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About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline

« Make Your Compound Go Away | Main | The Referee Reports Are In »

March 19, 2010

The Chemical Suppliers: Customer Reviews

Email This Entry

Posted by Derek

Update, March 19: I've added a few more suppliers to the list, and broken out a third category for the mixed reviews. And I note in the comments that someone claiming to be Kathy Yu from 3B Chemicals is threatening me with legal action. The IP address resolves only to AT&T Internet Services, but there does appear to be someone from that name who works at 3B. I hope, for her sake and that of the company, that this is someone impersonating her, because whoever is leaving these comments is doing 3B no favors.

And since I am reporting opinions, both my own and those of other contributors that I have no reason to doubt, and am doing so without malicious intent, I will cheerfully ignore all legal threats.

OK, here are the lists of good companies and not-so-good companies, based on my experience and those of readers. I've had some personal communications, too, which I've added to the data set. As more reports come in, this will be the post that's updated, so it can serve as a reference.

I should note up front that I'm not listing the Big Guys, since (while they can have their ups and downs), you generally know that they're going to send you something. What we're looking at are the companies that you might not have dealt with, but want to know if they're reliable. And that brings us to the:

Good Suppliers
ABCR: good prices and hit rate on orders. Very professional.
Activate: expensive, but what's there is there, and it's the right stuff.
Adesis: not cheap, but very reliable and willing to work with customers to deliver similar compounds.
Advanced Chem Tech: recommended for peptide/amino acid stuff.
AK Scientific: several good reports on availability and purity.
Alinda: have ordered one thing from them, which was fine.
Anaspec: good reports on reliability
Apollo: good stuff, but catalog needs to be a bit more in line with their real stock.
Array: very pricey, but it's all there.
Astatech: good experience reported
Bionet: interesting catalog, doesn't back-order you.
Chembridge: a big catalog, but it's all real. Occasional purity problem.
Chem/Impex: good hit rate on availability. Some questions on their chiral purities.
Combi-Blocks: good list of useful intermediates, delivers on them.
Enamine: similar to ChemBridge in many ways. Big catalog. Not the fastest out there.
Florida Center for Heterocyclics: occasional purity issues, but they do deliver.
Frontier: great source for boronic acids and the like.
Life Chemicals: have had good experiences with compound purity here.
Lu: good source for custom peptides.
Matrix: interesting catalog, which they will really ship to you.
Maybridge: on the border of being one of the big guys. Very reliable.
Midwest: good reports on reliability.
Netchem: custom synthesis, but (for once!) with good turnaround and purity.
Oakwood/Fluorochem: good prices and reliability.
Peptide Protein Research: good for custom peptides.
Pharmacore: good stock of intermediates.
Rieke: reliable, only game in town for many odd reagents.
Strem: well known for quality inorganics and organometallics.
Synquest: used to be PCR. Good customer service.
Synthonix: stuff is in stock, customer service is responsive.
TCI: has always delivered, and quickly.
Transworld: very reliable and responsive.
Tyger: have never had a problem with them.
Waterstone Chemicals: good experience on pricing and availability

Mixed Reviews
American Custom Chemicals (ACC): several tales of bad purity and customer service, but others have had nothing but good experiences with them.
3B Chemicals: "will lead you on for months". Several bad experiences reported. On the other hand, I've just heard directly from a colleague who's had good luck with them.
J&W Pharmlab: bad experience reported (delays and purity), but others OK.
Ontario: one good report, but others complain of availability and leads times.
SPECS: mixed reports, but overall positive.

The Not So Good:
Ambinter: seems to source a lot of stuff from mystery suppliers. Many delays.
Any supplier, sad to say, with "Hangzhou" or "Shanghai" in the name. Tend to have absolutely nothing on the shelf, and if there's even a listed price, it's science fiction.
Anichem: very bad experience here with unexplained delays.
Beta Pharma: bad experience reported.
ChemMaker: very negative report on customer service and responsiveness.
City Chemicals: several bad experiences reported
Combi-Phos: several reports of purity problems.
Rarechem: haven't come across anyone with a good report here.
UK Green: a bad experience reported.
Uorsy: nothing ever seems to be in stock.
Zelinsky: several bad experiences reported.

Comments (89) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Life in the Drug Labs


COMMENTS

1. E on March 19, 2010 8:36 AM writes...

I'm surprised to see Matrix on the good list. Nothing I have ordered from them has ever been in stock, and delivery time has always been weeks later than promised. Though "interesting catalog" does seem to apply.

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2. sgcox on March 19, 2010 8:40 AM writes...

Chemical Diversity is quite good - we often select from list of available suppliers because of the catalog size. Never had problems with delivery and quality.

