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astronomy stores going out of buisness?

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#26 George Methvin

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

Groz I agree with you, I have two very nice scope that I am very happy with and see no need to ever upgrade to anything else. If I did feel the need for another scope i would look to the used market for one. Why buy New if you can buy almost new for some times half the price.


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2010 Orion Eon 120mm ED refractor.



#27 droid

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

I always wondered why astronomy dealerships didnt get into payment plans, buy here pay here type deals.
I know its a risk, but just think we could have a new tv show,
" telescope repo man "

Oh thats bad I know.

#28 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

Groz I agree with you, I have two very nice scope that I am very happy with and see no need to ever upgrade to anything else. If I did feel the need for another scope i would look to the used market for one. Why buy New if you can buy almost new for some times half the price.


Over the years, I have purchased a few scopes new but almost all of my equipment has been purchased used, a good deal of it via Astromart. For the sort of equipment I like, it doesn't wear out. But if one is into the latest and greatest, electronics and complicated electro-mechanical systems do wear out and do become obsolete.

Jon

#29 csrlice12

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

I always wondered why astronomy dealerships didnt get into payment plans, buy here pay here type deals.
I know its a risk, but just think we could have a new tv show,
" telescope repo man "

Oh thats bad I know.



I saw that movie, it's gonna hurt taking all those light photons back..........

#30 George Methvin

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

Yea I own about 16 eyepeices and all but 5 of them I got on the used market for about half the price of when they were new. Most eyepeices and telescope will last a life time if taken care of. I will turn 61 years old in a few months, my eyes will go bad before my telescopes and eyepeice will. :lol:

#31 rmollise

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

There was a Pocono Mountain Optics that opened up here in Las Vegas, NV sometime in the mid to late 1990s. I had read on-line that they had a lot of positive reviews from buyers in their original location out east. I was excited to have them locally. It was a very small shop, but that's where I purchased my first "serious" equipment. But then the owner retired, I think, and they just closed up some time in the early 2000s.

That only left Scope City, which has recently closed its doors.


He "retired" alright--after a fashion. Leaving quite a few customers in the lurch. Sad, since Pocono was one of my faves for some years.

;)

#32 rmollise

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

The Astronomy Shoppe was a large scope store in Phoenix that closed around 2000. The owner also did car window screens, and that business was his real moneymaker. He couldn't take the stress of running a telescope shop that had such small margins, and put all of his energy into the screen store.

That leaves Phoenix - a city of 4 million in a location with great astronomy climate - with only one very small telescope store. Most of us make the 1 1/2 hour drive to Tucson to Starizona or Stellar Vision if we want to buy astronomy equipment from a place with a showroom.

Tom


Consider yourself lucky. In the nearly fifty years I've been in our avocation, I've spent exactly five years in a place with an astro store--Doc Clay's old Astronomical Unit in Little Rock.

#33 rmollise

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

I always wondered why astronomy dealerships didnt get into payment plans, buy here pay here type deals.
I know its a risk, but just think we could have a new tv show,
" telescope repo man "

Oh thats bad I know.


Plenty of astronomy vendors did offer payment plans--Unitron and Criterion to name just two. With the coming of credit cards, there wasn't a whole lot of reason to anymore, though, I reckon.

#34 Chucky

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:51 PM

<< I would say Astronomics main business is astronomy, with their new showroom! >>

Unlike many if not most, these guys stay very, very active on the Internet, attend shows, employee knowledgeable people, stock a ton of awesome products, provide excellent service, and truly enjoy their jobs.

#35 George Methvin

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

Rod I thought about you the Last week, I pick up a bottle of rebel yell 80 proof burbon. Very very smooth, move over JD. LOL

#36 Hilmi

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

Some manufacturers shot themselves in the foot by refusing to sell or service products abroad so that they can protect their international distributors who where actually not all that interested in marketing their products. Like when I tried to buy a meade scope, or when I tried to service my scope after a part broke, they refused to repair it for me, they asked me to send it to their agent who is across the border in another country. I drove all the way across the border and the agent made all kind of excuses to not take my scope for repair. In the end I shipped it to Doc Clay to repair for me. Same story when I want to buy their stuff, they say go buy from your local agent (who again doesn't exist in my country, so I have to drive to Dubai again and then I get told by the agent that he doesn't sell that particular product. Sell online and understand that with the internet, you can't isolate your market to geographical areas anymore.

