The surge in the popularity and notoriety of research chemicals following the extensive media coverage earlier in the year has led to an explosion in the number of online sellers www.chem.eu. The increase in the number of sellers together with legislation changes which have set the industry back, has resulted in a lot of fake and questionable products being sold. Amongst the genuine sellers out there, there are several different types of unscrupulous sellers which research chemical enthusiasts need to be wary of:-
- Scam sites which collect your payment but then do not deliver products.
- Websites which will sell chemicals mislabelled as genuine research chemicals, with the potential for disastrous consequences.
- Websites which sell genuine chemicals as and when they have supply but when they do not have supply they deliberately mis-label and sell other chemicals as genuine research chemicals.
In navigating the minefield of sellers there are a number of precautions that the research chemical enthusiast who is looking to make a purchase should adhere to:-
1. Take note of friend’s recommendations (but be wary of recommendations on forums unless substantiated by other forum members also).
2. Does the website look ‘clean’ and professional? It may sound obvious but a reputable and professional seller should have a website which reflects these very traits. Is the site regularly updated?
3. Be wary of sellers offering products which no other seller is able to offer at that moment in time.
4. Does the seller display a full set terms and conditions on their website?
5. Does the seller use a respected third party payment processor who uses SSL encryption to process your card details? Check in the address bar of the page on which you are to submit your payment details that the web address starts with ‘https’ and not ‘http’.
6. Are there any hidden costs? Check to see that if the seller charges a fee for postage and packaging that this is not excessive.