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3. TRL on March 19, 2010 8:50 AM writes...

American Custom Chemicals has been a problem for me too. One time they mixed up shipping and billing addresses, sending the chemical to our corporate office. I have also gotten delivery of compounds ordered not by me, but by colleages at a different research site in a different state.

Permalink to Comment

4. Anonymous on March 19, 2010 9:24 AM writes...

I'll concur that Anaspec and Midwest are reliable and offer great peptides.

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5. Anne on March 19, 2010 9:26 AM writes...

Since peptide suppliers are being listed, I'll throw my lot in with JPT Peptide Technologies. They're a German company. Very attentive, responsive, willing to work with us on experiment design when we ordered a peptide microarray from them. I haven't actually used what they sent us, so I have no input on quality, but working with them was very professional and pleasant.

Permalink to Comment

6. sgcox on March 19, 2010 9:27 AM writes...

iteresting publication:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ci900464s

Permalink to Comment

7. Grover799 on March 19, 2010 9:33 AM writes...

3B is terrible. Will wait for weeks then tell you they need to produce the material at a price of 400 to 1000 percent more than list.

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8. Kevin on March 19, 2010 9:52 AM writes...

I vote for adding Acesys Pharmatech to the bad list. They sent us Boc-homopiperazine that was 60% pure. Wouldn't respond to e-mails or telephone calls to deal with the problem.

Permalink to Comment

9. processchemist on March 19, 2010 9:55 AM writes...

About one of the "Not so good" listed: a customer of ours dropped by with the specification of a product (intended for human use) coming from this company- residual solvents: 7000 ppm of hexane...
"caveat emptor" when the company has the main office in USA or UK or continental Europe and one or more labs or manufacturers working for them in China...

Permalink to Comment

10. A Nonny Mouse on March 19, 2010 10:28 AM writes...

It should be pointed out that Maybridge no longer makes anything in-house and are dependent on outsourcing partners.

Permalink to Comment

11. Maris Turks on March 19, 2010 11:46 AM writes...

MolPort is an upcoming supplier catalog aggregator. For chemicals that are not available from catalogs like Sigma or Alfa Aesar, their ordering service is very useful. They do the communication with suppliers and send me a clear quote (prices they list on the website need to be confirmed). I know that I am still buying from little known suppliers (they clearly list supplier in their quote). However, they make this process easier.

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12. HelicalZz on March 19, 2010 11:59 AM writes...

Useful commentary on mostly catalog options. Consider running a user survey of custom shops as well (or is outsourcing this considered sacrilege?).

Permalink to Comment

13. soapchemist on March 19, 2010 12:19 PM writes...

I have ordered from J&W Pharmlab and never had a problem. That said, I think I've only dealt with them on 3 occasions.

Someone not on the list is Ryan Scientific. I have ordered from them and recieved quality product in a timely fashion.

Permalink to Comment

14. Jack Lin on March 19, 2010 12:20 PM writes...

If you have a genuine issue then why dont you provide your names so that the companies can respond. Youre probably a chickenshit whiny American who will soon realise that we Chinese companies will wipe you out in 5 years. Cowards...

Permalink to Comment

15. Kathy Yu on March 19, 2010 12:26 PM writes...

Hello Derek,
If you have not bought from us or have not had experience with us please dont post negative comments about us. Kindly remove them failing which we will have to see legal recourse. I have forwarded your blog to our CEO

Permalink to Comment

16. Rateesh Gupta on March 19, 2010 12:33 PM writes...

The majority of your good suppliers all get their products from us in India and China. I have worked with many of them. American companies have poor quality

Permalink to Comment

17. sigma147 on March 19, 2010 12:36 PM writes...

Re: #14

(yeah, don't feed the trolls - I know)...

If you read the original posts and the comments that were generated from those posts, you'll note that most if not all the companies on the "bad" list have very poor customer relations. To translate, that means these companies have been contacted and have declined to respond in a helpful manner.

Personal integrity and cowardice aside, the idea that Chinese companies will wipe out other international competitors is on its face a laughable situation. Free trade works both ways, my friend. Once the Chinese government recognizes that fact and stops devaluing the yuan you'll see some true competition and collaboration.

sigma147

Permalink to Comment

18. sigma147 on March 19, 2010 12:44 PM writes...

Derek,

Maybe you should change the 3B Chem entry to read "will threaten legal action for expressing a poor opinion about their turnaround time."

