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Question about glass: quality perception


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There is an old saying that I am a personal believer in: Perception is reality.

In our case, if a customer perceives, or is sold on the perception, that Something A is better than Something B, then that becomes their reality.

We've seen this happen with the whole paraffin vs. veggie debate over and over but for this discussion I'd like to talk about glass and see how we feel about it.

I personally do not like the thin glass jars used for container candles. Examples of these can be seen everywhere, Yankee included. To me they just feel like they'd shatter if I passed gas too close by them. Right or wrong, that's my perception. I use jars from Anchor Hocking which are a very heavy and thick-walled glass. I have no scientific basis for this perception, I just feel like the heavier/thicker ones would be less prone to heat stress, bumps during shipping, etc. Unfortunately my perception of quality glass also means that I pay more for them - I could get cheaper jars if I used ones from suppliers like Libby rather than Anchor.

My reason for bringing this up is twofold: 1) Am I needlessly subjecting myself to higher materials costs for no good reason, and 2) is my mindset of the "heavier/thicker is better" total luncacy? :)

Thoughts anyone?

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Heavier/thicker is not always an indicator of strength with glass. Thicker glass takes longer to adapt to a temperature extreme, so in some cases, it isn't a great thing. Some thin glass is so well made that it outperforms thicker glass. Just depends...

Buying good quality glass is my first suggestion. Anchor-Hocking, Libbey, Corning, Crisa (Mexico), are all excellent brands. Some indications of poor quality can be easily spotted - walls that are wavy and of differing thicknesses not related to design (I was cleaning out a jar recently and noticed how wavy the inner surface was); bottoms that are unlevel on the inside; wavy edges with "glass boogers"; others are within the invisible structure of the glass itself.

And here's the bottom line, IMHO: if YOU like heavier glass, why not let that be part of "your business signature"? After all, many of us all pour similar products into similar containers - what's to distinguish my candles from yours? Well, it MIGHT be that a customer would think, "Ol' Stella's candles are ok and so are RAC's, but Stella uses such cheap, thin glassware and even though RAC's are a little more expensive, they come in these GREAT containers!" - See what I mean? If that's your style, go for it and market with that in mind.:)

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I would give more consideration to this perception question if I were you.

Cheapo containers could be very thin glass, but a lot of cheapo containers are made of thick glass too. Smoothness, excellent clarity and lack of color are what I notice in good glass. It can be thick or not so thick.

There are a few downsides to consider with exceptionally thick glass. It's very heavy (high shipping costs) and can significantly increase wax hangup.

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Oh man, you just gave me flashbacks to 4th grade science club! (I'm a nerd.)

Stella hit it on the head, that while thin is easier to shatter, it transfers heat out of the glass quicker. I personally like medium, but I always worried about the thicker ones if something were to ever happen - like a consumer just burns a candle for hours and hours and the wick were to lean slightly.

But hey, what works for you - more power to ya!

I do agree, it's all about perception. I think in consumer buying it has the world to do with perception versus performance. Even in candles.

If you see a crappy looking candle next to a pretty one with fluff... people just pick the fluff without ever realizing (or even trying) one that may look junky but is the best burning thing in the world.

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