Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Well, la-de-da don't I feel important...  I got an email from the newly renamed Lava Lite asking if I wanted to sell their lamps...  Wanna read my response?

First, here's his email to me:

From: Bill Kehrmann
Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2016 4:20 PM
To: Me
Subject: Wholesale Lava Lamps (Lava Pigs)

My name is Bill Kehrmann and I am the direct marketing representative at LifeSpan Brands (formerly Lava Lite LLC).  I am reaching out to former customers of ours to see if you would be interested in carrying Lava Lamps again.  I have attached two documents, a presentation and price list, featuring our current line of Lava Lamps. This line includes some of our best sellers including our Beatles collection and Colormax series  both featuring decal printed bases and hand- painted globes. This feature makes it appear that the Lava color changes as it moves up and down inside the globe bringing all new colors to the classic Lava cool.  Some other novelty lights include, black-lights, LED Traffic light, and rotating disco ball light.
The requirements to secure the wholesale pricing is as follows:
•         A minimum order of $500 to one destination
•         No breaking master cartons (styles must be ordered in their cases of 4 or 6)
•         Orders will be prepaid by credit card.  Future terms may be considered depending on your need and purchasing history.
•         We are able to ship via your FedEx or account # if you have one, otherwise we will add the cost of freight/shipping to your order.
Please review the documents and contact me if you have any questions or would like to place an order.  I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your time.
Best Regards,
Bill Kehrmann
Direct Marketing Representative
lifespan brands™ LLC
1200 Thorndale Ave
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
 Consider the environment - DO YOU HAVE TO PRINT THIS?

And here's my response:

Hi Bill, thanks for the email.  I’m actually a collector of vintage Lava and Mathmos lamps.  Right now, I have approximately 250 Lava lamps and two dozen Mathmos lamps.  My most recent purchase from Mathmos was a Heritage lamp with a copper base and cap and two globes – one clear/blue and the other yellow/orange.  The shipment arrived from the UK last month in pristine condition with crystal clear liquid and beautifully flowing lava.  My most recent purchase (3 years ago) from Lava World was a clear/red Colossus with a silver base and cap.  Though it was slightly cloudy when I purchased it, it has since cleared nicely. 

With very few exceptions, I have at least one of each of your company’s lamps made between the period 1960’s through the early 1990’s, along with several of the Americana, Blip, Safari, and Anniversary chrome lamps.  However, once production moved to China, the quality of your product became unacceptable and I stopped buying newly made Lava lamps.  I would much prefer to spend nearly $150 to purchase a single Mathmos lamp that will last a lifetime and arrive clear as a bell than to spend $25 on a cheaply made shadow of what once was the ultimate in US cool.

If I might make a suggestion, there are a large number of collectors who, like me, no longer purchase Lava lamps because of quality problems.  However, we would love to spend our money on new lamps made here in the United States that are of the same or better quality than our vintage lamps.  If you were to bring the production of the globes back home and clear up the clouds, we would be happy to buy, buy, buy.  In fact, this is a frequent subject on our forum at www.oozinggoo.com.  Many of the nearly 5,000 forum members have very strong opinions regarding the lamps we would like to see your company produce.  I encourage you to check out the forum.  I’m sure you would find it enlightening (pun intended).

Cheers, Kelly

"I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween..."

Yeah, I know, I'm a pompous asssmart aleck.  But I think he probably got my point.  :)

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Kudos!!! Great response.  I am so disgusted with the China-made lamps that when I asked for another lamp for Christmas, my lovely daughter bought me a rewired Mathmos lamp -- LOVE IT!!

Please share his response, if he has the berries <3 to reply to your response.  Would have loved to seen the look on his face when he opened and read your email!  :)


Thank you for sharing this with us! You certainly do speak for all of us with these concerns and observations.

The difference between USA made lamps and China made lamps is quite apparent indeed. I do my best to only buy USA made globes with some small exceptions (50th Anniversary Lava Lamp).

I have especially taken a liking to Mathmos lamps as well, because you know for sure that you're going to receive a quality item when you purchase one. That said, you don't have to worry about returning/exchanging until you get an "acceptable" lamp.

I'm sure that Lava Lite (LifeSpan) is probably aware of our quality concerns by now, and if people continue to express concern, maybe they will move production back to the US. If nothing else, maybe they could at least just produce the globes/wax in the US and leave the caps/bases for China production. On another note, it would be a win for our workforce here in the US to recreate jobs that have since been lost when production first relocated to China.

Please post his reply if he chooses to respond to you! Thanks again for sharing. :)

Nicely formulated email, but I'm afraid it won't change much. It's clear LifeSpan moved to China for extra profits, and is probably not going to move back. It's even more clear that LifeSpan, now having changed their name away from Lava, is totally unlike Mathmos. Whereas Mathmos focuses on producing a great, lasting, premium product, LifeSpan just wants a quick buck from a cheap product, which for most people is just a cheap gag for their one-off 1960s Flower Power party. Basically, Mathmos is like a fine quality restaurant, and LifeSpan is Taco Bell. Where would you rather eat? 

I know, I know...  Mathmos has a decidedly different business model than whatever-they're-calling-themselves-these-days-LW.  I just like tilting at windmills.  :)

Interesting. I think most of us here agree with you. I've bought several of their lamps in recent years (more than I care to admit), but as I was about to buy two new 20oz. lamps from Target a few weeks ago, I remembered just how disappointing their new stuff is and put them back on the shelf. Friends don't let friends buy 20oz. or smaller lava lamps, I say. :)

Thanks for sharing the communication! Would love to know if he writes back. 

Very well said, Kelly!  You're absolutely right.  Thanks for giving him such a well thought out opinion.  These guys just don't listen.  Just dollar signs in their eyes.

And Erin, I love your Friends don't let friends saying.  That's so true too.  Those small ones are terrible.  And calling them Classic is a lie.  Not.

Maybe someday they'll see the value in doing an American-made Elite range for serious people and do Chinese for casual buyers like most guitar companies. No reason they can't do both.
It's too bad they even off shored in the first place. They sold more lamps in the 90s than every other decade combined. what was the reason to move in 2003? Mathmos really shits on Lavalamps head now. A countries icon shouldn't be made offshore. You got that right. How did u get new mathmos lamps shipped to the us??
Still no response from Bill... (not that I ever expected one. I mean really, what can you say to THAT!?!)

Christian BayLee, I set up an account with www.forward2me.com. They provide me with a U.K. address so Mathmos sends the lamps to me in Preston. They then send the package off to me in MD. The really nice thing is, they will repackage everything together if need be so the Mathmos and the Mars bars and crisps don't have to be shipped in separate boxes!

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