That said, I've had exactly that personal experience dealing with them: constantly missing shipment dates and moving targets on backorder status without notifying us. We wound up cancelling orders that progressed from 2-3 weeks shipping to 4-6 weeks to several months. I can understand that happening once, but that situation arose on several different orders over a 18 month period in 2008. Since then, they've been in my "unreliable" pile.

sigma147

Permalink to Comment

19. Kathy Yu on March 19, 2010 12:51 PM writes...

Sigma 147 is a mammas boy. Youre too lazy to make compounds yourself. Why do you buy from us ? Why dont you give me your real name ?

Permalink to Comment

20. magpie on March 19, 2010 12:54 PM writes...

Re:10 So what ? As long as they supply what is ordered. The blog is about good suppliers & the not-so-good ones, the key word being supplier. Looks like this one is touching a nerve or 2 with some people.

Permalink to Comment

21. magpie on March 19, 2010 1:10 PM writes...

Re 19: Since you appear to represent a business supplying goods, entering into juvenile arguments and throwing abuse doesnt seem to be an intelligent way of addressing serious comments about poor customer service experienced by potential clients.

Permalink to Comment

22. J-bone on March 19, 2010 1:21 PM writes...

Kathy Yu's "juvenile argument" appears to be a troll posting. Her 1st post links to the 3B website while her 2nd does not.

Permalink to Comment

23. Hap on March 19, 2010 1:37 PM writes...

Wow. Not that I need to buy chemicals, but when you call people that complain about your service "momma's boys", I probably don't need your products that badly. Thanks for your input.

Permalink to Comment

24. Hap on March 19, 2010 1:44 PM writes...

Well, that's (sort of) good to know. It moves the complaint from "juvenile psychopath in training" to "evil corporate SLAPP threat". I guess that's something.

Permalink to Comment

25. Anonymous on March 19, 2010 1:50 PM writes...

I'm assuming that the Kathy Yu posts are from 2 different people, so I will ignore the second one. Even so (and assuming that the first Kathy Yu is actually from 3B), the response is surprising.

On the basis of one bad report (appearing early in the last comments section, so there was plenty of chance for people to disagree) that appeared without elaborating on details I would not blacklist a company, although I might proceed with caution. If I ever did want something from 3B I would probably not have remembered them being on this list anyway. However, I will now, and for bad reasons.

If you want to post and make a positive impression, say that you are a reputable supplier, and sorry if anyone has had problems etc. Don't threaten to sue - I certainly will make a point of avoiding 3B now, as it seems like trouble.

Permalink to Comment

26. ilya12000 on March 19, 2010 1:51 PM writes...

I'd like to add to the "Good" list Astatech - we bought several times from them good material with good price and they were quite responsible.
To the "Bad" list I'd add City Chemicals - they "won" "restricted supplier" status in our company after several chemicals with awful quality and complete lack of responsibility for them.
Thank you Derek for very useful topic

Permalink to Comment

27. anchor on March 19, 2010 1:56 PM writes...

Derek : Great job, but I worry for you my friend. Johnny Cochran's of "garage or garbage company" may come after you! Take care.

Permalink to Comment

28. Old Timer on March 19, 2010 2:23 PM writes...

I didn't know I was going to have to elaborate on my issue with 3B. I don't remember the compound (this must have been in 2007), but I needed something for an exotic catalyst I was going to synthesize. Since I had many other things to make, I did not mind waiting for the compound. 3B had some issue with a PO from our department, so I faxed them the order sheet with our credit card number. Lead time - two weeks. I emailed every month or so asking when I was going to get my order. They said it would probably only be another 2-4 weeks, but I gave up after 5 months or so. I never bothered to check if our credit card was charged (billing was not my department).

In a more recent experience, I just received a compound from Astar ((R)-3,3'-Dibromo-1,1'-bi-2-naphthol). I ordered it at the beginning of September and received it at the end of Feb (or maybe early March). I complained, they offered a 5% discount. I am too patient!

Permalink to Comment

29. CMCguy on March 19, 2010 2:23 PM writes...

Dang I was thinking about suing too although knowing what Chemists at your level makes even talking to a lawyer would be more than potential return.

Perhaps you should talk to a lawyer anyway, not about getting sued, but if you can trademark your list so if any of the "good" companies decide to advertise "We made In the Pipeline's Good Supplier List" you might get to charge a fee. ;)

Permalink to Comment

30. Anonymous on March 19, 2010 2:37 PM writes...

I had bad experience with J&W recently.

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31. psi*psi on March 19, 2010 2:53 PM writes...

GFS is consistently good for at least acetylenes and likely other things too. Don't think we ever had any problems from Gelest either.

Permalink to Comment

32. Troggy on March 19, 2010 2:59 PM writes...

I agree with the GFS assessment. They have always delivered (though with the occasional backorder), and are often very well priced in comparison to everyone else.

