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steve-in-kville
sage


Reged: 12/24/07

Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
"How much did that cost?"
      #5768264 - 03/31/13 09:02 AM

I really get tired of people asking how much my rig costs!! Really, I guess I am just sensitive to the question. I invite family & friends over to do some viewing and we are not 5 minutes into it and someone has to ask. I usually tell them what I paid for my scope originally, then add I have done some upgrades. But then someone has to press the issue and demand to know what I have in it currently!

Isn't that considered impolite?

Maybe its the area I live in or something. The past few times I got this question I responded by asking what they have in their golf clubs and whether their wife knows that!

Do thers here get this question? How do you respond?


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Maverick199
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Reged: 02/27/11

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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768268 - 03/31/13 09:12 AM

Umm, yes and no. Those who may have a fleeting interest in getting one for themselves may ask the question.

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City Kid
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/06/09

Loc: Northern Indiana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768276 - 03/31/13 09:22 AM

My answer to that question depends on who's asking. There are some people that I don't mind just giving them the answer. For most people though I try to deflect it like you do. I'll either tell them what a scope "like this" would cost or I say something like "not as much as you might think" or "a lot". Usually the answer you gave works for me. I've never had anyone continue to be persistent with the questioning.

If my wife asks I change the subject as quickly as possible! (Just kidding)


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768316 - 03/31/13 09:37 AM

Quote:


Do thers here get this question? How do you respond?




I am not defensive when someone asks how much something costs, maybe they are just trying to make conversation, maybe they want to actually know, maybe they are just trying to give someone (me) a chance to brag a little, one way or the other... Maybe they want to be able to tell their friends about the great time they had looking through a telescope and it cost xxx dollars.

I usually tell someone if they ask and try to put it in context.

Jon


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Tim Gilliland
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/09

Loc: Sand Springs Okla.
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5768327 - 03/31/13 09:39 AM

I get the same thing. And I agree it is rude. I think in the future I am going to answer by telling them it's a (insert equipment name) and tell them to look it up on the internet. Because I don't care to remember. I have used "it's less than a Bassboat" in the past.

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Raginar
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Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: Rapid CIty, SD
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5768332 - 03/31/13 09:39 AM

Like everyone else, it depends. I'm pretty honest with people that what I have isn't cheap. But, I try to caveat that for a grand, you can see some wonderful things visually.

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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5768338 - 03/31/13 09:41 AM

I don't consider it impolite. My guess is that for a lot of people, amateur astronomy is a semi-mythical hobby where the equipment is extremely hard to get and all telescopes cost a great deal of money. The idea of being able to see detail on planets, other galaxies, and so on, is probably mind boggling. And as such, it must take extremely expensive gear to do it.

It's similar to when a person sees a supercar and gets a chance to talk to the owner. One of the questions is almost invariably, "How much did that thing cost?" The exception to that is when the person knows about supercars, and then they already know the approximate price.


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steve-in-kville
sage


Reged: 12/24/07

Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Tim Gilliland]
      #5768339 - 03/31/13 09:41 AM

A good point was made.... it depends who is doing the asking and why.

I have a BIL that makes it his business to find out what everyone else paid for thier stuff. I told him my scope costs more than my first house. That put an end to it.... for awhile.


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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Maverick199]
      #5768340 - 03/31/13 09:41 AM

Quote:

Umm, yes and no. Those who may have a fleeting interest in getting one for themselves may ask the question.




Not necessarily. There are those who ask as a means as justifying their disinterest or distaste for the hobby.

I use an answer I borrowed from a Ferrari saleman: "If you have to ask, you cannot afford one..."


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steve-in-kville
sage


Reged: 12/24/07

Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5768346 - 03/31/13 09:43 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I use an answer I borrowed from a Ferrari saleman: "If you have to ask, you cannot afford one..."




I just thought of that after I posted my last reply!!


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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768360 - 03/31/13 09:46 AM

If you are certain the person is asking for those reasons, to justify their distaste or disinterest in the hobby, then I would agree it's rude. But making judgements like that can be extremely tenuous. I would be worried about putting off someone from the hobby that simply doesn't have the best people skills and comes across the wrong way.

I always try to remember that the more people I can get interested in the hobby, the better it is for all of us.


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768368 - 03/31/13 09:48 AM

Well...if it is friends and family they are probably just curious. If it is a random person walking by I would be more cautious.

I think that's just a common conversation question. They may even want to get one.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768416 - 03/31/13 10:02 AM

I would simply say that I started with a scope that only cost $$, and gradually I've moved up to this one that is quite a bit more expensive. I would then go on to tell them that they can get into Astronomy very inexpensively, even with a pair of binoculars they probably already have.

One can usually tell by the manner in which the question is asked, whether they are really interested. Remember, your answer may be heard by others close by, and depending on how you answer, it may turn someone off, that might be interested in getting into Astronomy.


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btb
sage


Reged: 07/07/06

Loc: Northeast Indiana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5768430 - 03/31/13 10:09 AM

I have told people it cost more than they have in their billfold.

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Cliff Hipsher
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Ebyl]
      #5768438 - 03/31/13 10:16 AM

Quote:

If you are certain the person is asking for those reasons, to justify their distaste or disinterest in the hobby, then I would agree it's rude. But making judgements like that can be extremely tenuous. I would be worried about putting off someone from the hobby that simply doesn't have the best people skills and comes across the wrong way.

I always try to remember that the more people I can get interested in the hobby, the better it is for all of us.




That's what the Ferrari quote is all about. If they are being a snob, that quote will shut them up. If they are being serious, or just making conversation, that quote always draws a smile and most times a chuckle. After that its all gravy.

The only time I don't use that quote is when a kid asks, or when an adult starts off with "If you don't mind my asking..."


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RTLR 12
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Reged: 12/04/08

Loc: The Great Pacific NorthWest
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: btb]
      #5768445 - 03/31/13 10:19 AM

I don't find the question rude, but I do find some of these answers offensive.

I think people ask an honest question and I try to give them an honest answer. I think people want to know if it is an affordable hobby. The equipment looks very expensive, yet you can find some really inexpensive good quality equipment too. I tell them how much my expensive equipment is and right along side of it how inexpensive my equipment is. If you feel that intimidated in public, maybe you should find a more private place to view.

Stan


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Mike4242
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/11

Loc: Memphis, TN
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: btb]
      #5768451 - 03/31/13 10:20 AM

I had my AR152 on a CG-5 at an outreach once and a guy asked me: "What does something like this run? Two or three hundred?". I told him that it cost a little more than that, but he could get a decent beginner scope for around $300. I could tell he was asking because he was interested in getting into the hobby, so I wasn't annoyed; however, I did find it interesting how his concept of what astronomy gear costs was way off.

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Cliff Hipsher
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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: North Chesterfield, VA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: btb]
      #5768452 - 03/31/13 10:21 AM

Quote:

I have told people it cost more than they have in their billfold.




Love it!

When I was flying R/C helos I told one guy my bird cost more than his wife would let him spend. She nearly busted a gut laughing... Two weeks later I was helping him learn to hover....

Clear Skies Shipmate...


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tezster
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 07/14/09

Loc: Missisauga, Canada
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5768458 - 03/31/13 10:22 AM

Quote:


I usually tell someone if they ask and try to put it in context.
Jon




The latter part of that remark I find is most important. I don't mind telling people the cost of my equipment, but I rarely simply provide a dollar value and leave it at that.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Ebyl]
      #5768469 - 03/31/13 10:28 AM

Quote:

If you are certain the person is asking for those reasons, to justify their distaste or disinterest in the hobby, then I would agree it's rude. But making judgements like that can be extremely tenuous. I would be worried about putting off someone from the hobby that simply doesn't have the best people skills and comes across the wrong way.

I always try to remember that the more people I can get interested in the hobby, the better it is for all of us.




I agree. I am not suspicious when someone asks me a question, I figure they want to know, I can't think of a reason not tell them... It's never the first thing someone asks, it's part of a flowing conversation.

For those that are reluctant to answer the "how much does it cost" question, what is that concerns you, what makes you uncomfortable?



Jon


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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5768477 - 03/31/13 10:31 AM

Quote:

That's what the Ferrari quote is all about. If they are being a snob, that quote will shut them up. If they are being serious, or just making conversation, that quote always draws a smile and most times a chuckle. After that its all gravy.




Even if I had genuine interest in something, I'm pretty sure being told that would put me off. At the very least from the person/group that was out there. I'd probably find another astronomy club or whatever to get my answers and pay my dues.


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obin robinson
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/25/12

Loc: League City, TX
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768478 - 03/31/13 10:31 AM

Quote:

Do thers here get this question? How do you respond?




I honestly say "I bought all this stuff with the money I saved by not leaving my exterior lights on all night long."

If nothing else it makes them think.

obin

Edited by obin robinson (03/31/13 10:32 AM)


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jgraham
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Loc: Miami Valley Astronomical Soci...
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5768491 - 03/31/13 10:36 AM

Heh, heh, that's when it is nice to have my secret weapon... my homebuilt 16.5" f/6.5. Big, impressive, and it cost me all of $350 to build! That's what you can do with over 30 years of telescope making experience.

Yeah, I hate this question, but I'm honest and explain what they are seeing (I usually use my LXD75 AR6 for outreach) is not typical starter gear and this is a hobby that can be enjoyed with very modest gear, or even none at all!


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GTBaker
member


Reged: 02/01/13

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: btb]
      #5768510 - 03/31/13 10:47 AM

Quote:

I have told people it cost more than they have in their billfold.




That's not hard these days. I never have cash on me... always use debit.

I've never had that question asked yet...as I never had my scope out yet due to this lousy weather.


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768520 - 03/31/13 10:55 AM

I've gotten the question too.. But from friends who spend similarly on music gear and they haven't pushed which I Would think is rude. I know its kind of naive to say its not a financial decision hardly at all for me...my friends and family understand this about me. I am most clearly not of the type who would think of money when seeing say a motorcycle, telescope , some new technology/gadget or guitar...I think of how nice it is to use these quality things... I know some people even here think listing your gear is a bragging thing which I don't get either..I mean maybe it is for some, not myself. I thi kits helpful since I'm always giving and receiving info here.

Anyways, I find your friends pushing rude .. they're
Reducing someone else's passion, interest, excitement, thirst for knowledge and experience, to a context that works for them.


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5768524 - 03/31/13 10:58 AM

Quote:

My answer to that question depends on who's asking. There are some people that I don't mind just giving them the answer. )




Yes I guess that's true too.. (Norte to self: read the whole thread before getting all defensive about my buying decisions).. Carry on.


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Midnight Dan
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Reged: 01/23/08

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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: GTBaker]
      #5768531 - 03/31/13 11:00 AM

If someone is asking questions, it means they may have a budding interest in the hobby. The last thing you want to do is give a snappy response that makes it seem too expensive. Things like "More than you have in your wallet" or the "If you have to ask ..." response, will have that effect.

I like Carols's response - that you can get into the hobby with a relatively inexpensive scope, and if you're interested, work your way up to equipment that's more capable and costs more. It provides them with a general idea of what the hobby costs to get into, and the realization that what they're looking at is an advanced scope that costs more.

-Dan


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5768537 - 03/31/13 11:02 AM

I have no issues telling anyone what my gear cost. If you been in the hobby a while, you know what stuff costs.

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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Ebyl]
      #5768539 - 03/31/13 11:03 AM

Quote:

If you are certain the person is asking for those reasons, to justify their distaste or disinterest in the hobby, then I would agree it's rude. But making judgements like that can be extremely tenuous. I would be worried about putting off someone from the hobby that simply doesn't have the best people skills and comes across the wrong way.

I always try to remember that the more people I can get interested in the hobby, the better it is for all of us.




Agreed. But I think you can get a pretty good idea of where the person is coming from if they're pushing on price but haven't asked any other questions of what it can be used for specifically, or why YOU bought it, etc...


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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: lamplight]
      #5768563 - 03/31/13 11:15 AM

Quote:

But I think you can get a pretty good idea of where the person is coming from if they're pushing on price but haven't asked any other questions of what it can be used for specifically, or why YOU bought it, etc...




I agree that's often the case. I hesitate to rely on such judgements, though, because there have been times in my life when my judgements have been wrong. And no doubt there are times when it would be impossible to misjudge someone.

