centers in the US are on the coast, there are still people such as myself who are hopelessly far away from either of them (It's about a three day long drive to either coast from here), not to mention people on other continents. It's unlikely that there will ever be one big central SciMad gathering as we're so spread out. However, I do think it would be great to have more local meet ups. Through sheer luck, I've been fortunate enough to have met four different people from the forum (not all at once), and each time it's been a blast and a surreal experience.

Come check out the Official Sciencemadness Wiki
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thanos thanatos
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zts -

I'm also in Austin, so if you ever want to get together and swap stories or stuff, let me know. I have a bunch of chemicals I'd love to get off my hands if you're interested.
NEMO-Chemistry
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 Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys I am definitely interested but I am based North of Detroit. The shortest way there is to drive through Canada, but there is no way I'm getting through customs with all sorts of chemicals and glass! What about Pittsburgh? It would be just under 6 hours for me to drive, a day trip. Philly/DC is too far. At 11 hours, I'd need to get a hotel, and that would be prohibitively expensive. I do have a lot to offer. I have access to this list of chemicals and I also run SynthSource.org, where many SM members have participated in group buys. I have sponsored many of the group buys with the proceeds I take in from my YouTube channel.

Do you have a link to your channel? I like members utubes
Praxichys
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 Quote: Originally posted by NEMO-Chemistry Do you have a link to your channel? I like members utubes