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Classic Telescope Pricing

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#26 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 04:53 PM

Do we have an impact on the price. Of course we do.

I wouldn't have gone as high on the 6336 if not for this site. That's not a criticism, that's a fact. Lots of posts on here about Royal Astro optics and overall build quality; and, Tom Faller's excellent review of the scope fueled my determination to win that auction, and I was prepared to go $500 higher than my winning bid.

Again, I agree with Johann that the web has changed things for Sellers & Buyers - both can be so much better informed than we were 30 or more years ago. I do think it benefits New Collectors more than Sellers in the grand scheme of things, because for every $1000 widget, someone on here scores a great vintage scope for much less than a comparable modern scope. That's another one saved, cherished, and put back into service, and I see that as a very good thing in the long run.

I've been critical in the past of the prices charged by the vintage scope retailers, so let me try to be fair by saying: I don't know what they paid for the item; I don't know how many man-hours they've put into it to make it ready for resale; and, no doubt, I've been out of line sometimes in my comments (like the $600 flashlight). Since then, I've tried to keep my comments to myself, or make it obvious that I'm "picking at" the poster. Why? Because having restored some of this old stuff, I realized how much time & effort can go into making a scope functional again. And, having made an emotional purchase, I can understand how a Collector would want to nab that rare item to complete their setup, and while their bidding might seem crazy at the time, when you care a lot about these scopes, you can go a little nutz.

#27 chasing photons

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 04:56 PM

Did the classic telescope market take a price hit after the recent downturn in the economy? I would guess it probably did. If so, do you think it will return to previous levels? I'm wondering how my little 128C plus accessories (vintage 1974) will fare over time.

#28 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:00 PM

Generally, in a Recession / Depression, the folks with disposable $$$$ can "clean up" as folks feeling the pinch let things go for less than normal...

So odds are, in (hopefully) a few years when the economy is cooking again, current scope prices will look like bargains!

#29 actionhac

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:07 PM

What I really like doing is trading.
I recently got a orange C14 without the money part. I won't say what I traded just two old classic telescopes, two of my favorites, but I'm happy and so is he.


#30 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:08 PM

Did you make the trade in Barter Town??

#31 actionhac

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:14 PM

The C14 was for sale here on Cloudy Nights at a time when I didn't have much spare money. A C14 is out of my price range anyway I don't have that kind of hobby money ever.
I gave the seller a list of telescopes I thought would interest him and we traded. And I'm very thankful the seller was interested.


#32 DocFinance

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:14 PM

I agree with Terra. Completely.


Me too. Demand and supply govern, and in our case demand can drive supply, by keeping those scopes available instead of throwing them away. We have to come to grips with the idea that exercising our hobby helps some free-riders take advantage of things. But we help many more people for each weasel, so we help prices reflect the true value of the scopes.

#33 pdxmoon

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 05:35 PM

What I really like doing is trading.
I recently got a orange C14 without the money part. I won't say what I traded just two old classic telescopes, two of my favorites, but I'm happy and so is he.


I'm also glad you sometimes like selling, Bob. Otherwise I wouldn't have two very nice, well cared for scopes that I'm delighted to have and that my poor son had to shlep from Seattle to PDX. For those of us new, there is nothing to trade, except our money. So all hail to a little commerce. :-)

#34 actionhac

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 06:57 PM

Over the years I have enjoyed many hobbies, all classic old stuff of course.
The internet sure has made amateur astronomy and especially classic telescopes much more interesting and fun knowing so many more people with the same interest to chat with.

Robert

#35 JonH

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:26 PM

I agree with Terra's position that the market determines prices. The problem is that the market is very small. There are only a handful of people regularly posting here. Granted, there are also many lurkers but is it likely that there are more than a few hundred collectors altogether? These individuals have diverse tastes, so one person might adore Sears refractors whilst another might be a devotee of Questar (of course everyone loves Unitrons ;) ). This means that Steve's nice demand v s supply graph is subject to vast swings, as once the single collector who must get that RAO 60 mm objective is satisfied, the market collapses. In the last two years we have seen a Unitron 40 mm view finder go for over $350 on ebay whilst currently Xavier's very nice example is languishing at $180. Similarly, we saw a complete Unitron 128 with (potentially) a satellite scope go under $250 - although this was an Australian sale, whilst a european 128 went for just under US$1000.