Going back to the Ferrari or supercar reference, my belief is that if you own (and use in public) something interesting/unique/rare/whatever like that, you should be prepared to politely field a range of questions about it, including cost. But here's the catch... If you as an owner, or even anyone associated with Ferrari itself, are elitist and rude, it's not going to hurt Ferrari. They will still sell their cars and merchandise no matter what the salespeople and owners act like.

Amateur astronomy is not so lucky. Every person added to the hobby, or even every person who just gains a slight interest in astronomy, is a boon to the hobby. More people can mean anything from more awareness about light pollution, to enough interest in telescopes to keep a wide range in choice in telescopes for us, to even more money being funneled into astronomical research.

I always try to keep that in mind when interacting with people regarding amateur astronomy, even if they are coming off as somewhat rude. We need everyone we can get, unlike a group such as Ferrari or Pagani, who will sell their stuff almost no matter what (assuming the quality remains acceptable).


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chaoscosmos
sage
*****

Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Ebyl]
      #5768601 - 03/31/13 11:32 AM

Sheesh, sometimes I'm mildly curious myself how much cash is into some of the scope set-ups in the "post a photo of your refractor" thread, but just figure it's as much or more than some people pay for their house...

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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: lamplight]
      #5768606 - 03/31/13 11:33 AM

I have certain family,friends ,neighbors, and co-workers who want to know the price of everything in order to pass their judgment of whether it was a good deal and money well spent.

Since my interests and attitudes do not coincide with theirs ,it usually leads to put-downs or head-shaking or both.

I disagree that the person who immediately asks what did it cost? is interested in astronomy. Only after showing some interest in actually looking ,and maybe some comments about "how do I do this?" does a person ask about cost.

Those whose first question is always cost have a different outlook.

Finally, yes,I am a bit suspicious,because of experiences with ordinary looking people who do bad things.

I'd rather they think there is nothing worth stealing than try to impress someone with how I can afford to buy a $5000 scope(I can't anyway,but that is none of their business either)

Do your houseguests or block party guests demand the price of your sofa? gas grill?

I prefer to say that I shop carefully and you can see a lot without spending a lot of money but you can spend a lot of money if you want.


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kansas skies
sage


Reged: 12/02/12

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768634 - 03/31/13 11:41 AM

I thought about this for awhile, and I honestly can't remember anyone ever asking this question. Quite a few people have looked through my telescopes through the years. Their reactions, as expected, seem to vary from mildly interested to highly enthused. With very few exceptions, their interest is directed toward the object being viewed, and not toward the equipment being used. The few that show interest in equipment usually already own something with which to compare. Those that don't seem to be more interested in what they can put together for themselves, and not in what I have invested.

Bill


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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: lamplight]
      #5768643 - 03/31/13 11:47 AM

What is a list of your gear if not bragging?

If not offering a list of stuff for sale or trade what else could it be?

It is your right to brag if you like and no one needs my permission or approval.


Entirely different is a list of the gear used in making a specific observation or project.Then the gear is actually germane to the discussion or observation.And knowing what gear was used is helpful to others.

Do you routinely list all your other possessions in public forums ? I don't think so.


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csrlice12
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5768645 - 03/31/13 11:48 AM

How much does it cost? How much you got? Guess the true answer is: "more next week then this week". Although when it comes to clouds, I've got the market cornered.....

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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5768648 - 03/31/13 11:49 AM

Quote:

Do your houseguests or block party guests demand the price of your sofa? gas grill?




I'm willing to bet every house guest already has some experience with grills and sofas. Even if they have not used grills, they have probably seen them in ads or in stores where a price is visible. They have a concept of what those things are worth.

Most people do not have a concept of what a piece of equipment costs that allows you to see another galaxy or the GRS on Jupiter.


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Paco_Grande
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: kansas skies]
      #5768649 - 03/31/13 11:49 AM

I'd answer the question with this question,

"Are you interested in getting a telescope?"

It's a way to side step an inappropriate question and yet open the door to a discussion that will lead to some meaningful answers.

His response to your question will tell you his true intent. Then you may be able to talk value. But if he responds with something like, "Nope, just want to know how much." Then pull out the Ferrari answer because it's none of his business.


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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5768728 - 03/31/13 12:47 PM

That's good Paco! If we keep at thisi think we will cover every possible variation of perceived motives and personality type, all the while not really knowing where other people are coming from because it seems the human condition to assume our point of view is really what another's point of view is. I don't hold myself exempt .. It's almost funny. You can see how even in this thread, some people are outright saying that another's motives for doing some are definitely "X" because that's what they are thinking. That's ridiculous and unfortunately the point where communication breaks down all too quickly. That's one reason I don't spend a lot of time with people lol. If I'm not doing the same thing , I'm incapable of understanding some people's point of view even when I try hard. So I for one will today try to be more accepting because it might give me a little more peace, not because you deserve it.

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CharlesW
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: lamplight]
      #5768760 - 03/31/13 01:05 PM

My wife is very secretive when it comes to telling, even her family, the details of our finances, but I'm less so. As a retired deputy I don't mind asking casual questions of the person so I can gauge their interest and intentions, and then I'll give them a more or less accurate accounting.

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MikeBOKC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5768790 - 03/31/13 01:21 PM

I have been asked this a number of times at outreach events. I always say, basically, that it is like any hobby people pursue -- fishing, golf, music, offroading -- and that folks spend varying amounts and still enjoy it. Then I note that my partcular equipment, counting the full eyepiece case sitting over there, probably amounts to about $8,000, but that it was amassed over time, and that a beginner can get into astronomy at a nice level for less than a quarter that much. I think, as some have notedm that unlike cars or boats or golf clubs, most people really have no idea what our gear might cost, and they are just looking for a ballpark number which, in their imagination, could range from the high hundreds to the tens of thousands or anywhere in between.

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izar187
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768800 - 03/31/13 01:26 PM

Quote:


Do others here get this question? How do you respond?





I use alt-az mounted newts. Most were purchased used, and all are on home built mounts.
The expensive stuff, well my such purchases were not bought outright. But by time payments to my hobby fund, first.
So I give them ball park estimates.

Outreach is most often about easy doubles, the brighter deep sky, and what planets are up.
So I'll include the modest cost of Seasonal Star Charts, the Bright Star Atlas or the Pocket Sky Atlas.
Depending on the size of the scope that I'm sharing.

This is actually a pretty affordable hobby, if pursued that way.


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kevint1
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5768828 - 03/31/13 01:40 PM

It depends who is asking. If its someone who is in the hobby, then I tell them right away, I even tell them where I bought the stuff. I have not spent a whole lot more than my original investments, since I sell older equipment to fund the new and don't keep redundant equipment around for very long. If a neighbor or a friend asks, I give them a general idea of what my net investment is, not the dollar value of what I have now. If they whistle and say they can't believe it, I liken it to their set of golf clubs, motorcycle (what a nice scope I could have for the price of some those) or even their bicycle. A neighbor last summer said the cost wasn't as much as he thought and after some research and questions to me he ended up spending about 2K on a nice set up. With some people at outreach I just lowball the price, since I'm not comfortable talking with them. If I think someone is asking so they can gauge my financial state, then I evade the question or just change the subject.

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GeneT
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5768833 - 03/31/13 01:41 PM

When doing outreach, people often ask how much my stuff costs. I never tell them. I don't want people to get too curious. What I tell them is to check out some web sites such as Orion and others, that they will show them a variety of telescopes and accessories, and what they cost. I do engage these people in the differences between telescopes and so on.

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csrlice12
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: izar187]
      #5768845 - 03/31/13 01:47 PM

Normally I'd respond no differently then I would to someone on this forum...I'd tell them. I would let them know you can do it cheaper, or more expensive as you wish. While I have some nice eyepieces, my scopes themselves are factory, nothing special. I would like to upgrade my XTi mirror in a few years, maybe a Zambuto.

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steve-in-kville
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5768861 - 03/31/13 01:54 PM

Lots of great perspectives listed so far. I guess I have always been very conservative when it came to discussing finances (I was brought up this way).

As mentioned, it could do some good to steer people towards Orion's site if they show a genuine interest.


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buddyjesus
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: obin robinson]
      #5768873 - 03/31/13 01:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Do thers here get this question? How do you respond?




I honestly say "I bought all this stuff with the money I saved by not leaving my exterior lights on all night long."

If nothing else it makes them think.

obin




I love this answer. I am not offended when people ask as usually it is because they are curious about getting a telescope themselves. So instead of mind reading about the reason they are inquiring, I ask them why they are asking before I answer.


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Cliff Hipsher
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5769072 - 03/31/13 03:40 PM

Quote:

For those that are reluctant to answer the "how much does it cost" question, what is that concerns you, what makes you uncomfortable?



Jon




For me its not the question in and of itself, but in how the question is being asked. Body language and inflection speak louder than just plain words...

In the extremes one could compare a child's exclamation and facial expression to those of someone who just stepped in dog poo... The former would get the full treatment, and the later would not.


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C_Moon
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5769134 - 03/31/13 04:29 PM

I have found the best way to reply to a question that seems overly intrusive or nosy is, "why do you want to know."

If someone's being nosy, they usually sheepishly laugh off my follow-up question. If they are genuinely seeking information, they say so.

In the end, I answer what I want and refuse to let someone make me feel funny for telling them to mind their own beeswax...


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Carol L

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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5769245 - 03/31/13 05:12 PM

Oddly enough, no one's ever asked me.

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herrointment
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Carol L]
      #5769271 - 03/31/13 05:17 PM

I have to set up next to the road. The cops always stop and if it's a new officer they always ask and I always tell them.

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Noisykids
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Cliff Hipsher]
      #5769409 - 03/31/13 06:10 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Umm, yes and no. Those who may have a fleeting interest in getting one for themselves may ask the question.




Not necessarily. There are those who ask as a means as justifying their disinterest or distaste for the hobby.

I use an answer I borrowed from a Ferrari saleman: "If you have to ask, you cannot afford one..."




and the ferrari salesman borrowed that from cornelius vanderbilt, i think.
i think i would tell people what the stuff was and then tell them to look it up.

eta--- jp morgan apparently. i always thought it was in response to a query about one of his yachts.

Edited by Noisykids (03/31/13 06:14 PM)


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sg6
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Carol L]
      #5769467 - 03/31/13 06:43 PM

Suppose it depends on how the question is put.
There is slight difference between "How much did that cost?"
and "How much would it cost for a similar setup ?"

The first would probably be registered as more aggressive, sort of demanding an answer.

I can understand not wanting to answer in any specific manner, I don't think I would like to do so.

Perhaps the solution is to replay as if asked "how much would a similar setup like that cost?", by answering to get similar now would be $$$. That way they have information relevant to costs now, but not what was specifically paid. Throw in that much can be bought used which reduces the cost and they have an answer and nothing overly specific to your actual outlay.


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Gert K A
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5769507 - 03/31/13 07:04 PM

Two times recently at different occasion’s pops to mind, both times I answered exactly what I paid and where I got it from.
I’m very sure both times the question was to estimate accessibility.
As a side note: People guessing can be just as mean as people knowing


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tezster
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Gert K A]
      #5769537 - 03/31/13 07:28 PM

Giving this a little more thought, I think that the only occasion where I would be wary of answering was if I was alone, and was fearful in some way of harm coming to either myself or my equipment. I have rarely, if ever, faced such a situation.

I will also add, rather than face a simple question with mistrust and suspicion, why not give the person the benefit of the doubt? IMHO, there seems to be a little bit of over-analysis going on in this discussion Discounting the scenario described above, I just tell the person what they want to know, along with some background on the equipment and its associated cost. If the person was asking to somehow pass judgement on me in some way, what do I care? It's one stranger in a world of 6 billion that I will probably never encounter again in my lifetime. I could care less what his opinion of me is, I will go on my merry way with my own life, unaffected by this person's attitude.

Edited by panhard (04/01/13 10:49 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5769554 - 03/31/13 07:36 PM

Quote:


What is a list of your gear if not bragging?




When I am reading a post or answering a question, I like to know what equipment is involved. For some, it might be bragging but I think of it as something helpful...

