Thanks for your question, and in response, I have some good news.
There are a small number of well established, highly reputable sites
on the internet that specialize in linking buyers and sellers of
chemicals. Even better, your friend can make use of some of the basic
services these sites offer free of charge. If your friend then
decides to use more specialized services, there are fees (of course!)
but I'll discuss those on a site by site basis.
CHEMNET bills itself as "Your Guide to the Global Chemical Industry"
Established by a company in China, and in operation since 1997, this
site is well-established as an online chemical marketplace. It is
Chemnet's directory of companies includes a category of "fine and
specialty chemicals", which should be of particular interest to your
The site describes its operations this way:
"Connect with the global chemical industry when you get your FREE
Chemnet membership! As a Chemnet member, you'll find it easier to
expand your business opportunities with our trade lead functions"
The "functions" they are referring to involve matching up buyers and
sellers through the electronic network at the site.
Chemnet, like all the sites I'll mention, is very chemical specific.
You list what chemicals you can provide; buyers list what chemicals
they are interested in. It *is* possible to also list a company as a
service provider -- one that can, for instance, custom manufacture
whatever specialty chemical might be needed. But this option -- which
does not list specific chemicals -- is generally regarded as a form of
advertising, and involves a fee at the Chemnet site, as well as at
The full details of Chemnet's operations can only be appreciated after
signing up. Membership is free, and even some of the fee-based
services can be accessed for a few months at no charge on a trial
"We believe in providing our customers with a risk-free environment
for online trading. That's why our exchange makes every effort to
verify every business applying for membership. We host validated
chemical suppliers in our database. Join us FREE for 3 months at no
obligation. Discover how the Global Chemical Exchange can work for
The actual sign up page can be found here:
Explore the site. It includes a wealth of details about operations --
how a deal is offered, negotiated and finalized. I'd encourage your
friend to join up! There's nothing to lose. at least for the first
three months. After the three month trial, there is a $400 a year
fee for basic membership, and a $3,000 a year fee for premium
membership, which allows a company to actually "build" a virtual
storefront on the the Chemnet site.
One of the sites you've already visited, Chemconnect, is another
well-established site in operation since 1995, and open to all
companies in the business. Their members include producers,
consumers, distributors, traders, and intermediaries; they report a
transaction volume of $8.8 billion in 2002.
Note that they have a bit of a leaning towards commodity chemicals,
but their users include many fine chemical buyers and sellers as well.
They are at:
"Become A Member -- ChemConnect Membership is free and open to
companies that are actively engaged in or support the buying and/or
selling of bulk quantities of chemical feedstocks, chemicals,
plastics, and related products."
"As a Member, you'll join 9,000 companies from 150 countries around
the globe that look to ChemConnect for innovative solutions -- based
on a combination of market information, industry expertise, e-commerce
solutions, and an active network of trading partners -- to get
reliable market information, lower transaction costs, and reduce
There services include listing opportunities (buying and selling) for
more than 60,000 chemicals; email alerts of new listings;
participation in chemical auctions.
The site has a "Needs Assessment" tool that companies can use (also
free) to focus attention on their priorities, and help select from
among the many services offered at Chemconnect. You can find it at:
It looks useful, but use it with caution. They obviously are
interested in steering users towards their paying services. While
these may well be worth the money, that's a choice that should be made
Chemical Week is one of the premier trade magazines for the chemical
industry. Their "Buyers Guide: issue is a standard reference document
found on the desks of anyone buying and selling chemicals. If your
friend is not already a subscriber to the magazine, this may be a
worthwhile step to consider. Their site is at:
click on "buyers guide"
and then on:
"For Listing Information and to Register Please Click Here"
At this point, your friend will actually be able to register the
business at the Buyers Guide site, by entering a name and email
address. Full details of site access, tools, costs, etc. are only
made available to those businesses who register, so I cannot offer
more detail than this, but have your friend register and explore the
workings of the Buyers Guide. A listing here assures a great deal of
attention in the U.S. and around the world.
Another mainstream industry publication is the "Chemical Marketing
Reporter" (affectionately known to everyone as CMR), which specializes
in reporting on the chemical marketplace, and also produces the
industry standard "Chemical Buyers Directory":
"Since its founding in 1913 as the first of the annual chemical
directories, OPD Chemical Buyers Directory has continued to be
regarded as the place for supplier selection. OPD Chemical Buyers
Directory has become synonymous with high quality chemical product and
service information, establishing itself as the industry's most
comprehensive source of purchasing information for chemicals and
The "Chemical Buyers Directory" which has been available for as long
as I can remember in print form, is now available, naturally, on-line
as well at:
where you'll find this welcoming statement:
"Welcome to the OPDsearch.com database of purchasing information for
chemicals and chemical services. If you're looking for suppliers or
need to source products, start your search here."
This, along with the Chemical Week guide I mentioned above, have been
the major sources of buying/selling information for decades. It is
certainly worth the effort to take full advantage of these sites.
The CMR site is a bit ambiguous about fees; at some points it offers
five free listings to new users of the site, as in this statement:
"All suppliers of chemicals or chemical services are eligible to
appear on OPDsearch free of charge"
and at other times it refers to free listings for "new advertisers".
I would suggest using the "Contact Us" button get in touch with CMR
directly, and have your friend get all the details about how to have
the company listed in both the print and on-line additions.
Alternatively, there is the option of contacting CMR's Asia
R.E. Business Information Asia
For a company interested in telling the world of chemical buyers about
itself, and the services it can offer, CMR is probably the single best
source for both a U.S. and international audience.
I hope this information meets your friend's needs. I strive to give
the best answers possible, but if you feel additional information is
needed, please post a "Request for Clarification" before rating this
search strategy: "chemical industry" "e-commerce"