What does this mean for current established collectors and new devotees? Perhaps its a balance between the patience one has as a collector, the effort put in going to garage sales and the price one is willing to pay. When Brian (mustgobigger) was regularly posting here, he was often praised for his ability to pick up rare scopes at good prices. I believe that this was because he exercised enormous patience and put in the shoe-leather to find the deals. What will happen to scope values in the future? I suspect that Steve's graph will still hold true, the only thing that might change will be the type of scope available.

Ps. Love those pictures Actionhac

Clear skies

Jon

#36 Bonco2

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:04 PM

It's a mixed bag but I agree it's market driven. Frustrating tho. I have two 80mm f/15 OTA's. I installed very high quality objectives in both at a cost of $120 each. The performance of these telescope is amazing. But I can't sell them. Or at least I've had no offerings at my reasonable price. Why? I think it's because if one is patient you can find one for $50 or so in a garage sale. These scopes are worth way more than that considering what they deliver. But the market rules despite they are equal in optical performance to my rather expensive Polarex 75mm OTA.
Bill

#37 pdxmoon

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:31 PM

I agree with Terra's position that the market determines prices. The problem is that the market is very small. There are only a handful of people regularly posting here. Granted, there are also many lurkers but is it likely that there are more than a few hundred collectors altogether? These individuals have diverse tastes, so one person might adore Sears refractors whilst another might be a devotee of Questar (of course everyone loves Unitrons ;) ). This means that Steve's nice demand v s supply graph is subject to vast swings, as once the single collector who must get that RAO 60 mm objective is satisfied, the market collapses. In the last two years we have seen a Unitron 40 mm view finder go for over $350 on ebay whilst currently Xavier's very nice example is languishing at $180. Similarly, we saw a complete Unitron 128 with (potentially) a satellite scope go under $250 - although this was an Australian sale, whilst a european 128 went for just under US$1000.

What does this mean for current established collectors and new devotees? Perhaps its a balance between the patience one has as a collector, the effort put in going to garage sales and the price one is willing to pay. When Brian (mustgobigger) was regularly posting here, he was often praised for his ability to pick up rare scopes at good prices. I believe that this was because he exercised enormous patience and put in the shoe-leather to find the deals. What will happen to scope values in the future? I suspect that Steve's graph will still hold true, the only thing that might change will be the type of scope available.

Ps. Love those pictures Actionhac

Clear skies

Jon


This is a reasonable explanation. However, we must be careful that we do not equate "patient" with "virtuous."

My choice not to put in the shoe leather and instead piggy back on the restoration of another does not make me less enthusiastic, or less serious an amateur astronomer. I'm not saying you are drawing this conclusion, but sometimes it seems as though those who buy rough scopes at garage sales and bring them back to life are considered another, higher, class of citizen, compared to the great unwashed who simply purchase them. (How vulgar! :lol: )

The truth is, most of us do a little of both. I have three scopes purchased recently at garage sales that I'm hoping to use my limited skills on and try and make them better. (Just bought a Tasco 9TE yesterday.) I also have a beautiful Unitron 140 that someone else did the heavy lifting on, on its way to me. There's room for both sides of that coin, and a need for both as well. (And I have nothing but RESPECT for those who have the skills, and take the time, to save these instruments. :flower:)

#38 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:51 PM

But the market rules despite they are equal in optical performance to my rather expensive Polarex 75mm OTA.

On that topic, I have to thank AaronM for having his 1976 Towa objective professionally bench-tested back in 2007. Turns out that lens is close in performance to a Zeiss for visual use = .97 Strehl ain't too shabby! As a former Tasco / Towa owner, it vindicates my observing experiences with my 1978 edition.

Thom, if the U140 was worth $700 to you, then that's what it's worth. Xavier had some nice Uni's for sale back in FEB, but I would have had to spend at least twice as much to get a 3" with a GEM and motor drive - and no pedestal. So at the end of the day, individual buyers determine the value of a scope. But I do wonder if veteran collectors are more conservative bidders than us newbies. Now that I have four classics, I'm much more cautious - and patient.

#39 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:53 PM

Just bought a Tasco 9TE yesterday.

Cool! I'll be looking for a post with the serial number [hint, hint]. Congratulations!!

#40 pdxmoon

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:02 PM

Thom, if the U140 was worth $700 to you, then that's what it's worth. Xavier had some nice Uni's for sale back in FEB, but I would have had to spend at least twice as much to get a 3" with a GEM and motor drive - and no pedestal. So at the end of the day, individual buyers determine the value of a scope. But I do wonder if veteran collectors are more conservative bidders than us newbies. Now that I have four classics, I'm much more cautious - and patient.