Jon


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steve-in-kville
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5769568 - 03/31/13 07:42 PM

^^^^ what he said. That makes a lot of sense to me.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: tezster]
      #5769570 - 03/31/13 07:46 PM

Quote:

Giving this a little more thought, I think that the only occasion where I would be wary of answering was if I was alone, and was fearful in some way of harm coming to either myself or my equipment. I have rarely, if ever, faced such a situation.

I will also add, rather than face a simple question with mistrust and suspicion, why not give the person the benefit of the doubt? IMHO, there seems to be a little bit of over-analysis going on in this discussion Discounting the scenario described above, I just tell the person what they want to know, along with some background on the equipment and its associated cost. If the person was asking to somehow pass judgement on me in some way, what do I care? It's one stranger in a world of 6 billion that I will probably never encounter again in my lifetime. I could care less what his opinion of me is - if he/she happens to be a douche, he/she will remain so afterwards, and I will go on my merry way with my own life, unaffected by this person's attitude.






I get asked the cost of my equipment, questions like this come up after some rapport has been established. Probably someone has looked though the scope, seen a few neat things. It can be a back handed compliment, a form a "male bonding".. It's just a natural part of the flow, I never see it as anything serious..

YMMV

Jon


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steve-in-kville
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5769573 - 03/31/13 07:48 PM

The bottom line is, everyone has their own passions, interests & hobbies. That makes us all different, hopefully in a good way.

For example, I do not understand golfers. I would rather watch paint dry. Spend $350 for a single club??!!

(But then what some of us spent on a single EP??!!)

My policy has been, I do not critize your interests, please do not look down on me because of mine.


Many thanks for all the great posts thus far.


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rdandrea
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5769574 - 03/31/13 07:48 PM

I've never been offended by this question and I've never been tempted to be rude or hostile to anyone who asked. We are, after all, ambassadors for our hobby.

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TL2101
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Reged: 09/17/10

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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5769581 - 03/31/13 07:54 PM

If it is a public outreach or another astronomer I will answer any question pertaining to astronomy or astronomy equipment to the best of my knowledge. If someone asks a general cost question I will give a range like you can find them used for as low as or new for X amount.

What I find strange is when I start getting questions like where do you live and what do you do for a living. I am there to talk astronomy not about my personal information.


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Feidb
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: TL2101]
      #5769618 - 03/31/13 08:11 PM

I have no problem with it. I have a LOT of aperture for the money and sometimes I get a few dropped jaws when they hear what I paid. They have just come from someone with a much smaller scope that has paid twice to three times as much but the difference is, they have all the doodads so they can take images. I'm seeing things for real, no Memorex.

Most people don't often ask how much I spent on eyepieces. That gets pretty much the same reaction if they do ask, especially when they can't tell the difference in the view from an equivalent telescope, equivalent magnification, if there is such present.

The fact is, it's just a question like everything else. Like how far away is the object. In that case, I tell them to ask someone else because I don't have a clue!


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evilmedic13
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: C_Moon]
      #5769864 - 03/31/13 10:57 PM

Quote:

I have found the best way to reply to a question that seems overly intrusive or nosy is, "why do you want to know."

If someone's being nosy, they usually sheepishly laugh off my follow-up question. If they are genuinely seeking information, they say so.

In the end, I answer what I want and refuse to let someone make me feel funny for telling them to mind their own beeswax...



This is how I do it too. Only for strangers, and some relatives, though. If friends, or co-workers ask, they get told. All others have to do a little justifying first.


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GOLGO13
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5769875 - 03/31/13 11:09 PM

Quote:

Quote:


What is a list of your gear if not bragging?




When I am reading a post or answering a question, I like to know what equipment is involved. For some, it might be bragging but I think of it as something helpful...

Jon




I've always listed mine so people know what I have vice having to answer; What telescope do you have?

Of course my number of scopes is growing a bit too much. I may need to condense the listing somehow.


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John Kuraoka
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5769900 - 03/31/13 11:29 PM

This whole thing reminds of a passage in The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I don't have a copy to hand, and I'm probably paraphrasing it poorly because it's been a long time since I read it, but it had to do with perceptions of value in grown-ups vs. children, and how you might buy a lovely cottage for its beautiful views and sunny rooms and joyful gardens, but when talking to other grown-ups you must don the cloak of a grown-up and talk about the price.

I have neither the stuff nor the expertise to be asked this question by others about my astronomical gear. But I have in the past been asked it about photography and backpacking gear. I usually just answered the question, provided some appropriate context, and moved on, unless something triggered my "teaching" mode. In which case I'd provide a lot more context, in some cases going back to my childhood.


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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5770022 - 04/01/13 01:21 AM

Does no one read the whole reply?

I said in part :"Entirely different is a list of the gear used in making a specific observation or project.Then the gear is actually germane to the discussion or observation.And knowing what gear was used is helpful to others"

Now I suppose if you list everything you have it will naturally include all the gear used in the observation or technique under discussion-


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jerwin
scholastic sledgehammer
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Loc: Romeoville IL
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5770027 - 04/01/13 01:27 AM

I always tell them it's my second most expensive hobby, after drinking...and I had SEVERAL years head start on that one.

I sometimes feel kind of guilty that I spend what I spend, but it's my money, it's my hobby I can do what I want with it, it's not my fault that they're putting 3 kids through college. But usually when you’re in the company of your fellow astronomers, they're asking because they want one and want to know what it will set them back.

I had a guy drilling me on my Lunt, and he finally said the "magic words" This is amazing, I want to buy this exact one, what's that going to cost me.

Jim


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: jerwin]
      #5770117 - 04/01/13 03:41 AM

I saw a YouTube video where someone was showing their nice telescope in their new backyard observatory. One person left a comment that this guy must be really rich. I replied that a swimming pool probably costs more and many people have a swimming pool. We don't claim everyone with a swimming pool is rich. It is just a matter of priorities.

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kevint1
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5770253 - 04/01/13 08:19 AM

Quote:

We don't claim everyone with a swimming pool is rich. It is just a matter of priorities.




Exactly!


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mark8888
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Reged: 09/24/10

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: kevint1]
      #5770490 - 04/01/13 10:56 AM

I've been asked this question a lot. I tell friends the truth, but if asked by a student or colleague I always say that it's impossible to really say because the scope is made up of so many different components purchased at different times from different places, like eyepieces, diagonals, the mount, etc. If pressed I'll say I really don't know, and then I'll usually give an example cost of one component, like an eyepiece. I might tell students how much they'd need to spend for a basic telescope set.

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Wcclower
super member


Reged: 04/14/11

Loc: Terrell, Texas
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5770533 - 04/01/13 11:21 AM

Once a person told me "bet that costs as much as a Buick!"

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panhard
It's All Good
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Wcclower]
      #5770584 - 04/01/13 11:38 AM

Yes but they didn't mention the year did they. The first time I saw a scope on an equatorial mount I thought it was worth 7 or 8 thousand dollars. I do believe it was an 8" scope.

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ubermick
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: panhard]
      #5770608 - 04/01/13 11:47 AM

At a star party a few months back, two people asked the question, and gave them the same response:

"Why - are you thinking of getting one?"

First person said "Oh GOD NO!! Just curious!" Clearly no interest, so I simply replied that it was a mid-level scope (C8 on a CG5-GT mount) that I bought used from a friend, but still spent more than my wife would have liked, and left it at that. Second person with his two sons said "Yeah, we've been using binoculars for a few months, and I bought my son a cheap one for Christmas. But now that I've looked through some of your guys' telescopes, I'm thinking of getting a good one, especially since my eldest was really starting to get into it." Got a bit more specific with them about things in that case, let him know that the telescope new was about $1,500 but they can usually be had used for about half of that, but you could get a really good telescope for even less. And then warned him that the cost of the telescope was only part of it, he should budget a little extra for a few good eyepieces to start off with as well, plus power tanks and the like if he gets a GoTo scope. Seemed utterly SHOCKED that a telescope would cost that much, but I pointed him to the CN classifieds, and advised him to keep his eye out on Craigslist.

What was REALLY cool was that I got an email from him last week thanking me for the advice, and letting me know he picked up a used C6 with a non-goto mount for $350 on Craigslist. So there you go - not everyone who asks is being rude!


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MawkHawk
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5770631 - 04/01/13 11:53 AM

I don't consider it to be a rude question if, say, another amateur asks or someone I know is interested in purchasing one of their own. I do consider it to be rude when someone asks at an outreach event with that I-can't-believe-you'd-spend-that-much-on-a-telescope-you-must-be-nuts-or-too-rich kind of attitude...

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MessiToM
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: ubermick]
      #5770642 - 04/01/13 11:55 AM

It makes me feel awkward at times but not offended. In my case it is usually someone at an outreach or public night at a star party. Most seem curious how much they need to spend to get a scope. When asked about my old Z12 people were usually assuming it cost more (was $400 used) than they think.

Then they seem to have a glimmer to their eye that they thought perhaps they would need a few grand to have some decent aperture.....

maybe I helped someone recognize the hobby was within their reach


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Footbag
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Reged: 04/13/09

Loc: Scranton, PA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: MessiToM]
      #5770655 - 04/01/13 11:58 AM

I hate getting the question. I usually lie on the very low end.

Unless some rowdy kids happen by, then I tell them the truth and let them know who's paying for it if they break it.


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BigC
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Loc: SE Indiana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: panhard]
      #5770672 - 04/01/13 12:05 PM

Overall, I tend to de-emphasize the cost of hobbies, and point out the less expensive path.If I brag,and yes I do, it is about finding a great deal at whatever place but never has been or will be how the widow sold her husband's "old telescope" to me for $20,not knowing it was worth $1000.

There are a small number of so-called dealers who prey on those without price knowledge.I see some on ebay and some on c-list,offering 3" alt-az reflectors for hundreds of dollars ,when even the manufacturer suggested retail price is "only" $99.If asked I will defintely warn people away from such.

I don't mind helping out someone truly interested but don't care to give "ammunition" to someone who wants to ridicule the expense.Those same people often think nothing of spending more for cigarettes,tc. .I may think they are foolish too but try to keep it to myself.

I forget which British author mentioned priorities,as in even a person of modest means can have a fine telescope by driving an older car,and so on.One of my co-workers goes on cruises and vacations that cost as much or more than my hobby.Neither of us criticize the other's choice.


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Paco_Grande
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5770695 - 04/01/13 12:19 PM

Bottom line is, the question is unthoughtful and inappropriate in our culture. We adults know how to handle it as adults.

But for sure, I don't consider myself an ambassador for any hobby: assuming that duty, well, have at it if it floats your boat. lol


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Mentor
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/30/10

Loc: Ontario, Canada
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5770807 - 04/01/13 01:19 PM

Well said, Paco Grande.

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Mark Costello
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Mike4242]
      #5770831 - 04/01/13 01:32 PM

Quote:

I had my AR152 on a CG-5 at an outreach once and a guy asked me: "What does something like this run? Two or three hundred?". I told him that it cost a little more than that, but he could get a decent beginner scope for around $300. I could tell he was asking because he was interested in getting into the hobby, so I wasn't annoyed; however, I did find it interesting how his concept of what astronomy gear costs was way off.





There have been a few times in which someone has asked me how much my current 5" rig cost or the 4" achro rig I had before that. Sometimes, it was a neighbor who had bought his son a telescope, a couple of times it was a brother who is into "naked-eye" astronomy, a couple of times friends of one daughter or another asked. In all these cases, my inference was that they were trying to get a feel on how much they had to invest to get started with a telescope. Like you, I gave them the quick answer and told them they could get other type telescopes that would be larger for a good bit less money. Oh, the problems of being a refracto-fanatic....


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Mike4242
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Reged: 11/02/11

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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5771244 - 04/01/13 05:03 PM

Quote:

Oh, the problems of being a refracto-fanatic....




So true!


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azure1961p
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5771433 - 04/01/13 06:36 PM

Quote:

I really get tired of people asking how much my rig costs!! Really, I guess I am just sensitive to the question. I invite family & friends over to do some viewing and we are not 5 minutes into it and someone has to ask. I usually tell them what I paid for my scope originally, then add I have done some upgrades. But then someone has to press the issue and demand to know what I have in it currently!

Isn't that considered impolite?

Maybe its the area I live in or something. The past few times I got this question I responded by asking what they have in their golf clubs and whether their wife knows that!

Do thers here get this question? How do you respond?




