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Thread: glass alchemy changes

  1. #1
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    Default glass alchemy changes

    curious what everyones take on the glass alchemy new rewards program and direct to consumer model. apologies if this has been chatted already, ive been away.

    two things:

    1. thoughts on the 5000 point membership... that ill never get to. so i guess im at the end of the list for getting hype colors. i suppose thats the biggest complaint? any other complaints or loves?

    2. they are officially dicking the distributors.... aka glasscraft, MGA, ABR etc etc etc. Frankly this one really isn't a discussion point as it just a fact of direct to consumer pricing. just more curious to hear if anyone actually seems to care or if buying direct works.


    should state this isnt a bashing GA thread if you love the new programs i want to hear also! im just not enough of a player in the glass world....

  2. #2
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    In my opinion it would be great if there was a color company that charged a decent price reflected upon what it costs to make and not demand. Wait! There is! It's Northstar and they will shut down the game in time. And when those colors are added to the palette (no longer experimental) you can rest assured that distributors will get them and you won't have to worry about played-out memberships that require you to drop 5k.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    Northstar for life. Northstar makes color for the masses while GA makes color for the classes.
    "Don't get me wrong gtts are nice, but I'm more about that Issac Hayes smooth talking flame over the "come here boy you got a purty mouth" prison sex flames that gtts are known for."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    The new Glass Alchemy reward programme has made it extremely easy for me to spend my money with Northstar.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    Anything GA I want is sold out anyway. I dont think anyone likes what they have done.

    Northstar has the good people and great colors, its a no brainer to buy from them.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    It's been interesting over the last couple of months to watch this dynamic play itself out. Hopefully, I'll be firing the torch back up in a couple of months (the first time in nearly 5 years), and my shelves will be stocked with Northstar glass.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    I am not a fan of what GA has done to the distributors. I prefer not having to shop at a bunch of different stores for my glass supplies. It is much easier to combine my clear, tools and colors into one shipping box. Which I still do as long as I don't purchase GA colors.

    I also don't like having to compete with the big guys for my color palette either. I'm just a little guy in the glass world, I suspect they don't care



  8. #8
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    looks like the masses have spoken.

    Mike looking fwd to seeing what you create.

    As far as im concerned - it sucks what they did to the distributors, i used to be a national sales rep for a major corp and if they went around me i would have sued them to protect my territory. but i imagine that the glass stores dont have contract agreements.

    blows but what can you do. thanks guys.

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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    Fwiw, I got into a conversation with the folks at MGA two weeks ago and they said none of their customers have had positive things to say about the new scheme. Most are frustrated they can't actually see colors (especially new ones) in-person before buying. They also said that folks who like to lay out their color fades in-store, or check the rod diameters to make sure everything will fit in their vac-stacks according to plan have been especially vocal about their displeasure with GA's new approach.

    I don't know if NS intended their adumentary to coincide with GA shooting themselves in the foot, but it certainly seems like NS is well-positioned to improve its market share at the moment.
    "But my dear man, reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know."

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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    i wouldnt be surprised to see an industry blacklisting of GA via distributors. meaning the distribs wont carry it. dont blame them.

    There will always be a few colors you will want tho i imagine. at least i do.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    yeah i'm not too thrilled about it either. i don't use much GA anyhow, but there are a few of their colors i'll miss.
    Northstar all the way for me (and TAG if i'm feeling rich).
    You shouldn't be having sex for pleasure, only for reproduction.
    Thousands of people read my threads now. So Iím trying to not embarrass myself.

  12. #12

    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    Seems like GA really needs help business decision wise. I went to their cadmium release party and they had a special price that was more then the 30% off you would usually get. I guess they bought into their own hype. I miss when it was a rush to grab the hype glass. At least then every one had a fair chance. Oh well. Northstar it is.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    have you tried the "new formula" cads that GA has? been wondering what the differences are.
    You shouldn't be having sex for pleasure, only for reproduction.
    Thousands of people read my threads now. So Iím trying to not embarrass myself.