Sure, there's wisdom in that. I have a 3" Unitron now. And some great Tasco 60s, a garage sale Tasco 15, and a beautiful Sears and Scope, So, I can also be more patient. I'm not getting any younger, however, and having my health now, and my enthusiasm, and my disposable income, I judged that NOW was the time to pull the trigger on that Unitron!

Would it be fun to have a 114? You bet! But I'm in a position now to be patient--I have a Unitron to experience, and to judge for myself what all the fuss is about. :jump:

#41 pdxmoon

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:03 PM

Just bought a Tasco 9TE yesterday.

Cool! I'll be looking for a post with the serial number [hint, hint]. Congratulations!!

Coming right up!

#42 Bomber Bob

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 09:47 PM

IF I can ever get my house sold, I'll be on the lookout for a Model 152, which will complete my Classic Japanese refractor collection - 50 + 60 + 76 + 102 - one for each wall of my Man Cave. Until then, I'll have to make do with my Jaegaers 4" RFT... definitely not complaining about that.

#43 apfever

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:09 PM

Hi Xavier,

Thank you for the PM. I didn't forget but things went ballistic the last 24 hours. No problem with a reminder in my case though. I'm a space. Much to do now including input here on other recent activities. Considering the nature of this string, my C6 sold for the $260, my C4.5 is gone for the $150, and I have an Asstrocan going out tomorrow evening. I need to rush now since the astrocans leaving is the only one with recent characteristics I need to use for comparison in the Astroscan string. I have to get that done tonight.

I did dig out the next available box of eyepieces from the 142 - 75mm box. I also checked the Unihex but nothing in there. I'm not sure what scragglers I might have but it is not feasable to go searching and the 150 - 102mm is fairly buried. Lucky that the 142 box set is a 6 piece set and I was quite surprised. The 140 Unitron going to Thom had a complete set when it left here two buyers ago and that was matched to correct factory issue but I don't recall what that was. Here's a picture of the two boxes I pulled and it was a very pleasant surprise.

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#44 apfever

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:12 PM

These should be the eyepieces in question. I thought I had an extra reticle 9mm but not here. What I found was a second 6mm ortho old style and a 4mm ortho old style. :)

I have not bought any eyepieces outside of what has come with scopes. There is no way to determine what were original issues since there were untold previous owners on the scopes. I've had 4 OTA sets in my life and only my two keepers now. I do not have enough experience to place a status on how uncommon these are. Anybody that has knowledge of these to a reasonable degree, PLEASE feel free to comment. I'm sure there are a few of you out there. All I have to go by is that they came with a scope - no special purchase. I've never had a 60mm guide scope. I have a 40mm and 42mm finder. The 40 has a designated (non regular) finder eyepiece. The 42mm finder is buried with the 102mm but I'm sure that is not any form of regular eyepiece (could be wrong).

I'd be tickled pink to find out that I've somehow fluked into eyepieces that just aren't usually found.

About your question in the CL EB thread concerning the word "rare", I really don't know were to go but I'm sure glad you asked. It is often referenced in discussion with a derogatory but hasn't been seriously discussed. I personaly have a disdain for it now. It is a good word and has it's place, especially for honest rare items. The problem is it has been so abused that it has taken on a sour connotation. I've always considered the family of this forum to represent an upper cut, and the experienced and knowledgable collector is now the one most likely to cringe at the word first, and consider the text next. I avoid it like the plague due to it's negative light. I've honestly gone so far as to blatantly make an ad statement something like "I abhore the use and abuse of the word RARE, but this item is truly quite hard to find". In my case I might even state " I rarely use the FLUFF word rare, but this item is honestly rare". At any rate I avoid it or directly comment on its modern status. I feel it's use is now a detractment to what it used to fairly represent. How to circumvent it is a matter of advertisement persona - personal. My dufus approach is - well - me. YMMV.

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#45 starman876

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:24 PM

Most of the eyepieces are standard Unitrons. The 4MM ortho is not really rare, but it is not seen in sets that often. The 5mm Ortho is the one that is not normally found in a set.

#46 akman1955

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:44 PM

:bawling:i have had them ALL.. and sold them to all you guys :grin: :foreheadslap:

#47 starman876

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:49 PM

and I in turn sold them to everybody else :lol:

#48 starman876

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:51 PM

of course at an inflated prices that were referenced from prices I found in this forum :shocked:
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#49 Bomber Bob

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 04:18 PM

We're glad to help! (With inflation, that is.)

#50 Jim Curry

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 05:04 AM

Nasty capitalists!!






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