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  1. #1

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    Amidol Purchase - Follow Up Questions

    Dear Fellow APUG Members:

    I would appreicate your thoughts as to the following "due diligence" questions I have as to our group Amidol purchases.

    1. As a former full time graduate student who was always broke and barely had time to take my clothes to a laundry mat, I would like to know how Mr. Davis can afford the time to interrupt his studies to travel to China and oversee his wholesale purchase of Amidol.

    2. As someone with experience with international trade shipments, it is customary for an importer to have a local agent to deal with issues in the exporter's country. Indeed, unless a person both speaks the exporter's language and understands the local culture, it would be of no value for a non-chinese speaking person to travel to China to perform unspecified sampling on a large shipment of Amidol.

    3. If the chinese manufacturer is legitimate, why would it be necessary for anyone to test the Amidol prior to its shipment by sealed container. Indeed, if the chinese manufacturer is legitimate, I would think the manufacturer would very much like to sell Amidol in the future to the American market. Indeed, it would not make sense for any legimate chinese manufacture not to fulfill the expectations of its foreign customers.

    So, what is it about this manufacturer that is any different than an other established manufacturer such as Bayer, Ciba Cigy, or Dow Chemical, all of whom pride themselves on their delivery products?

    4. Why is it that we must buy as a group Amidol in at least 5KG quantities? What is so special about this 5KG designation? Also, how will it be packaged and shipped to us? What will be our shipping costs?

    5. Lastly, why are we "so lucky" to have such a once in a life time opportunity offer for us to buy Amidol - naturally with a $250.00 non-refundable deposit - at $50.00; and not at the customary $195.00 lb price?

    As for me, I am not aware of anything that I have ever done that warrants such good fortune. So, I hope some of you will help me overcome my concerns as to the logic and merits of the unusual Amidol offer that is before us.

    Very Truly Yours,

    Flauvius

  2. #2

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    Just curious - why didn't you PM Greg Davis with these questions?

    BTW, this purchase attempt started last spring as a thread on the Azo site and many of the questions you raise have already been aired out.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Everything is analog - even digital :D

  3. #3
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I will answer these questions one more time.

    I am a full time student, so it isn't convenient for me to do any of this. However, I feel the rewards outweigh the inconvenience. I will probably miss a couple days worth of classes to make the trip.

    The Chinese manufacturer does not have offices here in the States. I am not using the services of an import/export company. All the legwork is being done by yours truly.

    I have friends in China that will help with any interpretations I may need. However, they are not responsible for the purchase, so asking them to do anything else is not feasible.

    Testing the amidol is not required in my opinion, but it does give everybody peace of mind. That's worth a lot. I believe the manufacturer will be honest, because they want to make future sales, but why not err on the side of caution?

    To get the price I have, we, as a group, must buy 500 kg (1100+lbs.). Breaking that down into 1 lb. packages is beyond what I can accomplish. If you want less, find someone who will split a 5kg. lot. There are several people who will do this.

    To get a Letter of Credit, I must give my bank th efull amount of the purchase. However, I cannot ask everyone involved to trust me enough to send the full amount when they don't know me. I have enough in savings to cover half the purchase. The second half of the money will reimburse me.

    As for the once in a lifetime opportunity, if you want to go through all this yourself, be my guest. I'm only doing it once.

    -Greg
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  4. #4
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flauvius
    As for me, I am not aware of anything that I have ever done that warrants such good fortune. So, I hope some of you will help me overcome my concerns as to the logic and merits of the unusual Amidol offer that is before us.
    Logic: We're currently paying about $200.00/lb. for Amidol. If someone were to find a cheaper source, then we could pay less. Greg seems to have found a cheaper source. Therefore, buy buying the Amidol from him, we pay less, which is a fundamentally good thing for us.

    Merit: We'll pay $50.00/lb. instead of $200.00/lb.

    As to your numbered questions, I think I can dispense with them with one answer:

    Who cares?

