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So How Come Nobody Wants to Ship Their DOB?

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#1 Jeff B

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:12 PM

Exactly what the title says. Almost NOBODY is willing to ship a DOB to make a sale on the used market. "Pickup only".

I know DOB owners are a lazy bunch to begin with but man, what's up with that? I mean, they came in a box didn't they? So why is it so hard to put it back in the box?

Jeff

#2 Gastrol

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

As a buyer, I would rather prefer to pick up a used dob from a local seller, if at all possible.

#3 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:30 PM

As a buyer, I would rather prefer to pick up a used dob from a local seller, if at all possible.


+1 Both of my dobs were bought used, and both times I met the seller to pick them up. Neither seller had the boxes.

I suspect that many people dispose of the boxes thinking that this telescope is "the one", and they will never sell it. As for me, I have bought three new Starmasters in the past, and lack of storage space was the reason for disposing of the boxes.

At the same time, many buyers really balk when they hear that it could cost $200 or more for shipping a used Dobsonian telescope, so they prefer to pick up if possible.

FWIW, the previously mentioned Starmasters were all sold on a pickup or meet halfway basis.

#4 Bob S.

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:31 PM

The cost of shipping and packing so that the shipping goons do not destroy your Newtonian are making it increasingly more difficult to ship anything of size. It also takes about a full 8 hours of packing with materials on hand to prepare 15" or larger scope for shipping in my experience. You have to meticulously disassemble and bubble any fragile items. It is just a big PITA. Bob

#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

Exactly what the title says. Almost NOBODY is willing to ship a DOB to make a sale on the used market. "Pickup only".

I know DOB owners are a lazy bunch to begin with but man, what's up with that? I mean, they came in a box didn't they? So why is it so hard to put it back in the box?

Jeff


Jeff:

Dobs are bulky and somewhat difficult to pack. On top of that, the can be expensive to ship. For a basic Dob, Orion, Zhumell etc, they ship in two boxes and I believe the mount is disassembled. So to ship it, you have to take it all apart, pack it and then ship it.

I did a quick Fedex quote. Shipping a 10 inch Dob from San Diego to Kansas City would cost about $85. Since most vendors include shipping in the cost of the scope, it means a seller really needs to knock something off.

You start with a scope that costs $500 new. It costs $85 to ship it... I want to sell my near new Dob for $375 but if I ship it to you, not only will I have to go through the hassle of shipping it but it will cost you $460... Not much of a deal.

With larger Dobs, shipping them is even more of a problem and one is risking damage. Packaging a premium Dob so it would not be damaged in shipping, that would be serious work. Several years ago, I foolishly shipped a 13.1 inch Coulter coast to coast. The scope had cost me $100 but the shipping was nearly $200.

Jon

#6 Chucky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:52 PM

Personally and ideally I'd much rather sell a telescope in person. This way we can both go over the scope, I can answer any questions, and together we can make sure of things. I've done it this way several times, and it's always been a true win-win....plus I've met some very nice people.

#7 Joel

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

My 12" Orion XT12g came in three boxes and had to be assembled. After putting it together, my living room and half the next room was full of boxes, packing material and scope. The amount of packing pieces in the boxes was huge and the boxes were quite large as well.

I took one look around and I said I would never ship this scope. It would be an enormous task to pack it in a way that it could be shipped and we astronomy people are a picky bunch when buying used equipment. One tiny ding and after all that effort most people would be screaming for their money back.

My advice is don't buy a dob unless a) you plan to keep it forever or B) plan to sell it locally for less than what you would expect to get from an out of state buyer.

#8 Starman1

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:29 PM

Exactly what the title says. Almost NOBODY is willing to ship a DOB to make a sale on the used market. "Pickup only".

I know DOB owners are a lazy bunch to begin with but man, what's up with that? I mean, they came in a box didn't they? So why is it so hard to put it back in the box?

Jeff

Not that I'm selling, but my scope came in 5 boxes and it took a couple hours just to unpack it. No way would I consider shipping it, and I ship packages every day.

#9 Tim Gilliland

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:51 PM

My 17.5 Discovery Split tube came in four box's, three of which I easily could have climbed into. Hate to think what it cost to ship a 200 lb scope like that.

#10 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:02 PM

Personally and ideally I'd much rather sell a telescope in person. This way we can both go over the scope, I can answer any questions, and together we can make sure of things. I've done it this way several times, and it's always been a true win-win....plus I've met some very nice people.


:waytogo:

Jon

#11 Peter Natscher

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:16 PM

I've had seven Starmaster's shipped to my door 2,000 miles from Kansas via UPS. Rick does a great job with packing and shipping and he *ships* all his scopes via UPS under 24" in size. I've also crated and shipped a 24" Starmaster clear across to US from CA to NJ and it worked great with no problems. Get a shipper to do the proper packing and trucking. If you want to sell the big scope somewhere in the US, then you've got to ship to get the Dob sold! My current 24" StarStructure shipped to me in a nice stacked and packed crate and it was flown across the US without a hitch. Get real sellers: widen your sales area and ship your scope!! :waytogo:

Exactly what the title says. Almost NOBODY is willing to ship a DOB to make a sale on the used market. "Pickup only".

