Establishing Fair Prices for Classic Scopes
Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:00 AM
Typically if I want to sell something, I will attempt to see what my item has sold for before - I will do an archive search both here and on "other" sites. If I bought used that is always a good starting point, as is the price I paid for something new. I am very careful with my equipment, generally most of my stuff looks as new as the day I purchased it, so I will price something at about 70 to 75% of what I paid, unless reasearch dictates otherwise. Sometimes with used equipment and demand, with improvements I may have made I do feel justified in asking for a bit more than what I paid. In all cases there is always a justifiable reason for doing this. However even with all of these guidelines pricing can be tough. I do not think that any of us really want to be mercenary, yet we do not want to give away things either.
I think some thought should always go into pricing an object for sale, especially something rare and old where you do not have too much if any data to go by. In that case you can always price your item a bit higher than what you really think it will likely sell for and then negotiate down. An extremely quick sale is a sure way of knowing that you priced your item too low, and when that happens there is nothing you can do about it but sell it for what you priced it at and learn from your mistake.
I was recently asked about how a rare and initially expensive Unitron telescope should be priced. That prompted me to create a poll on the UnitronTelescopes Yahoo Group to help establish some pricing guidelines. That poll is going on now. It is a pity that we do not have a mechanism to do polls here, I believe they would be a very valuable tool.
Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:11 AM
Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:53 PM
Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:00 PM
Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:03 PM
or the 132-C in the list..
Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:33 PM
Whether Unitrons or Unicorns - the ever changing marketplace decides who will win - and who will lose.
Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:30 PM
There were a lot of Unitron models missing on the list.
I selected four models - the Unitron #114, the #142, #152 and the #510. I created 5 price brackets for each. Obviously some scopes were left off - the photo-equatorial scopes, the compact scopes, the rich-field scopes and the #128 60 mm equatorial......they will have their day.
I agree with others, price is a moving target and all is thrown off if you get someone that just has to have it. Much like at a real auction. Is $1000 a fair price if just one person is willing to pay it and if all other bidders in the room stops bidding at $300? Remember that most will not bid at all beyond the ridiculously low give away price. No, $1000 is off the bell curve. Hopefully the poll I created will help define just where the bell curve is. Others can do similar things for other scopes at other locations where polls can be created.
Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:11 PM
Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:29 PM
Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:42 PM
Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:47 PM
"What I have paid recently for Unitrons ( within the past 3 years)
160 in poor shape but with gravity drive and all the other fixings 1000.00
128: in mint shape with all cases and ep etc 375.00
142: circa 1960 600.00
I sold a 132 in mint sape with special coatings ( green) for 875.00"
Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:26 PM
If you put out an ad and gont get any offers in the first week... It's too high.
On the other hand if you have 10 people fighting for it the next day....
Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:59 PM
They are not baseball cards... They are much more rare, how can you publish a market value when your sample size is so low?
We have over 650 members in the Unitron Group, so if most owners choose to participate in the poll, the sample size is not low. Yes, the price paid for any item, whether it be a mint condition 4" Unitron #152 or a 67 Mustang Fastback is demand driven as it is for any item out of production.
My intention in creating the poll was not to manipulate price but to serve as a tool. If we can establish a pricing bell curve it will help those that are interested in a purchase and help those in setting a price who want to sell.
I would think that most here that have something for sale will do a bit of research in setting a price, a reasonable price that leaves both buyer and seller happy. In most cases the information that can be ferreted out is pretty meager, a much smaller sampling of what I hope to create for a very small subset of classic telescopes. As good as the poll can be, it in truth is just a snapshot in time, a snapshot taken in April, 2013. Most buyers will hope that they do not pay too much and hopefully information gathered will help. They will generally be happy if the price they pay is smack dab in the middle of what most people would pay for an identical or similar item. Most sellers want to get a fair price for what they sell. Typically they will be satisfied if the price they get is smack dab in the middle of what most people get for an identical or similar item. Buyer is tickled pink if he gets something for a bit less and the seller is tickled pink if he sells something for a bit more.
In addition there will always be that fanatical buyer that has to have a particular something at almost any price. This does not change that at all. What it will hopefully do is give the prudent purchaser some guideline as to what most people who have bought and sold these particular scopes have paid and made.
Keep in mind that many of us do have somewhat limited funds and the money we earn by selling fuels future purchases that we make. We are all helping the telescope market economy!
Note - I have asked Unitron purchasers and sellers to participate in the poll, no one else. The intention is not to have those that really know little to nothing about a Unitron (or a Polarex) to participate in the poll. Speculating about what a price should be without having some buying and selling experience with these scopes first serves no purpose so non-Unitron owners should not participate.
Posted 01 April 2013 - 08:43 PM
Recalling the Unitron price list from May 1st of that same year then,
The 6" scope was priced at eight months my salary!
So its no wonder they are rare today!
Posted 01 April 2013 - 08:46 PM
We, the collectors are always looking for the 'steal' of a low price and not willing to pay retail, unless we really want it. And then, if we didn't pay retail, we usually don't want to sell it for what we paid for it - we want a profit to help pay for whatever's next or some other expense. It's Buy Low, Sell High. Might as well open a Pawn Shop.
The reason I say we don't need a "Telescope Cartel", is that we don't need an exclusive group of people controlling the prices of anything. Think of De Beers and the Diamond Cartel - there's no shortage of Diamonds but for some reason, they still cost a lot of money because an elite group controls the monopoly.
Going for De Beer now
Posted 01 April 2013 - 08:56 PM
For that matter, perhaps changing the name of the entire forum to "Classic Refractor Telescopes" might also be a generally more descriptive, and of late more accurate term.
I'm joking... sort of.
Posted 01 April 2013 - 09:01 PM
I think a renaming of this thread to "Establishing Fair Prices for Classic Unitron Scopes" might be in order, as that is what seem to be primarily under discussion here.
For that matter, perhaps changing the name of the entire forum to "Classic Refractor Telescopes" might be in order.
I'm joking... sort of.
Agreed - prices are all over the map, no matter what the type or brand. But if this is another Refractor Value thread, then the thread title should be changed to REFLECT that
Posted 01 April 2013 - 09:03 PM