Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

hi all

i sold a new mathmos lava lamp on eBay posted to the usa as i have done many times before 

and I'm being told it dose not work the wax is spent and he wants a refund

this lamp was new and had never been out of the box 

could this be a power thing or just needing a higher watt bulb as i have no idea what to tell him 

thanks if you can help

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I would verify that the buyer has in fact set the lamp up to run on an upconverter that takes our USA standard 120v to the proper 240v UK requirement. It could be that he adapted the plug over to allow it into a USA socket but did not step the voltage up. Outside of a step up transformer he would have to rewire the lamp to run an equivalent wattage USA bulb.

Also, if the product has been altered by the buyer after purchase, the seller should not be required to accept returns.

i did ask him to join this fourm to get some help but he declined , as i say it was new in the box and never taken out or pluged in ,ive had over 100 mathmos lamps and never had a problam , if he wants to send back to me who suould pay for the post ? as the post was £54 and i only charged him £40  

Did he purchase the lamp knowing it had never been tested?

I have had the experience that sometimes the lamps don't quite get hot enough to work, even when switching to a 110V version of the same type of bulb. This happened with my Heritage Black lava... I ended-up rewiring it to use a reflector bulb, then it worked. One of the other 3 Heritage lamps still works just fine with just a plug adapter and the 110V version of the EU bulb.

I am sorry this happened to you. I hope it doesn't turn you off from selling to folks here in the US... It is hard to get Mathmos here and people should be willing to just accept the risks sometimes that a lamp designed to run on 220V will take some effort to work. Ebay got very buyer oriented in the last several years and it really isn't balanced well. The sad thing is that people here on oozing would likely buy your lamp without the hassle.

For advice, you could recommend that they try to swap in a 52oz lava lite bottle if they have one just to see if it flows (if you sold an Astro). They tend to fit on Astros. That may not prove too much but if a lava lite bottle that flows doesn't flow on the base, then it is probably just not getting enough power (heat).

I don't know how returns work these days, but I once sold someone a camera. She didn't like it and claimed it wasn't functional (it was... I tested it when she sent it back)... she actually said that the camera was too hot to touch when she opened the box (she lived in Phoenix, Arizona and it was sitting on her porch all day... I guess I neglected to send it via a cold chain carrier on ice since she lived on the surface of the sun). Anyway... she insisted that I pay return shipping and she opened a claim wth ebay when I said that I would refund her original payment and original shipping. At that time, when I selected in ebay that an item was returned and it saw via linked paypal that I had refunded her the original cost/shipping, it closed the case and there was nothing she could do. She gave me a bad review... oh well. She was a terrible buyer and sometimes there isn't much you can do about that.

What kind of lamp was it? You might be able to convince him to sell it to someone on here located in the US for the total cost plus US post.

Good luck!!

hi it was a new Heritage blue and had never been out the box

I wonder if he tried using the original bulb and 110V power. That would definintely not work... I find it unlikely that the lava would be "shot". I wonder what he means by that.

hi chuckm 

just got of the phone with eBay and looks like he will have to stump up the postage so can see hem sending it back ,

but thats not the point i want to try to help him get it working

I've just got of the phone with mathmos and thay said there is no way the wax is spent , they said he just needs to sort out the power and lamp issues 

I've sent these to the usa and never had any problems before 

can you use the same bulbs in the lamps here as over there ?

No to put it bluntly. While you CAN run the 240v bulb on our 120v output your final wattage is cut near in half. So a 40w 240v bulb running on USA 120v will roughly output 20w due to the halved voltage. Plus side is the bulb life will extend as it is not getting hit with full voltage. Downside is it is not putting out the required wattage. Vice versa, you put one of our 120v bulbs in your 240v powerline and prepare for a very short lifespan out of that bulb, if it even lasts a day

If I misread the bulb question, and you meant 'can you use the typical SES bulbs in the USA', the answer is yes. After import of the actual UK bulbs and proper step up voltage adapter, they will run just the same as if it were in your homeland.

Well, yes you actually can buy the same golf-ball style bulbs that run on US voltage and fit in the Mathmos original socket. Here is a link to the bulbs that I ordered last year:
Satco S3397 130V E14 Euro Base 40-Watt G14 Light Bulb, Clear https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000V5320Y/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_m5hfvb1AHJAR2

The only caveat I have with this is that they don't always work. I bought three heritage lamps, one in each of the colors available. The blue and pink lava flows just fine. In fact, while I rewired the black lamp (pink lava), my blue lamp (blue lava) still uses the bulb linked above and is still plugged into a simply plug adaptor (also very cheap on Amazon). I would recommend this path before a step-up converter. It is a much cheaper option. The one caveat is that the gold lamp (black lava) will not flow with these bulbs. I even tried swapping the lava onto a different color base... it is definitely the lava. So, for the black (or plumb I suppose), I had to rewire the lamp and switch to a reflector bulb that also runs on our native lower voltage.

Anyway... check that link... it is a bulb that others on here have used as well I believe. It is worth a shot I think. They aren't that expensive (mostly shipping).

If you would like me to take photos that you can send to the buyer I am happy to do that. It really just comes down to the right bulb that can screw into the Euro base. These are not common here in the US and as Vox stated, the bulb that came with the lamp is putting out probably half the heat, resulting in no flow.

you should add on your ebay listing for US buyers they will need a voltage Converter Transformer  ( I got mine from Amazon )

They need to buy a US bulb and a plug converter and it will work fine

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