Self-Development | My Dysfunctional Relationship with the Self-Concept
Finn Mertens shares an intense 1V-LSD experience and how it helped him improve his relationship...
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Disclaimer – Research chemicals are for research and analytical purposes only, and not intended for human consumption. This guide is intended as an educational resource only.
You might have heard of popular research chemicals such as 1cP-LSD, 2-FDCK, or 5-MAPB and be interested in conducting research with them. However, procuring these chemicals for your lab might seem daunting. This is understandable, as there are many bad actors, dishonest vendors, and outright scammers in the space. It’s therefore important to be cautious and do a substantial amount of research (not that kind of research!) before deciding where to buy research chemicals.
Make yourself a nice cup of coffee, put on your favorite lab coat, and get comfortable in front of your computer. We’ll take this one step at a time.
Verified vs. Unverified(organic) Reviews
While reviews on a company’s website aren’t necessarily fake, the businesses themselves have complete control over which ones to publish or edit and can even change the star rating displayed on products.
Verified reviews from a third party website such as Trustpilot are substantially more difficult to fake. A review with a “verified” tick next to it means that it was written by a customer who received an invite to rate their experience after making a purchase. Trustpilot can verify these reviews are coming from a paying customer and therefore regards them as legitimate and won’t remove them unless they are explicitly threatening, reveal personal information (doxxing), or are advertising or promoting an unrelated business.
For example, research chemical vendors like RealChems, RareChems, Chemical Planet, Chemical Collective (that’s us), and Eurochems all have several hundred (if not more) reviews on TrustPilot, many of them verified. This is a strong indication that these companies are legitimate and have a good reputation with their customers.
Large numbers of “organic” reviews are a red flag as they can easily be manipulated. Anyone who navigates to the company’s review page can make an organic review, whereas a verified review requires a purchase to have been made. Organic reviews that use repetitive language or writing style, are very short, or appear otherwise unusual, could be a sign that the company in question is generating their own feedback in order to appear legitimate.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Trustpilot has been banning vendors left and right over the past year, so you might have to look to some other platforms to find independent reviews of RC vendors moving forward. We’ve opted to go with Trustspot, but there are others out there. The key thing is to make sure they have a system of verifying reviews!
While third party reviews are generally a good gauge of how a company conducts business, some third party forums and review sites can be just as dishonest and misleading as the businesses they claim to hold to account. Comments on forums or review sites should always be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism, as ultimately we can never truly know who is telling the truth and who is simply shilling or defaming a particular organization. You should use your own discernment to decide how much trust to put into a given review site or forum comment.
Generally speaking, if I see many low-effort unverified reviews, then I’ll treat them with some suspicion. However, if I see a majority of verified reviews of varying sizes, with some longer and more detailed reviews mixed in, this is usually a good sign.
Scammers are usually lazy – or they wouldn’t have chosen that profession – so it is rare that an individual who sets up a scam/phishing website will have the dedication needed to present themselves as a legitimate company consistently and competently. Check their website to see how often they implement updates. Do they have a recent news section? Have they recently added any new products or changed the website’s design? An out of date, badly made website is a sign that the business is not functioning as it should, and should be approached with caution.
It’s also worth sending your prospective vendor an email to see what kind of response you get. A legitimate vendor will generally have a responsive customer service team and usually operate during normal working hours (though there are those of us who stay glued to the computer longer than we should). They should be able to answer your questions informatively and thoroughly. They should also be lucid, reasonably eloquent, and concise (like they haven’t been up all night conducting research). Basically, the same things you’d look for in any other industry.
Red flags to look out for are receiving no response whatsoever; short and impolite answers to questions or them being pushy or suddenly rude when you suggest you aren’t going to spend money with them.
Professional and honest vendors must provide proof of chemical purity. NMR test results should be visible on the website or be available upon request. If they’re unable to produce this information you’re likely dealing with a dishonest and/or incompetent organisation, and they should be avoided. In addition to requesting evidence of chemical purity from Research Chemical suppliers, you can also carry out your own tests using reagent testing kits available online, although it is worth noting that reagent tests can be quite unreliable, especially when it comes to novel synthetic substances.
It’s best to feel totally comfortable before parting with your hard-earned cash. So, if you have any questions or concerns remaining, be sure to ask these questions now, before you commit to anything. Any decent vendor will be happy you’ve reached out and to them and gladly answer any questions you might have.
Once you’re satisfied you’ve found a trusted source of research chemicals, you’ll need to decide what payment method works best for you. Depending on the company you’re dealing with, you’ll have a range of options, including bank transfer, IDEAL payments and cryptocurrency.
One of the most popular payment methods in this space is using cryptocurrencies, due to the quick transaction times and relatively high levels of safety and anonymity. If you’d like to learn more about these payment options, here’s our guide on How to Buy Bitcoin and How to Pay Using Cointopay.
You’ll also need to decide what shipping option works best for you. When dealing with a new and untested vendor, we recommend choosing a tracked shipping option whenever possible. Tracked shipping options often come with a guarantee of a full reship in the event of a lost package (read the shop’s T&C to make sure), so this is a cheap way of ensuring your items arrive safely, even in the unfortunate event of a border seizure or loss. Here at Chemical Collective we offer free tracked shipping within the EU on all orders over €100 and guarantee full reships in the event of a lost package. On smaller orders, you can pay for tracked shipping with the EU for between €7-€10, depending on your location.
It’s best not to sit, staring out of a window, obsessively wondering how long it will be until your precious package arrives. Distracting yourself with a board game or stroll in the park is a good way to pass the time, and the satisfaction of crushing your grandmother at a game of Monopoly will be matched only by the sound of the postman slipping that long-anticipated envelope through the front door!
Hurray! Your research materials have arrived. Now it’s time to carefully inspect them and ensure that everything is as it should be. Take the time to run the necessary reagent tests and ensure the weights are correct. If you’re satisfied everything is in order, you can begin preparing for your experiments. As always, be responsible and plan ahead. A group of trusted scientists and researchers should always accompany you during any research period. Take care and best of luck fellow researchers!
Written by Dr. Rick Dagless MD | Guest Blogger at Chemical Collective
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