#37 starrancher

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

I say we don't need a sales tax...period. We're already taxed for earning it and saving it...and now for spending it......


Just to note, income tax is federal, and pays for the federal government. Sales tax is local, and pays for your state, city, and/or county government. As far as I know, there is no tax on savings (there is on earned interest, which counts as a form of income).

As to whether or not we need them, that's dipping into political territory that we don't allow on CN. :rules:

Jarad


Yeah ! ...... That's what I'm talkin about ! :grin:

#38 starrancher

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

I really think there needs to be a way for ALL internet sales to be sales-taxed to give brick-and-mortar a fighting chance. Perhaps something as simple as a 5% tax on everything, distributed to the states.


I completely agree. We need a national tax on Internet sales. No matter what their specialty is, specialty retailers are going out all over the place. They need a level playing field.

Internet vendors still take advantage of national and state infrastructure, yet they only pay sales tax to a single state on a small portion of their sales.


All this talk about taxation and such is getting kinda polical here . :grin:
:lol: :lol: :lol:
All that aside , what happens when you can no longer put your fingers on a product and have to buy sight unseen ?
I kinda like to be able to touch and feel before I buy . Someone needs to stay open so we can touch and feel , then go home and order on line to reap the savings . Best Buy is having a good time with that eh?

#39 EFT

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:12 PM

Some manufacturers shot themselves in the foot by refusing to sell or service products abroad so that they can protect their international distributors who where actually not all that interested in marketing their products. Like when I tried to buy a meade scope, or when I tried to service my scope after a part broke, they refused to repair it for me, they asked me to send it to their agent who is across the border in another country. I drove all the way across the border and the agent made all kind of excuses to not take my scope for repair. In the end I shipped it to Doc Clay to repair for me. Same story when I want to buy their stuff, they say go buy from your local agent (who again doesn't exist in my country, so I have to drive to Dubai again and then I get told by the agent that he doesn't sell that particular product. Sell online and understand that with the internet, you can't isolate your market to geographical areas anymore.


One of the ways I help my kids learn geography is to have them post sale locations on a big map of the world and another of the US. The internet is truly amazing when it comes to having a small business. It wasn't that long ago when this stuff wasn't possible and many small businesses simply couldn't exist for lack of local market. Astronomy is truly a worldwide business thanks to the internet.

#40 EFT

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:26 PM

All that aside , what happens when you can no longer put your fingers on a product and have to buy sight unseen ?
I kinda like to be able to touch and feel before I buy . Someone needs to stay open so we can touch and feel , then go home and order on line to reap the savings . Best Buy is having a good time with that eh?


The few shows and large vendor-attended star parties are some of the last good opportunities for hands-on inspection. I am glad that there will still some stores around when I got into the hobby.

Yeh, check it out at the local store and then go buy it online and save the 9.3% sales tax and get free shipping. Hard choice, but it is the way of the world now. You have to bring something else to the table (like good and unique products and services) to make it. But it has always been that way to some extent.

#41 kbastro

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:34 PM

the reason I started this thread was...
I was flipping through a few older (well for me older) late 80's and 90's sky & tel/astronomy mags and crusin through there adds and thinking to myself "my god, where have all these old fav astronomy stores go?!?!?"

pocono, quasar optics (canada), 6 scope city stores from las vegas to other areas in Cali. , the astronomy shoppe, astro mechanics (canada), winchester electronics (sold qhy ccd cameras), etc. etc.

correct me if I am wrong on this, but has anyone noticed a surge in higher end stuff now coming from europe?? eg italy and england??? if so it's not a bad thing at all but I never really saw and european adds in the 80's and 90's...

and as for stores going out of buisness... what if a big player like Meade closes shop??? most of the astronomy shops today have meade and celestron products and rely on sales from the big 2 producers... losing one could spell trouble for a few astro stores,,

kb

#42 EFT

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:37 PM

the reason I started this thread was...
I was flipping through a few older (well for me older) late 80's and 90's sky & tel/astronomy mags and crusin through there adds and thinking to myself "my god, where have all these old fav astronomy stores go?!?!?"

pocono, quasar optics (canada), 6 scope city stores from las vegas to other areas in Cali. , the astronomy shoppe, astro mechanics (canada), winchester electronics (sold qhy ccd cameras), etc. etc.