I'm fed up with the query because nine times out of ten or more, th balk at you like your a spendthrift . My stock answer is a lie but it shuts them up: I have no idea it was a gift.



Pete


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bluesteel
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5772099 - 04/02/13 02:18 AM

Now I hope not to inflame anyone, as it is not meant to, but I think it must be said, and I shall try to do it with tact and humor. People that do not wish to talk price about their equipment, please stay home with your stuff during the upcoming National Astronomy Day, so I can ask prices of specific pieces such as mounts and lenses, the latter in which I have not done thorough research on yet, for my future purchases. Thanks!

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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: bluesteel]
      #5772105 - 04/02/13 02:38 AM

If planning to buy furniture do you ask all your friends and complete strangers what they spent?

Or if buying a car? A can of beans?
Or do you check ads and catalogs and ,yes, websites ?

There are plenty of public resources for pricing all but a few exotic items and nearly all can be located by doing an internet search or a trip to the local library.

Asking for guidance is fine;demanding to know exactly what I spent is nunyabizness AND rude.

And just because I got a great deal on item "x" doesn't mean you will.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5772199 - 04/02/13 06:21 AM

Quote:


Asking for guidance is fine;demanding to know exactly what I spent is nunyabizness AND rude.




I have never had anyone "demand" to know exactly what I spent on anything, be it a car, furniture or a telescope. But people do "request" that I share with them what the equipment cost me.

They are never rude, it's just part of the conversation, a relevant fact, it's part of the flow, the give and take, the rapport...

I quit riding motorcycles 25 years ago. But if I see a neat motorcycle and the owner happens to be around to talk to, I'll strike up a conversation and sometimes we might talk for 2 minutes, sometimes for 45 minutes. In a 45 minute conversation about a motorcycle, it would be pretty strange if the cost didn't somehow come up.

Jon


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Thomas Karpf
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5772200 - 04/02/13 06:22 AM

If you are buying a car or a can of beans or a couch, you've been in stores that sell that sort of thing. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, there are at least several places you can buy that sort of thing within ten minutes of your house. I have six major grocery stores in my town. I have multiple 'car strip malls' within ten minutes of my house. I have a Wal-Mart and Target in my town. If I wanted to go to a Sears, JC Penney, or Filenes, I have one within ten minutes drive. If I insist on going to a K-Mart, I have to drive a whopping fifteen minutes.

Last weekend, I drove TWO HOURS to go to the closest 'telescope store' in my area, and I live in densely populated Connecticut. I went to Highpoint Scientific, which is smaller than a typical Starbucks.

The only telescopes you can find in stores in stores in my area are the usual 'department store' scopes that nobody reading this post would buy. There's one store selling 'bigger' scopes around, and that's about twenty minutes away. They sell Busnhell scopes, and they're still 'department store' scopes.

Newbies have NO idea what a 'real' telescope costs or where to buy one. They've almost certainly never seen a 'not junk' scope for sale in a retail establishment. If you go to Amazon and type 'telescope', there is perhaps one scope on the first page I would even consider suggesting that a newbie buy.

If we want newbies to buy USABLE stuff (so they don't get disappointed quickly), we have to tell them where to go and what to expect they will have to spend in order to get 'not junk'.

When I'm asked what I've spent on one of my scopes, I give them reasonably accurate information. I also tell them where to shop (Astronomics, Highpoint Scientific, Orion Telescopes) where they can talk to someone who will suggest reasonable 'starter' solutions. I've also started compiling a list of complete 'first telescope' packages that are not HORRIBLY expensive and will allow you to actually SEE stuff (6" dobsonian, 8" dobsonian, OMNI XLT 102, maybe a Nexstar 5").

I don't mention looking on Craigslist or tag sales, because what they'll find there is mostly department store 'trash' telescopes. And there's no after-sale support.

You're the only person they've ever seen with a REAL telescope. You're the only person they've ever talked to who has any REAL chance (if you so choose) to steer them in the right direction. I'm sure that you will not be with them when they make a purchase.

PLEASE GIVE INFORMATION THAT ALLOWS THEM TO GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

PLEASE DON'T BLOW IT OR ASTRONOMY WILL CONTINUE TO BE AN 'ELITE' HOBBY.

Please CHOOSE to be helpful and kind. If you can't or won't be helpful and honest when doing 'public astronomy', then perhaps you should think about what sort of impression a newbie gets when dealing with you as 'the face of the astronomy world'.


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spencerj
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5772446 - 04/02/13 09:39 AM

Quote:



I have never had anyone "demand" to know exactly what I spent on anything, be it a car, furniture or a telescope. But people do "request" that I share with them what the equipment cost me.

They are never rude, it's just part of the conversation, a relevant fact, it's part of the flow, the give and take, the rapport...






I like this quote from Jon. The cost is a natural part of the conversation--no matter what you are talking about.

Sure there are people in the world who make everything a competition and others that are looking to pass judgement, but they are in the minority. Treating everyone you meet like they could potentially be one of these people is a tough way to walk around in your everyday life.


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hawk
sage


Reged: 03/12/13

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5772519 - 04/02/13 10:22 AM

Quote:

You're the only person they've ever seen with a REAL telescope. You're the only person they've ever talked to who has any REAL chance (if you so choose) to steer them in the right direction. I'm sure that you will not be with them when they make a purchase.




I think this is an excellent point. I'd say if someone is asking, it's safest to assume they are interested in what it takes to get started in the hobby, and so telling them you spent five grand on your mount alone is probably not a good idea -- even if it's true -- simply because you're going to scare them away.

In other words, a good response might be: "You might be surprised what you can get without much investment. Mine's a bit more advanced than what you might start out with, but let me tell you about (dobs and nexstars, etc.) that are only a few hundred dollars." If they still press you for specific costs of your setup, then either tell them or don't; it's up to you, because at this point you've already avoided scaring them away entirely.


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ubermick
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: hawk]
      #5772566 - 04/02/13 10:47 AM

*stands and applauds for Tom's post*

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mark8888
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: hawk]
      #5772573 - 04/02/13 10:49 AM

Quote:

In other words, a good response might be: "You might be surprised what you can get without much investment. Mine's a bit more advanced than what you might start out with, but let me tell you about (dobs and nexstars, etc.) that are only a few hundred dollars." If they still press you for specific costs of your setup, then either tell them or don't; it's up to you, because at this point you've already avoided scaring them away entirely.




I think that is exactly right. It's a nice idea to give advice which should satisfy any reasonable intent of why the question was asked, but there's no real reason to have to tell anyone the exact cost of your specific setup.


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Thomas Karpf
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: mark8888]
      #5772596 - 04/02/13 11:02 AM

Quote:


It's a nice idea to give advice which should satisfy any reasonable intent of why the question was asked, but there's no real reason to have to tell anyone the exact cost of your specific setup.




Certainly they don't need a precise value, but vague ball-park figures would be nice.

NEW complete dob: $500 and up, way up
NEW complete basic refractor: $500-1000 and up, way up
Eyepieces: $50-hundreds

Used: 50-75% of retail
Astrophotography? Multiple costs by 5-10x.


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kenrenard
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: mark8888]
      #5772598 - 04/02/13 11:02 AM

Bravo Tom.

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MessiToM
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/21/09

Loc: Huntingdon PA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5772715 - 04/02/13 11:47 AM

agreed ^

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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5773063 - 04/02/13 02:22 PM

Tom and all.

I think I AM kind when would-be stargazers ask about the hobby.



But then the first thing I do not do is put down the "department store scope " that they may well have at home or is theirs for the asking from a relative or friend.

My way is to ask if they have any particular objects they want to see and if they have a budget.

The oft-maligned cheaper scopes CAN show a lot;how many who initially "got the bug" started off with a high-end scope ?

Now if SOME people want to keep amateur astronomy "elitist" then they should go right on telling everyone that if you don't spend at least $500 for a simple manual refractor or $5000 for a AP-capable scope you won't see anything. I'll tell the questioner about how much you can see with patience and a $150 80EQ wirh RA motor,or a $100 76mm f10 az-el reflector, or mention the $500-$1200 Celestron SE and similar.Certainly the Dobs in the $300-$800 range as well.If they are certain a "real telescope as defined by SOME people" is what they must have,why then I can direct them to some online stores.Because I must drive 90 minutes myself to get to a "science" store that sells telescopes(except I never bothered.)I'll tell them they should do some research online and look at reviews and Youtube videos and probably recommend they buy or get from the library a copy of Backyard Astronomer's Guide or Nightwatch.If they DO happen to have ,or the use of) a "department store scope" I will recommend the techniques I know for getting the most use from it.I don't want to be the guy they blamre for telling them to spend $1000 and all they saw was more little dots in the sky!I have helped a couple people to enjoy the sky and a couple others ,who had scopes, found even with coaching and better eyepiece supplied by me,the night sky just didn't have that much interest versus the television.

Yes, my stuff is from craigslist and ebay and even thrift stores because I did my "homework" or research first.

You know what is funny and sad about my craigslist purchases? Several are nice scopes bought at a huge discount from people who bought an expensive,complicated scope as their first scope or it was a gift,and they were too intimidated by the complexity to ever USE it!Yet they also never used ,perhaps because they really weren't interested,the basic tools of the internet or library to find out how.

It is my opinion that someone who doesn't have enough interest to look up basic facts about ANY hobby or field really insn't that interested.

As a long-time ham radio operator I've seen the recruiting and "evangelism" ;I remember the CB fad.

Make people aware of whatever your hobby is and how much fun YOU have, but if they aren't interested,an "ambassador" or slick sales pitch is a waste of everyone's time.

Every hobby has those who put a lot into it,and every hobby has a lot more who have only a basic setup and enjoy very casual participation when they have a bit of spare time.
I'm NOT putting down those with superb setup, knowledge,and results;just let everyone enjoy the hobby as they choose.

And finally,not everyone wants to be or is suited to be an ambassador.


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Doc Willie
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5773095 - 04/02/13 02:53 PM

Another option that I have used:

"How much did that cost?"

About a month's pay.

"How much do you earn."

Now you're getting personal.


Nowadays, "I prefer Are you thinking of getting one?" because that leads to conversation that might be fruitful.


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Paco_Grande
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: spencerj]
      #5773130 - 04/02/13 03:20 PM

Quote:



I like this quote from Jon. The cost is a natural part of the conversation--no matter what you are talking about.






I think you need to go back to the original post and give it another read.

To demand to know what something costs is anti-rapport and not part of a normal conversation. Even if it's done light-heartedly, it's impolite at best. The harder someone pushes me on something like this, the harder I push back. If need be, I'd tell my "friend" to leave.

Discussing cost and discussing what you've spent on something are two different things. The former is part of the natural progression of informing one another. But to ask how much you've spent on your gear is no different than asking how much your face lift cost, or how much you spend on dental care each year. It's simply none of his or her business. Those kinds of questions require a ton of rapport, and trust, and the appropriate circumstances.

The question, "How much do you have in your rig" might really mean, "How much do I have to spend to get a good telescope." People ask lousy questions like the former because they're not thinking or listening. They're just lazy and don't consider that asking a well thought-out question will bring them a well thought-out answer. I generally give them the benefit of the doubt and respond as I previously posted.

Then there's one's attitude. When I sold surgical tables, a plastic surgeon would enter our trade show area, extend his hand and say, "Hello. I'm Dr. Jones. Can you tell me about your equipment, please?" But at a Podiatry convention? It would likely go more like this: The doc would stand on the edge of the area and say, "How much does that cost?" I hated selling to podiatrists.

Clearly, I have too much time on my hands.


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Mike7Mak
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5773254 - 04/02/13 04:18 PM

Geeze, it's just a question. I've been known to ask it myself. Curiousity, pure and simple. I don't ask it about telescopes cuz, well, I know what they cost.

Defensive 'none of yer bidness' reactions seem more about the insecurities of the person being asked than the motives of the person asking. There are people with less money than me and people with a lot more. I feel no embarassment or need to apologize for how I spend MY money.

I honestly couldn't care less why someone would ask, or what they think about my answer. And I really don't care one wit whether they get into the hobby or not so I'm not gonna 'craft' an answer based on that consideration.

It's a simple question with a simple answer. Everything else is psychology.


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Kfrank
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Loc: Northern Colorado
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5773339 - 04/02/13 04:57 PM

Quote:

Geeze, it's just a question. I've been known to ask it myself. Curiousity, pure and simple. I don't ask it about telescopes cuz, well, I know what they cost.

