Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Mathmos Astro and Astrobaby Bottles and Custom Astros in USA (cheap)

I am pondering an undertaking, that would save people who want these a lot of money. I am most interested in providing Astro Bottles because they can be used in American 52oz bases quite nicely, especially Century Bases.

I have thought about it a lot and it seems that everyone is complaining about the american (chinese) lava lamps, and everyone is always saying how much better Mathmos is, but that they are just too expensive to import. Someone here suggested picking a go between to buy the lamps in bulk to save money. I am willing to be that person.

I have already placed one bulk order through Electric Planet, and I have learned a few things. When I offered full lamps to people on ebay and on this site, I got very little response, and I believe that it was because that even though I was selling them cheaper than getting them yourself- the savings was either not enough or the economy sucks and no one can afford them. For this reason, I believe that buying the bottles only and just using them on existing bases would be the most economical way to enjoy the English Goodness. After all the Bottle/Globe is the most important part of a lava lamp. Sure, a base accents it, but the Lava is the real focus. This is all we really need. Who wants to deal with rewiring and all that- I have done it, and I won't leave the lamp on unattended because a part of me in the back of my mind thinks that it might just melt the plastic at the bottom of the lamp, catch on fire and burn my house down.

Maybe some of you already own an Astro Base, and can just switch out the colors as you see fit. No matter how you would use them, buying only the bottles is like half the cost of a new lamp- buying 2 bottles is like getting 2 lamps for the price of one. You simply can not deny this value.

My goal would be to make these available to you at a great savings, lets say around $50 for the first one, $45 for the second, and each additional one you buy after that would be $40. These globes retail in England for £22.99 which translates to about $33.76, and that is before shipping which is usually at least £34.99 ($51.38), so a new bottle from electric planet would cost a total of £57.98 or $85.14 shipped to the U.S. You can see how nice it would be to save this much money on these sought after Lavas.

The shipping would be your choice (at your cost). I would think that I could fit 2 bottles in their original box, within a flat rate $13.50 box, priority mail, which isn't a bad deal. I will of course recommend insurance as well. Could probably even do parcel post for like $8.00 or less who knows? I will only charge what it costs though.

I would be happy to offer all the colors, including:
Clear/White
Violet/Orange
Blue/Blue
Yellow/Red
Blue/Green
Violet/Red

And to attract those that may already have all of these colors already, or prefer even more selection of colors, I am prepared to offer custom colors. I have calculated what other colors may be possible by just switching out fluids for you. This would save you the trouble of having to buy 2 lamps to make the color you most desire yourself. Let me do the work for you. I have made a sort of color matrix that I will consult to calculate how many of each lamp might be needed to create these different custom colors. Here is a list of ones I will be able to make:

Liquid / Lava

Clear / Orange
Clear / Green
Clear / Blue
Clear / Red
Violet / Blue
Violet / White
Blue / Red
Blue / White
Yellow / Orange (doesn't sound like it would look much different from Yellow / Red though)
Yellow / Green
Yellow / Blue (I made this with 32oz american globes by switching fluid and it looks cool as hell)
Yellow / White

The Mathmos Bottles are ideal for this operation because they have twist off tops in the first place unlike the annoying caps on the American ones. I would offer these at the same general pricing of the regular ones, but it must be understood that unlike the regular ones, there will be a limit to how many of each custom color I can make based on the different Matrices I have created. Not every combination is a simple one-two switch, some require, three-way and four-way switches. To illustrate this a bit, I will give an example of my favorite Matrix. It requires the following bottles:
3 - Clear / White
3 - Blue / Blue
1 - Blue / Green
1 - Violet / Orange
1 - Violet / Red
2 - Yellow / Red

After switching these would yield:

1 - Clear / Orange
1 - Clear / Blue
1 - Clear / Red
1 - Violet / Blue
1 - Violet / White
2 - Blue / Red
2 - Blue / White
1 - Yellow / Green
1 - Yellow / Blue

This is my favorite matrix so far because it makes colors that are not available (Clear / Green is available in the Fluidium) and it skips Yellow / Orange (for the reason stated previously) and Yellow / White (which I can make in conjunction with the matrix, but I would have to color it yellow myself with yellow food coloring, something you could just do yourself anyway).

I created another matrix that does produce one of each of Yellow / Orange and Yellow / White (not using food coloring) , so if someone really wants those colors I can use that matrix instead (it produces the same number of all the other colors that the one illustrated above does). .

Of course, it could be that people are really not even that interested in custom colors, and if that be the case, I am happy to just order and distribute the standard un-touched bottles.

To really make this happen I need to order 50 of these bottles from England, this would be the magic number that would bring shipping down to what it would need to be to pass along the savings, I have stated to you.

What I ask of all of you: members of this humble forum, is: please reply to this post, if you are interested, with the colors you would be interested in buying, be they regulars or customs. I will use the information that I gather in a weeks time to determine not only how many standard bottles I need to order, but how many matrix sets I will need to create any requested customs. If I do not get enough interest in the custom colors, I will not even do the matrix thing and will just stick to standard orders. If I don't get enough solid interest at all, I will simply not do anything.

I have thought about what might happen if too many people want the same thing in the custom bottles, for example if everyone asks for the Yellow / Green. Each set of 11 bottles in the matrix sequence only yield one Yellow / Green, so in that situation I will have to either just give it to whoever asks first, or give the person who asks first the requirement of paying $5.00 more for the right to take it. This makes it more fair and addresses the supply and demand issue while not making the price retarded like ebay bidding does. Also, if there is an interest in certain customs, I might be able to work a special matrix out that produces more of those (it just depends on the response here). Also, you can just order what you need and switch the colors yourself- that works too. Make your own matrix and get exactly what you want, I am willing to help on that too.