I know DOB owners are a lazy bunch to begin with but man, what's up with that? I mean, they came in a box didn't they? So why is it so hard to put it back in the box?

Jeff


Jeff:

Dobs are bulky and somewhat difficult to pack. On top of that, the can be expensive to ship. For a basic Dob, Orion, Zhumell etc, they ship in two boxes and I believe the mount is disassembled. So to ship it, you have to take it all apart, pack it and then ship it.

I did a quick Fedex quote. Shipping a 10 inch Dob from San Diego to Kansas City would cost about $85. Since most vendors include shipping in the cost of the scope, it means a seller really needs to knock something off.

You start with a scope that costs $500 new. It costs $85 to ship it... I want to sell my near new Dob for $375 but if I ship it to you, not only will I have to go through the hassle of shipping it but it will cost you $460... Not much of a deal.

With larger Dobs, shipping them is even more of a problem and one is risking damage. Packaging a premium Dob so it would not be damaged in shipping, that would be serious work. Several years ago, I foolishly shipped a 13.1 inch Coulter coast to coast. The scope had cost me $100 but the shipping was nearly $200.

Jon



#12 Peter Natscher

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:19 PM

Isn't your time worth money? Mine is. Driving hundreds of miles to rendezvous cost you more than you think.

Exactly what the title says. Almost NOBODY is willing to ship a DOB to make a sale on the used market. "Pickup only".

I know DOB owners are a lazy bunch to begin with but man, what's up with that? I mean, they came in a box didn't they? So why is it so hard to put it back in the box?

Jeff

Not that I'm selling, but my scope came in 5 boxes and it took a couple hours just to unpack it. No way would I consider shipping it, and I ship packages every day.



#13 star drop

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:20 PM

My cat ate the box.
Posted Image
This 25" Tectron telescope was shipped from Florida to New York. It was partially disassembled (truss poles detached) and crated in a plywood box. The shipping cost was around $450 and that was in 1988. When I sell it will be by pickup only.

#14 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:25 PM

I've had seven Starmaster's shipped to my door 2,000 miles from Kansas via UPS. Rick does a great job with packing and shipping and he *ships* all his scopes via UPS under 24" in size. I've also crated and shipped a 24" Starmaster clear across to US from CA to NJ and it worked great with no problems. Get a shipper to do the proper packing and trucking.



How much did it cost for Starmaster to ship that 24 inch to you, how did it cost you to pack and ship it from CA to NJ?

Me, that's too much like work...

Jon

#15 Atl

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:44 PM

Mine with mount weighs about 100lbs...it is huge. I wouldn't attempt to package it for sale.

#16 turtle86

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

Good arguments on both sides. Willingness to ship sure expands the market, but packaging a large scope is indeed a major PITA. I once packed and shipped a 12" LX200, and that was no fun; at the time I muttered "never again".

Couldn't even imagine packaging and shipping my present 18" Starmaster myself. Mine was delivered to me by the previous owner, and what was nice was that I got to check everything out and get a brief tutorial on setting it up.

If I ever do decide to sell it (highly unlikely) it would be
pickup or requiring the buyer to pay for having the scope professionally packaged--easily an all-day job I would imagine. No way I'd ever do it myself.

#17 Project Galileo

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

I drove from Denver, Colorado to St. George, Utah to pick up my 16 dob. It was a fun trip, I got to try out and inspect the telescope fully before buying, and the gas was cheaper than shipping would have been by more than double. The seller was an avid astronomer with all kinds of other telescopes that I got to play with too. On the way home the night was spectacularly clear. I stopped in the Utah desert, set it up, and enjoyed some wonderful views. The trip was part of the fun for me.

#18 Mike B

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:44 PM

Get real sellers: widen your sales area and ship your scope!!

Most of us with larger-sized Dobs are fairly experienced observers, and serious about our gear, and our viewing; likewise, i'd bet *most* of us are *NOT* experienced packers & shippers. Why would we be? Personally, i have zero desire to become experienced at packing & shipping something of this magnitude! I have much better things to do with my time & effort... and that might very well include a roadtrip "vacation" that involved seein' some earthly sights & meetin' some fine folks who are, like me, into scopin' (and probably NOT into packing & shipping either :tounge:).

Otherwise, 99% of us buy large items like houses & cars that are within driving distance... why would buying a large telescope be any different? Yes, it means waiting & watching the "used" ads pop up. But it works for most who try it, who stick to it for any reasonable time (how long does it take to get a "new" Dob of fairly large size made?).