  14. #14

    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    Yea, truth be told I don't have too much experience with the old formula but I've noticed they are definitely easier to work with and look great when worked correctly. I havent tried the new northstar yet so I cant compare them. They still aren't easy to work with though.

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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    There's only a handful of colors that I can't replace. That being said, after strictly using GA for many years and sticking my neck out for them quite a few times, I'm pretty irritated. I don't really care about hype colors, every now and then there's one that I want to grab, but having my access limited over a purchase amount makes it hurt where my heart should be. I sometimes spend enough on color to fit the bill, but I wouldn't spend it all on one company. Especially, a company that seems to have regressed as far as quality is concerned. Also, it seems, from the explanation I have read, that some colors that were a staple of the pallet will now fall in the hype category, which is pretty annoying.

    I'm also not very happy about the slap in the face to the distributors. I don't want to order from all the way across the country, when I can order from a few states away. Even with free shipping, it's a difference of DAYS. It sometimes takes a week to get stuff from the west coast, but I've got a couple dist that can get my order to me in a day or so. If I had the ability to walk into a dist and hand pick my colors, I would likely be furious, but I have never had that opportunity so I'm just kind of meh about it.

    I can see why they did it, from a business point of view, but I don't think it was a very smart move for the long run. Maybe in a larger industry, but even with the growth over the past few years, we are still a fairly small group. It's not just big names they're drawing in with this, but also the types of people that spend 5 grand on a torch before they can even push a mushroom. Eventually, the hype around flameworking will fizzle out again, as it always does, the herd will be thinned and they will be left with a customer base consisting of a bunch of people they pissed off. Like a shitty boy/girlfriend that tries to come back to you when nobody else wants to put up with their crap anymore. I would like to try the new cads, but I doubt I will be spending much money on GA anymore. I expect to see another surge of new basement color companies popping up soon.
    Last edited by yinzer; 02-16-2017 at 08:44 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    Quote Originally Posted by yinzer View Post
    There's only a handful of colors that I can't replace. That being said, after strictly using GA for many years and sticking my neck out for them quite a few times, I'm pretty irritated. I don't really care about hype colors, every now and then there's one that I want to grab, but having my access limited over a purchase amount makes it hurt where my heart should be. I sometimes spend enough on color to fit the bill, but I wouldn't spend it all on one company. Especially, a company that seems to have regressed as far as quality is concerned. Also, it seems, from the explanation I have read, that some colors that were a staple of the pallet will now fall in the hype category, which is pretty annoying.

    I'm also not very happy about the slap in the face to the distributors. I don't want to order from all the way across the country, when I can order from a few states away. Even with free shipping, it's a difference of DAYS. It sometimes takes a week to get stuff from the west coast, but I've got a couple dist that can get my order to me in a day or so. If I had the ability to walk into a dist and hand pick my colors, I would likely be furious, but I have never had that opportunity so I'm just kind of meh about it.

    I can see why they did it, from a business point of view, but I don't think it was a very smart move for the long run. Maybe in a larger industry, but even with the growth over the past few years, we are still a fairly small group. It's not just big names they're drawing in with this, but also the types of people that spend 5 grand on a torch before they can even push a mushroom. Eventually, the hype around flameworking will fizzle out again, as it always does, the herd will be thinned and they will be left with a customer base consisting of a bunch of people they pissed off. Like a shitty boy/girlfriend that tries to come back to you when nobody else wants to put up with their crap anymore. I would like to try the new cads, but I doubt I will be spending much money on GA anymore. I expect to see another surge of new basement color companies popping up soon.
    amazingly well written in my not so humble opinion... also "where my heart should be" i died at my desk hahahahah

  17. #17
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    Maybe I'm not clear on exactly what they have done....let me put out there what my understanding was, and maybe someone could correct me where i am wrong. I was under the impression that they pulled hype colors from distributors, but not most of their colors. I don't think this is terrible if they keep order limits and make sure everyone gets some like they did with serum. With a lot of hype colors, you have non-glassblowers buying them to resell, or to have pieces made, which makes it harder for the rest of us to get some. Also, there's no reason why someone couldn't go to a distributor and pick up 20 lbs of a hype color, when the rest of us are fighting online to try to get 1/4 lbs. This being said, I've never been able to walk into a distributor to buy glass (but have bought in person at a few shows..), so this may be part of my perspective. I can understand if people who like to lay linework out in the store are frustrated, but couldn't they take their single pound of hype color to the store and still do it? I know this is maybe a little bit more trouble...but if the overall effect is more people having more access to the hype colors, i think it could be a positive thing.

