Grav Labs is Made in ChinaKen Kulow
Grav Labs is Made in China
I’ve taken some heat for this post, but I care not. I’m pissed, as are a lot of other American glass companies trying to make it against the Goliath: China. As you read, understand this: I’m from the midwest and I served; 551st Engineers; Fort Leonard Wood. I have deep rooted sentiment tied to America and US based manufacturing jobs. I voluntarily choose, it’s my decision, to NOT manufacture in China or India and it is my choice NOT to import products. My problem with Grav is NOT that they choose to manufacture in China, it is:
1) Grav has been selling imports from China as Made in USA to artificially sustain profits and use those profits as a weapon against US Manufacturers.
2) Grav takes other peoples designs and gives them to China, not only to have Grav labels put on them, but also to torpedo competitors not wishing to sell out to China.
The owner of Grav Labs, Grav Studios and most probably his retail direct website http://www.420science.com/store.html was interviewed by one of his paid employees on a podcast on 4/19/2016. In the podcast, tucked away just after the 45 minute mark of: http://www.podcastchart.com/podcasts/torch-time-media/episodes/episode-3-dave-daily-on-gravitrons-glass-design-and-sustainable-manufacturing is a lengthy rationalization for why he has been removing the Made in China stickers from his imported pipes, all the while heavily implying being Made in USA to support a monster profit margin at YOUR expense. (Note: Since I wrote this blog, Ryan has made announcements of his intent to move 420 Science out of the Grav Labs offices.)
Here are a few quick points that need to be made:
- Grav Labs is Made in China and has been “since 2007”. The owner only admits it now in 2016. That means if you purchased a Grav product in the last DECADE, thinking you were paying for a product Made in USA, you overpaid considerably because the product you bought was actually Made in China.
- Many people lost, and continue to lose their jobs to Grav Labs China. Glass blowing is all manual labor. Grav Labs manufactures in China because the average glassblowing job in the US pays $15/hour and the same position in Tianjin is $1.15. It’s one of many reasons that Chinese made products are significantly cheaper than the same product Made in USA. Grav made you think it was Made in USA because there are a lot of Americans who still want to buy a product Made in USA because it represents jobs for their friends and family, because it represents hospitals, roads, schools, running water and freedom. A Made in China sticker means a cheap price and good paying jobs going overseas, and that’s why all Grav Labs products have the Made In China sticker removed.
- Grav Labs is a ‘ripper’. Grav ripped Chameleon innovations like the cyclonic filter handpipe ‘Typhoon’, the indented mouthpiece pipe ‘Ashcatcher’ and the miniaturized coil condenser pipe ‘Absolute Zero’ and sent them to China. The ‘Swoosh-lock’ bent sherlock product was ripped from Casa Glass (also in Austin). Grav attempts to downplay it’s status as a known ripper by blaming it on middle school logic like ‘everyone else does it’, which is another lie. Plenty of American Made glass companies live and die by their innovations and DO NOT rip products like Grav does. By sending our designs to China, Grav China eliminated 32 jobs, an entire shift, at Chameleon Glass. Chameleon is not alone though. Grav has stolen several other excellent designs from other companies that are sadly, no longer in business. The photo seen below is from the “Buy it cheap direct from where it is made website ‘DHGate’. You can see this for yourself by following this link: http://www.dhgate.com/product/grav-labs-glass-steamroller-5-quot-glass/246939613.html Buy 20 for $2.50 each…but when you buy 1000’s from China like Grav does, that’s more like $1.00 each (probably less).
DHGate is where China dumps it excess Grav product into the United States market. You can buy most Grav products on this website for 1/20th of what they charge brick and mortar AND online smoke shops.
Made in China glass from Grav and the in house boys from 420 Science, just for you:
Your cost $17.99, their cost $0.99
If you have an ‘identical’ product and one is 30% less than the other, lets face it, which one are you going to buy if you are also lead to believe they are both products Made in USA? That’s what we call predatory pricing. The Chameleon MSRP for the Made in USA #82 Ashcatcher Steamroller that Grav Labs ripped off is
- Chinese glass is superior to American glass. Yes, I’m sure there are lots of people who got a janky apprentice pipe sold to them as a first quality production piece. Shame on that glass blower. The production shops still operating their hot shops in the US are turning out some of THE most AWESOME Glass Pipes available in the world. Grav Labs owner disagrees:”Give me one bad chinese pipe and I’ll show you 10 inferior American Made pipes” What a joke. Hey Dave, I’ll take your offer. Let’s wager the GTO you parade around in Austin. You know, the one you bought with all that cash you made off my designs.
Here’s what REAL business professionals say about China being better than US made:
- Another joke: The ‘Royalty’ system. I’ve not gotten a single royalty check for the designs Grav ripped from Chameleon and sent to China. If you decline the Grav ‘invitation’ to license a design (which I did, along with several other designers), that’s OK with Grav, they’re still going to rip it and send it to China. The owner even jokes about how it really doesn’t work for many of the people who sign up for ‘royalties’, mainly because the only real winner in “royalties” is Grav and the “artists” like that go to China on their behalf and teach the Chinese how to do what we do and then lie about it so Grav could continue to sell you a Chinese product as though it is Made in USA at top dollar.
- Another joke: Grav Studios GS, the bastard stepchild of GL is nothing more than lipstick for the GL pig, so that GL can have a comeback to the American Made question after he outed himself. GS is underwritten with profits made from Chinese Grav Labs glass being sold as American Made. Period. Same office, same ‘artists’ that teach American Know How to Chinese factory workers.
The reality is that Grav is a venture capital investment that lies to it’s customers and uses clever marketing to take your money so Grav can hand a loaded gun to China to assassinate innovative, truly Made in USA, artist driven companies like Chameleon Glass.
Always ask where the Made in USA label is on your glass.
Grav Labs is Made in China