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Archive | June, 2023

Full copper 14 cup percolator on eBay

It isn’t often I see Revere Ware pieces I haven’t seen before, especially gorgeous ones like this all copper percolator on eBay.

If you look more closely you can see it is copper plated, not solid copper, which makes sense.  But it is in new condition and would make a beautiful display piece.  The price can’t be beat at just a $99.99 starting bid.  I might just buy it myself. 🙂


You’ve got to love Amazon customers

Reviewing returns on Amazon today, I just had to laugh.

In short, customer returns product and blames us because our website description was not accurate; the product wasn’t compatible with Rena Ware and we should have said so.  Here is our listing on Amazon.

Yes, we clearly need to fix that listing. 🙂

Here is another one.

Hmm.  What does the listing say about no screws:

Ah, it says there are no screws.

The sad thing is that every time a customer doesn’t bother reading the listing and ends up returning an item, it gets us one step closer to Amazon removing our listing for too many returns.  🙁


Is stainless steel safe after overheating

This question on Quora makes me think people don’t really understand the nature of stainless steel.

We get this exact question quite frequently.

The chromium in stainless steel is not the same as the kind features in the movie Erin Brokovitch.  It is a safe form that is actually an essential mineral that the body needs in trace amounts.

When you overheat stainless steel, it doesn’t release chromium, it actually promotes the formation of more chromium oxide, which is the whole purpose of the chromium in stainless steel.  Chromium oxide is a clear layer that coats the top of the stainless steel surface and prevents the iron from rusting.  When you overheat, you form more of it which can cause the rainbow shimmer (often referred to as heat tint) you sometimes see on the surface of stainless steel; this is uneven thicknesses of the clear chromium oxide refracting the light differently where the layers differ in thickness, thus altering the angle of refraction of the colors of white light.  Here is what heat tint looks like:

You can fix heat tint by using a fine polish like Bar Keepers Friend.

You may not realize this but the daily use of stainless steel constantly damages the chromium oxide finish. But chromium is highly attracted to the oxygen in the air and will bond with it, which means your stainless steel cookware will always self-repair after damage.  It wouldn’t if you were in an oxygen free environment, like the moon, but then rust needs oxygen to form a well so it wouldn’t matter.  I don’t know why I thought of that. 🙂

Overheating can cause other problems.  The inside of stainless steel cookware often gets lots of pits from the use of metal kitchen tools and acidic foods, like tomato sauce.  Hard water deposits can collect in these pits and will get charred and turn black when you severely overheat a dry pan.  You can read more about that here.



Instant Brands files for bankruptcy

Talk about deja vu.  A popular cookware brand that took the world by storm, could be found in almost any kitchen, sales start slowing, competition grows, sales shrink, company files for bankruptcy.  It it like the story of Revere Ware over 50 years but it only took Instant Brands a decade to file for bankruptcy. file for bankruptcy.

But a few things about this bankruptcy make it even more interesting.  For one, the Instant Pot is essentially just a more modern rehash of what Revere Ware came out with in the 80’s, the Meal-n-Minutes pressure cooker.  Tell me these things don’t look alike:

But wait, there’s more.  In 2019, Corelle bought merged with Instant Pot.  So not only does the Instant Pot story resemble the Revere Ware story, but the same company now actually owns the Revere Ware brand.  One has to wonder if it isn’t the ghost of Revere Ware that ultimately caused the bankruptcy.  The successors to Revere Ware have bounced around in mediocrity for the better part of 4 decades, and now they are taking Instant Pot with them.

Another interesting thing is that the brand rollup that is Corelle Instant Brands also includes Ekco.  Ekco isn’t listed as one of the brands Instant Brands includes, but it is included in the bankruptcy filing.

I can’t say I’m mad at Corelle Instant Brands for killing off Revere Ware; the cookware they produced over the last 30 years was almost famous for it’s poor quality.  I think perhaps discontinuing the brand might have contributed to the renaissance Revere Ware is having in the hearts and minds of cooks across America.  There are 5 times as many Revere Ware pieces for sale on eBay now then there were when Revere Ware was still being sold.