Permalink to Comment

33. Chemgeek on March 19, 2010 3:02 PM writes...

Compiling a list like this is no different than any product or service review found online. Look up something like "Sony TV reviews" and you'll find pages and pages of people praising and cursing Sony TVs. Expressing an opinion is completely legal and within the rights of most humans.

Permalink to Comment

34. David Formerly Known as a Chemist on March 19, 2010 3:17 PM writes...

Putting a company on the "bad" list based on one or two negative reports doesn't seem very useful to me. I suspect that most everyone reading this thread has had at least one bad interaction with many of the companies on the "good" list. I have, but still consider them "good" suppliers.

Permalink to Comment

35. David P on March 19, 2010 3:41 PM writes...

It is true that one bad experience with a company doesn't necessarily mean they are always bad, which is a danger with this kind of survey. But it is often the case that chemists have very limited exposure to some of these companies and we hesitate to use them if we are unsure of what will happen. Knowing that some of these smaller companies ARE reliable makes me much more likely to give them a try, moving away from a default position of using the ones I know wherever possible.

Permalink to Comment

36. Prof Mark Pepys FRS on March 19, 2010 3:42 PM writes...

We have had excellent, timely, reliable good value products from Peptide Protein Research, including new chemical entities. I can't recommend them highly enough.

Permalink to Comment

37. Imants on March 19, 2010 3:58 PM writes...

I generally agree with #34. There are exceptions. When a company receives your payments, does not deliver in 3 months even though promised in 1 week, refuses to return the funds - buyer not only has a right to share this experience, I would almost feel obligated to do that. However, there is no place to share this information.

The real value of a review is only for an actual purchase - like Amazon and eBay do it. Because if someone would start a voting website like Bizrate, the scammers would just write a lot of excellent reviews for their own company. I still this that it is an excellent idea to share the experiences here. But it is just a start. As David mentioned, every company sooner or later runs into a problem. It's how they deal with it that matters.

I have always wanted to add this feature to MolPort website. We are somewhat unique among databases - we also organize purchases. So we are like Amazon or eBay. We could allow buyers rate their purchases. Chemists would win because they would have a place to look up the reputation of a new supplier that sells something unique. Good sellers would also win because lowest price no longer is the only selling point. Reputation should matter.

Permalink to Comment

38. Medchemist on March 19, 2010 4:46 PM writes...

I had a bad experience with Pfaltz-Bauer, and know others who have had similar experiences too. I ordered an arene building block, which was marketed as a single isomer. A TLC revealed 4 spots of roughly equal intensity. HPLC revealed 6 peaks. The proton and carbon spectra were terrible too. Needless to say, the material was trashed.

Permalink to Comment

39. milkshake on March 19, 2010 4:47 PM writes...

Anichem: I orderedN-acetyl protected substituted piperidine, they sent me the free piperidine hydrochloride. The rest of the molecule was correct but sans aceyl.
J&W Pharmlab: I ordered one ludicrously overpriced pyridyl-sybstituted amine and they sent me instead a material with the Boc group still on the amine. They insisted that they had great NMR and LC/MS of the stuff they send be. On my insistence they revealed that they actualy run theit NMR in D2O, and obviously thei missed the 90% of Boc-containing material because it does not dssolve in D2O. And so on.
I hate to do detective work when I order 1 g for $800, but I learned the hard way and ever since I check the identity of starting material when dealing with the sketchy suppliers.

Permalink to Comment

40. Anonymous on March 19, 2010 5:08 PM writes...

Anyone ever bought from Butt park ?

Permalink to Comment

41. Handles on March 19, 2010 6:19 PM writes...

I remember getting a few things from Butt Park about 5 years back without any troubles.

Permalink to Comment

42. Anonymous on March 19, 2010 8:52 PM writes...

I have worked and ordered with American Custom Chemicals. They delieved the chemicals within the promised delivery date. We haven't had any problems with them yet.

Permalink to Comment

43. CrazyDave on March 19, 2010 9:20 PM writes...

I've only ordered from Butt Park (affiliated w/Ryan or Maybridge?) once or twice, but it was always fine. Even of it wasn't, the amusement of showing my coworkers the label would have been worth it.

Permalink to Comment

44. Cobalt on March 19, 2010 10:06 PM writes...

We're actually banned from even requesting quotes from 3B. Why they still show up in our ordering database is a mystery, however...

We've had more of a positive experience with Combi-phos. We had a purity issue at one time but they worked closely with us to solve it. They've got some useful reagents not available (at least in any acceptable purity) from anyone else.