I can sell them through ebay with buy it now, if someone doesn't trust me, but for that you will have to pay the ebay fees (all of them), because I am not calculating them into this offering, I want to make this as cheap for you as possible.

Please also, understand that this operation is going to take time, I can see it now, I place the large order and they do not have enough of all the colors I need (ei: Blue / Blue like last time I ordered). The order will have to wait until it is complete to be sent out for reasons of shipping, and I can not predict this wait as I still do not even know how many bottles I will have to order. I will not have this info until I am into the process. I will be fronting the money during this time, so you won't have to worry too much. I won't expect payment until I have what you want in my possession.

If anyone wants full lamps, I can get those too, but I do not really want to, as they are much more expensive to get- I would probably want the money up front in order to provide those- so you would be paying right away and then waiting however long it took for them to arrive from England, and also waiting longer, if they are out of stock on anything that may cause the order to be held up. They do have Astros, Astrobabys and Fluidiums in [Green and Yellow (special orders)] as well as the Telstars. I may also be able to buy some replacement bulbs for you if those were needed, but again, it would make my life more complicated, so I am not offering with much motivation on that either.

I hope to god there is some interest on this offer, I want to make it happen and am willing to put in the time and effort for you guys to enjoy these fantastic lamps.

Let Me Know....................

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Update Time Again:

I am still waiting for an order confirmation/Invoice. I sent the order via e-mail to their customer service monday (4-13-09), like I said I would, and I got a response Tuesday Night (4-14-09), saying that the order would be passed on to the person who handles that. Wednesday-Nothing, Today-Nothing still. Not sure what is going on there, I should have an invoice by now or at least a reason as to why nothing has happened regarding the order. I will contact them again to inquire about the situation.

I will update everyone here, when I have more news.
Thanks for the update and your hard work. :)
Another Update:

I just got a response from The Electric Planet Representative stating that the order is to large to process through their web-site for purposes of shipping (they can't use their normal carrier for this order). They are going to have to figure out shipping costs through different means and they said they would give me some different options to choose from (Freight Possibly?) and their different costs. This may be bad news, but I am not sure until I hear back from them. It may be that I have to choose a slower method than their typical shipping in order to keep the costs within my calculations.

Lets all keep our fingers crossed. I will let you know soon.
****** Major Update *******

Good News and Bad News

I just heard back from ElectricPlanet with my personal quote for the order.

Bad News 1st- It turns out that the shipping will be more than double what I had originally expected when calculating how much I would charge each of you for these bottles.

Good News - I will still give them to the people who requested ahead of time on this discussion for the promised amounts ($50 for the first, $45.00 for the second and $40 for every one after that). Anything you stated here before this very post itself is protected and locked in at those prices.

Mid-grade news- For the leftovers I will have left after dispatching the initial orders, the pricing will be $50.00 flat no matter how many you want at once, so you will only really save money on shipping when you order multiple bottles.

So, to clarify- Any future requests from this point on will be priced at the $50.00 mark.

I am sorry to report all this but it is better news than I feared it might be (thought it might not work at all).

I would also like to point out that Electric Planet will be sending them by DHL Air with a delivery time of 2-3 days, however, they do not have everything in stock and will have to hold the order while they special order the missing bottles directly from the factory. Once they have everything ready to go they will send it and I should have it within 3 days of that time.

Again, I will keep everyone posted here on the discussion to any new developments.

This is actually gonna happen!!!!!
Second Update For Today

I received the full invoice from ElectricPlanet and have already transfered the money to them. They now have the money, so my end is complete on the transaction, and I will look to them for updates on the order which I will relay to you, hopefully they can place their order directly to Mathmos tomorrow to get the ball really rolling.

Updates to follow.....
Thanks, Drew.
Update

I just heard from Electric Planet that they have placed the order with Mathmos directly for the required bottles to be made to complete our order, they estimate that they will have them within 3 business days, and have promised to follow up with the factory to make sure that time estimate stays true. If everything goes according to plan I should have them in my possession in less than 10 days. Keeping my fingers crossed.

More to come......
Okay sorry, I'm new to this and didn't know. Anyway, I'll take two bottles if you have them. (1) Clear/White & (1) Yellow/Red. Let me know what you need next. I have a Preimer Confirmed PayPal acct. if that works for you. I think you mentioned adding in 3% which is fine with me. Thanks Drew!! David
I will set those aside for you when the order arrives. I am not adding 3% to these, I already figured PayPal fees into this, that was only for the full lamps on the other discussion. You will only pay $50.00 flat for each bottle plus whatever shipping costs. I will let you know when I receive the bottles from England and when to pay.
Update

Here is the latest update from electric planet:

Just spoken to Mathmos and they say that all items apart from the Blue/Blue Astro bottles are now ready.

I've explained several times that we need all parts of the order to be with us as soon as possible but it's now looking like we won't have everything until Friday at the earliest.
On a side note, I am not going to be in town the 7th-12th, and I am suspecting that they will more than likely arrive right in that window annoyingly enough. Anyway, I already have plans for them to be received and taken care of in my absence. I will not be able to start sending them out until the 14th or 15th as I will be catching up with work.
If you still have them, I'd take a Blue/Blue and a Violet/Orange.

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