In any event, we do happen to love our instant pot.  I must admit, my wife is the master; the only thing I can cook so far in the Instant Pot is rice.  But there are at least half a dozen alternatives to the Instant Pot, so I don’t think this type of appliance will be leaving our kitchens anytime soon, the outcome of the Instant Brands bankruptcy notwithstanding.


Another Revere Ware aluminum core cautionary tale

I can’t quite tell the model from the pictures I was sent, but clearly another catastrophic failure of the aluminum inside a Revere Ware sandwiched aluminum cookware piece:

I was boiling water so I could make macaroni. While heating the water the copper bottom melted completely fff of the pot and fell down into the burner; it was a melted blob.

We’ve gotten enough emails on failures like this that we recommend that everyone stop using Revere Ware with sandwiched aluminum cores.  So far we haven’t heard of serious injury but the potential for molten aluminum to cause a serious burn is there.

These types include models called:

  • Aluminum Disk Bottom Cookware
  • Try-Ply / slab bottom
  • 2000 Line
  • Some Micro-Fyers models have an aluminum disk bottom
  • Centura Clear

The ProLine series has a disc bottom but it has copper inside, which has a higher melting point and won’t suffer from the same issue.


Amazon and the INFORM Act

You might think I am obsesses about Amazon given how much I write about them.  Consider though what a big part of everyone’s lives they have become in the last decade.  If you buy stuff, it is far more likely than not you buy at least some stuff from Amazon.  My household has done a lot of shopping on Amazon and I can trace my first purchase back to 1997.

Buying on Amazon is not without its challenges, and we all know that the reviews are almost always gamed and can not be trusted.  (I religiously use Fakespot for new purchase.)

But as a seller, I get a unique perspective on just how self-centered Amazon is, and how poorly they treat their sellers.  Part of the problem is that they extend far too generous terms in order to get people to compulsively buy from them.  Much of the brunt of this falls to sellers.  For example, too-generous return policy means buyers often just order things without bothering to read any of the listings, thinking they will just return it if it doesn’t work.  The downside of this is that sellers items get delisted if the % of returns are too high.  Sometimes this just means you have a product that people think will work in ways that it won’t and no amount of information in the list that people don’t read will change this.

Well this week two more things happened that made me think of the ridiculousness of Amazon.  The first is this removal I received yesterday.  A removal is a return that is considered not-resellable that the seller has opted to have sent back rather than destroyed.

Bakelite is a brittle material, so, packing like that (yes there was zero padding) isn’t the greatest.  Is this how they ship my products?

Secondly, Amazon has been really screwing up this required verification for the INFORM Act.  They first sent me such a request a month ago.

So I dutifully did as they asked.  Two weeks later, I got the same email.  This time, I went to the seller verification page and saw this:

Unfortunately that tells me nothing about what I need to provide additionally.  So I opened a case to ask what I needed to do.  Mind you, just opening a case with Amazon is a chore because they make you go through this process where they try to get you to accept some help information instead of contacting them, and it is hard to get to the point where you can open a case.  Eventually I got this response to my request.


We have received your inquiry, but we cannot provide support on this matter.

Why is this happening?
Your account has been deactivated because you have yet to complete your registration. If that is the case, you will continue to have limited access to your selling account until you complete all pending tasks.

Say what?  They can’t help at all and instead deactivated my account.  I’ve been a seller in good standing for 14 years now.

I angrily responded and eventually got them to help.


We reviewed the documents that you provided and were able to complete your verification process. You can now sign in to Seller Central and start selling on Amazon.

We’re here to help
If you have any further questions, you can contact Selling Partner Support:

The Seller Identity Verification team

Thank you for selling with Amazon,

Well thank goodness.  But here we are two weeks later and I get another seller verification email.  I’m not sure why they need to again verify my.

I am debating with myself on whether Amazon in this regard is just inept, malicious, or just don’t care about seller.