Defensive 'none of yer bidness' reactions seem more about the insecurities of the person being asked than the motives of the person asking. There are people with less money than me and people with a lot more. I feel no embarassment or need to apologize for how I spend MY money.

I honestly couldn't care less why someone would ask, or what they think about my answer. And I really don't care one wit whether they get into the hobby or not so I'm not gonna 'craft' an answer based on that consideration.

It's a simple question with a simple answer. Everything else is psychology.




BINGO!!! Well said.


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JIMZ7
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5773363 - 04/02/13 05:03 PM

I have more people ask me how much power my scope gets than how much it costs.

Jim


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northernontario
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Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: JIMZ7]
      #5773372 - 04/02/13 05:05 PM

It costs less that your wheeler....but more that your fishing boat.

jake


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Mark Costello
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Mike7Mak]
      #5773385 - 04/02/13 05:08 PM

Quote:



.........................

It's a simple question with a simple answer. Everything else is psychology.





The half dozen times that someone asked me this, I've done a very quick read (1-2 sec) of the way they asked (voice tone and pitch, facial expression), and determined to my own satisfaction that in none of the cases was the person asking being snarky or otherwise offensive about it. Usually, they were wondering what it would take to break into the hobby. One time, a fellow member in our church choir asked. He was a fellow amateur with an 8" or 10" Dob. I had told him I just got a 5" refractor and he thought I was in the big leagues with a premium apo. Nope, I just told him that I was fine with the compromises I made in getting a nice 5" achro....


Best Regards,


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FrankJ
super member


Reged: 03/06/13

Loc: Ohio
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5773484 - 04/02/13 05:35 PM

Some people don't mind being asked how much they paid for this or that and others do. There can be all sorts of discussion on how one should answer when asked. After all is said and done, the point is that it is not in good taste to ask the question.

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Tony Flanders
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5773553 - 04/02/13 05:48 PM

Quote:

After all is said and done, the point is that it is not in good taste to ask the question.




Apparently so -- at least for some people. Many people have asked me how much things cost, and I have sometimes asked others, and reading this note is the first time it has ever occurred to me that some people might consider the question to be in poor taste.

I would, of course, ask discreetly as in "Do you mind my asking how much that cost?"


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psandelle
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5773636 - 04/02/13 06:27 PM

It's funny, whenever I've driven to my darksite in my Ferrari and unloaded my gear, no one's EVER asked how much my telescope costs. Weird.

But seriously...I did used to own Ferraris, and the difference between them and asto gear is that everyone knows Ferrari's are expensive, so if someone asked the price, I could be humorous, though I'd always answer with my actually calculated rule-of-thumb: "As much as a child." And, when I had my son, I got rid of my last Ferrari, so I know this to be true.

With astro gear - not quite the same. When other astronomers ask about my scope, or camera, or something, I know they're asking with real curiosity (I see their gear). Other people haven't a clue, usually, so I tend to answer (because I'm a bit of a gear-head on computers, musical equipment and astro stuff): "What are you thinking of using it for, and how much do you want to spend, and I bet we could find something you'll be happy with." And, it usually happens that way. (I've been the happy introducer of many people to telescopes from rank beginners to a guy who built his own observatory at his house complete with 12.5" PlaneWave on a Paramount - I felt like a proud father at first light.)

But I do understand being reticent to name prices for fear of criminal focus. It's a scary world out there. For the rest of the folk who are going to be snide, they just make me laugh. I can't put a real price on the joy, wonder and relaxation I get from being out under the stars, with just eyes, binocs, or taking pics. It's a wonder to me at all times, so whatever I spend, it's more than worth it.

Paul

P.S. I list my gear not to brag but because all the other kids here did it, so...it was peer pressure!


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rdandrea
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5774032 - 04/02/13 09:01 PM

Quote:

After all is said and done, the point is that it is not in good taste to ask the question.





Yeah, but we can't control what is asked, only how we answer.


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FrankJ
super member


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Loc: Ohio
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5774176 - 04/02/13 09:36 PM

Quote:

Quote:

After all is said and done, the point is that it is not in good taste to ask the question.





Yeah, but we can't control what is asked, only how we answer.


I would certainly agree with that.

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Paco_Grande
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5774180 - 04/02/13 09:36 PM

Quote:



I would, of course, ask discreetly as in "Do you mind my asking how much that cost?"






Asking discreetly or not, it's an inappropriate question phrased like that. Why do you want to know how much I paid for something? It really is none of your (rhetorical you, not Tony you ) business in any way, shape, or form. Is it because you just kinda wanna know (wink wink) - which feels like a sort of voyeurism to me. Or, are you trying to say, "Wow, this is exactly what I've been looking for. How much would a similar setup cost me?" And if the latter, then why not ask it this way?

The latter is a better phrased inquiry without the voyeurism. I might answer the latter and tell you to get lost with the former.


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bluesteel
sage


Reged: 03/24/13

Loc: ILM
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5774212 - 04/02/13 09:45 PM

For all the people fearful of being asked for theft, looking the person in the eyes for a couple of seconds will be able to read their intentions immediately... unless they are just drooling with envy and awe at the setup, which can also be easy to read. You do not need to have a PhD in body language for this either...
Bear pepper spray could add to the ease of mind as well, and not just for the two legged animals.
...and a crossbow and battle ax strapped to your back will surely avert any questions or disturbances of people altogether!


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sonny.barile
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/19/10

Loc: In the middle of the glow.
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: bluesteel]
      #5774310 - 04/02/13 10:18 PM

I have an easier time revealing the cost to a stranger than i do with the people I know. I am from NJ and am surrounded by North Easterners. The stereotypical North Eastern family member wants to think how stupid and irresponsible you are for spending hundreds or even thousands on this stupid thing. They stand there looking at you funny in a pair of $200 prison labor made sneakers and a sweat suit that cost as much as a Panoptic. They think for sure that that money would have been much better spent on deep dish rims or a new Sony PS3. Then there is the (and everyone has one) jealous uncle that just wants to see you fail because his life stinks. None of his life long hair brained schemes ever paid off so he doesnt want to feel like you have out done him. He wants to feel like he has more money than you do.

Oh! I dont have issues now do I................


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buddyjesus
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Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: sonny.barile]
      #5774354 - 04/02/13 10:47 PM

I just hope I am not that uncle! IME which is mainly with children doing solar observing outreach, when they ask it is because they want one!

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wz2
Most Boring Astronomer...


Reged: 07/30/10

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5774418 - 04/02/13 11:21 PM

Quote:

What is a list of your gear if not bragging?

If not offering a list of stuff for sale or trade what else could it be?

It is your right to brag if you like and no one needs my permission or approval.


Entirely different is a list of the gear used in making a specific observation or project.Then the gear is actually germane to the discussion or observation.And knowing what gear was used is helpful to others.

Do you routinely list all your other possessions in public forums ? I don't think so.




Why is it bragging? Jealous some people have more gear than you? Guess what, someone's always going to have more gear than you. I rather like seeing what other people are using. You know who to send PM's to and strike up conversations with people who may be using gear in which you are interested.

Chris


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WarmWeatherGuy
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: wz2]
      #5774450 - 04/02/13 11:38 PM

Many times people ask questions on CN and people have to then ask them their location or what scope they were using or what camera etc., before they can answer the original question. By including this information people can get a mental picture of the poster which can be helpful.

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Jon Isaacs
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5774506 - 04/03/13 12:14 AM

Quote:


Asking discreetly or not, it's an inappropriate question phrased like that. Why do you want to know how much I paid for something? It really is none of your (rhetorical you, not Tony you ) business in any way, shape, or form.




Etiquette is about context, when is it appropriate Questions like this need to be taken in the actual context. There is a right time for such questions and there is a wrong time, it's something that one has to feel. People don't just walk up and say, "Hey that's a nice telescope, how much did that cost."

In my experience, such conversations go something like this: It probably starts out with a few looks through the eyepiece, some guidance at what to look for, maybe some oohs and awes... some questions, some answers. Some sort of a rapport begins to develop, more questions and answers, some questions by me, some by the other person. At some point, the question of cost is just part of the natural flow... it's not rude, it's not in appropriate, it feels right, a small friendship is already in the works.

Jon


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Bill Weir
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: WarmWeatherGuy]
      #5774510 - 04/03/13 12:17 AM

When out with my 20" I get asked all the time. At first I was a bit embarassed to tell but still did. Then I thought about it a bit. I don't smoke, drink alcohol or really have any bad habits that bleed money away from me. I'm close to retirement (where good severence will be coming along) and really this is my midlife crisis sports car so to speak. Who out there knows where you can get a high end sports car for under 20 grand? I don't.

Now I quite easily tell the cost of my scope explaining that it is a high end scope and really not needed to enjoy the hobby. For many years I very happily observed with my 6" dob and compiled a list of objects larger than most with my club. My 12.5" was offered to me as an amazing deal by a friend who built it and my wife bought me the premium mrror to put in it. When I got the 20" it was because I came into the money and my wife insisted I get it. At all times I had the cash in hand to buy what I had.

Nothing to be embarased about.

Bill


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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: wz2]
      #5774580 - 04/03/13 01:06 AM

Quote:

Quote:

What is a list of your gear if not bragging?

If not offering a list of stuff for sale or trade what else could it be?

It is your right to brag if you like and no one needs my permission or approval.


Entirely different is a list of the gear used in making a specific observation or project.Then the gear is actually germane to the discussion or observation.And knowing what gear was used is helpful to others.

Do you routinely list all your other possessions in public forums ? I don't think so.




Why is it bragging? Jealous some people have more gear than you? Guess what, someone's always going to have more gear than you. I rather like seeing what other people are using. You know who to send PM's to and strike up conversations with people who may be using gear in which you are interested.

Chris


NO, Chris, I don't worry about what scopes (or other possessions)others have.And IF I chose to list all mine you might be surprised.Although none of them listed for more than $2K.Jealousy is a waste of time and energy.

I can't think of another hobby where it is routine to show a list of your possesssions except for those relevant to the topic under discussion at the moment.

As I noted ,everyone is free to brag or show off. Some do,some don't.


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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5774588 - 04/03/13 01:17 AM

The one thing this thread shows is that there are differences of opinion.

Yes,OPINION.Although some state their opinion as though it were fact.

By the way,the sky here is clear tonight.That is a FACT.


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buddyjesus
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5774614 - 04/03/13 01:55 AM



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Tony Flanders
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5774857 - 04/03/13 08:29 AM

Quote:

The one thing this thread shows is that there are differences of opinion.




In this case I think it goes a bit deeper than opinion; it's a matter of gut reaction and cultural context.

If you invite somebody over to dinner and they start eating the food with their hands, you consider that shocking and perhaps insulting. It's not a matter of opinion; it's a gut reaction.

However, when my brother-in-law comes over after work wearing jacket and tie (he's a doctor) and starts eating the food I have served with his hands, I find it perfectly normal. That's because he's from India, and I have spent considerable time in India, where eating food with your hands is the norm and using silverware is a little odd.

Likewise, it's clear that when many people here are asked about things relating to money, they find the question shocking and in poor taste. To me, money is just money -- it doesn't have any overtones of insult, envy, personal worth, and so on.

When I ask a fellow amateur astronomer how much his equipment cost, it might well be because I'm considering buying it and want to weigh its cost/benefit to me. However, pure curiosity is a perfectly sufficient motivation.

After all, astronomical equipment is available on the open market; the price of your equipment isn't exactly a secret. I could look it all up on the internet if I really cared, but asking you is a handy shortcut.


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FrankJ
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5774898 - 04/03/13 08:50 AM

I agree with Tony. We have got to remember that when we have a discussion on any forum, we are talking to people with different cultures--people from different countries. Something that is proper for one would not be proper for another. That does not mean that one is wrong and the other is right. I should have kept that in mind when I made my remark on this forum. As an example, I think back on a comment I made when I said that it is in bad taste to ask someone what they paid for something. I should have said "Some may feel that it is in bad taste to ask that question. So it would be best if you know the person and how he/she might feel about asking For some it might be an appropriate question while others may think not." So I retract my first remark.