Permalink to Comment

45. Pharma Conduct Guy on March 19, 2010 10:09 PM writes...

Derek is performing a great service with these kinds of posts. I'm continually amazed at how some companies with poor quality and bad customer service can survive. In a free market, information asymmetry is the reason these poor performers hang around. Hopefully, posts like Derek's will help bring about positive change, or at the very least, save someone else from aggravation.

Fortunately, as per US law when asserting facts, the truth is always an absolute defense against accusations of slander or libel (with very rare exceptions). Also, thanks to our Constitution everyone is entitled to to freedom of speech, and as Derek correctly stated, expressing an opinion is a form of protected speech.

Permalink to Comment

46. GladToMoveToProcess on March 19, 2010 11:47 PM writes...

Re 38: We had the same experience with them about 40 years ago in grad school - an aromatic, with (only) 3 main components; desired one was the least abundant. La plus ca change or something.

Permalink to Comment

47. A Nonny Mouse on March 20, 2010 4:54 AM writes...

Butt Park was set up by and ex-Maybridge guy with a rich daddy. Also to come out of there was Key Organics and Peakdale. More recently their ex-people have set up Atlantic Research Chemicals and Advanced Chemical Intermediates (ACI).

Permalink to Comment

48. Anonymous on March 20, 2010 7:24 AM writes...

Re 46: 40 years ago !! and they are still in business ? There must be money to be made selling 3 compound mixtures for the price of one !!

Permalink to Comment

49. milkshake on March 20, 2010 9:15 AM writes...

I would put Pfaltz and Bauer into the crappy category too: they are less expensive but take lot of time to deliver and the purity of their chemicals is atrocious

Permalink to Comment

50. jblinks on March 20, 2010 1:22 PM writes...

I find it strange that after one of companies mentioned legal action, Derek promptly elevated them to a newly created category. It looks like this list is based on the author’s whims and lacks credibility.
As a scientist, I would expect a more logical approach from Derek rather than a listing ‘based on my experience and those of readers” and “some personal communication”.

Permalink to Comment

51. Derek Lowe on March 20, 2010 2:07 PM writes...

Jb, I created that category because there were a few companies that people diverged strongly on, and I thought that I didn't want to be too arbitrary about which of two categories I put them into.

And as for 3B, a colleague stopped into my lab and told me personally that he'd had no bad experiences with them, so I thought I should take that into account. I've never ordered from them myself.

I don't know of any more logical way to gather the data, though. There are a number of web sites that evaluate mail-order plant sellers and the like in the same way. If comments continue to come in, I'll start listing the votes for and against, so people can weigh the data as they see fit.

Permalink to Comment

52. glinkst on March 20, 2010 2:09 PM writes...

excellent topic, thank you.
ChemImpex - great supplier; good service. No issues about chiral purity. CombiBlocks - good boutique supplier and like to use them often.
Matrix - reliable, although not as broad an inventory.
G

Permalink to Comment

53. Sili on March 20, 2010 2:53 PM writes...

What's the price of bandwidth these days?

If someone wants to set up an Amazon/Ebay review website for chemicals suppliers, I'll put down up to $50/month for running expenses. Not much, I know, but a start. And it'd take some of the pressure off Derek and add an element of weighting to the mixed experiences.

Permalink to Comment

54. Imants on March 21, 2010 9:30 AM writes...

@53 Sili, see my post #37. I would be happy to discuss such review website. I have a list of over 2000 suppliers already.

Permalink to Comment

55. Sili on March 21, 2010 10:27 AM writes...

I know $50/month is not much, but I wanted to make a commitment I could actually need.

I think it would be necessary to allow people to rate purchases even they haven't made them through your website. But with your extensive database, perhaps you already have enough to knowledge of the billing numbers of different companies to ensure that what people put in on their own is a genuine purchase.

If some of the regulars here can recommend Molport as trustworthy, I'm game.

Permalink to Comment

56. Anonymous on March 21, 2010 10:47 AM writes...

Re 39: Like Milkshake we have also had problems with JW pharmlab. They suplied us with an expensively priced building block which was impure and the major component was the wrong regioisomer! We supplied all the analytical data you might ever need but they still would not accept responsibility. Would be very reluctant to order from them again because they supplied the wrong chemical but mainly because of their attitude and reluctance to take responsibility!!!!!!

Permalink to Comment

57. anon on March 21, 2010 8:32 PM writes...

Our group has had trouble with 3B pharmachem (aka Wuhan) in the past. On one occasion a more highly nirogenous compound was delivered than ordered leading to an unhappy lab explosion (fortunately on small scale so no injuries).

Permalink to Comment

58. Imants on March 22, 2010 5:23 AM writes...

@55 Sili, if this review site would be paid, then you maybe would participate, but most would stay out. It is important to get as many participants as possible. For some small suppliers it will take time to get 10 to 20 reviews.