I know DOB owners are a lazy bunch to begin with but man, what's up with that? I mean, they came in a box didn't they? So why is it so hard to put it back in the box?

The short version?
Packing:
1) skills
2) time+effort (we're lazy, remember?)
3) cost
4) risk, goon-exposure... ever heard the damage claim nightmares with Fed-UPS? No thank-you, ain't interested.
5) ultimately, we'd quite likely be competing for sales with sellers closer, who can simply drive+meet. We, the shipper stand much to lose, & little to gain.

And as for #1 above, packing "skills", can YOU fold up a tent or air-mattress to fit *perfectly* back in the box it came out of? Yeah, me neither. :smirk: 'Tis easier said than done.

This "issue" is so very much like a fix in desperate need of a problem.
:shrug:

#19 Joel

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:21 PM

Isn't your time worth money? Mine is. Driving hundreds of miles to rendezvous cost you more than you think


I buy totally into the argument that my time is worth money, that's why I would never pay the money to ship a dob or take the time to pack it or pay someone else to do it. That's why I'm sure I'll never own a "premium" dob. Besides I could buy one of them for less than 50 cents on the dollar less than 2 hours from my house.

#20 kfiscus

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:22 PM

Shipping is a nightmare. Expensive, time-consuming, anxiety for a week of wondering how the big beast is doing. I'm driving 200 miles round-trip tomorrow to pickup my new-to-me used Z12 from the seller. No worries other than hitting a deer. I'd rather spend some gas money driving than sit at home worrying about a goon hurting my scope. I will also get to meet a new astro friend.

Also, I kept my box from my Z12 that I parted out and I'm getting my upgraded Z12 with its boxes. Those big boxes and nice styrofoam packing pieces come in handy and can be sold for a profit to others that threw theirs away.

#21 GregB

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

The cost of shipping is prohibitive. Right now I have an AD10 for sale. If I break down the base and repack everything in the original boxes (which I still have) it would run about $175 to $200 dollars to ship from west to east coast. When you can buy the same scope new for $500 shipped to your door I would have to sell for $300 or less just to match what Apertura can do for a new scope - probably have to be down around $200 to make it worth while for someone to even consider. Someone else here on the forum just parted out a dob because they couldn't sell it intact.

#22 kfiscus

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:02 PM

Yep, that would be me. Take a deep breath and post a "Parting it Out" ad. You can MAKE money. I had the whole thing sold in one day except for the cheapo EPs.

#23 Peter Natscher

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:41 PM

Rick charged me $1,200 to personally drive the 24"er out here to my door on the California coast from Kansas (1,800 mi.) in 2008. He doesn't box and ship this size scope or larger -- he personally delivers them and charges you for his expense and then some (mini-vacation?). The buyer of this 24"er two years later paid me the $1,000 cost of packing, crating (4x4x4 ft. pallet/crate package), and insurance to truck the 500 lb. load 3,000 mi. to the east coast in five days over the winter, with Yellow Truck Lines. It arrived in perfect condition. The pallet method is the way to ship longer distances. Aboard a truck, no other loads are touching what's on your pallet. I spent none of my personal or work time in delivering that large Dob and got a sales price for the Dob that probably would have matched what a more local buyer would have paid, but without my having to drive and rendezvous somewhere at my own expense and loss of time.


I've had seven Starmaster's shipped to my door 2,000 miles from Kansas via UPS. Rick does a great job with packing and shipping and he *ships* all his scopes via UPS under 24" in size. I've also crated and shipped a 24" Starmaster clear across to US from CA to NJ and it worked great with no problems. Get a shipper to do the proper packing and trucking.



How much did it cost for Starmaster to ship that 24 inch to you, how did it cost you to pack and ship it from CA to NJ?

Me, that's too much like work...

Jon



#24 Jeff B

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:46 PM

This has been an interesting discussion. I've been thinking about a big DOB but I'm not so sure now. I could be stuck with a white elephant (like a 16" lightbridge :grin: ) I guess good follow up questions would be does it really matter? Is it a real a problem to sell locally? Am I going to be basically stuck with the scope once I buy it unless I get lucky enough to find a local buyer?

I live in the mid west and from my perspective as a buyer, it IS a problem as most of the interesting stuff is somewhere on a coast line, many hundreds of miles away so my selection is really limited.

It's never really bothered me to crate and ship large (8"+) refractors and associated mountings in multiple crates. Why would big DOBs be different? A big scope is a big scope.

Jeff

#25 kfiscus

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:24 PM

I think that we have gone from big to HUGE. The pallet method sounds like the way to go for whoppers but not for deals in the few hundred dollar range. I really like the sound of having a scope on a pallet with nothing else being stacked on it. Using regular shipping like Fed, Brown, or Snail means conveyor belts, drops, and other unpleasantness.






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