Buyer Beware: Otter's Oasis & Detox Depot in Kalamazoo, MI

Discussion in 'Smoking Accessories Q&A' started by sinsemillaplease, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. #1 sinsemillaplease, Apr 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2010
    Anybody here that lives in the toking tools forum like I do knows that there are some places to get good deals on glass and there are others that markup their merchandise. Even with that expectation, today I was totally blown away at the outrageous price gouging of one shop in particular. It would be a total disservice for me to withhold this from the GC community, some of whom live and attend school at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

    The shop I've been referring to is Otter's Oasis & Detox Depot near WMU's campus. I walked in today for the first time after hearing that it was not just china prodo. I was told here on GC that they had a shelf full of ROORs. I expected them to be fake.

    So I walked in and to my surprise the place is actually pretty nice. It looks like they might be the first tenants of the section of the strip mall they're in so everything is nice and clean... unlike a lot of shops I've been in. The ROORs are the first bongs you see walking through the door. They're all real and .US... but here's the rub... the cheapest tube is like $300. You can tell it's 3.2mm sitting on the shelf. The 5mms are even more expensive... in the $400-$600 range. And finally... there was a 30" ordinary beaker ROOR tube... priced at 670 some dollars! :eek:

    Alright... whatever... cool.. he's buying ROORs from a distributor who is middling them from Dementia. That's gonna be more expensive and ROORs bring people to the shop so ok I can get that. But there's more.

    Even the budget tubes were far far overpriced. Imagine an 8-10 inch tall blue dot... no more than 3mm thick. Now imagine that it's got a tiny tube size bore... and it's $100! That's a reality in this shop.. 100 dollars for a 35-40 dollar tube... from a company that is known to be gong on a budget.

    They had some PH(x)s in the shop as well. The cheapest one was $400 for a mini. There was a $500 14" tube.. probably 7mm. They had a digital volcano... marked at $1199. I told the woman at the cash register that it retails for $700-$760 tops. She tried to argue for a second.. before admitting that I was right and then adding that Storz-Bickel charge extra for shipping. Bullshit... not $500 extra... and they have no business buying a Volcano and upping the price anyway... get a reseller deal and authorization from the company or don't sell the product. Period.

    At this point I'm pissed off at how ridiculous this place is. Every tube in the shop is marked at least 2x over it's typical retail price in other shops. They had a shit ton of tubes. Biohazard, Pure, Hoor, ROOR, Kaos, PH(x), etc... all with bewildering markups. The woman at the register tried to justify this because "they offer a 50% off birthday discount". Yeah... seriously.

    I got a chance to speak with the owner. I confronted him with the fact that his ROORs were seriously marked up and shouldn't have even been for sale in his shop. I followed with the ridiculous markup on the Volcano. He admitted that the tubes were middled through a distribution company out of cali. I gave him a rather long rant about how he was doing a great disservice to a community of medical patients and college students who don't have many scrupulous allies to provide them with what they need. I called the shop predatory, a scam, and nothing short of highway robbery. Then he informed me that I didn't have to shop there. I replied that I was offended that such a predatory business would open in the community where I've lived all of my life. He really had no answer for the markups... he knew I was right and knew that there was nothing he could say to justify any of it. I informed the rest of the customers in the store that they were being had then left the store. I will never return.

    If ever in Kalamazoo and in need of a headshop avoid Otter's Oasis, check out the Glass Onion and save yourself some serious cash. :wave:

    Edit: If you're viewing this thread please reply in some form or fashion. I would like this thread to get picked up by the Google Bots and show up on the first page every time you search "Otter's Oasis" in Google.

     
  2. Fuck yeah man. You rule.
    Fight the power!

    I'm a little stoned, and will comeback and write a better reply a little later haha:cool:

    To be honest, that story was so vivid , it kind of blew my mind right now... hah:smoking:
     
  3. thats crazy, the worst example of gouging i've seen is our LHS charging a dollar fifteen for a foot of beeline.....so over 200$ for one of those spools :p
     
  4. Great post Sinse, peace.
     
  5. Nice work Sinse :)
     
  6. I got my peice from there and i was happy, but it was china and 50% off lol
     
  7. Now get a loan, open shop and put these guys out-
     
  8. fuuuuuuuck that!!!! 1200 bucks for a VOLCANO!?! jesus dude.. michigan heads, definitely don't shop there. wow, good job sinse, people need to know haha.
     
  9. good work, great write up too
     
  10. damn thats beat. Kinda like artifax in philly. Crazyy price gouging going on there, not close to your story though.
     
  11. thanks for the write up. i hate shady shops that do this crap. my LHS is shit. everything is "triple blown" and way over priced.
     
  12. Nice that was a good post, I enjoyed that just after a bowl. I bet that shop owner sure feels like an idiot and hopefully this is the start to him changing the shop up.
     
  13. Wow and people say my local shop is overpriced.
     
  14. nice post, OP. with how overpriced the place sounds, i'd be pretty surprised if it's even able to stay open all that long. maybe i'm wrong, but it just about seems as if the owner doesn't understand much about consumer behavior. like, does he not know that anyone can buy that shit online as well?

    the only way a place like that could survive is if there just happen to be a whole lot of really stupid people in the area, who all have lots of disposable income...
     
  15. #15 sinsemillaplease, Apr 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2010
    That's all I want to do... alas I have a felony. Hopefully someday soon I'll find an investor who is willing to be the name on the paperwork. I have a lot of very rich friends... looks like I need to do some cajoling.

    I don't know how they've even managed to stay open these first couple months. I can't imagine they will last long. The major problem is that it is by far the biggest shop in Kalamazoo, carries the most merchandise and it's the nicest setup. People who haven't been in the game long like the local college population and patients who are new to smoking may not know any better.

    I've started a Facebook group to try to spread the word locally. I don't know if you guys heard about this but that college student who is getting sued for $750,000 by a local towing company is from my school in Kalamazoo. They're suing him over a facebook group he created to communicate with others who had been fucked by T&J Towing. I'm hoping my group can have at least 5% as many people as the T&J group: 10,700. That would definitely be enough to get the word of mouth train rolling.

    Edit: If you're viewing this thread please reply in some form or fashion. I would like this thread to get picked up by the Google Bots and show up on the first page every time you search "Otter's Oasis" in Google.
     
  16. well, I just googled it and this thread shows up on the first page. Success!
     
  17. Man, that is absolutely outrageous. Reminds me of a time when I was young and stupid, thinking those places are out there to help you and whatnot. Borosyndicate in Salt Lake is the same, just not as outrageous. And there service is pretty shitty. One of their employees raised his voice with me because I didn't know how long of downstem I needed. I'll keep going in there, only because they are the only headshop I know in Utah with quality glass. But still, place aggravates me:bongin:
     
  18. More then a stack for a volcano. lol


    its sad.
     
  19. nice post sinse!

    avoid otter's oasis & detox depot in kalamazoo!!!!!!!

    what a scam...
     
  20. Just wanna keep this going so... bump. Great review hopefully you save people from losing their hard earned cash at this place.
     

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