    This amidol has been tested by Michael A. Smith. He says it's every bit as good as the Amidol he's used for over 30 years. Since nobody in the world makes finer prints, I'll write my check to Greg and say "Thank You!". Since Michael is purchasing ten times what I'm purchasing, if we get taken all I can say is, "There's nobody I'd rather be scammed with."

    If somebody were to offer you a glass of Chateau Lafite Rothschild '59 at a party, would you question its provenance? I might, but not before I'd drunk it.

  5. #5
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    If this goes bad, I get screwed. It's as simple as that. Not only am I personally out of 55 lbs. of amidol, but I'll have most of the serious photographic community after me. That's not something I want. Do you think I could show my face (or give my name) at any of the workshops or tradeshows if I screw everyone? I'm in my late twenties, so I plan on being around awhile. I'd rather it be on good terms.

    I don't know if he's following this thread any, but gcoates has known me personally for a few years. We were members at the same church and he is invited to my wedding. PM him if you want to know my character.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  6. #6
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    It's a great deal, but it's not "too good to be true." If you check Spectrum Chemical, for instance, they'll sell amidol at about $120/lb, if you purchase 25 kg, and perhaps they would come closer to the price Greg is getting if you were to commit to 500 kg.

    Whatever the source, we would need to do some testing, since this stuff seems to be made for the hair dye industry, and might not always be adequate for photographic purposes. Some of the previous samples made the prints pink. That's the main reason for testing.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #7
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    Exactly, David. The amidol they make for us might be perfect for use in dyes, but it may not be great for prints. That is the main reason for the test. In the samples I tested from different manufacturers, the colors varied from one place to another, but not usually from two samples from the same source. Each sample had a batch number for comparison. Still, I would rather be safe and test on site before money is exchanged. Once it's on the boat, they have fulfilled their end of the contract. I don't think they would be dishonest, but they are making chemicals, not photographs. They have different benchmarks for a good product.

    There was one distributor in the US (not a manufacturer) which will sell 55lbs. for the low price of $7000 or something like that.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregdavis
    We were members at the same church...
    There is a Church of Amidol, too? I thought I had the only developing church

  9. #9
    fhovie's Avatar
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    Might I just say that I am VERY grateful to Mr Davis for providing us with this opportunity for us to save a ton of money. I am not concerned about fellow specialty photo artists who feel a sense of community with a group like this one (the cream of the crop -inventers - world recognised artists, authors and teachers.) People on this board are not like any other group. We not only pursue our own vision using the highest standards of craftmanship and skill but are also willing to share everything that can help others acheive the same. I am always honored to directly glean from the minds of the great talents that mentor on this board with no thought of recompense for their contribution to other artists. It is the same spirit that causes us to collectively seek materials to the benefit of all in the same manor.

    Kind of lofty sounding wasn't it - ya don't think I went over the top too much on that one . ... did I?

    Anyway - Thanks!
    My photos are always without all that distracting color ...

  10. #10
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    Whatever the source, we would need to do some testing, since this stuff seems to be made for the hair dye industry, and might not always be adequate for photographic purposes. Some of the previous samples made the prints pink. That's the main reason for testing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith on the Azo Forum
    [font=Arial]I have been in touch with Greg for quite a while and I do trust him. I believe he will go to China personally to inspect and test the Amidol. That's a lot more than he bargained for, but in discussions with him I have made it clear that he must guarantee that everyone's purchase will be of a good product. As I write this, I have half a mind to go with him. [/font]
    I did a quick search on Priceline for airfare to both Beijing and Shanghai. Round trip is <$900 from Philadelphia to either city in China. If the purchasers of 20 5.5 kg lots were to each throw in $50 more (from $550 to $600), Michael's airfare would be more than covered. This would increase our per pound cost from $50/lb. to $54.54/lb. I would certainly be willing to pay that to have Michael test it. How about the rest of you?

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