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City Kid
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5774987 - 04/03/13 09:21 AM

I don't necessarily find being asked how much my stuff cost to be rude. I think I'm reluctant to answer because of the way I grew up. In the neighborhood I grew up in the only reason anyone other than a close friend would want to know the value of anything was to gage whether or not it was worth the effort to try to steal it. It was not uncommon to have anything left unattended stolen in broad daylight. Houses being broken into were also not uncommon. If someone was walking down the street or driving by and giving more than a casual glance towards your house it was because they were scoping the place out. Very sad but very true. So I guess growing up this way generated a natural distrust of people. The only time I'm really hesitant to answer the question of how much my stuff costs is if the person asking knows where I live. Again, I know it's really sad that I feel this way but I can't help it. I spent too much of my life around people that justify this mild paranoia.

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Jarrod
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Bill Weir]
      #5775038 - 04/03/13 09:34 AM

Quote:

this is my midlife crisis sports car so to speak. Who out there knows where you can get a high end sports car for under 20 grand? I don't....
Nothing to be embarased about.





Bill nailed it. If you had a $20k "hobby car" in your garage, nobody would think twice. In fact, something like that would more than likely be considered a sensible pastime.

Also, telescopes don't need to be licensed, insured, and don't burn $4 per gallon liquids in order for you to be able to use them.


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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5775453 - 04/03/13 12:30 PM

City Kid said,

"I spent too much of my life around people that justify this mild paranoia. "

And I find that perfectly understandable and reasonable.

Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you!

In my area there are periodic rashes of break-ins and theft of anything metal for sale to scrap dealers is a real problem.I had to basically run off several locals who began a self-guided tour looking for anything metal.

Inquired about a sign:"this place protected by poverty;there's nothing worth stealing", but couldn't afford it!


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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: buddyjesus]
      #5775455 - 04/03/13 12:32 PM

Quote:





Shouldn't you have a soda to wash that down?


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Tony Flanders
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: City Kid]
      #5775469 - 04/03/13 12:39 PM

Quote:

In the neighborhood I grew up in the only reason anyone other than a close friend would want to know the value of anything was to gauge whether or not it was worth the effort to try to steal it.




Hey, at least that's a rational motivation -- unlike the people who inquire because of social status or jealousy.


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Paco_Grande
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5775470 - 04/03/13 12:39 PM

Quote:

...

By the way,the sky here is clear tonight.That is a FACT.




But it's not a fact here.


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Kraus
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jarrod]
      #5775478 - 04/03/13 12:42 PM


Everyone,

Watch Herr Flander's 'Sky Week' every week on S&T's website.

Tony,

I look very forward to each presentation as I do each new S&T issue. I hope you can keep up your offering well into your ninties. Let's see if you can outlast Sir Moore.

Thank you.


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Paco_Grande
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5775507 - 04/03/13 12:56 PM

Quote:

..However, pure curiosity is a perfectly sufficient motivation.

.



No such thing as pure curiosity, there is always a motivation behind curiosity.

Let me continue to be the contrarian on this.

"Why do you want to know how much I paid?"

"Well, I dunno. Just curious, that's all."

"How curious are you?"

"I dunno, why?"

"If I made a list of model numbers, would you be interested in getting on the internet and discovering for yourself how much I paid?"

"Hmmm, how many things would I have to look up?"

"Well, the list would probably contain about 25 items. It's more than that, but 25 would be a good start."

"25? Wow, that's a lot. Might take me a few hours."

"Ya think?"

"I'm not *that* curious."

"Oh, so you're saying that you're curious but not curious enough to do all that work, all that work that I had to do, not including all the research time, costly mistakes, and other costs and effort, to achieve what you see here in front of you?"

"Well, when you put it that way…"

"How would you answer me if I asked you the same thing?"

"I'd tell you to bugger off." [chuckle]

"Consider you've been told to bugger off." [more chuckles]

"Wanna beer?"

"Sure thing."



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Paco_Grande
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5775522 - 04/03/13 01:03 PM

BTW, I appreciate everyone's tolerance to my often long-winded and opinionated posts. I try to write 500 to 1,000 words a day, every day, and I'm afraid you guys and gals are often exposed to my daily practice.

Thank you all.


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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: bluesteel]
      #5775523 - 04/03/13 01:03 PM

Quote:

For all the people fearful of being asked for theft, looking the person in the eyes for a couple of seconds will be able to read their intentions immediately... unless they are just drooling with envy and awe at the setup, which can also be easy to read. You do not need to have a PhD in body language for this either...
Bear pepper spray could add to the ease of mind as well, and not just for the two legged animals.
...and a crossbow and battle ax strapped to your back will surely avert any questions or disturbances of people altogether!


If it were that easy we wouldn't need detectives and trials.Many people are quite good at concealing their bad intentions.

My fraternal grandparents did NOT discuss money with anyone they didn't feel needed to know,and taught that asking was impolite.Nor did they think it was proper to tell a child"we can't afford that";it was changed instead to "no,you may not have that".

Cultural background.


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bluesteel
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5775733 - 04/03/13 02:42 PM

Quote:

Quote:

For all the people fearful of being asked for theft, looking the person in the eyes for a couple of seconds will be able to read their intentions immediately... unless they are just drooling with envy and awe at the setup, which can also be easy to read. You do not need to have a PhD in body language for this either...
Bear pepper spray could add to the ease of mind as well, and not just for the two legged animals.
...and a crossbow and battle ax strapped to your back will surely avert any questions or disturbances of people altogether!


If it were that easy we wouldn't need detectives and trials.Many people are quite good at concealing their bad intentions.

My fraternal grandparents did NOT discuss money with anyone they didn't feel needed to know,and taught that asking was impolite.Nor did they think it was proper to tell a child"we can't afford that";it was changed instead to "no,you may not have that".

Cultural background.



Sorry, but the vast majority of people that are going to commit crimes like petty theft all the way up to knocking off a convenience store or small branch bank are the people that are blatantly obvious to read. The people that are much more difficult to read have better things to steal than your telescope... and they don't get caught (unless you have a solid gold example that a Saudi King would be proud of). An example that comes to mind is the art theft of Boston from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Those type of people have far better targets to gather info on than you and your telescope... and if it is over $20,000 your setup(random number), I am willing to bet they do not want to carry that sucker anywhere.


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ubermick
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: bluesteel]
      #5775910 - 04/03/13 04:15 PM

Jeez. All I can say after reading through this thread is that I'm glad the folks in my local astronomy club weren't the sort to immediately assume that I was a thief, time waster, tire kicker, or whatever you want to call it. Thanks to some friendly folks at a star party I stumbled on 18 months ago, my interest in the hobby was reignited with a passion, I'm now a member of the club (and a few thousand in the red, haha) and happy to help others in the way that I was helped initially.

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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: bluesteel]
      #5777726 - 04/04/13 01:25 PM

I have to disagree.

Certainly not everyone or even a big percentage is a thief.

But you are wrong about petty theft.Else eyepieces and other small items wouldn't "walk away" at gathering.Probably any vendor can tell you of the "shrinkage" at his event table.It happens at camera shows and hamfests,it happens every day in retail stores. The annual total from shoplifting far exceeds what a holdup takes from a store.It happens at star parties too.

I note several other posters have had similar experiences of those asking costs only to ridicule the scope owner,and theft obviously varies tremendously with the area and people.

Each of us will just have to use our judgment as to which approach feels best where we are when asked.


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Thomas Karpf
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5777839 - 04/04/13 02:15 PM

Quote:


But you are wrong about petty theft. Else eyepieces and other small items wouldn't "walk away" at gathering.




Certainly that happens. Which is why any tools, spare eyepieces, etc. I bring to such an event live in my pockets. I might 'lose track' of a planisphere or flashlight, but I'm certainly not going to set down an eyepiece.

That having been said, I don't think it likely that putting a dollar value on a scope or mount is going to increase the likelihood of someone stuffing my refractor into a pocket.

Perhaps you deal with people with REALLY BIG pockets?


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Kfrank
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5777908 - 04/04/13 03:05 PM

I asked a fellow what his scope cost the other night and he read me the riot act and accused me of many things, none of which I am guilty of.

Of course I apologized and introduced myself.

Then he told me his name was Perry. Perry Noya


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TL2101
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5777946 - 04/04/13 03:25 PM

I just break the cost down on a mile per viewed basis like mpg. I explain on that basis it's the least expensive hobby gear on the planet.

Edited by TL2101 (04/04/13 05:35 PM)


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BigC
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Kfrank]
      #5778124 - 04/04/13 04:49 PM

Hyperbole.

Simply re-directing the conversation is as effective and much more polite.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5778562 - 04/04/13 09:03 PM

Quote:

Each of us will just have to use our judgment as to which approach feels best where we are when asked.




I suspect we all have different images in our minds how this question might be asked, in what context.

If someone were to walk up to me and immediately asked how much the scope cost, I probably would be reluctant to give a straight answer. But that's not the conversation or context I have in mind. In my mind, I am thinking of a conversation that has resulted in some mutual respect and trust..

I ask this question: If you had been talking with someone for 15 minutes and the person had shown genuine interest in the amateur astronomy, would you still be reluctant to share what you equipment had cost?

Jon


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Feidb
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5779233 - 04/05/13 09:40 AM

I just don't see the big deal.

An observation. 90% of the time, the people that ask me how much my scope, OR my eyepieces cost are usually outreach people that have never looked through a scope before. New amateurs have already been drooling through the catalogues and already know the prices so they rarely ask except to either confirm or see if I got a special deal.


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Feidb]
      #5779275 - 04/05/13 10:10 AM

If I had so many thieves and crooks around like the majority if people on here I would never go out. I am not careless but have loaned my equipment out to many people and never worried about it. Use your judgement, when lots of people are around I close my case but when observing with people I know we share and share alike. As to what stuff costs I never had an issue, although if the person looks shady I do, it wasn't cheap but it costs a lot less than for example owning a motorcycle or a boat.

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steve-in-kville
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5780181 - 04/05/13 05:12 PM

Nice to see my thread is still drawing replies.... and good ones!! Keep 'em coming!

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Joe Bergeron
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5780483 - 04/05/13 08:45 PM

I get this question a lot, and I really dislike it. Many times people lead with it. If I'm out there giving people an experience with astronomy, "How much does it cost?" seems like the most trivial, irrelevant, inconsequential, shallow question there could be. They might as well ask me what brand of toothpaste I use. I usually deflect the question. Sometimes I'll quote the price of the cheapest telescope I can think of that would give similar views. But I'm really not out there to talk about money.

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MarkShay
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Re: "How much did that cost?" *DELETED* new [Re: Joe Bergeron]
      #5780676 - 04/05/13 09:50 PM

Post deleted by MarkShay

Edited by MarkShay (04/08/13 06:32 PM)


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cpsTN
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: MarkShay]
      #5780744 - 04/05/13 10:08 PM

Depends upon WHY they are asking. If they are considering getting one OR if they are just nosy!

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okieav8r
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: steve-in-kville]
      #5780746 - 04/05/13 10:09 PM

While it may not be in the best of taste to ask that question, I think most people ask out of simple curiosity. Beyond a simple telescope, a lot of our gear looks pretty sophisticated to the uninitiated (and a lot of it is), so it's natural for them to be curious about what it costs. I'm pretty up front in answering such questions, and once they've satisfied their curiosity, they're ready to enjoy the views.

But, when my super-frugal Dad asks such questions, I just flat out lie. Otherwise, I'd never hear the end of it.


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SteveMushynsky
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5781381 - 04/06/13 10:00 AM

As a soon-to-be beginner in this hobby, I find this thread rather off-putting.

I recognize that asking the cost of one's possessions is taboo to some folks and that such sensitivities depend largely on where they live and what they were taught while growing up. My family was German and Ukrainian and one thing NOT DONE was to ever criticize another's food. My parents lived through very hard times in WWII and food was NOT to be disrespected. I still consider "you like to eat that?" to be the height of rudeness.

So it may be with money to some folks. Please understand, however, that your 'touch button' on this may not be such to the person asking how much a telescope rig costs. If they are asking the cost, they probably don't know the relative values between an expensive rig and a cheap one. Perhaps they just want to know in case they might consider getting into the hobby themselves. Getting a 'none of your business' response would make me wonder if all amateur astronomers were snobby souls and I might just walk away from the hobby.