correct me if I am wrong on this, but has anyone noticed a surge in higher end stuff now coming from europe?? eg italy and england??? if so it's not a bad thing at all but I never really saw and european adds in the 80's and 90's...

and as for stores going out of buisness... what if a big player like Meade closes shop??? most of the astronomy shops today have meade and celestron products and rely on sales from the big 2 producers... losing one could spell trouble for a few astro stores,,

kb


Definitely a lot of new products, mostly high end, coming over from all over Europe these days. Italy, France, Germany and eastern Europe are all involved, but it is not easy for them to break into the US market because the dollar is so weak and their equipment is expensive, produced slowly and not very practicle to stock.

Meade going under would not be good for any of us. Just as Meade having to recall a telescope mount (it not like something that was going to kill you) hurt the industry overall. I think that it made a lot of foreign companies think twice about entering the US market.

#43 orlyandico

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

both Orion and Anacortes have this type of scheme... although they are really just passing the risk to GE Capital or some other financing company.

not so sure if it's a good idea to encourage people to go into debt for something that depreciates almost catastrophically - which is why I buy all my stuff used.

#44 Ira

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

I think you've all forgotten the now old maxim:

"On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."

http://en.wikipedia....On_the_Internet,_nobody_knows_you're_a_dog

:)

/Ira

#45 Bart

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

Thy name is Brian....

#46 mich_al

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

While reading this thread I'm also in another window buying OEM motorcycle parts. There are many similarities. Almost all my bike parts are bought online, The brick & mortar shops don't stock hardly anything and the prices are way to high. The only astro shop we ever had closed a few years back and didn't stock much. It seems beick and mortar store are all about to go the way of dinosaurs.

#47 Al8236

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:59 AM

Yeh, check it out at the local store and then go buy it online and save the 9.3% sales tax and get free shipping. Hard choice, but it is the way of the world now. You have to bring something else to the table (like good and unique products and services) to make it. But it has always been that way to some extent.

And then wonder why your local shop closed their doors! If no one supports the local economy we all lose.

#48 Paul G

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:01 AM

Yeh, check it out at the local store and then go buy it online and save the 9.3% sales tax and get free shipping. Hard choice, but it is the way of the world now. You have to bring something else to the table (like good and unique products and services) to make it. But it has always been that way to some extent.

And then wonder why your local shop closed their doors! If no one supports the local economy we all lose.

Exactly! I make a point of buying from my local shop, Company 7, even though local is a 3 hour drive. I like to be able to see and handle it before I buy it and some box shipper on the net doesn't give me that option. They've helped me get my equipment serviced, loaned me scopes/eyepieces, even supplied equipment for an astro vacation to Barbados.

I own a small business and make a point of doing business with other local small businesses. I don't want Walmart to be my only option..

#49 csrlice12

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

Yeh, check it out at the local store and then go buy it online and save the 9.3% sales tax and get free shipping. Hard choice, but it is the way of the world now. You have to bring something else to the table (like good and unique products and services) to make it. But it has always been that way to some extent.

And then wonder why your local shop closed their doors! If no one supports the local economy we all lose.


At the brick and morter stores you get something you can't get online--Customer Service. Let's see, I paid $500 for the 102XLT...Yes, it's about $30 more than the online price...Know what I got for that $30? I got my scope/mount/tripod all put together, the mount properly aligned and set (some of the initial settings for your mount are critical and usually do not need changed unless you travel a good distance); the scope collimated, finder aligned, and know that there were no extra parts left over ("wonder where this was supposed to go?). I was also given a quick lesson in aligning the finder, and general scope use. I was also given some hints about balancing the scope, the tracking knobs, etc... I just ordered motor drives yesterday and asked how much to have them install them....$0, nada, nothing, zip...why? Because I bought the scope and mount from them as well!!!! While money is important to us all, I've come around to where I'm gonna support my local business...why, because they're local....and I've grown accustomed to "Customer Service". Not to mention, the price difference is negligible when you compare what you get for the price. That being said, sometimes you don't really have a choice, and that is where the internet excells........

#50 coopman

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

You guys with local astro shops are lucky. I've never even seen or been in an astronomy store, and I'm 59 years old! If I was to ever go into a store such as Astronomics, I'd have to bring a change of underwear with me.






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