by, 09-12-2009 at 08:28 AM (2068 Views)
(Please see comments for more recent thoughts on this topic)...
The recurring fascination that some members have with getting their hands on pure nicotine is understandable. The manufacturer who I would most trust prices 500 mL of 99+% nicotine (remainder water) at around $800. The math is pretty simple: For $800, ten liters of 50 mg/mL e-liquid mixing concentrate could be produced. This could be diluted down to 20 liters of a 25 mg/mL e-liquid. Someone vaping 2.5 mL/day of this 25 mg e-liquid would have better than a 20 year supply.
It's been said before and I'll say it again. Pure nicotine is dynamite. It wants to kill you and just needs a single opportunity. A drop fallen from the cap, a bit left in a pipette, a carelessly disposed of paper towel. Someone has to handle our trash after all. Got kids? Take that "one drop can be lethal" rule, and cut it back considerably. As somebody said on one of the threads, "FFS, why does this keep coming up?"
When we purchase flavored e-liquids, we pay for the recipe. That's fair enough. But I'll say this, because it is true: There is no recipe in play when it comes to e-liquid concentrate containing essentially PG and nicotine. There is no "art" to it. Pricing nicotine concentrates on par with flavored e-liquids is ridiculous. (Unless the flavored liquids themselves are reasonably priced).
There, I've said it. DIY nicotine concentrates anywhere from 36 mg up to the 75 mg I've seen or heard of are priced ridiculously, due largely to the small volumes (30 mL) generally seen coupled with the common lack of higher volume pricing. You're going to pay more for lower volumes (30 mL), and that's natural. Being constrained to only purchasing 30 mL unit sizes, that smacks of "something under the porch don't smell right". If I only want 30 mL, sure, I'll pay more for the smaller unit, but why limit me to the 30 mL unit size? Wait.. Don't answer, I already know why.
So let's talk about a fair price. First of all, you're looking for volume, so thanks but no thanks to all the suppliers who seem to think that 30 mL is a good idea as the largest volume they sell per unit.
I've made no secret that I've recently become a fan of myfreedomsmoke.com. Chris sells a 48 mg concentrate (currently in volumes up to 500 mL @ $185) that I titrated out to within 5% of the labeled concentration. Truth be told, with a total nicotine content of 24 grams / 500 mL, there's about $38 worth of nicotine in there. He's probably paying around a 100% markup, and it's fair for him to charge around a 100% markup (gets you awfully close to the price he's charging). You could take that 500 mL of 48 mg he sells and make 667 mL of 36 mg liquid. Your cost per 30 mL would be around $8.00. Vaping for a year for $185 ($15/month, $0.50/day), sounds OK to me. Chris isn't the only supplier out there who will sell in units that last for more than a week or so, but generally suppliers who do sell higher unit volumes seem to be the exception to the rule. Do you hear me, TW? (to pick a poster-child for the "sell small" rule).
In short, for concentrates, think in terms of dollars per gram of nicotine. For me, the sweet spot is at 500 mL. Pay no more than $8.00 per gram of nicotine when you're up at 500 mL.
If you can buy 500 mL of 50 mg/mL for $200, you're getting 0.05g/mL * 500 mL or 25 grams for $200. The price per gram of nicotine is then $200/25g, or $8.00/gram. Go for it.
How about 500 mL of 36 mg/mL for $169? You're getting 0.036 g/mL * 500 mL or 18 grams for $169. The price per gram of nicotine is then $169/18, or 9.39/gram. Not as good a deal for the money.
This is, of course, my opinion, and other opinions may differ.