I used to be quite involved in radio controlled airplanes. My interest was in designing and building aircraft from scratch, starting with a clean sheet of paper. I bought used motors and lower cost control systems without a lot of the optional bells & whistles available, so my actual costs consisted of an enormous amount of research, design and building time plus not much actual money outlay. Others spent very large dollars in obtaining the very newest and best of everything they could find and spent some truly big bucks. No one I met in that hobby ever put anyone else down for using less expensive stuff (think "department store scopes") because everyone had fun according to their interests and their budgets and not necessarily in that order. The question of "how much did that cost?" came up regularly and I don't recall anyone ever being upset by the question.

Having read this thread, I find I am glad that I can't get out and around much (health) and didn't approach my local area astronomy group, first thing. I am still researching and have decided what I want to find and am saving to purchase it. I ask myself, would I have been 'shut down and told to beggar off' if I had asked the costs of equipment to help me make decisions? If I use a 'lesser' scope than a seasoned observer is using, would he/she think less of me? Apparently so, if I am using a "department store" scope. More pointedly, is this hobby populated by equipment snobs? Perhaps I should not say what I will be buying and anticipate observing entirely on my own to avoid potential problems? Want to guess how long I would remain in this hobby under that cloud?

In a hobby that values 'outreach', I would hope that 'slamming the door' on innocent, relevant questions would be a very rare response. Yes, an asker may not be aware of the asked person's personal sensitivities, but an open-to-public observing scenario would seem to indicate that those observers present might be open to questions.


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howard929
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5781394 - 04/06/13 10:07 AM

Seems to me that if the public at large reaches in a bit too close then the notion of public events should be rethought. Friends and family asking how much did this cost is a different story. Family you can't pick so the ones who don't count, don't need to view. Friends OTH we can pick so I don't see a problem there.

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GOLGO13
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5781404 - 04/06/13 10:10 AM

Well said SteveMushynSky.

This hobby has quite a range of folks. I feel like 90% of them are very good people. There are some snobby types here and there. At big star parties that can be obvious. But all in all I'd say this hobby is one of the more positive ones.

Don't be put off by a few individuals. You'll meet 9 good ones for every 1 bad one.

All that being said, my preference is to find a few good observers and keep it a small group. I'm not a huge fan of large gatherings. But then again I am like that in all aspects of life.


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SteveMushynsky
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Reged: 02/21/13

Loc: Syracuse, NY area (Central NY)
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: howard929]
      #5781411 - 04/06/13 10:13 AM

Quote:

Seems to me that if the public at large reaches in a bit too close then the notion of public events should be rethought.




Perhaps this should be written as:
"Seems to me that if the public at large reaches in a bit too close then the notion of PARTICIPATING IN public events should be rethought."

As I said, I found this thread rather off-putting. From your comment, I guess maybe I should find public outreach events rather off-putting as well? Not very welcoming, as seen from a would be beginner's point of view.


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GOLGO13
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5781420 - 04/06/13 10:22 AM

Steve,

I'm not new and I found it off-putting as well. I think the majority of the time the question on cost is not meant in a bad way. Someone should know when and when not to answer this question. Please don't go away from this site or the hobby based on this thread


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SteveMushynsky
member


Reged: 02/21/13

Loc: Syracuse, NY area (Central NY)
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5781442 - 04/06/13 10:31 AM

Thanks for the encouraging word, GOLGO13.

BTW, finding Astronomy.FM online via iTunes is what initially piqued my interest last fall,


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GOLGO13
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Reged: 11/05/05

Loc: St. Louis area
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5781480 - 04/06/13 10:39 AM

Awesome! It's a great site run by some folks I have met through astronomy websites and in person over the years.

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SteveMushynsky
member


Reged: 02/21/13

Loc: Syracuse, NY area (Central NY)
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: GOLGO13]
      #5781501 - 04/06/13 10:43 AM

Re: Astronomy.FM: I saw that they needed some help managing their website a while ago and was thinking of contacting them about it.

(Apologies for off-topic)


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Ebyl
super member


Reged: 07/04/12

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5781522 - 04/06/13 10:46 AM

Steve, I wouldn't worry too much about the hobby, asking questions, or outreach events. I honestly have yet to see an astronomy event that has not been extremely welcoming to newcomers with questions of any kind, including cost.

I think a little of what you're seeing here is what I like to call the "internet tough guy phenomenon." Very often, you find the reactions of people to be a little more extreme on internet forums than you would in real life. In this case, you have some people focusing on the OP mentioning someone being pushy and demanding to know how much something cost, etc. Other people are just giving their reaction to the general, innocent question of how much something costs.

I have a wide range of interests, but have yet to meet a community as friendly and welcoming as the amateur astronomy community in general. So don't worry about it.

Edited by Ebyl (04/06/13 10:47 AM)


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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5781555 - 04/06/13 11:00 AM

Personally I am very cautious making general judgements out of random group mechanics
I would not put too much stake to the random opinions voiced here, at least not to the extent of evaluating amateur astronomers as a culture.
The helpfulness and hospitality of this hobby is after all evident all around this forum.

This treads title invite reactions from people with this particular issue answering: "How much did that cost?"
I think it is an issue, not an important one, but never the less an issue. Some people have this issue and will post their opinion here.
To make that into a common issue is a different thing, remember this is not a survey, it is just a message board where people freely voice opinions.
People, who don’t feel one way or other discussing money/prices with strangers, will probably not react to this tread to begin with.

The only conclusion I get from this is: apparently some people won’t answer this particular question and some will.
Not really that big a deal in my book.


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howard929
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5781634 - 04/06/13 11:45 AM

While I'm comfortable to have no desire for public outreach, my comments weren't aimed at anyone in particular.

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okieav8r
I'd rather be flying!
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5781737 - 04/06/13 12:24 PM

I'll add something to my previous post. At observing events where the public is invited, not only do I think it is not rude for such a question to be asked, but such questions should be welcomed. Part of the reason for public observing events is to get more folks interested in getting in to the hobby, and one of their concerns is going to be, "what does it cost?", both now and in the future, should they get into it and stick with it.

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Paco_Grande
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5781821 - 04/06/13 12:50 PM

Quote:

...

In a hobby that values 'outreach', I would hope that 'slamming the door' on innocent, relevant questions would be a very rare response. Yes, an asker may not be aware of the asked person's personal sensitivities, but an open-to-public observing scenario would seem to indicate that those observers present might be open to questions.




It is and would be a rare response. Astro-types are cool daddy-os. For me, I find this sort of thread interesting and a learning opportunity for me to think through the problem so I can be sure to respond to an inquiry with an answer that is helpful rather than simply to satisfy someone's simple curiosity - which IMHO is never really simple; someone's curiosity I mean...

For example. I'm an astronomer at a star party. My scope is a 6" Tak on a G11 mount, and beside my equipment is a case full of TV Nagler and Delos eyepieces. A visitor, someone new to the hobby, stops by and says, "Hey, how much did all that stuff cost?"

If I answer, "Oh, about $18,000." What help is that? Someone new to the hobby was no way to put that answer into any sort of meaningful context. Instead, I want to answer with something meaningful. So, again, my response would likely be, "Are you interested in buying a telescope?" and go from there, to develop some rapport, and continue to ask questions so I can give a proper answer. I'm with Jon, take some time and develop rapport. Pretty simple to do most of the time.

It would be a rare situation where I'd ever tell someone to bugger off, at least verbally. I might be thinking it, though.

And no, I don't own a 6" Tak or a G11 or two boxes of TV eyepieces.


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tubehead999
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Reged: 11/25/08

Loc: Kennesaw, GA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5781882 - 04/06/13 01:36 PM

At the State Park where most of my "serious" viewing occurs, the question is asked at least once a trip by at least one "tourist".....the answer I give is "not much" and that usually satisfies their curiosity. If someone continues with "How much is not much?" then I deflect.... "for example, that eyepiece is 35 dollars retail, but I paid much less for it." I have never had anyone obnoxiously press the point to an exact dollar figure. After a couple of deflections, the questions seem to go away....no need to get all sensitive about it...we humans are curious animals.

When I am asked "How much to get started with something decent?" I usually respond with "Something decent that you can use and if you find you don't have the urge to continue, you can always resell it for a majority of the investment?

My answer: 250-300 used...400 new with free shipping...and I point them to an 8 inch F/6 dob and give them the URL to check it out....then I or another of the group will show them "stuff'"..usually the Moon if we are out there at the three day Moon. We always bring one scope that is for "tourist" use. Some take advantage of it..most don't.

Sometimes there are questions about "department store" scopes they have at home. I ask what they don't like about them and then make suggestions on how they can be improved.

No negative waves man....


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chaoscosmos
sage
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Reged: 01/26/13

Loc: Mission Viejo CA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: tubehead999]
      #5782048 - 04/06/13 03:17 PM

I read "department store scope" as a descriptive term meaning a cheap scope that has limited usability and might have some similarities to the first scope many of us got as a kid. Still can be useful but it might have an inadequate mount and/or some kind of significant optical deficiency. The term isn't a put-down, unless intentionally used that way. It's more a term to quickly describe what kind of item is being talked about.

Also, courtesy works both ways. If I ask a question about cost, or a lot of other kinds of questions for that matter, I preface it with something like, "Do you mind if I ask...?" It's understandable that being asked how much something costs by a stranger might put the person questioned at least momentarily in an uncomfortable position, depending on the situation. It can be a rather loaded question. As has been suggested, the overall context needs to be understood by both people.

In general, at social gatherings, people don't ask "How much money do you make?" These things have to do with social norms and etiquette.

Edited by chaoscosmos (04/06/13 03:19 PM)


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BigC
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Reged: 09/29/10

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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: SteveMushynsky]
      #5783023 - 04/07/13 01:51 AM

Steve,

You said " No one I met in that hobby ever put anyone else down for using less expensive stuff (think "department store scopes") because everyone had fun according to their interests and their budgets and not necessarily in that order.".

If only everyone did that.If you read the whole discussion you see some of us have valid reasons from personal experiences that may not be the norm for not wanting to price our gear.And the one thing I don't do,have never done is "put down" a hobbyist because he hasn't spent enough on "serious" equipment.

My outreach has been one-on-one,but if I were going to be doing a public showing ,it would be with a good but very affordable scope.

Personally I feel it is a dis-service to insist someone must buy a $500 or $1000 scope to get started,because if they realize this hobby isn't for them,then they will likely lose half that not-inconsequential-to-most sum of money. I recommend buying a modet $150 scope and if one is truly interested then that scope can serve as a grab-n-go or if they decide not to pursue this hobby the monetary loss will be much less.


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Classic8
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/12/06

Loc: Naperville, IL, USA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5783843 - 04/07/13 01:51 PM

I've never had a problem with anyone asking how much my scope cost. It's either just curiosity or they'd consider getting one if it isn't too much. In case it's the latter, I try to make sure they know that they can get good views of some objects (like the planets and the moon which we're generally looking at) with a telescope that doesn't cost very much. I don't want to give the impression that they'd need $1000 or more just to get started in the hobby.

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tubehead999
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/25/08

Loc: Kennesaw, GA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5783957 - 04/07/13 02:43 PM

I will have to admit..even my patience was tried last night...we arrived at the park...very few tourists..still daylight....fellow wanders over, asks "Are you guys astronomers?" We answer "amateurs" ..what was the VERY next question...you guessed it , what does all this cost?

My answer, "varies" .

Oh, I like "department store" scopes!Nothing derogatory implied with my statement...I have one at the house as we speak that I bought for some parts.

Need a cheap EQ1? Put a little labor into it...replace the legs , you have a workable mount for a small scope.


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bluesteel
sage


Reged: 03/24/13

Loc: ILM
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: tubehead999]
      #5784788 - 04/07/13 09:10 PM

I went to the North Carolina star party this Friday in Raleigh, and was uncomfortable asking any questions after reading through this thread.
I started talking to an older gentleman about the german equitorial mount, and luckily for me he was more than willing to give me a ton of information regarding price, specifics, even showing me how it "slews" in manual mode and will keep tracking after the manual move. He then informed me the Vixen refractor was over 3k on the mount, and I think he saw the floored reaction, as I was not expecting the price to be as much as it was. Needleses to say the pricing helped me tremendously, since I was informed that the mount was a CG-5 running at about 750. A lot less than I expected since I have been shopping for german equitorial mounts as well, and the majority recommended have been in the 1200 range minimum. I thank the stars that the sky was clear, and information was generously offered that day.


