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kbastro
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/20/08

Loc: Running from Clouds
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: EFT]
      #5628531 - 01/17/13 05:34 PM

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

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

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

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

kb


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: kbastro]
      #5628722 - 01/17/13 07:37 PM

Quote:

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

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

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

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

kb




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

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


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orlyandico
Postmaster
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Reged: 08/10/09

Loc: Singapore
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: droid]
      #5628750 - 01/17/13 07:51 PM

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

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


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Ira
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 08/22/10

Loc: Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5628795 - 01/17/13 08:10 PM

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

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

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



/Ira

Edited by Ira (01/17/13 08:32 PM)


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Bart
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/28/06

Loc: Somewhere near Charlottesville...
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Ira]
      #5628801 - 01/17/13 08:13 PM

Thy name is Brian....

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mich_al
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Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5629000 - 01/17/13 10:19 PM

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

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Al8236
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 08/18/10

Loc: 48.9173N 122.1390W
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: EFT]
      #5629326 - 01/18/13 03:59 AM

Quote:

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



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


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Paul G
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Al8236]
      #5629383 - 01/18/13 06:01 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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



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



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

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


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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Al8236]
      #5629515 - 01/18/13 09:06 AM

Quote:

Quote:

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



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




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


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coopman
Post Laureate
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Reged: 04/23/06

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5629539 - 01/18/13 09:20 AM

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

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maknewtnut
Member
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Reged: 10/08/06

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5629552 - 01/18/13 09:32 AM

Gus touched upon an important point in his reference to Walmart. Touch and feel is important to many, but often relates only to sales. What about service?

Over the course of years, I found I was dead wrong in my perception of how important this issue is to many. You can find many threads where folks state they received a product with an issue, and having it replaced was then referred to as 'great service'. Add a year, call that same retailer and ask a simple question to 'tech support', and it's painfully obvious most don't give a damn about service (or know anything about the product their company sells).


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Paul G
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/08/03

Loc: Freedonia
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: maknewtnut]
      #5629570 - 01/18/13 09:48 AM

Quote:

Gus touched upon an important point in his reference to Walmart. Touch and feel is important to many, but often relates only to sales. What about service?

Over the course of years, I found I was dead wrong in my perception of how important this issue is to many. You can find many threads where folks state they received a product with an issue, and having it replaced was then referred to as 'great service'. Add a year, call that same retailer and ask a simple question to 'tech support', and it's painfully obvious most don't give a damn about service (or know anything about the product their company sells).




That's why I buy from Company 7, they take care of any problems I may encounter. They have facilitated repairs for me that would not have gone as smoothly without their intervention. I don't mind paying a little more to know that I won't be ignored if I run into any issues.


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George Methvin
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/30/06

Loc: Central Texas
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5629642 - 01/18/13 10:33 AM

Times changes and nothing can change that. I live a 5 hour drive to Astronomics and with the price of gas and my time its is just not cost efficent. So the intertnet the only way I can buy my Astro stuff. You folks are lucky to live close to a astro shop most of us are not that lucky.

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csrlice12
Postmaster
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Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Paul G]
      #5629658 - 01/18/13 10:41 AM

I truely believe we, as a global civilization, are coming around back to "buy local" where we can. This is not just happening here in the US, but all over the world. The internet has opened up the world and made it smaller...but only for actual, material things....for those things like customer service or custom designed items...local is the way to go. I believe that in the near future, while corporations will still exist, smaller, locally owned businesses will make a comeback. Yes, many of them, like now, will be getting their inventory from corporations; but there will also be many new, small, astronomy businesses that will start up. We've seen a few of them here in these forums...and I've bought from some of them...sometimes you DO have to look at the past to see the future.........

