Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hoi! I thought it would be fun to share some of the methods I have utilized to feed the goo-dragon, keep the wife smiling, and my kitchen (somewhat clear) of the various tools of the trade. First off, I now live in noth-Wisconsin, home of Goodwill (NPO), a fantastic place to find dozens of 2nd hand motion-lamps and parts. a typical 14" lamp with base and top (the bulb may or may not work) will be $7 with small borttles and bases at $5 - if you are llucky and find a 'tallboy' they are around $11. I have found more than a dozen a 4-locations i the areasince January. WalMart & Target - i know, the SOURCE of the problem (pretty much all of 'em), which is why I highlight these shops... exploitation - stick with me here, it will make sense.

So Wallys has started selling small {ULTRA RARE} peach/clear (employees only - cap codes page on this site), as well as several varieties with the chromed-bases and flat-finished... I can verify the fail rate on these Chinese abominations is OVER 90%. I have purchased and returned dozens of lamps from these two boxes in the last four months - i could have another article on just the various fails from this procedure - BUT both box-stores have no-question exchange-return policies, and with a receipt they barely glance at you (90-days).

So, consider - what happens to these returned lamps (that dont end up right back on the shelf? WalMart electronically receives a unit credit from the distributor that will 'replace' that unit in Wally's next container-load... ecause of the logistics and number of hands required to do otherwise, these returned lamps are typically 'disposed of' by Walmart as part of their reciprocity-agreement with the distributor (who doesn't want to push single units back up the chain).

That all said, carefully popping the tops and customizing water color, slip and push is a great learning experience - you may learn how to correct these abortive attempts from China.
Worst case, refill, replace cap with a bottle-capper (did I mention you need one of these) and return/exchange.

I have even kept the original water, replacing with colored tap water (no human will ever see what is in that return box anyway) because (in theory) all the water is interchangeable and exchangeable- with some tweaking, it is.

Don't scoff at keeping the goo either - melt and pour. Replace with canning wax, fill water, color and seal.

I have a lovely trove of jars filled with the ingredients to customize, perfect and play.

Back to thrift-stores.... it is SO simple to pop 'em, pour 'em, and refill with fresh water - little work, its better than new again.

Custom colors sell oneBay for upwards of +$40

Anyone else method this out?

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Gooer buys lamp;

Lamp contents replaced with fake contents, returned to Walmart;

Walmart disposes of lamp by donating to Goodwill;

Gooer buys lamp donated to Goodwill.

Gooer just punked their self.


This seems dishonest to me, someone somewhere is paying for the lamps that you are stealing, because thats what this is.

You buy something take the parts of it that you want, and then return the left-overs/non-functioning remains for a full refund keeping what you wanted. IE the wax you replaced with canning wax or the liquid you steal and replace with tap water. Would you do this with a car? Buy one, remove the engine and then attempt to return it? 

Shame on you, for thinking this is a good idea, for trying to encourage others to steal, for not paying for what you take. For being ok with either other customers or goodwill customers getting a non-functioning lava lamp and a bad lava experience.

Lava Lite has been amazing to me, Susan has helped me out several time personally. Im sad to see someone take advantage of a company that I love and care about and then parade it around like its some kind of great thing to have zero morals and to be a thief. Shame on you!   

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