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james7ca
sage


Reged: 05/21/11

Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: bluesteel]
      #5787335 - 04/09/13 03:56 AM

If you are really annoyed isn't the standard reply supposed to be, "If you have to ask then you probably can't afford it!" Kind of a disagreeable reply, but it will likely cause them to move on (or laugh in agreement, which could be telling).

In any case, I've purchased my equipment over a period of ten years so the cost per year is probably less than many people spend on cigarettes, liquor, and (maybe) other drugs. I guess astronomy may just be another form of addiction, although one where you generally end up with something tangible rather than having it all go up in "smoke" (sorry, that's sort of a nasty comment too, but tobacco is one of the true evils of this world).


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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: bluesteel]
      #5787436 - 04/09/13 06:14 AM

Quote:

I went to the North Carolina star party this Friday in Raleigh, and was uncomfortable asking any questions after reading through this thread.




I have frequently been asked that question at public viewings. I'm usually using either my 70-mm f/6.9 refractor or my 7-inch Dob. Here's my normal answer for the refractor:

It actually cost me about $700, but prices have come way down since then. Today you could get a similar but better telescope for half that cost. However, the part you're probably forgetting is the mount. This photo tripod and the head cost well over $100.

If you want a small scope like this, give me your e-mail address and I will be happy to make specific suggestions.

And with the Dob I say:

This is a custom-made unit, and it was probably sold below production cost even when I bought it. But you could buy a brand-new 8-inch Dob -- very similar though not quite as nice -- for about $400.

The usual response in either case is: "Wow, I didn't realize you could get a good telescope for so little money."


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tedbnh
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5787551 - 04/09/13 08:15 AM

When someone has looked through my scope, I usually interpret "How much did this cost" as "What would I have to pay for the gear that would let me get this view anytime I wanted it?"

I tell them you could get very close to it for $399 with a 6" Orion Dob. They are always floored. We try to have a 6" Orion XT at all of our outreach events so they can see for themselves. (It's one of the club loaner scopes, and when it's not out on loan it's with us on the sidewalk.)

Nobody should be dissatisfied with the view of the first quarter moon or Jupiter or Saturn in a 6" dob unless the mirror is installed backwards. The general feeling out there seems to be something like you have to pay as much for a good telescope as you do for a car.

If only Walmart carried 6" Orion dobs in boxes for Christmas!


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buddyjesus
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 07/07/10

Loc: Davison, Michigan
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: tedbnh]
      #5788552 - 04/09/13 03:45 PM

Quote:


Nobody should be dissatisfied with the view of the first quarter moon or Jupiter or Saturn in a 6" dob unless the mirror is installed backwards.




awesome one liner.


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JohnMurphyRN
sage
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Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5801491 - 04/15/13 08:53 PM

Quote:

What is a list of your gear if not bragging?






It gives context to what gear someone has experience with and which direction their interest lies.

I've seen a number of threads with posts in them that start out with "Hey XX I notice from your sig you have a this and a that, how do they compare?"


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panhard
It's All Good
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Reged: 01/20/08

Loc: Markham Ontario Canada
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5801615 - 04/15/13 10:01 PM

Right on John.

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JohnMurphyRN
sage
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Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5801657 - 04/15/13 10:22 PM

There's three areas of interest I get this question in: astronomy gear, bikes, and firearms. As mentioned in many of the above posts, it is likely because what I like and use are items most people aren't familiar with. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the question, because a numerical answer can come accross either as bragging on high-end gear or will result in people thinking you're nuts for spending that much.

I ride a recumbent catrike. It looks funny and gets lots of comments and attention because it's so unusual. Invariably people want to know what it costs. I usually try to tell them that it's about the same as a decent roadbike, which gives the people who are into biking a real answer and gives the people who aren't a level of comparison (they'd be horrified what a decent roadbike costs - or a good telescope. Most people think in terms of wal-mart prices where a bike is $200 and a telescope is $60).

With astronomy gear I try to give it in terms of days' pay and then tell them what they could get similar performance for ("I picked this up used on CL for a couple of days' pay. There's a lot of GSO stuff out there used for half the original price that'd provide very similar views. Nothing wrong with used - it's not like you can wear out a mirror. Just make sure it wasn't abused.")

Context is everything. The guy that says, "you know, I used to bike competitively, but since I hurt my back I can't do it any more, and thought a recumbent might be the answer..." and then follows up with a question on the cost is going to get a much more focused answer than the guy in a beater truck who waves me over to ask about that funny thing I'm riding. Telling him a number will only come accross poorly...


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Paco_Grande
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Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: panhard]
      #5802854 - 04/16/13 02:25 PM

Quote:

Right on John.




+1


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spongebob@55
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 12/26/11

Loc: Bergen Co. New Jersey
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5803626 - 04/16/13 10:18 PM

I was at a club observing night, when I was asked by a fellow observer who had a large scope himself, how much my refractor cost. I found the question to be rude and out of place to someone who also was an amateur with a scope, who could look it up, afterwards. I gave the 'retail' price, to which I heard, 'wow, I thought they were a lot cheaper than that'. Holy cow! (imo that is)

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kfiscus
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Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5803653 - 04/16/13 10:32 PM

I get asked this question all the time. (I do some big outreach events.) I think this question is almost always asked in innocence and as a compliment in our materialistic society. I preface my answer with "Not as much as you might think." The general public gets the impression of dobs as being large and very expensive. Nearly everyone who's asked is pleasantly surprised by how affordable a dob really is.

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SteveMushynsky
member


Reged: 02/21/13

Loc: Syracuse, NY area (Central NY)
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: spongebob@55]
      #5803680 - 04/16/13 10:52 PM

I designed and built an electric bike several years ago to get me to work and back easier. My health was declining and I didn't want to give up on riding. Ten miles to work and ten miles back each day.

I built it to be easily overlooked as an electric bike as their legality is a touchy thing in New York, yet found that I was often paced by drivers, including cops, who looked it over.

Several times, I was approached and after the initial "What is that" questions, the next question was most often "How much did that cost you?". I cheerfully answered each time with my estimated cost, then advised it was a project putting it together. Pleasant conversations, every one of them and a lot preferable to the more usual razzing any bike rider is subject to by passing drivers around here or the citation a cop might have given me.

After I was run off the road and into a construction area by a passing driver, I finally got out of the hospital and able to get around, then visited the local police station to pick up my bike. I expected I would get that citation for riding an electric bike.

The first question the cops asked was "You made this?" The second was the inevitable "How much did it cost you?" I was glad to answer how much it cost rather than "Did you know this is illegal?", no doubt about it. The third question was "Can you make one for me?" Much smiling and good wishes and I went on my way, relieved. Glad I didn't get my back up because someone was interested in the cost of my hobby efforts.


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Isdaako
member


Reged: 03/24/13

Loc: Devils Tower, Wyoming
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Classic8]
      #5803713 - 04/16/13 11:13 PM

In following this thread I've found that the answer to the question varies seems dependent on the cost of the equipment.
More importantly, I'm learning a great deal more about the authors.


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gunfighter48
sage
*****

Reged: 03/18/13

Loc: Mill Creek, Washington
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Isdaako]
      #5803743 - 04/16/13 11:51 PM

I've never had a problem answering the question "how much does it cost". I tell them my estimate of the current list price and advise them that I've been collecting astronomy items for over 20 years. Most have no idea what things cost and are just curious. I don't find that rude or insulting in any way. I also let them know that they can get started in astronomy for a lot less than I have invested. They don't realize that a good pair of binoculars can be used as a starting point to see if they really are interested in astronomy. I treat people like I would like to be treated.

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BigC
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/29/10

Loc: SE Indiana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5803855 - 04/17/13 01:48 AM

Quote:

Quote:

What is a list of your gear if not bragging?






It gives context to what gear someone has experience with and which direction their interest lies.

I've seen a number of threads with posts in them that start out with "Hey XX I notice from your sig you have a this and a that, how do they compare?"


If one does as Paco and lists the gear in one's profile the information is there for anyone to see without wasting half the post each time. I wonder how many gigabytes of storage are required for hundreds of duplicate gear lists of each of tens of thousands of members ?

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5804189 - 04/17/13 09:34 AM

No where near the gigabites taken by stupid facebook photos........

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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5804198 - 04/17/13 09:39 AM

Quote:

I wonder how many gigabytes of storage are required for hundreds of duplicate gear lists of each of tens of thousands of members ?




There would be little wasted space on this site but a fair amount on Google where the page views are saved. When you change your signature, it immediately impacts what is visible when someone goes to a post of yours as your view of the page is 'built' and sent to you when you click on a link.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
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Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5804209 - 04/17/13 09:47 AM

Quote:

Quote:

What is a list of your gear if not bragging?






It gives context to what gear someone has experience with and which direction their interest lies.

I've seen a number of threads with posts in them that start out with "Hey XX I notice from your sig you have a this and a that, how do they compare?"




Also, many post asking for advice; and do not say what equipment they are using. If it's in his/her sig; we know immediately, and can give better advice.

Perhaps some list their gear for bragging purposes, however, many of us list it for the very reasons stated above.

I've had many PM's from members inquiring about something in my sig line, that they are considering purchasing.

Don't forget, if the sigs offend anyone, they can simply go to their profile & opt to not see any sigs.

Quote:

Do you want to view other user's signatures with their posts


Simply check the "No" box.

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Grandpa Jim
old fogey
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Reged: 08/04/12

Loc: GREAT AMERICAN DESERT
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5804261 - 04/17/13 10:21 AM

I gauge their interest with a few questions of my own, and if I feel the question was a genuine curiosity, I tell them how much they can expect to invest. If I feel they are just being nosy, I tell them it's none of their business.

Quote: Context is everything. The guy that says, "you know, I used to bike competitively, but since I hurt my back I can't do it any more, and thought a recumbent might be the answer..." and then follows up with a question on the cost is going to get a much more focused answer than the guy in a beater truck who waves me over to ask about that funny thing I'm riding. Telling him a number will only come across poorly..."Quote"

Edited by Grandpa Jim (04/17/13 10:25 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5804363 - 04/17/13 11:17 AM

Quote:



Also, many post asking for advice; and do not say what equipment they are using. If it's in his/her sig; we know immediately, and can give better advice.

...Perhaps some list their gear for bragging purposes, however, many of us list it for the very reasons stated above.







If someone asks about an eyepiece or a finder for their telescope, it is important to know something about the telescope. If I can look down at their equipment list and see what they have, then I can answer the question rather than having to first ask what scope it's for...

As far as bragging.. I don't see it that way. What I see is "pride of ownership", I appreciate members who are proud of their equipment, of their decisions... When I read someone's equipment list, I digress momentarily as I imagine the views they are enjoying.

On the other hand, myself, I do not list my equipment because I do feel like I would be bragging. But most are not in that position and it does serve a practical purpose.


Jon


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BigC
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Reged: 09/29/10

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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5804416 - 04/17/13 11:53 AM

Jon,
Posting a list of my stuff would probably evoke incredulity and laughter.

Telling someone truthfully that MY "model xx" scope cost me less than $100 (because it was a great deal on a store return or whatever) when every other example of that same scope is $300 probably isn't helpful.

Telling them a new scope like this will cost about $$$ is more useful to most,I think.


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Jon Isaacs
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Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: BigC]
      #5804619 - 04/17/13 02:05 PM

Quote:

Jon,
Posting a list of my stuff would probably evoke incredulity and laughter.

Telling someone truthfully that MY "model xx" scope cost me less than $100 (because it was a great deal on a store return or whatever) when every other example of that same scope is $300 probably isn't helpful.

Telling them a new scope like this will cost about $$$ is more useful to most,I think.




What I do... If someone seems serious, I offer to loan them a scope and/or help them find something. But I think most often when someone casually asks how much something costs, they are just trying to make conversation and I use it as an opening.

Jon


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geekgroupie
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Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: "How much did that cost?" new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5805285 - 04/17/13 07:15 PM

I went over to visit an astrophotographer last year and all I heard about was how much everything cost. It was nauseating. There is another side to the situation ... be glad you're not on it. IMO.

Edited by geekgroupie (04/17/13 07:16 PM)


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