I just held a brief brainstorming about this in our office. We will make a quick supplier rating system. it should not take more than 2 days to create it. Here is what we propose:

Five star rating system for four aspects:
* Overall rating
* Delivery time
* Product quality
* Documentation

Did I miss anything important? Reviewer will be able to add a comment as well.

To get this running quickly, initially user will be able to review only supplier as such, not individual purchases. User will be able to submit only one review per supplier.

Any comments?

Permalink to Comment

59. Sili on March 22, 2010 8:23 AM writes...

@55 Sili, if this review site would be paid, then you maybe would participate, but most would stay out. It is important to get as many participants as possible. For some small suppliers it will take time to get 10 to 20 reviews.
I think I've expressed myself badly. I'm not saying I would pay to use such a site.

What I was getting at, is that I, personally, would donate to help set up and run such a site, so that real chemists could use it for free.

To get this running quickly, initially user will be able to review only supplier as such, not individual purchases. User will be able to submit only one review per supplier.
Makes sense. And in most cases people would not go back to a seller with poor performance, anyway. Only trouble would be if a good seller deteriorates. But if the site's a success, this could be amended later. Permalink to Comment

60. mehere on March 22, 2010 8:59 AM writes...

Thought I would add a comment on Amatek - fast, efficient and was the right stuff.

Permalink to Comment

61. tjr on March 22, 2010 11:51 AM writes...

Had very good experience with Bionet for their catalogue and their parent company Key Organics for non-catalogue intermediates and reference compounds on a custom-synthesis basis. Excellent service and comunication, UK based, you get what you pay for.

Permalink to Comment

62. Justin on March 22, 2010 12:08 PM writes...

Shameless Plug follows-- At Obiter Research we always keep every product on our website in stock. Although, with that said, we do not have an extensive offering. Typically our chemists will work on restocking low inventory materials in between contract custom synthesis projects, which is our primary focus. We do all of our synthesis in the US, in Champaign, IL, but often have to rely on overseas suppliers for some raw materials. Our experience from overseas vendors vary dramatically.

Permalink to Comment

63. Anonymous on March 22, 2010 12:30 PM writes...

62: Perhaps you should let your customers tell everyone how wonderful you are.

Permalink to Comment

64. Sili on March 22, 2010 2:41 PM writes...

At least he's completely above board with his identity*. And he did comment on his experience as a buyer as well - admittedly without naming names, but I can see how that can be difficult when in business.

*I do not mind pseudonymity, but complete anonymity is another matter in some cases.

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65. Anonymous on March 22, 2010 2:55 PM writes...

It's just a matter of time when the chem suppliers begin to give positive reviews of themselves.

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66. Sili on March 22, 2010 4:04 PM writes...

It's just a matter of time when the chem suppliers begin to give positive reviews of themselves.
Of course, any system can be gamed.

But if such a site has become important and visible enough that companies have an incentive to abuse it, then I think they'd be doing quite well already. Well enough that they can afford checking IP-addresses &c. As I said upthread it would be very nice to be able to rate individual transactions and demand some sorta proof of purchase, but for a start that is indeed overkill as mentioned by Imants.

Of course, the big questions is, are chemists truly interested in such a service and would they use it? Or is Derek's list enough?

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67. Anonymous on March 22, 2010 8:50 PM writes...

I am surprised to see that American Custom Chemicals (ACC) is on The Not Good list. I work for a Biotech company and had good dealing with ACC. What I ordered so far have been on time and with required purity.

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68. CancerResearch on March 24, 2010 6:00 AM writes...

Ola - I am from Spain. This discussion is too complicated and confusing. We use the following companies -
Regular chemicals
Alfa Aesar
Acros
VWR
Sigma
Apollo (Fluorochemicals)
Combiblocks

Esoteric Chemicals and custom orders
3B Scientific
Toronto Research
Transworld
ACC Corp
Waterstone Tech

All of them have delivered on time with great qualities. We have no complaints

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69. Imants on March 24, 2010 11:41 AM writes...

Sili,
Our review page is up. I tried to post a link in here in the comments, but it does not show up. See our homepage.

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70. Anonymous on March 27, 2010 1:15 AM writes...