    I know you have to get 5000 points to make it into the club thing, but your points never reset, and it's not like you have to do it in a year....i rarely order from GA, and I've already racked up around 600 points just on sale items (and with them having weekly sales....1/3 of that isn't from the customer sale.) Normally the only time i order from GA direct is during their sale, as shipping couldn't be any further (usually about 7 days), and I have to pay for it...that being said, my last order of Jackpot came out to around $21 a pound, and the glass was nearly firsts (I've had good luck with Jackpot OK batches). I used to buy the OK quality when it was $28 a pound, but since it went up, i usually buy northstar odds. The weekly sales have made certain colors as cheap as during their sale, and i love that, especially when a color i love comes up. I have access to the hype colors, and have at LEAST since i had 120 points. Also, I hated the price GA charged once the prices rose from $28. It bothered me enough to never buy outside of the sale, and now the 30% off makes it worth it again, and I don't have to pay $100 a year to get the discount like i would with a color club at a distributor. Being as i only ordered from the sales, I wouldn't have been very into this if they wern't doing weekly sales and the 30% off. Because of these two things, i am likely to order at other times, and i think i will be able to get 5000 points in a fairly reasonable amount of time, so long as they keep having sales and discounts. If i had to rack up 5K points from sales alone, i wouldn't like it nearly as much.

    Overall, I would say I like the changes, is there anything here that I'm not quite understanding?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    I was of the understanding that the points reset yearly and that some of the staple colors, that I would consider not so hype, have been moved to the list of colors that the distributors can't get. I see that nobody has cads. That's pretty huge. Sure, all the stuff that happened happened, but why would I bother spending that much to even get access to them, when I'm not even sure of the quality, when other companies have comparable colors and i can support my distributor for pulling it all together for me...in one spot...that doesn't take a week to ship?
    Last edited by yinzer; 02-16-2017 at 12:10 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    Interesting to see it said that they won't send hype colors to distributors, when the distributors I've talked with are all pulling GA from their shelves.
    ~Misha

  20. #20
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    Default Re: glass alchemy changes

    mr porn, for the consumer... its a generally a break even experience on the main pallet. they offer 30% off etc. so this gives NO advantage to the distributor to sell to you. you can go direct to the source.

    Little guys like me get burnt on the hype colors... i imagine ill have to buy the ones i really want off some of the larger glass guys.... at a premium.

    By cutting out the distributor the manufacturer gets to keep the additional middle piece. easy example-

    1 lb illuminati = 100 retail or lets say the distributors get a .40 multiplier. so they pay 60$ then sell to the customer at 30% off retail and make ten bucks a lb.

    Now i have no incentive to go to a distributor. esp when they wont have the stock that the manufacturer has on hand - likely anyway, im speaking in generalities of course.

    Glasscraft literally gave me my start in this awesome adventure via their classes and helpful people. i "try" and buy as much as i can from them to show my support. In the end. im still paying 30% off for the color. but now i cant get the same access - whether that is because im not a big time member or because the distribs dont have it on the shelves.

    plus Yinzer is totally correct in shipping. i know a lot of artists are local to portland and the area. but many many many are not. now we have to pay further shipping? and take longer just because of distance.

    also dont even get me started on the board of directors nonsense.... talk about self serving.... legit its just announcing these artists are special? most already knew that... its great that they help GA test the colors, everyone can appreciate that but... they need a pat on the back for it? my opinion only. maybe others are interested to read this stuff?

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