Sunday September 20, 2015
By Tyler Terps
Buying glass is an essential process for every cannabis user that has their own arsenal of accessories. Before the days of the internet, a local glass shop was the only way to get yourself a new tube, but thankfully the times have changed. Whether you’re walking into a brick-and-mortar shop or ordering online, here are some tips to keep in mind when making a new purchase:
1. Seek Out Heavy and Thick Borosilicate Glass
Heavy glass is more sturdy and will be harder to knock over, thus lasting longer than thin crackable material. Thick glass is usually a good indicator that it’s of high quality, considering no one wants to spend money on something that would break if it’s put down just the wrong way. It’s never a bad idea to ask the person working at the store that you’re at if their glass is American made or if it’s imported. If it’s the latter, you might as well go back out the door and keep on looking. Try to avoid plastic and metal pipes, as they are not ideal in taste, draw, or appearance. If the store is cool, ask to test out your potential buy with a water test if possible. Most will accommodate this request and may even already have a demo piece available.
2. Drive A Hard Bargain
Photo Credit: David Villa
At glass shops, the price posted on the tag isn’t always final. You would be surprised with the profit margins that almost everything in their stock has. If you’re buying something that’s also sold online, reference the price point if it’s better on the web and maybe they will match it. Additionally, try grabbing an accessory with the piece you’re buying. This technique often lowers the total price, especially if you ask before adding another item onto your order. It’s best to pair things that at least make sense, like a nail and dome, or domeless nail and carb cap. Also, going in with a set limit can often get a few dollars knocked off of something just out of your price range.
3. Stay Away From China Glass
Glass from China tends to be cheap mass produced replications of popular glass designs by hardworking artists. Regardless of the origin of the designs, the poor reputation is from the lack of function and cheap materials that make them up. Purchasing low end imports only enables the production of more poor quality work that is riding the wave of someone else’s vision. Practicing good ethics will continue to make the glass business a viable one. Your desire for a bargain shouldn’t tie you down to something that won’t even accurately do its job, so make sure to have a balance.
4. Go Straight To The Source
Buying directly from the glass blower can save you money, allow you to customize your purchase, and assure you a level of quality showcased by their other work. Instagram is full of artists who both sell their work and take custom orders which slash prices that are posted in shops due to the lack of a middleman. Researching who you go to will give you the assurance that their work is up to a satisfying level, and you can learn to appreciate the style that their designs embody. If you choose to go down the custom route, you will be given the option to decide the colors, shape, and additions pertaining to your commissioned glass.
5. Find Cheaper Options Online
The internet is full of both poor and great sources to order glass from. Sites like Glasshous.com give high quality glass artists a place to sell their work online at an affordable rate. Often, sites like Glasshous will provide free shipping and free returns if you don’t like the product. There’s a good chance that the artists available don’t have their work or the same designs at your local shop. Beyond glass, there’s also dabbing accessories and vaporizers to browse while you’re on the site.
Photo Credit: Grav Labs