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Greyhaven
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: coopman]
      #5629660 - 01/18/13 10:43 AM

In Maine as far as I can determine no store carries any equipment for astronomy, except insect repellent and cold weather gear. When I purchased my old nexstar 5i I had to travel to New Hampshire to find a dealer, and he carried minimum stock and the trained clerks were always off that day,their main business was in camera supplies, so of course that was their focus. That was where I bought my first real scope Nexstar 5i, I didn't receive any real help from the staff they seemed pleased that they have the item in stock and would not have to repack a display model for me.They went out of the astronomy sales a few years later. I guess that experience just made it so much easier for me to switch to ordering what I want on line. I feel as though I naturally tend to buy from smaller dealers, but don't deal over the phone with them, simple web transactions, and find the items are always as advertised and my buddies here @ CN help me choose correctly.I trust your judgement a lot more than a clerk behind the counter that doesn't seem to know at least as much as I do about my purchase needs. Astronomy is a small market, we've got small dealers that host our site and the only way we can keep our supply chain going is buy online shopping we owe it to support the small to midsized dealers that depend on us.
Thanks for listening and as always
Be Well
Grey


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Jay_Bird
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 01/04/06

Loc: USA
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #5629756 - 01/18/13 11:27 AM

Another to remember well - Roger Tuthill, 'your astronomical friend' as I recall, known for customer service and innovative accessories for Celestron SCTs back in the day.

I don't buy much, but I've decided to think more about where or what I buy, and about indirect effects like support for local schools vs. internet savings. An internet store that supports outreach, the hobby in general, science education or IDA, and gives good 'personal' internet/e-mail/phone service and advice is the second best thing to brick and mortar.

I'm more acutely aware of these thoughts based on recent events: I bought several times over about 5 years from our B&M astronomy store, a couple visits same cost as family movie night, another purchase was more like family weekend vacation.

Then for another year's bigger-ticket purchase I shopped around to save 10% on-line... I figured I'd go back to local store soon enough to check the used gear, books, or the microscope I'd been eyeing there. The local club newsletter told of the store's closing before I went back...

I don't think I put them under pesonally but a larger application of my attitude did. Too much price point shopping gets you only commodity items to choose from and a 'commodity' level of service, or at least helps close your local store.

The guys at the store were alright, it was a good asset for the local hobby community, and I'd bumped into the sales staff several times when I drove the family out to a local dark sky site, the store crew was observing with customers and going a few steps further than in-store set-up for teaching scope use & observing skills.

We've lost the astronomy store, a Sportsman's warehouse location that had a good binocular section, and several camera/birding stores in Nevada over the last decade.


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 12/25/10

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5629982 - 01/18/13 01:48 PM

In my local area (Barrie-Toronto,Canada) Astro-Mechanics, Efstonscience and Perceptor have all closed their doors, all of these companies had been in the astro business for a lot of years, Perceptor,s name was assumed by another store in another area, Efstonscience has gone mail order only and no longer deals in astro gear, just other stuff,Astro-mechanics shut its doors very abruptly leaving several unhappy customers out of pocket with money plonked down but gear never ordered,I mainly buy on line now from a reputable company either in Canada or the US,DA.

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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: coopman]
      #5630017 - 01/18/13 02:11 PM

Quote:

If I was to ever go into a store such as Astronomics, I'd have to bring a change of underwear with me.




Astronomics would be a nine hour drive from Louisiana. I would HOPE you would bring a change of underwear for an over-night trip.


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starrancher
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/09/09

Loc: Northern Arizona
Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5630035 - 01/18/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

If I was to ever go into a store such as Astronomics, I'd have to bring a change of underwear with me.




Astronomics would be a nine hour drive from Louisiana. I would HOPE you would bring a change of underwear for an over-night trip.




I thought I read somewhere that they provide complimentary disposables for those that have problems controling themselves .

In the interest of misinformation being distributed , I was just joking . I believe you need to bring your own .


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rmollise
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: astronomy stores going out of buisness? new [Re: George Methvin]
      #5630078 - 01/18/13 03:03 PM

Quote:

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




JD? Feh!


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