/u/P212121 on Reddit pointed us towards Lab Spend a website where you can enter a catalog number to see what other researchers have paid for the same item. The website does require a registration (that takes a few days) in order to use, and the only catalog numbers it has access to are from information other users have agreed to share, but it’s a promising start to the insidious problem of hidden prices that prevails among scientific equipment. In the long term, websites like Lab Spend provide transparency that could give scientists a lot more bargaining power when it comes to calling up for a quote.
Even if the website doesn’t have information on the products you need, it will measure and analyze all of your spending history if you let it. The website is pretty slick, and the goal is pretty admirable. Presumably it’s run by the same group of people who run https://store.p212121.com/ , a chemical vendor itself.