I think people should be fair on this topic. While we tend to post on bad experience on some companies, fewer would like to post positive comments just because bad experience is more impressive. For a company ships out thousands of chemicals a year, say, it's very likely to have some with poor qualities or wrong structures or delay. please ask yourself why you choose a small company you may never heard of or you have never done business with before, I guess there are two main reasons: one, they have what you want but other big and famous companies can't supply, two; the price is competitive. our common sense tells us there is less chance you can get something with both good quality and good price. So we we make that choice we are taking that risk. I don't think many of those small companies choose to cheat on you guys. sometimes they take more risks to do the order, that's why there could be problem with the synthesis which cause the delay and the detriment of product quality. Why you can't find the "good companies" in this list to order your stuff? they may consider the synthesis is costly and risky, or would you accept a much higher price?
My point here is : If the company lies, or treats the customers with terrible attitude or refuses to refund for poor products, it's fine to list them as bad suppliers. We can't put them into a black list simply because you got a wrong chemical or chemical with lower quality. It's case by case thing.
the last thing is: who can guarantee the reliability of the comments here? As scientists, we may need to treat this issue in a professional way.

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71. p on March 27, 2010 1:05 PM writes...

Re 70, I disagree. None of us have time to do a truly "scientific" study of this, nor do any of buy enough to form a statistically relevant sample. It should be clear to any educated folks that this is not a rigorously devised list. It's obviously anecdotal.

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72. Anonymous on March 28, 2010 10:07 AM writes...

re 71 if it's really like what you said, I don't understand why so many people here take it so seriously.

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73. p on March 28, 2010 2:08 PM writes...

If you had a number of friends tell you a certain restaurant was bad, would you insist on a full scientific study before you decided not to go there?

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74. Jenny on April 1, 2010 4:43 PM writes...

Just thought I'd share that I had a pretty bad experience with Ontario chemicals, a new supplier based in canada. Got the methyl ester insead of the ethyl ester and it leaked everywhere.

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75. jonathan on April 6, 2010 8:50 PM writes...

It should also be pointed out that different considerations should be applied to:
(a) mass purchase of many small samples for HTS: delivery time, ease of formatting, QC.
(b) reagents.

The above posts appear to be a combination of the two. For the record, we have just purchased from 10 HTS vendors, with anywhere from 5,000 to 60,000 compounds from each vendor:

ENAMINE
CHEMBRIDGE
CHEMDIV
ASINEX
PRINCETON
SPECS
TIMTEC
LIFECHEMICALS
INTERBIOSCREEN
MAYBRIDGE
and previously
LEADQUEST (TRIPOS)

No real problems with any of these, though communication with Enamine was problematic though their shipment was particularly large.

Have been told that Key Organics (used to be BIONET), CHEMICAL BLOCK, VITAS-M, UKRORGSYNTH and ART-CAN also all worth dealing with for HTS supplies.

Resupply is a different issue. We have yet to find out above how good the resupply is for some of these, though in the past CHEMBRIDGE, MAYBRIDGE, SPECS, have been good, CHEMDIV OK, and recently it looks like ENAMINE, LIFE CHEMICALS, IBS and TIMTEC are coming up to scratch, which is reassuring.


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76. Corey on April 7, 2010 3:42 PM writes...

I agree with the list because I deal with about 40% of these vendors. I will have to tell you that AK Scientific is an awesome company with great products and outstanding pricing. My chemist wanted to buy a compound from Sigma-Aldrich for about $1000, and I found the same compound for $35.00. Also, NEVER...NEVER buy anything from City Chemical. The owner told me to "F-off" and when I had no other choice to purchase a chemical that he only carried, he charged me 400% more than what the website said. When the compound came, it was decomposed and not even the right compound.

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77. JGK on April 9, 2010 9:50 AM writes...

Thanks for the useful information. I've been trying to source an elusive phytochemical and it came down to the following

Our regular supplier (has been out of stock for 3 months and is quoting a 2 month back order);
3 B Scientific (1 - 4 week back order);
Green Scientific (can't contact them or log on to their site - are they still in business?);
Carbone Scientific (spent 2 days with site registration etc only to find out that although they advertised what I wanted, they don't actually sell it!!).

3B, Green and Carbone seem to be agents for chinese businesses and, from what's been written here, dont seem overly reliable. Consequently I'll be sticking with the devil I know.

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78. Corey on April 9, 2010 8:29 PM writes...

JGK, The mail websites that I source my chemicals are chemsources.com (if you have an account), chembuyersguide.com (free and excellent), www.chemexper.com (sometimes useful), and www.chemicalregister.com (sometimes useful). Good luck.

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79. Anonymous on May 3, 2010 2:37 PM writes...

Is Small Molecules really not on here? Small Molecules for the win. I also put in a vote for J&W

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80. John on June 7, 2010 10:03 PM writes...

Its really interesting to read commments...i m buying many kind of chemicals from china.So for me good service,good price and quality good was Shanghai Royal International company...b4 i had many problems with other company and factory.
so every person is have diffenrent experience.
goodluck

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81. Tony o'Sullivan on July 13, 2010 3:11 PM writes...

On the offchance that anyone is still using this site, here goes. In the chemcats catalog from Chemical Abstracts, one often finds suppliers for compounds that are too unstable to be isolable. For example Beta Pharma and Shanghai Chemhere supply benzyl triflate. TimTec, ARVI, Novasep, 9W Pharmaceutical Technology, Eurolabs, Shanghai Chemhere, and Shanghai Jinglan supply diazomethane.

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82. Scott on July 17, 2010 1:25 PM writes...

I assume that Alfa-Aesar counts as one of the "big guys", but I recently had a problem with them that deserves mentioning. We had previously ordered divinyl sulfone from them, and besides taking about a week longer than expected, the order was fine. So about 2 months later we order the same chemical, but 10x as much. It was backordered. I gathered that they were getting it from another supplier. When it finally shows up we're ready to use it. I notice while using it that it doesn't have the usual odor (usually smells like shitake mushrooms), and that the reaction mixture doesn't turn the right color. The final product doesn't perform as expected, and we've wasted tens of thousands in raw material. I check their COA. It says 99.9% by GC. However the product smells like acetone, so I check the density and UV/Vis spectra (the only methods we had to analyze this compound), and they're a perfect match for acetone. Their customer service insists that I should perform their qc procedure before they'll take it back. Long story short I finally got them to take it back, and we now order from a different supplier and check each batch we receieve before we use it on big production runs. Never had any problems with Sigma though.

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83. Ryan Reichlyn on October 6, 2010 2:51 PM writes...

Interesting thread...I would like to offer the services of my company, Ryan Scientific Inc who have for 25 years dealt with the intricacies of ordering in building blocks and screening compounds from these international vendors. Please see our site www.ryansci.com for further information and let our experience in dealing with these different vendors globally save you time and money that is better spent on your research. We have dealt with all the vendors listed on this thread and currently work with over 300 vendors globally. Please keep us in mind for all of your overseas ordering needs and we will save you time and money in your compound sourcing.

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84. Dmitry on November 15, 2010 8:47 AM writes...

I've been cooperating for quite some time with UkrOrgSynth (UORSY) and Enamine, both located in Kiev, Ukraine. The situation with these two companies is as follows. The companies have a joint stock (because they're owned by the same person). Officially UORSY offers ca. 40,000 physically available building blocks from stock. Enamine has the same collection of building blocks. Compounds from UORSY Tangible Building Blocks Collection are synthesized upon request only. Once they are synthesized they go to the Enamine in-stock collection. The present synthetic feasibility rate of UORSY Tangible Building Blocks Collection is rather high (ca. 70-80%). Consequently, the Enamine in-stock building blocks collection steadily grows (ca. 1,000 sructures per month); according their web-site information it is thus far the largest library of building blocks available from a single supplier.

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85. Peter on December 7, 2010 4:37 PM writes...

1. Buyer Beware!!
2. Use Common Sense.

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86. Dmitry on June 24, 2011 6:33 AM writes...

Read the paper of Chemical & Engineering News:
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/email/html/8918bus1.html

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87. Novatechem on August 12, 2011 3:46 AM writes...

It is very interesting...huh..I would like to offer the same services of my company,Novatech Chemicals. Please see our site www.novatechem.com for further information. Please keep us in mind for all of your overseas ordering needs and we will save you time and money in your compound sourcing. Courier express supply pyrimidine, pyridine derivatives etc. in bulk quantity

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88. ky on February 23, 2012 12:38 PM writes...

I had the pleasure of trying out a Research chemical site under the name buy-jwh.com, I ordered a package from China overseas as I am in Canada, Ontario to be specific.
I was not at all worried customs would intercept my package as they seemed to have a good rep, and no other reviews on their forums and other places (SafeorScam.com).
So I decided to order a Gr. of MXE (Methoxetamine) and it arrived in two weeks time, with a very easy to use tracking system that worked from leaving china to arriving in my country.
Packaging was great! It was just in a very professional manner.
Just a envelope with a little paper bag with my goodies inside of it.
Customer service was great, they helped me the whole two weeks waiting time, and they are on daily, and very friendly.
They also have multiple warehouses which i liked, I could choose to buy out of Europe or China, as we have a lot of europeans in the RC market, I can see domestic shipping being easy for them.
All in all I would reccomend buy-jwh.com to even a close friend (which I have.) especially how well they treated me, it being my first time buying Research Chemicals.

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89. Vlado on June 15, 2012 3:38 AM writes...

Put Beyond Pharma on The Not So Good list. Completely unprofessional and were three months late with delivery

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